I Want It To End is not only a plea that we’ve all been wailing, but also the title of the new album from The Erkonauts. A band described as “a prog version of Motorhead,” the proof is in the pudding of their latest album where the bursts of frenetic energy are punctuated with some deeper yet no less intense songs. Where does the inspiration come from? Singer and bass player from the band, Ales Campanelli tells us why he loves German Metal monsters, The Scorpions.
Why I love The Scorpions,
That’s a question I get a lot when I say I’m a huge fan of The Scorpions: “why?” Like I’m putting ketchup on pasta. It’s funny actually. Years pass, music change, the band is still around and there is always this surprised look when I mention them. There is motive though. Like all great artists, they are not flawless, and well, they have been known to wear sandals with socks on stage. No use denying that. So, to a certain amount of people, they are the sandals wearing, ballad whistling Germans. It might be true to a certain extent, but I always thought the looks I got for being their fan were a bit unfair. I think at some point I was bullied for that. It never undermined my admiration for them though. Especially now that they have been back on top for quite a few years. So anyway… where do I start?
The thing with this band is that they have this incredible drive. They just never stop. There is a fierce overachieving spirit that never seems to fade. Raw talent aside, they work hard. Rudolph Schenker is a locomotive. And that’s something very impressive considering that their first album is more than 50 years old. Last I heard, they’re still doing their own soundcheck. And considering their superstardom, they’re pretty easy to get in touch with. It seems that nothing can ever bring them down. So that’s definitely something I look up to. They have been through so much, often ridiculed, and always come back on top. Yes they write books about that and call them Rock Your Life, but let’s focus on the music.
They have a huge advantage in my personal charts, because Crazy World is very first album I ever owned. I had no idea what hard rock was so I just listened to it with no other criteria than “will I enjoy it or not?” It was mind-blowing. This album has everything; yes, including Wind Of Change. When I listen to it these days I still wonder how many bands would work so hard in putting so many awesome songs in an album featuring two iconic ballads. There is some raw exploration, some risks. It’s no wonder they call this album the end of their golden age (they did say that). So anyway this album got me interested in listening to more.
One thing that makes The Scorpions stand out, obviously, has to be the songwriting. There is incredible stuff here. And they changed the patterns quite a few times. They started a bit on the experimental side in the early 70s to grow up to be this huge machine we know today. This experimental period during the 70s is definitely my favourite, particularly the album In Trance. There are some genius moments. Uli Jon Roth is an incredible guitar player, maybe one of the early shredders. They manage to take very simple chords and turn them into very unique songs. It takes a lot of mastery to make everything seem simple. And that’s where they are at their best. The song comes first. And the vocals… Klaus Meine has to be the greatest singer I ever heard. Their early records show that. I can listen to Evening Wind a million times and never get tired. There’s always the right amount of feeling. They don’t overdo it. I mean, yes they did, massively, but in the eighties. And those were the eighties.
Anyway, so they had this incredible lead guitarist in Uli Jon Roth. Very complex, very smart. He brought a lot to their sound and then left. And they replaced him with someone completely different, doing what I consider their smartest move. They sure know how to pick their guitar players. Mathias Jabs is the one giving so much replay value to the material. I don’t think I know another lead guitarist paying so much attention to a song. And he’s not so high in the mix. The more you listen to a song, the more you’ll hear new stuff you never paid attention to, and that is to me what makes them so great. There is this balance between brilliant songwriting, amazing vocals and tremendous arrangements. And you know what? I enjoy their sandals now. They earned them. But seriously what is up with the guitar solo on When The Smoke Is Going Down?
So yeah… Hard work, talent, not giving a shit what people think, focus and endurance. There is no denying that The Scorpions have a huge impact on my life. They’re the only band I’ve listened to during every chapter of my life, and that’s fine. There should not be an embarrassment in loving something that obviously makes so many people happy. There are a lot of people singing Wind Of Change ironically at the karaoke, but we all know that deep down they’re having the time of their lives. They know that we could be so close, like brothers.
Our huge thanks to Ales for writing about one of THE classic Metal bands.
Read our review of I Want It To End here.
Have a listen to his band, The Erkonauts doing War Flamingoes: