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Scorpions’ Rudolf Schenker on Teaming Up With Megadeth for Tour, the ‘Crazy World’ We Live in Today + More [Exclusive Interview]

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Starting in September, the legendary Scorpions will embark on a North American headlining run, dubbed the ‘Crazy World’ tour, with thrash icons Megadeth. It’s a powerful tour that unites two different schools of metal with mutual respect for one another, and we had the opportunity to speak with Scorps’ axeman Rudolf Schenker before the jaunt gets under way. In this portion of our interview, he spoke about his relationship with Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine, elaborating on how this package came together. Schenker also touched on how different the world is today than when the Crazy World album was released in late 1990, as well as the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. Check out the chat below.

This is an interesting tour with Megadeth opening for Scorpions. Obviously Megadeth come from a bit of newer school of heavy metal than Scorpions. How did Megadeth wind up on the bill with you?

It came through our booking agent. He came up with the idea and because we know Megadeth — I know Dave [Mustaine] very well. I ran into him in Tokyo when we did the Classic Rock Awards with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck and Joe Perry and the guys from Def Leppard and Richie Sambora. We understood each other very well and somehow, we were running into each other at different music [festivals] and I read an interview [Mustaine] did where he mentioned me as his favorite rhythm guitar player including Malcolm Young.

I think also because [Mustaine] comes from Metallica, who were inspired by the Scorpions, there is a very natural line from the older generation to the younger generation. I think that’s a good thing, especially if you think about how this rock music has a very good family tree. I think Megadeth and also Metallica and Iron Maiden definitely fit within the same tree. So in this case, it’s good to show the young generation more of the old guys and [show] the old generation the new generation. It’s a good family meeting with different generations.

Crazy World was released 27 years ago and this tour is named after that album. Are we worse off than we were back then?

I’ll say one thing: it’s a crazy world. When we came out with the album, it was a crazy world in a positive way. Now it’s more of a crazy world in a negative way. I think what we want to remind [everyone] of is for people to think about this. Of course we are not politicians, we are musicians — we want to connect the people to remind them how it was in 1990 and how it is now, so people are more aware. Music is a good bridge to really help get through hard times. In this case, on one hand it’s a reminder to try to get through it in a positive way and hopefully — it’s like, you can’t always breathe in, but you have to breathe out. I think that’s maybe the same situation with the world and sometimes the world goes more in a positive way and sometimes more in a negative way.

As long as music is there; and that’s a very important point — it’s a bridge which really brings people together. We as musicians, we always show that the Russians love us, the Americans love us, the South Americans love us — we love the South Americans, we love the Americans, we love the Russians. By touring around the world and not playing with your ego, you notice that the world and the umbrella of music is actually getting more and more similar. With music, people like each other and have a good time. We want people to forget about their terrible situations and to relax more on the musical side.

In America, when the slaves came from Africa to America, the first thing they did was start singing. Singing gives the power to the weak and people come together as a couple or bunch of people; they become stronger. So I think music is the best way of giving people energy and belief.

Music is bringing people together, but one thing that’s happening in America is Donald Trump’s proposed border wall along Mexico. Being from Germany and seeing the effects the Berlin Wall had first hand, what would your advice to be to somebody who is in support of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico?

I’ll tell you one thing: as we learned, building borders is not the answer. It’s not the way. I think that’s maybe a momentum, but I think sooner or later the wall will be gone because walls never last a long time. Okay, we have [the Great Wall of China] now, but that’s more of a tourist attraction than a wall for keeping other people away from everyone else. In this case, what can I say? I’m not a politician, but I’m very sad when I see things like that because time is going backwards. Some people going away from the wall and taking the wall down and now other people are building one again. It’s stupid, but that’s the way life goes sometimes.

Thanks to Rudolf Schenker for the interview. Check out a list of all the stops on the ‘Crazy World’ tour and for tickets, click here. Be on the lookout for the rest of our interview with the six-stringer where we discuss how the Scorpions’ 2012 farewell tour made the band realize they had to continue, what really happened on ‘Lovedrive’ with his brother Michael and more.

Scorpions + Megadeth 2017 North American Tour Dates:

Sept. 14 – Reading, Pa. (Santander Arena)
Sept. 16 – New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)
Sept. 19 – Laval, Quebec (Place Bell) – Support TBA
Sept. 22 – Toronto, Ontario (Budweiser Stage Amphitheater)
Sept. 23 – Chicago, Ill. (All State Arena) – Support TBA
Sept. 26 – Denver, Colo. (1st Bank Center)
Sept. 29 – Spokane, Wash. (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena)
Sept. 30 – Seattle, Wash. (Tacoma Dome)
Oct. 03 – Reno, Nev. (Grand Sierra Resort)
Oct. 04 – Oakland, Calif. (Oracle Arena)
Oct. 07 – Los Angeles, Calif. (The Forum)
Oct. 08 – Phoenix, Ariz. (Talking Stick Arena)
Oct. 11 – San Antonio, Texas (Freeman Coliseum)
Oct. 12 – Dallas, Texas (Pavilion at The Music Factory)
Oct. 14 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (BB&T Center)
Oct. 15 – Tampa, Fla. (Amalie Arena)

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