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Interviews : “We are coming with our friends Def Leppard” – An interview with Rudolph Schenker (Scorpions)

By on June 8, 2018

Scorpions – Rudolph Schenker

Scorpions are a band that have straddled the precipice between a blues-based hard rock and Judas Priest style heavy metal for over 45 years of recorded music history!

The bands earliest material features the work of the godfather of shred guitar, Michael Schenker, so when it was broadcast that an opportunity to converse with a band member was available, who else would the author select but Michael’s affable older brother, Rudolph Schenker. Discussing the band’s history, the Australian tour with Def Leppard and his thoughts on working with Michael again were all on the agenda.

Australia has always been near and dear to Scorpions. Despite having never played our continent previously, speaking in his upbeat and steep Lower Saxony accented English, Rudolph describes the reason for our long association with German outfit.

“You know, I tell you one thing. Our first fan club we had in the ’70s was based in Australia. It was a girl, she was running the Scorpions fan club. I think her name was Julie. That was amazing”

It’s certainly clear that Scorpions and Australian audiences are made for each other, so why the lengthy prelude to a performance in Australia?

“I know we had the chance to go in ’91 to Australia, a very high tour but because we had I think with “Wind of Change” was number one hit in Australia… but my friends, they were so tired because we were one and a half years already on the road and then last minute when everybody thought they could go home, our executives and our agent came and said, ‘Look guys, I have two live tours. One is in Australia, very nice one, and the other one is in South America’, my friends were completely shocked, and I said, ‘Hey guys, let’s do it, and let’s do it in two years when we do a new album.’

Notice the year that Rudolph mentions that “Wind of Change” was a commercial success. 1991 was the year an enormous grunge meteor landed through Nirvana’s Nevermind, which all but obliterated the era’s rock’n’roll landscape. Rudolph was keenly aware of the impact that Cobain and co’s success foisted upon the band.

“Then it was grunge, it was alternative, and then the world changed, and then it was gone. So, we are coming with our friends Def Leppard, that is great.”

Indeed, it is great! If you are a reader yet to sample the many hits and classic cuts Scorpions put to tape, then get streaming. Rudolph mentions the rather fan-friendly manner in which they select songs to perform in each territory, so now is your opportunity to become acquainted with the bands excellent catalogue of music.

“…we want to show the people that the ones… I think that we go into our internet and our Facebook and we will ask the fans. I think that is the best way because what we found out is the favourites of the American guys, or the South American guys, or the Asian ones, or the Russian ones, are different and the best way is if you go into the Facebook and say, ‘Look, guys, what do you want to hear?’ Then you are getting the idea and then you know what to do. “

Regarding an onstage reunion with his famed brother (and aware that family relationships are often the most complicated), it was not without trepidation that I posed the question about reuniting with Michael to Rudolph. In a detailed response, the key point that resonated was something that all human beings can relate to…

“You know, it’s always the question of time.”

To see the Schenker brothers on stage, reunited after many years would be both spectacular and moving. One wonders if the brothers might break bread prior to the Australian tour and what this could lead to!

Listen to the full conversation here.

Catch Scorpions supporting Def Leppard on their upcoming national tour of Australia this November.

For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit








Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith