SCORPIONS frontman Klaus Meine spoke to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" about the band's upcoming studio album. Tentatively due in 2021, the disc will mark the German hard rock legends' first release since 2017's "Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best Of Rock Ballads", which was an anthology of SCORPIONS' new and classic material.
Speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the making of the new SCORPIONS LP, Meine said: "This situation gives us a little extra time. We had planned to release this new album later this year, but, unfortunately, it will be delayed until early 2021. And so it gives us some extra time. Also, to get prepared, when we pick up the tour again, there will be new songs in the setlist, there will be a whole new production, and I guess we will do a couple of videos, maybe, for some songs that will be released. And so there's plenty of extra time. And it feels good that we can use this time and really make the best out of this situation right now instead of sitting at home and watching the grass grow. We came in here well prepared, because lots and lots of material we wrote already last year, and they're still in the making and songwriting process — everybody comes up with bits and pieces. It's really nice every day to come here and to see how all those elements come together and the feeling that we have hopefully a great rock album on the way is growing every day. And that's really a good feeling."
Meine went on to say that he is looking forward to working with producer Greg Fidelman, who began his career as the guitarist and songwriter for RHINO BUCKET before launching his career as a producer, engineer and mixer, finding an early mentor in Rick Rubin.
"The vibe and the feel we [are trying] to go back to [is] the days between 'Lovedrive' , 'Animal Magnetism'  and 'Blackout' ," he said about the new material's musical direction. "I mean, it's impossible to turn back time and start all over again — it's such a long time ago. But we try to, especially with our producer, with Greg Fidelman, we try to go back to that spirit and make a hard-rocking album.
"Rudolf Schenker, the riff master, he came up with lots and lots of really great tunes, and I wrote more lyrics than probably ever before," he continued. "So we went back to the same old spirit, like back in those days, and we try to make an album that goes in that direction. I'm not saying it will be like 'Blackout' or 'Animal Magnetism' — that's impossible, I think — but it will be different from what we've done in the last 10 years. It's a totally different approach. And hopefully this works out. Right now, what I hear every day, it feels great and it's a lot of fun and I can't wait until we can share it with the fans."
Meine also talked about the new SCORPIONS song "Sign Of Hope", which was surprise-released late last month. Asked how the track came about, he said: "When we came back from [touring] Asia — in Asia, the situation was pretty tense already, in places like Singapore or Yogyakarta, when we were on the road together with our friends from WHITESNAKE. There were temperature checks on airports, in hotels and shopping malls, so it felt already pretty serious, the whole coronavirus thing. But then when we came home, around the 6th or 7th of March, back here in Germany, it felt kind of still okay. But then, a week later, the whole world situation became more and more tense. And it was great to see so many artists, so many songwriters, picking up the guitar, writing new songs, just trying to reflect the situation we all go through right now, and that's what I did. I think I wrote the song a couple of days after I came home, and it was just reflecting the whole situation. It had not so much to do, really, with the production of the [new SCORPIONS] album, because we said to the fans, when we started this project, especially when you work with a producer like Greg Fidelman, who is really well known for his amazing work with bands like METALLICA or SLIPKNOT. So we're focused on the hard edge this time, and we wanna keep it going like this. But this song, it was just reflecting the situation. It was something that was straight from the heart in troubled times. I thought this situation, so many artists around the world come up with special little songs or shows and staying-at-home concept, this kind of home concept, and from the SCORPIONS, I wanted to give the world something we can share together — sending out a sign of hope from the SCORPIONS."
SCORPIONS' last full-length collection of new recordings was 2015's "Return To Forever", partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the '80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, SCORPIONS were scheduled to take over the Las Vegas Strip in July with their exclusive headlining residency show at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
The band previously played a Las Vegas mini-residency in May 2016, consisting of five shows at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.