Two days before the ultimate Scorpions concert in Athens we have the golden opportunity to meet again with Herman Rarebell. Ex-drummer for the German Hard Rock giants has been invited by the band to be present; he will also appear on stage with them. Plus he’s the guest of honor for the party the Greek-Scorpions Fan Club is throwing. Well, the bash has not started yet cuz Herman has to give some interviews first. So I have a GREat time chatting with fine dudes and dudettes from the other mags till it’s my turn to ask questions. Then time gets even GREater! The well-known musician is in magnificent shape, smiling all the time, giving us the latest news and all inside info, sharing his love for the mighty Scorps and his passion for live appearances. Wot? Would he return to the band?
Interview by Costas Koulis.
Rockpages.gr : Welcome! It is a real pleasure and an honor to have you with us once again!
Herman Rarebell : Thank you!
Rockpages.gr : Here you are again, playing with your favorite band, at a very nice stadium... once again!
Herman Rarebell : Once again! (laughs)
Rockpages.gr : After Wacken, after all these places... How do you feel?
Herman Rarebell : Very well! You know, I had a very good feeling in Wacken and I think to do this once in a while is a great feeling... I’ve been with the band for twenty years... It’s fun, you know. It’s good to do a show like this, as we did in Wacken and I really look forward to Monday night. Share the stage with Uli Roth and Michael (e.n. Schenker)... For me it is like going back in history...
Rockpages.gr : Are you gonna give us a lil’ hint? You’re gonna switch places with James Kottak?
Herman Rarebell : Yeah, it’s gonna be the same we did in Wacken. So I’ll just swap places with James for the two songs I’ll play... In the end we play one song together and we’re gonna use just one drumkit because there is no point to have two, we’ll just swap places quickly.
Rockpages.gr : How did this happen? I mean, have you been talking with the boys...?
Herman Rarebell : It happened really quickly... In Wacken the promoters thought it would be a good idea to have the original line up... So Wacken worked out really well and the promoter from Greece called me and said “Would you like to come and play here”? And I said “No problem”! (laughs) “Fly me in”! And that’s what he did...
Rockpages.gr : I read about “Herman’s collection” as well as “My life as a Scorpion”. How did you decide to proceed with these projects?
Herman Rarebell : I’ve been a writer for all my life! Writing lyrics for the Scorpions, writing songs like “Passion rules the game”, “Another piece of meat”... So I decided to make a complete musical statement of everything I’ve done since I left the Scorpions. Monaco Records, The Drum Legends, the Art Meets Music project with Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones... So I made a collection of all those songs, which I did outside my career with the Scorpions. The audio book is all about my life... The interview was done by Peter York (e.n. huge drummer, he played along Herman in Drum Legends). We did it a bit funny, more entertaining. Not just sterol, just telling stories about my life... We made a funny story, like we would meet in a house... so this was the idea and I’m out now to promote my book... After I finish here I’m going directly to Rocklahoma!
Rockpages.gr : I read that. Three gigs in the States...
Herman Rarebell : Three dates in the States so far... I was talking to my agent last night, he booked me another fourteen days in September.
Rockpages.gr : Where? In the States?
Herman Rarebell : In America, yes. California, Denver, Chicago, East Coast, you know, Philadelphia, New York. At Rocklahoma it would be the first time people will see my new band, which consists of two people from StrikeForce, a singer under the name of Taimexx Nasty and he’s actually very nasty! (laughs) This will be the fist time I will introduce this band and I’m looking forward to the show. Especially since all the bands playing there came from the 80’s... Ratt, Poison, Twisted Sister... I know all those guys from the past.
Rockpages.gr : You’ve been writing for all these years. You’ve also written a book, “Here I am”... Do you think that “My life as a Scorpion” is the natural continuation...
Herman Rarebell : Yes, it is! Actually “My life as a Scorpion” tells what is written in “Here I am”. The book has the advantage that you can look at the pictures. I put a 12-page booklet inside the audio book, so you can see the highlights of the book... Festivals, etc. I also put a song I did with Monaco Records and two songs from the “I’m back” album.
Rockpages.gr : I read that you’re also gonna play, at the festival etc., some songs from your upcoming album. Would you like to share...?
Herman Rarebell : Actually, “I’m back” was never released in America. So I will play songs like “Take it as it comes”, “Let me rock you”, “Don’t lose your trust”, songs I wrote for the Scorpions, “Another piece of meat”, “Blackout”, “Rock you like a hurricane”, “He’s a woman, she’s a man”... One song from StrikeForce, “Fast as lightning”, and, of course, I’m gonna play “Wipe out”.
Rockpages.gr : I always wanted to ask you that. The drum rhythm on “Crossfire”... How did you come up with the idea?
Herman Rarebell : Yeah, the marching beat. The song is actually about war. In the old days, when people were going to war, they used drums for the signals. I thought that it would suit perfectly. I recorded that drum been about twenty times! It sounded like fifteen guys were playing. The idea was because of the lyrics. “Make love not war”...
Rockpages.gr : You mentioned “I’m back”... How did that album go? It is actually going to be released in the States?
Herman Rarebell : Well... Mausoleum Records pressed 10.000 copies, they never made it to America. The album was never heard in there. So I’ve been thinking to use some of these songs and some new songs, which I’m gonna write in America with the boys of my band. It’s really difficult to release an album with this recession happening. Record companies get bankrupt. I was informed that last week SPV went bankrupt. For me, releasing an album means buying it from the website I think in five years only big bands will release “normal” albums.
Rockpages.gr : Last question... Do you think you’ll return to the band?
Herman Rarebell : No, I don’t think I’ll return to the band! (laughs) I’ve been away for 12-13 years. I’m happy with my life. Everything in life has its own timing. I think I will only return if the band takes Dieter Dierks as a producer and return to the original line-up, otherwise it wouldn’t make any sense...
Rockpages.gr : Even with Francis (e.n. Buchholz)?
Herman Rarebell : Yeah, why not? If everything, businesswise, gets cleared... I have no problem. All Francis has to do is say “Okay, boys...”...
Rockpages.gr : “Here’s your money”...
Herman Rarebell : “Here’s your money”! (laughs) “Very sorry, let’s start again”... I’m talking about the creative side of course...
Rockpages.gr : Thank you so much!
Herman Rarebell : Thank you!