SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs has confirmed to New Zealand's "The Metal Bar" that the band is putting the finishing touches on the songwriting process for a new studio album. The upcoming 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.
"We've been writing some material before we went on tour, before we went on tour this summer," Matthias said (hear audio below). "It's always difficult to come up with stuff on tour. You get the inspiration, but to actually put it down, that's a different story, when you travel every day. So we have songs — about 10, I guess — but we will have to do some more writing once this tour is over, and then prepare for the rehearsals and recordings right after our shows in New Zealand and a couple in Asia. So we will be back in early March. And we know that we work with the producer Greg Fidelman, who is known for doing METALLICA and SLIPKNOT and others, and he's a great guy. And he came to visit in our studio in Hannover, Germany already. So the plan is to record until the first of July, where we have a residency in Las Vegas for a whole month. And then, during that time, we can either do the final touch-ups or mix. And then the album should come out in the fall of 2020. And then, of course, we go on the road again."
Asked where he gets the inspiration for new SCORPIONS material nowadays, Matthias said: "It works slightly different than in the early days. In the early days, I took the guitar and came up with some great riffs and was excited about that. And we took it from there. Today, almost every riff has been played already by myself and by others. What else do you wanna do? So the approach is slightly different — it's more about the song and the melody and even the lyrics, sometimes, they could be the inspiration. And you do the riff and all the guitar work, you do that later on. Not always, but it's not the main source for songwriting anymore, as it used to be in the beginning, when we were so excited. 'Oh, listen to this new riff. It's great. Let's turn it into a song.' It's a little bit the other way around now."
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.
SCORPIONS previously played a Las Vegas mini-residency in May 2016, consisting of five shows at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Support on those dates came from QUEENSRŸCHE.