SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine has opened up about his decision to alter some of the words in the band’s anti-war anthem “Wind Of Change” order to appropriately reflect what’s going on in Europe.
Meine and his bandmates wrote “Wind Of Change” after performing at 1989’s Moscow Music Peace Festival in Moscow, where they shared the stage with other hard rock acts like BON JOVI and MÖTLEY CRÜE. The song was inspired by the sight of thousands of Russians cheering them on in 1988 — when they became the first hard rock band to play in Russia — and in 1989, at the aforementioned festival, even though they were a German band.
On March 26, at the opening concert of SCORPIONS‘ “Sin City Nights” residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino In Las Vegas, Nevada, Meine told the crowd before launching into “Wind Of Change”: “This song is calling for peace, and tonight, I think, we shall sing it even louder. We dedicate this to the brave people in the Ukraine.”
In a new interview with “Loudwire Nights” host Toni Gonzalez, Klaus explained the thought process behind changing the song’s lyrics. “Before we came [to Las Vegas to begin the residency], I was thinking about how it feels to play ‘Wind Of Change’ the way we used to play for so many years, and I thought, it’s not the time with this terrible war in Ukraine raging on, it’s not the time to romanticize Russia with lyrics like, ‘Follow the Moskva / Down to Gorky Park,’ you know?” he said. “I wanted to make a statement in order to support Ukraine, and so the song starts now with, ‘Now listen to my heart / It says Ukraine, waiting for the wind to change.'”
Back in 2015, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker stated about the inspiration for the original version of “Wind Of Change” “We wanted to show the people in Russia that here is a new generation of Germans growing up. They’re not coming with tanks and guns and making war — they’re coming with guitars and rock ‘n’ roll and bringing love!”
“There were so many emotional moments in Moscow,” Meine added. “I guess it could have been BON JOVI or MÖTLEY CRÜE, any of these guys who had gone home inspired by what they saw, but for them it was like, ‘Hey! We rocked the Soviet Union, dudes!’ For us, maybe it was different. We saw so many changes from Leningrad in ’88 to Moscow in ’89. That was the inspiration for ‘Wind Of Change’.”
Last month, Meine told ABC Audio that fans could expect to see “a whole new production” during the Vegas residency, including a “new stage set” and an LED screen that will display “some cool scenes.”
SCORPIONS previously played a Las Vegas mini-residency in May 2016, consisting of five shows at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
SCORPIONS‘ remaining Las Vegas shows are scheduled for April 12, 14 and 16. Afterwards they will cross the Atlantic to Europe where they will play six concerts in France and six shows in Germany supported by Wolfgang Van Halen‘s new band MAMMOTH WVH.
SCORPIONS‘ latest album, “Rock Believer”, was released on February 25. The album was recorded primarily at Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany and was mixed at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany with engineer Michael Ilbert, who has earned multiple Grammy nominations for his mix work with producer Max Martin on albums by Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
SCORPIONS originally intended to record the new album in Los Angeles with producer Greg Fidelman, whose previous credits include SLIPKNOT and METALLICA. However, because of the pandemic, some of the initial work was done with Greg remotely, after which SCORPIONS opted to helm the recordings themselves with the help of their engineer Hans-Martin Buff.