Ruben Mosqueda of spoke with guitarist Uli Jon Roth, excerpts from the interview appear below. Would it be accurate to say that when you toured behind the Scorpions Revisitedalbum in North America, that it generated more interest in your music and your work with Scorpions?

Roth: Absolutely, we’re doing longer tours, playing bigger venues, I think it’s a nice development, because I love playing North America. We have come to North America every year except for last year, because of our Visa issues. You released Scorpions Revisited in 2015, which is nod to your history and your work with Scorpions. You treated the fans to not only one disc, but two discs of reinterpreted Scorpions classics. How did you select which songs would make the cut for that release?

Roth: Oh yes, back to the good stuff [laughs]. You know, it wasn’t all that difficult for me to decide, I just picked up all the Scorpions records and started to look through the sleeves. As I looked through the albums, the song titles just said, “Hey, I’m yours” and that’s what wound up on the record. So, as I went through the albums I drew up a list, there were certain songs that I had even forgotten about. I picked the songs that I felt would be the most gratifying for me to record, I wanted to bring them back to life and maybe even make them better than the way we used to do them in Scorpions Uli, Steamrock Fever didn’t make the Scorpions Revisited album, was there a reason for that?

Roth: [pause] Yeah, you know that is the one that I didn’t want to do [laughs]. It’s a very commercial song, I never liked the lyrics and I feel that it’s too “poppy” for my taste. I’m just not too keen on that one. I don’t think you could have gotten me to include that on Scorpions Revisited. I know there are quite a few people out there that feel like you do and they love that song, don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool piece, but it’s just not for me. Did you get any feedback from your former bandmates on their thoughts on Scorpions Revisited?

Roth: Yeah, [Scorpions singer] Klaus [Meine] thought that it was excellent. [guitarist] Rudolph [Schenker] was very happy with what we did recently with the Scorpions material. If you’re driving and one of your songs comes on the radio, do you listen to it?

Roth: If I’m driving and a song comes on, I would probably listen to it, sure. I don’t listen to my back catalog at all. Once I’ve done the album, it’s out of my system. I liken it to giving birth, you have your children and they move on and live their own lives. They’re not yours anymore, they belong to the audience. Like I said earlier, there are certain things that I will go back and listen to if I have to. The Metamorphosis album is one that I recorded in 2003 that is a guitar concerto based on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. We’re doing that for our VIPs on this tour, so I had to take time to listen to that again, as we prepared for this tour. I had to relearn it. In my opinion, that is one of the best things that I have done to date. Let me give you an idea; I have never heard the entire Tokyo Tapes album all the way through. Do you seek out new music? Does discovering new artists interest you?

Roth: I don’t seek it out. I discover new music usually while on the road, if it comes on the radio or if I heard a band, but I don’t seek out new music. Now when I get home, it’s silence [laughs]. I stopped listening, many, many years ago. There’s two types of artists, those that are always listening to music, they’re in tune with what is going on musically, then there’s people like myself, who don’t have the desire to listen to music. I love music…a lot, but playing it is enough for me, I don’t need to hear something and have that become an influence and then start copying it. I learned my craft by copying other people when I was a kid, I copied Jimi [Hendrix], Fryderyk [Chopin] and Beethoven. Then there came a point where I found my own root and way of discovery and it became much more exciting for me. You have this North American tour which [began] on March 20th, in Hollywood, California and runs through May 10th. At what point do you begin to think about new music?

Roth: I have written an entire studio album’s worth of material at least. I think it might be more like 1½ records. My problem is at this time to find the time to get a chunk of time to be able to record it. I’m very slow in the studio, I don’t believe in rushing through the recording process. It’s always been a problem for me in the past. [laughs] After this tour, I do think that I have to look at the rest of the year and set aside a chunk of time to get that album recorded. There’s so many things that I have, that I have never recorded over the years, maybe that’s good or bad, I don’t know? [laughs] I know I should be putting out more music, but it takes me a long time to get it where I’m satisfied with it. I will say that we did record our 30th Anniversary Japanese tour so there will be DVD and we have Rudolf Schenker as our special guest, as well as Phil X from Bon Jovi, what a great player and singer. I also want to record an acoustic album, it’s just finding the time! [laughs].


See Roth’s remaining tour dates below, and to read more about this special 50th Anniversary tour, please click here.


24 in Ventura, CA at the Ventura Theater
26 in Redding, CA at The Dip   
27 in Santa Cruz, CA at Moe’s Alley
28 in Oakland, CA at The Parish
29 in Sacramento, CA at Holy Diver
30 in Portland, OR at Bossanova 
31 in Seattle, WA at Club El Corazon


1 in Vancouver, BC at Venue 
3 in Calgary, AB at Country Line Saloon
4 in Edmonton, AB at Starlite Room
5 in Regina, SK at The Exchange
6 in Winnipeg, MB at The Park Theatre
7 in Fridley, MN at Route 47 Pub
10 in Milwaukee, WI at Shank Hall 
11 in Edwardsville, IL at Wildey Theatre
12 in Joliet, IL at The Forge 
13 in St. Charles, IL at Arcada Theater
14 in Detroit, MI at Token Lounge
15 in Toronto, ON at Rockpile
16 in Montreal, QU at Piranha
17 in Quebec, QU at L’ Anti
18 in Ottawa, ON at Brass Monkey
19 in Pawling, NY at Daryl’s House
20 in Derry, NH at Tupelo Music Hall
21 in Hartford, CT at Infinity Music Hall
23 in New York, NY at the Gramercy Theater
24 in Asbury Park, NJ at Wonderbar
25 in Sellersville, PA at the Sellersville Theater
26 in Syracuse, NY at Sharkey’s
27 in Cleveland, OH at Agora Ballroom
29 in Pittsburgh, PA at Jergels


1 in Plymouth, MA at Spire Center for the Performing Arts
3 in Newton, NJ at the Newton Theatre
4 in Louisville, KY at the Diamond Pub Concert Hall
5 in Nashville, TN at The High Watt
6 in Atlanta, GA at City Winery
9 in Dallas, TX at Trees
10 in San Antonio, TX at Rockbox

For further information on Uli Jon Roth, please visit:

14 Responses

  1. Whatever works for you creatively, Uli. I love your playing and next Monday am going to see you for the third time since 2015.

    But you forego your right to get disappointed when your fans – many of whom have the same attitude towards new music – tune out your new work.

    1. Tyger,

      Obviously, I am not Roth, nor can I speak for him, but I do not believe that he was disparaging listening to new music. The feeling I got, was because this is his livelihood, when he is off the road, despite his love of it, he wants to distance himself from music. Kind of like a painter might not want to visit any art galleries, nor museums, when they are finished painting.

      Also, maybe he does not want to be inadvertently influenced by other musicians when he writing his own new material?

      Unlike, Roth, I readily admit, that when it comes to music, I am mainly stuck in the 80s/early 90s. I have tried to listen to current trends, but most are just not pleasing to my ear.

      D 🙂

    2. Most of my music listening is from the late 50’s to the early 90’s, with the bulk of it being from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s!

  2. I don’t think he’s disparaging listening to new music Dana, he’s just saying he himself hasn’t been listening to it. It seems to be a description of his habits rather than a value judgement.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be a habit that’s pretty common among hard rock and metal fans, so in some ways we’re our own worst enemies.

    I myself go to his shows only because he started playing Scorps songs again. I gave his solo stuff a chance, but it just didn’t resonate with me. But a lot of people don’t even go that far.

    1. I give you props for being open minded, so kudos 🙂 .

      As I said, I try, but my ear is so attuned to certain genres (kind of like one’s palate), that is difficult for me to expand my horizons. One thing I have come to appreciate recently is Opera. I NEVER thought that would ever happen, but I went to see two, and loved it. Also, I have adored Chris Isaak for decades, and he is definitely out of my comfort zone, so it does happen.

      D 🙂

    2. Judas Priest is your all time favourite metal band, right? May I ask your thoughts on the albums they’ve made since Rob returned?

      Personally, I’d pick Angel of Retribution or Firepower over Stained Class or Ram It Down any day.

    3. Well, I tend to be a purist, and prefer the Classics, but I would say that Sin After Sin, Ram It Down and Painkiller are not my favorite records. So yes,some of the new material would far superior.

      D 🙂

    4. Good point, I’ll take Redeemer Of Souls and Firepower any day over Ram It Down and Painkiller! Hell, I’ll take Turbo over RID AND PK!!

  3. I also think Uli roth just doesn’t want to be influenced by any other music when he is writing , I personally love all kinds of music and listen everything from metal to rockabilly and punk, and Dana I also love opera as well as classical music , I love Pavarotti and Halford equally – my favorite period for music was the 70s for sure , when all the great timeless bands put out their best albums -( I bought the scorpions virgin killer and sin after sin the same day at my towns local record store god I miss that store ! ) I thought uli roth was the greatest guitarist I had ever heard , Schenker and Roth are cut from the same cloth for sure , Schenker surpassed roth for me because he continued to just get better and better every album he put out ,ufo and his solo stuff , and roth went kind of ” new agey ” and spacey – i’m going to see roth in Cleveland and hope for lots of scorpions !

    1. Funny, you should say that Robert,

      Halford says he LOVES Pavarotti (as do I, his version of Nessun Dorma is amazing). I also like Classical music, but I tend to like the Baroque/Roccoco era with composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Hayden and Teleman.

      BTW, Schenker was my ex’s (who passed) favorite guitarist.

  4. There are a couple of rock and metal singers who could probably tackle opera, Freddie did it, Halford I bet could do it as well as Dio – and I am very sorry for your loss Dana

    1. Thank you, Robert,

      March 1st was five years, and I can tell you, it does not get any easier, especially when it is done by their own hand.


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