Rudolf Schenker Explains How Scorpions Played More Live Shows Than Metallica
Scorpions rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker revealed their secret behind surviving during the golden times of grunge and alternative rock bands in his recent interview with Metal Hammer. Also, the guitarist said they performed more live concerts than Metallica and reminded listeners of James Hetfield or Kirk Hammett’s words about it.
Grunge, which was also known as the Seattle sound, emerged in the mid-80s in Seattle, and the genre reached its highest mainstream success with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden’s genre-defining works that drew great attention during the ’90s. So, hard rock and heavy metal bands started losing their popularity because the young generation preferred to listen to alternative rock bands.
Schenker recently stated that they were able to preserve their fame and commercial success as a hard rock band mainly thanks to their fans in Asia. The musician revealed that they changed their strategy to maintain their popularity and found a new and dedicated fan base in Asia and Russia while other bands struggled to remain on the scene in the US and Europe. The band members’ decision also made them one of the bands that have given approximately 2,500 concerts in over 80 countries.
The guitarist recalled an interview that either Metallica’s James Hetfield or Kirk Hammett had joined, in which they said that Metallica didn’t perform as many live concerts as Scorpions did. According to Schenker, Metallica and many other bands generally decided to perform in Europe and America while Scorpions were traveling to almost every Asian country to meet their new audience who was waiting for them.
Schenker stated in his interview that:
“When grunge and alternative blew up, we were playing over in Asia, places like Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia where we still played in huge stadiums. Why fight grunge in Europe and America when we could play huge shows in Russia, Taiwan, and so on? It was a new generation of Germans coming into Russia not with tanks but with guitars, bringing love and peace.
There’s an interview with Metallica, and I don’t remember if it was James Hetfield or Kirk Hammett who was asked how many countries they played, and either James or Kirk said, ‘Not as many as Scorpions!’ Haha! We had no fear! It paid off too – we sold more albums in Thailand than Michael Jackson, something like 20 times platinum.”
The Scorpions icon added that their prioritization of the fans in Asia countries contributed a lot to their popularity and album sales back then by emphasizing that they sold more albums than Michael Jackson in Thailand, and some of their works were certified as 20 times platinum.