Uli Jon Roth


Maximum Metal Interview ULI JON ROTH

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Maximum Metal have just posted a new interview with guitar great ULI JON ROTH

Direct Interview link: http://www.maximummetal.com/interviews/intresults.asp?ID=ulijroth&idBand...

If you know the history of metal guitar, you don't have to be told who Uli Jon Roth is. First coming to the world's attention as a member of Germany's Scorpions in the 1970's, he was among the first guitar players to incorporate the influence of Classical music into a heavy rock context. In the 80's, he began taking this fusion further, first with the band Electric Sun (which also bore a distinct Jimi Hendrix influence he had begun to show in the Scorpions), and then with other projects that included several orchestral works. After increasingly leaving the rock world behind for a time, Roth has seemed to come to terms with his proto-metal past. It began with a handful of onstage appearances with the Scorpions, and has now culminated in Scorpions Revisited, a studio album featuring inspired new interpretations of songs he originally recorded with the band in the 70's (plus a tour featuring a set list that draws heavily from that era).

Roth recently spoke to Maximum Metal's Vinaya Saksena about his past, present and future, plus his thoughts on technology, society and the future of music in general. What follows is a slightly edited version of that interview here:

Roth has a new album of Scorpions material "Scorpions Revisited," out now. His thoughts on what he might do next:

Roth: I've written a new album a year ago, but I've never gotten around to start recording it, and I'm kind of itching to start the recording process. In some ways, it's a continuation of "Under A Dark Sky," but it's more rock-orientated, slightly simpler, but it's strongly melodic and I like the lyrics as well. So I'm looking forward to recording that one.

Roth expresses concern about the often superficial nature of popular music and culture in general:

As far as the music itself, I'm not really enamored with the whole instant gratification-like download mentality. You know, the iTunes thing means that it's just like McDonald's. You can get any piece of music instantly, and they're disconnected. My music for instance, I always tried to write like an album of pieces that are connected. And then of course you can listen to them on their own, but I feel it's not quite the same. I tend to think in broader artistic frameworks. And I'm not the only artist, you know. Kate Bush thinks like that, and so do several others. That's one thing.

I feel that the young generation, because everything is downloaded in seconds, there is no more physical aspect to it, and they don't seem to bond with the artists. But the artist needs a bond with the audience, a deeper understanding, which goes both ways, you know? Both sides are missing out if that's not happening, because the music benefits from that, the quality of the music benefits from that kind of bonding, which is a mutual understanding and a mutual kind of respect for one another- the audience for the artist and the artist for the audience. That reflects in the music and also the quality of the music, I think. So that's a little deplorable.

So it's a sign of our times. That's why I call it the McDonald's society. It's all mental fast food. Fast food of the mind is the name of the game. That's what rules the planet. You know, it's fast information, shallow information, cheap information. Anything instant, but very little of that goes down way deep. That's just the time we live in, and it takes some period of transformation inside of us to come to grips with this kind of speed, you know?

Everything is much faster now than it used to be. The train of mankind is running at a different frequency now, and that frequency is not necessarily very much in tune with what would be healthy for the human mind. There's a certain kind of spectrum of plus and minus of a healthy speed which is conducive to real progress of the human mind and spirit. But if you go beyond that, if the speed is too high, it's like you could easily have the whole train derailed, you know? And then the learning is not facilitated by that, because the speed is just too quick for that which we are naturally equipped with.

Maybe the next generation will adapt to that kind of speed, but I know very few people who have so far. Most people are just kind of coasting along , but maybe they don't even really notice, but when you really analyze what's going on, I don't really know anybody who's really on top of it now, even if they appear to be on top of it. A lot of precious things fall by the wayside. And I don't mean that financially. I mean spiritually precious, mentally precious, you know? A lot of good things fall by the wayside. They get crushed by this incredibly fast train.
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