Scorpions’ frontman: All Russians must share guilt for this war

February 19,2023 1117
Scorpions’ frontman: All Russians must share guilt for this war

In an interview with a Ukrainian journalist, Klaus Meine, the frontman of legendary Scorpions, answered questions about Russia’s war on Ukraine, explained his warm feelings toward Ukrainians, and told why and how he had changed a few lines in their iconic “Wind Of Change” song.

The interview, which took place in “the heart of the Scorpions universe,” as Meine called the Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, was his first in 2023 and was published on the YouTube channel of the journalist, Oleksiy Sukhanov, on Friday.

Meine was asked if he thought every Russian was guilty of the war.

“Is there anything like collective guilt?” Klaus said. “During World War II, Germans attacked half of the world. After we grew up, we felt it, the common guilt. We were sure that each of us, Germans, shared this common guilt for World War II.”

“I would like the people in Russia to understand what is going on now and come to the feeling of their own responsibility for the deaths, wounds and homelessness of innocent people. Yes, they say, ‘It’s not Russians, it’s the regime.’ But Russians support this regime […] I’d like to say that not all Russians are guilty, but I’m afraid that it is not true,” he added.

Speaking of Ukrainians, Meine said he was impressed by their devotion to their country and the “fire in their hearts.”

“I don’t think there is anything stronger than this feeling when you do not run away but say, ‘I resist this tough and dangerous situation that may kill me or my loved ones, still I’ll be here, my country may count on me.’ I can just bow my head and kneel down when I see this. It’s really incredible,” he said.

He explained how it had happened that he became connected with Ukraine “once and for all.” In 2012, when Scorpions were on a tour in Kharkiv, Klaus received the shocking news that his mother had passed away. “Right after the funeral, we had a concert in Lviv. Our Ukrainian fans knew that I had buried my mother a few days before. They stood in front of the scene and raised banners saying, ‘Klaus, we are with you!’ It was an extremely emotional moment for me. It connected me with Ukraine forever. I’ll never forget it.”

In March 2022, Scorpions gave their first concerts after releasing a new album in Las Vegas, and the “Wind Of Change” was on the setlist. Meine calls this song symbolic “as it describes the change of epochs in 1989-1991, the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

In the interview, Klaus said that he had told his bandmates, “I don’t want to sing this song the way I did for the last 30 years because I think the wind has changed the direction,” so it was not the proper time to romanticize Russia with the lines like “I follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park,” “Let your balalaika sing” etc. “So I said to the band, ‘Guys, either we do not play this song at all or let me change a few lines.’ Finally, I did it. It took me much time to think, ‘What can I say?’ And I started listening to my heart. What did I hear there? It was Ukraine.”

“We have been singing this song with the modified lyrics since March [2022] in almost 60 concerts in Europe, the United States and Canada,” said Meine, hoping for the wind to change again.

Now listen to my heart
It says Ukrainia
Waiting for the wind
To change.

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