For The Metal Voice former Anthrax Singer Neil Turbin spoke with Uli Jon Roth in Los Angeles California during on his opening night on his North American tour. Uli Spoke about his different types of guitars that he uses in his during his 3 hour show, talks about working on his new studio album, how he was offered 7-9 million dollars for a Jimi Hendrix guitar and how he finds today's music uninspiring.
When asked about his triple anniversary tour
"There are three anniversaries that we're celebrating the first one would be 40 years of Scorpions Tokyo Tapes which was basically in 1978 (we started this tour last December 2018). Then after we recorded Tokyo Tapes I left the Scorpions and did Electric Sun which started in the same year and we recorded the album Earthquake and then the third anniversary is my 50th year on stage which started in 1968."
When asked about the Jimi Hendrix guitar Black Stratocaster (nicknamed Black Beauty by Hendrix) that Roth's former wife Monika Dannemann owned and who was also Jimi Hendrix's last girlfriend
"A lot of people were after that guitar. Paul Allen the number two guy in Microsoft called Monica up once and offered a million dollars for it but she turned him down. Another guy called me up, some kind of Arab arts dealer offered like seven-eight-nine million dollars for that guitar, I then asked him tell me good reason why we should sell this guitar? And he said, well for the money. I said that's not a good reason. I said the guitar should stay with Monica's paintings and it's not my guitar, it now belongs to the Dannemann's estate. It's in a vault as there were too many people after it but one day I think it's going to be exhibited as it should be. Of course Exhibited with Monica's paintings because Monica's paintings are extra special and they tell the story by themselves unlike any other thing that is out there connected to Jimi Hendrix. Monica understood Jimi's lyrics. I think one day Monica's paintings will be seen for what they are they're gonna live on and of course Jimi's music will live on. I also played that guitar a couple of times when I was in the Scorpions but I was afraid of breaking a string but it was just for a few minutes and then I never played it again as they were the original Jimi Strings. "
When asked when he will be releasing a new studio album and what the musical style will be
"I know I am long overdue, I have written at least an albums worth of new of material. But making an album there's always a logistical problem, it takes time you know. I'm always on the road and I always take a long time when I'm in the studio unfortunately. It's a personal problem that I have, the recording process is fine but I don't really enjoy finding the sounds because I'm never happy, to me it never sounds as good as I think it should. Every album I've ever done was completely different from every other album that I've ever done and I've never planned it that way. I don't really like repeats, I always like to explore new territory."
When asked about his thoughts on the music that is coming out today and if he follows any news bands
"I can see a lot of talent out there but I'm not really seeking new music out. I don't feel drawn to it. I prefer to explore music in my own way but if somebody comes up with a great idea I'm happy to steal it. I do keep an open mind but I have to say and this may sounds a little negative but the music that I hear whenever the radio is on usually really sucks nowadays. In my mind the music today is completely uninspiring and the one thing it misses is melody. Hit songs of nowadays just got a groove and people are repeating a phrase mindlessly, the songs don't mean anything. I'm really getting older because it's not how I grew up, when I grew up I listened to the Beatles and they had melody, harmony the songs were sophisticated and amazing. I listened to what's out there on the radio and then I just want to turn it off because it's so boring, it's painful for me. I'm not mocking the whole scene but in general I think it`s the end of the world as we know it. It's like so mind-numbing and then I think to myself what's going on in these peoples musical souls. The problem today, the kids don't get a chance to wake up because they're on their iPhones all day, doing the snapchat chat thing and social media is basically like a massive drug. They're all hooked into it and the result is that it's almost impossible for them to find themselves, there's never a quiet moment where they can reflect. So it's it's a real problem and then the result is suicide rates go up and a lot of kids are depressed and they don't know why because they don't find any answers. Why they don't they find answers is because they are numbed by the drive of of empty music and of cell phones. That kind of lure them into into a feeling of connectedness when it is all like superficial and shallow and there's no real touchy-feely connectedness with real people anymore. It sounds pretty cataclysmic and dystopian and some of it is but you never know you know maybe it's just some weird phase of mankind, I'm still hopeful."
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