ULI JON ROTH - 50th anniversary tour - audio interview with Andy Rawll
Revered and influential, guitarist-composer Uli Jon Roth is celebrating 50 years as a performing artist this year, having played his first ever show in December 1968 - at the age of 13. Joining the Scorpions in 1973 he was a major contributor to the band's 1970s success that culminated in the beloved 'Tokyo Tapes' live album. Having departed for a solo career in 1978, Uli cemented his reputation as a fearless and innovative performer and play, melding the flair and passion of rock guitar with the elegance and complexity of classical music.
Andy Rawll (MetalTalk.rocks) spoke to Uli about the forthcoming UK leg of his 50th anniversary world tour, as well as discussing his musical development and his own influences.
The UK tour starts at the Corporation in Sheffield on Thursday 29th November, followed by University of London Union (Friday 30th November), Coventry’s Kasbah (Saturday 1 December), Manchester’s Academy 3 (Sunday 2 December), Glasgow’s Oran Mor (Monday 3 December) and Milton Keynes’ The Stables (Wednesday 5 December). Tickets are on sale Tuesday 17th July from www.seetickets.com, www.stables.org and www.ulijonroth.com
00:00 - Introduction
00:46 - Uli's debut live performance at 13 (on 14Dec68) with 'Blue Infinity' playing Rhythm and Blues covers, including: Bluesbreakers, Cream, Shadows
01:48 - Dawn Road (four piece band) in 1972
02:08 - Joining the Scorpions in 1973 at 18
03:04 - Over 30 years since last full tour as Electric Sun in 1985
04:08 - Current band will be playing songs some songs for the first time
04:25 - Also playing a solo section of new music on the 8-string Flamenco Sky guitar
04:46 - On this tour, the show will be well over two hours with two sets and an intermission
05:30 - The recent (April 2018) G3 tour with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci and the previous one in 1998
06:21 - Friendship with Joe Satriani
07:12 - Ule Ritgen (ex-Electric Sun and Zeno) to join on some dates in Germany and play two songs by Uli's brother, Zeno, who sadly died earlier this year.
08:43 - Future plans to revisit unfinished demos from his brother, when the time is right
09:27 - The archive of Zeno's poems could be published, but as they are in German, this is likely to be a local project only
10:31 - Current touring band, including Niklas and David (as per G3 tour) plus a new bass player (Simon Foster), who is also a great singer
11:27 - Great reputation of nurturing younger musicians, such as Ali Clinton in the previous line-up. Both Niklas and David were invited to join in the show closing jam on the recent G3 tour, the first time there has been 5 guitarists on stage on a G3 tour.
13:21 - Kaleb McKane
14:30 - Feelings about his revered status as a influencial artist and musician
15:34 - Attempting to define Uli's style between the virtuosity and raw passion of Hendrix and the musicality of classical composers like Beethoven
15:51 - Hendrix influence early on and ongoing love affair with classical music, with melodic European sound now coming to the fore and Hendrix more an more taking a backseat.
16:57 - The creative process with reference to colour, texture and sound
17:24 - Notes representing resonating energy and colour providing harmonic background to the lead voice or melody
19:35 - Uli's guitars, latest range includes double-necks, 6/7/8 string, and nylon strung versions. Plans to play around seven different guitars at each gig, including a new prototypes. Handbuilt in limited quantity, with waiting list of up to a year with most being sold in Japan and America and some in Europe.
22:08 - Guitars as works of art. Some non-players have actually bought a Sky guitar for aesthetic reasons alone.
22:59 - Recap of tour dates
23:48 - End