August 9, 2014, 9 years ago

By Kelley Simms

feature unbreakable scorpions


German rockers Unbreakable are being highly touted as the next Scorpions. In fact, former Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell states in the band’s press release, "They could be the next Scorpions!”

Not only does Herman Ze German endorse the fine young upstarts, he also produced their debut album, Knockout. Despite the numerous accolades and comparisons, Unbreakable vocalist Al Crespo is more than happy with it.

“This comparison for us is a compliment,” Al begins. “Because the Scorpions have meant so much for rock music. They are legend and for us to be compared to them is a big honor and compliment. But we think it’s more of the way that rock bands are playing the music in the classic way. There are not really many that do that. And the old bands like Scorpions and Iron Maiden are getting older and might not be able to carry on that much longer. And the people want to listen to the same music that was around then and that’s what we’re doing; just continuing the great music of classic rock of the seventies and eighties. We hope that the people like it.”

The band’s arena-ready anthems combine huge hooks, catchy choruses and memorable melodies. Comprised of Crespo, Martin Ries (guitar), Pascal Alles (guitar), Lukas Mittler (bass) and Alexander Ries (drums), Unbreakable tap into the classic ’80s hard rock sound.

“Since I was small, my mother listened to all these classic bands from the eighties,” Al enthuses. “I never much enjoyed the music that was playing in my country on the radio. So I rarely listen to the radio in Germany. There are only a few stations that play the music that I like. But most of the music I hear is from what I’m interested in from the music my mother gave me when I was born. I grew up with this music. It’s not the music of my generation, but I was always influenced by it. Ever since I had a band I was covering this music. It’s always been there. For the guys in the band, it’s the same. It was always there for us and we just play it because it’s the music we grew up with.”  

Having Herman Rarebell on board as the band’s producer will certainly boost the band’s intrigue factor. “We noticed that people liked us and wanted to hear more on a complete album,” Al said. “So we decided to look for a professional producer because we wanted to go for the big thing. We contacted a few guys and Herman was the first one to answer and said he liked what we were doing. He came to our town and came to a band rehearsal. He listened to the tracks we already had recorded and he said he loved what we were doing. Right away we started doing the arrangements, selecting the songs we were going to put on the album. From there we went to Münster, Germany and worked with Michael Voss (Mad Max) and it was a great experience because the way these guys work is great. They’ve been in the industry for years and they have so much (knowledge) in their heads. They take out the best in you and create energy. I learned a lot from the way they work.” 

Some studio producers give suggestions when needed, some want total control and some just let the band create. Al describes the role Herman played.

“He knew we were good and knew what we were doing. But more to the point, there’s certain things that he knows what works well and when it comes to the point where he has to say something, like ‘Hey guys, do it this way, it sounds better.’ In the end, it’s us who say we like it or not, or (if we want) to try and do something different. The sound and everything with the band was there before. That’s why it was easy for him to work with us because he can really see in us what he sees in himself of what he does.”

In addition to twirling the knobs on Knockout, Herman co-wrote all of the lyrics and lends a typical Herman humorous vocal spot on the band’s first single, “Rock The Nightlife.”

“Not only is he a great guy, he’s a fun guy,” Al said. “We had to do something where he could do some funny stuff. So we tried it out and it worked great. It fit perfectly, and you can see him in the video, too. It was funny because the thing he says probably can be interpreted in different ways, but it’s always the funny way. For us, it was fun and what we do with our music just sounds like Herman and to have Herman there, it was great.”

Speaking of the band’s classic, melodic rock sound, the track “Back To The Roots” is an homage to the band’s ’80s rock influences and its time period. Al insists that the songwriting process for Knockout was organic and not contrived. “It comes naturally. The riffs are there and we work it out starting with the riffs. Then I come up with a melody. We’re not forcing the parts. If someone has an idea and then the other guy responds with something and we go on. We all construct the songs and we all work together to come up with something that completes that.”

Being a fairly new band, Unbreakable isn’t immune to paying its dues. Touring plans and a desire to hit the States is the biggest thing on the band’s minds.

“We really want to go for the States,” Al concludes. “We’ve been really promoting our album and video in the States and we are planning a tour over there. We’re waiting a little bit for the album to be released before we go over there. We are working on a whole big show for the people out there. We want to continue doing our stuff as a live band. That’s the dream of everyone in the band, just being able to do this for our lifetime.”

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