Interview by Joanna Sadzak
I actually wondered if it was a joke. Scorpions? How did they know who I was? I was doing musical theater productions at the time and had an Italian duet that was being aired on TV and radio, but I didn’t think that the Scorpions had ever seen or heard of me. Turns out, I was wrong. Klaus had seen me perform on TV and that started the whole ball rolling. I had gotten a phone call from a producer of musical theater productions who was working at the time on a Disney project. So when I got the message from him, I called him back assuming it was for that. Then he says to me, “Yeah, I don’t really know what this is about, but I think Scorpions want to work with you. They asked if I could get a message to you, so here is their managers number.” It was one of those moments in life where everything kind of stops…. and you take a breath and go, “Wow. Did that really just happen?” So I had my manager at the time call their manager and within a week of that phone call Klaus and Rudolf came to see my show and meet with me about doing the duet. Needless to say, I was thrilled, honored and very excited to work with such fine musicians.
2. What do you think about the music of Scorpions and what made you decide to participate in their project?
Their music is not only incredible in and of itself from a melodic, lyrical and rhythmic standpoint, but their music is a huge part of history on this planet. “Wind Of Change” alone captured such an important time of this planets journey; it’s almost hard to comprehend the impact they have had on people all around the world. There are a handful of bands and musicians that will always be relevant and ongoing, Scorpions are among that select group. There are so many reasons why I chose to be part of their project; the honor of working with that level of talent, the quality of the projects they put out there, the experience of recording and performing with icons of music history, but more than anything, these guys are incredible human beings and I loved being around them. They are so professional, fun, hard working and caring people. It was truly a blessing to be part of their world.
3. Your impressions from the first meeting with the band and other artists?
I will never forget the moment Klaus walked into my dressing room the first time we met. Obviously, I knew who Scorpions were, but I had never seen them or met them before and didn’t really know a whole lot about them. But when Klaus walked into my dressing room and shook my hand, the very first thing that went through my mind was “it’s so good to see you again.” I can’t explain it. It was an overwhelming feeling that I have known him all my life and it was so wonderful to see him again, like an old friend you’ve missed. Klaus and I hit it off immediately. We are very similar people. From that moment on I have considered Klaus a very good friend of mine and I would always be there for him in a second if he needed anything. I had a very good working relationship with all of the guys. Matthias, Rudolf, and James…it was really fun working, recording and touring with them. It was really a blessing that they chose to have me on their album and bring me under their wing so to speak. I have met and worked with many top notch artists since then and have always felt very lucky in the opportunities I have gotten, but nothing has ever matched the personal impact on me quite like my time with Scorpions.
4. What motivates you, as an artist was it helpful then? Do you remember any hard moments or demotivating situations?
I am always motivated by emotions and feelings. That is why I do what I do. And yes, that is always helpful in any project, especially with “Here In My Heart.” It is such an emotional song. Klaus said it best when we first started talking about the song; he said it was a “Singers song” and he is right. Any performer worth their salt has to be feeling, and that song is all about the emotion of the performer. The bond that Klaus and I have is really what created the captivating energy that drives that song. Two souls that truly care; honestly feel and stand together to tell a story. There was nothing demotivating about anything during my time with them. The only hard moment came when I had just come on stage for the concert in Hannover and after Klaus and I hugged, somehow my earphone wire got caught on Klaus’s hand and got yanked out; not only from my ear, but from the receiver! I couldn’t hear anything! I had to try to focus in on Klaus and the orchestra behind me. See, when you don’t have the ear monitors, the music from the stadium is a few seconds delayed because it’s such a huge space. So everything you hear is a little bit off. Made it very hard to sing. But I was having so much fun performing with them that I just went with it.
5. Say something about your emotions during the concerts caused by the music, other artists, place and the audience.
Oh, where do I begin! Amazing. Singing with Klaus was an extraordinary experience. Singing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was incredible. Getting to know Ray Wilson (who sang Big City Nights with Klaus on the album) was fantastic cause he is such a great performer and wonderful person. But the moment that always sticks out the most for me regarding the live shows with them happened at the Cow Palace in California. Klaus had just introduced me and as I was walking out on stage, I looked into the first few rows of the stadium. It was filled with all these big, rough looking men in leather pants and chains and biker outfits, and I thought, ‘oh boy.’ What are these tough men going to think off me in my high heels and little dress singing a love song with Klaus! I was a little worried that they were all going to take that moment to leave and refill their beer. But to my amazement, they all stayed right where they were, intensely listening to us, watching our performance. And then when we got to the chorus, all these tough men lifted their beers into the air, swaying their arms back and forth and singing all the words with us! I couldn’t believe it. They loved the song, and they knew all the words! Singing this love song with us at the top of their lungs! To me, that was an extraordinary moment because it showed the power of emotion and the depth of Scorpion fans. I was really blown away by that.
6. Do you remember any funny situations from that time, maybe stories heard from the band?
The funniest moment I remember actually happened with Ray Wilson. We had just finished rehearsals for the day in Hannover, so Ray and I thought we would go have a quick beer at the October fest that was happening there. Neither Ray nor I are German, so we didn’t really know what to expect except that German beer is the best beer on the planet. So we went to the tent, ordered a beer each and then the waitress comes back with these two, huge, gigantic crystal boots of beer and sets them down in front of us. We were like “wow, they take their beer seriously!” We had no idea they were going to serve us human sized beer glasses. It was really funny.
7. That event gave you a possibility to meet new people. Did you make any friendship, which lasts till now?
Yes. I am a still friends with Klaus and Ray. We text, email and call a few times a year to check in and see what’s up. They both have been very supportive of my new album and video. I still keep in touch with Lionel Richie as well whom I met during our TV show tour of the duet in Germany. Lionel was promoting his song “Angel” at the time and we kept running into each other in all the green rooms, so he and I became friends too. I care very much about all of them. When I find good people on this planet, I always treasure and honor them. I will always be thankful for my time with the Scorpions. It was an amazing experience.