Interviews

Interview with Michael Schenker (Temple of Rock)

 

 

 

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Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine

Questions/Inspiration  by Brian Boyle

 

 

Mark – “Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Michael.”

Michael – “I’m ready.”

Mark – “Ok. You have a new album coming out Spirit on a Mission. A lot of the tracks are played at a fast and furious pace. Is this the true spirit of Michael Schenker?”

Michael Schenker FB pic 5Michael – “Well yeah you know. I like it hard & energetic (laughs) as well as fast and melodic. So I was making sure that was on the album in addition to having the big sound as well as combining the old with the new. Making sure the album reads like a book and keeps the timing from beginning to end.”

Mark – “What is your opinion on the state of rock music at the moment?”

Michael – “Ever since I was 17 when I decided to stop copying people and start to express myself instead and to stop listening to music so I could enjoy this for many many years. Instinctively I knew that was important that I was focusing more on creating music and so basically I stopped consuming. I don’t really know about other music as I don’t listen to it. As a result of that it helps me stay fresh & because I’m writing from within I basically have a by-product of creating my own style and that’s what I focus on. I’m focusing on pure self-expression and that’s the most important thing for me.”

Mark – “How would you describe your working relationship with Doogie? (Vocalist with Temple of Rock)”

Michael – “FANTASTIC. Yeah Doogie is great. But you know, Doogie is a rat from the Chinese zodiac. Klaus Meine from Scorpions, Phil Mogg from UFO they’re all rats. When I told Doogie this he was like “Michael, you’re not going to believe this. I’m a rat too!” I thought that was fantastic with me being the horse from the Chinese zodiac I have a good writing and creative relationship with rats.”

Ian Cackblabbath - Schenker_20141211_1124Mark – “You mentioned Phil Mogg. You live close to each other now. How is the relationship between the 2 of you?”

Michael – “We have good creative chemistry. From an artist’s point of view we are doing really good. We’re professional musicians and are a great team together.”

Mark – “Are there any instruments aside from guitar that you love to play?”

Michael – “Yeah. I play the drums. In fact I play many instruments. I love to play anything really. But at some point I was interested in the flute maybe I was inspired by Led Zeppelin as they also used the flute (laugh). So I guess I was inspired by that and so I wanted to do something with the flute. I played the flute on the UFO album Obsession. I know longer play it was just an experiment.”

Mark – “You’re synonymous with the Flying V. Would you ever consider playing a different style of guitar?”

Michael – “If it’s not broke don’t fix it. I ended up with a Flying V because of the shape. When I hold another guitar it falls out of my arms as it doesn’t have the same balance. So I guess there was never any reason for me to change once I’d discovered the Flying V. I got used to the shape so I stuck with it.”

Mark – “Would you be open to a reunion with The Scorpions?”

Michael – “If they wanted to do an all original line-up reunion then yeah I’d be interested.”

Mark – “Is there any truth that you auditioned for The Rolling Stones?”

Jay Hawkins - MS_12_LOW RESMichael – “Yeah. I was approached when I just joined UFO. I got a phone call to audition for the Rolling Stones but I didn’t show up it was too dangerous for me (laughs) UFO was enough for me at that time. In the early 80s I got a phone call from Ozzy Osbourne to help out. Many other people have asked but in the middle part of my life I was more interested in experimenting and doing my own thing. But I helped the Scorpions out with Love Drive which opened the door with America. My brother took over and I gave him my white guitar design. I didn’t think I was able to experiment and do what I wanted to do in a commercial touring band. So I withdrew and did my own little thing in my own little world at my own pace and experimented with acoustic instrumental music and electronic instrumental music as well as focusing on personal development etc. So the 1st stage of my life was more creating and developing as a guitarist and my musical contribution to the world. Now in the 3rd stage of my life I want to celebrate everything that have learned and especially my generation of rock with the music I fell in love with like Zeppelin & Sabbath. A lot of people are passing away and someday before you know it very soon it’ll just be a memory so I want to celebrate this and push this thing forward. In my own head I’m visiting my youth. I feel like I’m back to being 20 years old and it’s a great feeling to be that one more time.”

Michael Schenker FB pic 2Mark – “You’ve teamed up with Michael Voss again for this new album. You must have a lot of trust and a good working relationship with him.”

Michael – “Yeah. He’s an incredible musician. He has very good ears and picks up very quickly what I explain. He comes up with great ideas himself and we’re a good team.”

Mark – “Do you still enjoy touring as much as you did when you were younger?”

Michael – “As I’ve said I’m revisiting my youth. In my middle years I was busy experimenting with things and sometimes I feel I’ve been preserved for the 3rd and final stage of my life. To play and discover is my passion which I do on a regular basis. I discover new things all the time. I’m fascinated with the single string and what you can do with it with distortion. In my brain I seem to have revisited my youth and so for me it’s still all the same and also I create from within with an infinite spring that never runs out of ideas or fashion or anything. It’s a bit like a tropical ocean, you always see another fish with a different design.”

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Mark – “Which tracks of the new album are you looking forward to playing live?”

Michael – “Well that’s going to be changing it around but I love to play Vigilante Man and Live and Let Live. We’re starting off in the states and it’s going to be the first time for Herman (Rarebell. Scorpions drummer), Francis (Bucholz. Scorpions bass player) and myself have played in the USA together which is really exciting. So we’re going to put a special set together for that. We’re then in Japan and we’ll put a special set together for that too & then when we tour Europe and the UK we’ll put together a special set for that also.”

Mark – “Is there a hidden message behind the title of the album Spirit on a Mission?”

Michael Schenker FB pic 1Michael – “I was asked how I would like to be remembered so I said “Like a spirit on a mission spreading the joy of music from a place of pure self-expression.” So when I had to think of an album title spirit on a mission came to the foreground immediately.”

Mark – “This is Temple Of Rocks 3rd album. Are there plans for other projects?”

Michael – “My main focus is purely on Temple of Rock. Although I have created many rooms and have a lots of family out there and it’s all still available. We’re going to be around for a few years. It’s all there to be revisited if there’s a demand for it but now the focus is Temple Of Rock.”

Mark – “Are you still developing and learning as a musician?”

Michael – “As I have said I’m creating from an infinite spring so there’s always still plenty of wind in the sails. It’s always play and discover. Its fun & the best thing so I continue doing that and it will never stop.”

Mark – “Thank you Michael for taking the time to chat. Look forward to seeing you and the band in the UK soon.”

Michael – “Thank you so much. Take care. Bye bye.”

 

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