Michael Schenker - MSG
Michael Schenker is one of my all time favourite guitarists. He has forever built a reputation which will never be destroyed. His recorded heavy hits with UFO, Scorpions, and MSG, all speak for themselves. When I was given the golden opportunity to sit and chat with the master of the Gibson Flying V, I was in for quite a shock, a real flash of light. In lieu of discussing his past accomplishments and failures, the Teutonic Titan waxed on and on, all about the Universe and the meaning of life.
Perfect timing suggests that there is no time for losers, so get armed and ready for this mind assault attachment, and in the midst of beauty, you will soon discover that only mettle matters.
MettleAngel: Hello Michael (shaking his hand), it is truly an honour to speak with you.
MettleAngel: Honestly, I am a bit nervous. I, of course, grew up listening to UFO, Scorpions, and MSG. You are definitely one of my favourite guitarists.
MettleAngel: I am sure you hear this daily, but I am very sincere. Without you and Ritchie Blackmore, where would we be?
MettleAngel: I know, and you were asked to replace Joe Perry in Aerosmith too. I talked to Dave Meniketti of Y&T the other night, and he is another one of my most treasured artists. I was so sad to hear that Phil Kennemore was diagnosed with cancer. This really hit home with me.
MettleAngel: Yeah, he had back issues, and had to drop off the tour. Dave was heart-broken, having shared the stage with him ever since 1974. I really like the unsung heroes. You are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Michael Schenker Group with this tour. You even have Gary Barden back on vocals.
MettleAngel: Your tour line-up is basically a supergroup since you also have Carmine Appice on drums, along with your original vocalist.
MettleAngel: So am I! I asked him earlier which band he most enjoyed drumming for, whether it was Blue Murder or King Kobra? We did not even mention Rod Stewart or Vanilla Fudge. He did say that a new King Kobra album is in the works with Paul Shortino from Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot on vocals.
MettleAngel: When I interviewed Uli Jon Roth, we did not talk about the Scorpions, and instead focused our attention on Greek philosophy and vegetarianism. Hopefully, you are willing to discuss your past bands.
MettleAngel: You are such a major influence on what became True Metal.
MettleAngel: Out of all the projects with which you have been involved, from your beginnings with UFO and Scorpions to MSG, what do you feel is the most personal?
MettleAngel: I assumed this. You are credited with the trademark Gibson Flying V and your own signature sound with "Rock Bottom" being in the Record Books. What band do you think most sums up your work?
MettleAngel: I actually like the McAuley Schenker Group albums better because your guitar work is so amazing. Then again this was the first MSG that I ever heard, too. There was something about the MSG music in the 80's.
MettleAngel: MSG was so ahead of their time.
MettleAngel: Oh I see, with MSG you decide when to record, and when to tour. You are not at the mercy of the Record Labels.
MettleAngel: You mean those subtle nuances which later become the demarcated licks and trademark leads?
MettleAngel: So you do add a bit of improvisation in a live setting?
MettleAngel: With this line-up I am sure there will be a ton of surprises. I know you kind of have a revolving door with playing with UFO. You had a tremendous comeback with the 'Walk On Water' album and then left, and came back again. Was all this ambivalence owing to the fact that you kept wanting to try new things?
MettleAngel: I get your analogy. Each part of your musical life is part of the edifice of your accomplishments.
MettleAngel: Whoah, slow down Brother, that is a bit too metaphysical, but I accept your paradigm. You just played the show in Oklahoma with the Scorpions where you and Herman Rarebell joined them on stage for some Classics. You did that at Wacken a few years ago as well. Did you feel that resurgence with the fans?
MettleAngel: Let us discuss your involvement with Contraband. This is one of the projects that a lot of people do not recognize, which I think is brilliant. This was such a unique line-up of male and female talent.
MettleAngel: There you go again waxing on and on about the meaning of life. One thing is for sure you have a very unique metal guitar sound which is often emulated but never imitated. Have you reached a point where you are excited to play for the sake of playing?
MettleAngel: You mean all those years with Scorpions and UFO it was more of a chore?
MettleAngel: You mean the grander scheme? I am sure once you realized how reknown you are for creating the Metal sound, it all dawned on you. I am sure with all you have been through in life, this rude awakening could not have come sooner?
MettleAngel: Man you sure are getting cerebral on me. This is not how I saw the interview going at all. Then again, your words of wisdom are a comfort to my forlorn heart. What you are saying is that you celebrate the joy of the journey.
MettleAngel: You treasure the whole experience, the rollercoaster ride of life. It is never about finding your destination, it is all about the celebration of the journey that carries you through life.
MettleAngel: Speaking of that, I read Ozzy's biography and he has his story where after the tragic death of Randy Rhoads, he apparently asked you to join. There has been a lot of controversy generated, because in his book, he says that you asked for a "King's Ransom" , but your response is that you felt that it was not the right choice for you. What is the real truth?
MettleAngel: You were very perceptive about that.
MettleAngel: My first Scorpions album was 'Blackout' with Matthias. You are right, it is difficult to picture the Scorpions without him. I only learned about the Uli Jon Roth era, when some of my favourite acts began to cover Scorpions albums on which he played.
MettleAngel: I assume that you still have a great rapport with your brother though.
MettleAngel: Or a mettle state of mind, if you please. I really respect your mettlephysical approach to life. I admire your philosophical ideology; because, you are one who has hit rock bottom, if you will excuse the pun. You had an ex- wife rob you blind and leave you penniless...
MettleAngel: You are so noble because you are not bitter, you have made your forgiveness, and you refuse to play the victim.
MettleAngel: I agree. Who would have thunk in a million years that Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker would be more metaphysical than my philosophy teachers!
MettleAngel: In our eyes, as fans we see you as the icon of heavy metal creation, inspiration and exceptional guitar talent; whereas, you view yourself as being on a journey characterized by different vicissitudes.
MettleAngel: Again with the building of life analogy, I get it. The fans are not only the architects and construction crew, but we also provide the blueprints for your madness and imagination. Everything that has happened has served to build the MSG Temple.
MettleAngel: I really respect you saying that, and I totally understand what you are saying from a personal point of view, because it is about the choices we make, and we are the masters of our own journey.
MettleAngel: I assume if you had to go through it all over again, there is nothing that you would change?
MettleAngel: Well Brother, thank you for your wisdom and artistic contributions for nigh 35+ years. I am so grateful that we had a chance to chat and get to know each other a little bit better. Your fans may find this interview a bit out there, but I know your heart, and I wish you all the best.
MettleAngel: I will, as I have never seen you live before tonight!