MICHAEL SCHENKER: How KIRK HAMMETT Ended Up Guesting On 'Resurrection' Album
January 18, 2018
"Resurrection", the new album from legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker's MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST project, will be released on March 2 via Nuclear Blast. The disc, which was produced by Michael Voss-Schön, was recorded in four different locations over a five-month period and features guest appearances by METALLICA's Kirk Hammett, Wayne Findlay and Michael Voss-Schön along with contributions from three original MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP) singers — Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley — plus Doogie White, who plays with Michael in MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK. Also appearing on the album are musicians Steve Mann (guitars, keyboards),Ted McKenna (drums) and Chris Glen (bass).
Asked how Hammett came to be involved with the project, Schenker told Poland's Interia.pl (see video below): "He is a fan. He always wanted to jam with me. He actually did something very nice for me — he put [MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP's] 'Armed And Ready' on [METALLICA's] version of 'Guitar Hero'; they had their own version. Peter Mensch, he used to be the manager of AC/DC, then DEF LEPPARD and then METALLICA, he told me that Kirk Hammett, I'm his Santa Claus. And so that's how it started. So I found out very late in life that he was a fan. And then we met at a guitar magazine, [when we were named two of] the 10 most influential guitarists, we made the cover page for a guitar magazine in America, but we never talked. So he always wanted to jam with me. [Radio personality] Eddie Trunk, from New York, he arranged for Kirk and me to meet and jam. And so we jammed and then we did an interview together. And then, eventually, he even came to a concert and jammed a song with us. So, basically, Kirk was a fan, he became a friend and he plays in the biggest band in the world. And so I said, 'Kirk, you wanna [guest on 'Resurrection']?' And he was more than happy. His management even… 'Cause he wanted to record in Hawaii in his own recording studio, so [METALLICA's] management paid for the ticket for Michael Voss, the co-producer, to fly over there to record [Kirk's solo]. Then they sent me a picture of Kirk [in the studio]. He looked like a teenager, 20 years old, with his casual Hawaiian outfit, baseball hat, and he was happy."
Hammett and Schenker first traded licks during the taping of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" in April 2015 at Metropolis Studios in New York City. Less than a month later, Kirk joined Michael on stage at the RockBar in San Jose, California to perform a couple of songs: UFO's "Natural Thing" and SCORPIONS' "Blackout".
According to Schenker, "Resurrection" contains all brand new songs, including "Warrior", which he previously described as "really, really good and really powerful."
The studio album will follow the release of "Michael Schenker Fest Tokyo", a concert recording filmed in August 2016 at Tokyo, Japan's International Forum, which was made available last March via Inakustik.