MICHAEL SCHENKER Looks Back On His Brief Stint As Guitarist Of RATT: 'I Couldn't Wait To Get Out Of It'

April 14, 2022

In a new interview with The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn, legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker reflected on how he agreed, in late 1990, during one of the MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP's many breaks, to do a favor for his friend Warren DeMartini and temporarily replaced Robbin Crosby in Los Angeles glam rockers RATT.

"That was harmless; it was absolutely harmless," Michael said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Warren DeMartini is an absolute Michael Schenker fan, and he became a friend. So, Robin [McAuley] and I, we joined the same management, Left Bank. And so I did two things. There was a six-month break for Robin and myself before we were gonna start recording the next album, and in those six months I was approached by the Left Bank management and record company — it was both — and I was asked if I wanted to do a thing with CONTRABAND, the all-star project [featuring members of SHARK ISLAND, VIXEN, L.A. GUNS and RATT]. And I agreed and did [CONTRABAND]; it was an interesting project. And then the other thing was RATT was just about to go on tour, and they had lost their other guitarist, Robbin Crosby. And Warren DeMartini, he came to me straight away and asked me, and I did it as a friend. I thought, 'I'm not doing anything else. Why not do this? It's a harmless thing.' And when I was done with it, I carried on with Robin."

When he was asked if RATT ever tried to convince him to stay and record an album with the band, Michael said: "I don't remember, because they were so chaotic. It was really awkward to be with them because they were divided. I don't remember — I think it was the bass player and the drummer were divided, and then the guitarist and the singer. And there was always a battle going on, and I was in the middle of it. I hated it. I couldn't wait to get out of it."

While he was with RATT, Schenker appeared on a 1990 episode of MTV's popular "Unplugged" series, where they shared the stage with all-female rock band VIXEN.

Michael Schenker first appeared on SCORPIONS' 1972 album "Lonesome Crow", earned acclaim in the 1970s on classic UFO albums such as "Phenomenon" and "Lights Out" before rejoining SCORPIONS for 1979's "Lovedrive". He departed soon thereafter to launch MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. And while his sometimes-erratic behavior have derailed parts of his career, Schenker remains one of hard rock and metal's most influential axemen.

"Universal", the new studio album from Schenker's MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, will be released on May 27 via Atomic Fire Records.

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