MICHAEL SCHENKER: 'Without People Like Me, The Rock And Roll Trend Would Have Died A Long Time Ago'
January 14, 2021
In a new interview with Bloodstream Radio, legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker was asked what keeps him motivated to write and play music after 50 years in the business. He responded (hear audio below): "I never take from trends; if anything, I created a trend. In the '80s, people were copying my guitar style, and they actually overexposed it to the point when I was playing my guitar style, it was already heard over and over.
"I discovered very early in my life the infinite inner spring of creativity — being yourself, being Michael Schenker. Everybody can do this, but it's just a matter of choice. Do you wanna [follow] a commercial trend that will guarantee you commercial success and make you money and [get you] fame and [put you] in the limelight, et cetera, et cetera, or do you wanna self-express?
"As long as I can go back, being a kid, even at five years old, it was always in my expression," he continued. "I found, or I may have always had the connection to, the inner infinite spring of creativity. And that's where I go. I don't see any point in taking from the trend or taking from other people. They're already doing it. Why should I do it?
"By going to the inner spring and injecting freshness to the trend, which, basically, the '80s were a watered down '70s, and commercialized, and made everybody rich, I didn't see any point in doing something somebody else was already doing. He's already doing that; why should I do it? So I was always attracted to pure self-expression and inject something to the world and to the trend that comes from a fresh place.
"Without people like me — I'm sure there are some [others] — the trend as we know it, the rock and roll trend, would have died a long time ago," Schenker added. "I mean, Markus Staiger, the boss of [Schenker's record label] Nuclear Blast in Germany, said to me one day, 'Michael, if you wouldn't have been, Nuclear Blast would have never been,' and he would have never started thrash metal. I [was, like], 'What?'
"I never knew about any of these things. Because I was never looking for expectations of having an impact like that. I was just happy with music.
"There was a couple of [Australian interviewers], they said, 'Michael, if you would have not been, there would have not been thrash metal or death metal or any of the other metals.' I said, 'What?'
"It's unbelievable. You don't expect anything. I never really look at critics or any write-ups or anything. Usually, I'm just happy being a musician and focusing on the music and just enjoying that."
Schenker will release a new MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP) album "Immortal", on January 29 via Nuclear Blast.
"Immortal" was predominantly recorded at the Kidroom Studio in Germany, with Michael's long time partner Michael Voss, who co-produced the album and also sings on two tracks.
"Immortal" will continue the tradition of the previous two MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST records "Resurrection" and "Revelation" and feature a big list of friends and guests. The album's main vocalist will be uprising Chilean-born talent Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW),along with Michael Voss (MAD MAX),Scheepers and Joe Lynn Turner (ex-DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW) singing on two tracks each. Besides Michael Schenker himself, the album was recorded with Steve Mann (keyboards),Barry Sparks (bass, DOKKEN),as well as the three drummers, Bodo Schopf, Simon Philipps (ex-TOTO) and Brian Tichy (ex-WHITESNAKE).