Michael Francesco of Sonic Perspectives recently conducted an interview with German guitar legend Michael Schenker. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why he decided to follow up 2018's "Resurrection" so quickly with this year's "Revelation":
Michael: "Everybody says 'so quickly.' I don't know. It's not quickly. I used to make one album every year with UFO. In my middle years, I made sometimes three albums in a year. But, basically, how it came about was that the last concert that we did in 2018 was in the U.K. in September, and the next thing was going to happen was, and this happened, the second leg of the 'Resurrection' tour in April 2019. I looked at that, and there's eight months. I called up the label and said 'I have a window of eight months. I'm going to write the next album.' Otherwise, it's a waste of time. 'Okay, go ahead.' On a daily basis, when I go play and discover, I don't call it 'practicing' or 'rehearsing,' I call it 'playing and discovering' like treasure hunting. I enjoy hunting, but when I find a piece of gold, I'm happy, I put it aside. These are usually my inspirations to inspire me to write the next song. I have lots of these between when we finished the last album, I always jump into something new that is, I call it, 'pieces of gold' that I put away. When it's time to make a record, all the fellas are available to me. I never look for the best song I selected; I always go in order. Whenever I stop the tape last, I carry on for the next album and don't jump around. There might be something better down the tape, but I don't go there because I already selected good pieces anyway. I don't have to worry about that. In other words, I was ready to continue to write. At my age, you can't really sit around for eight months doing nothing. [Laughs]"
On how he delegates parts between the four vocalists in MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST:
Michael: "It's funny. It's just very funny. [Laughs] I just said to [producer] Michael Voss, 'Hey, come on. With 'Resurrection', that's how we started. Let's just send everything out. Let's see what happens.' Doogie [White], he came back, he just grabbed the first five songs. I said, 'Doogie, you can't have those five songs. You can only have three.' This time, he was actually limited to two songs because I wanted more songs to be sung by all the vocalists, which I made Michael Voss be the manager in charge and he did a fantastic job because he's a fan. He knows what's suitable for who. You cannot have four singers sing right together on one song. It's impossible. This time, Doogie, again, of course, he grabbed the first two songs, so I knew he was taken care of. Robin [McCauley] picked the next one. That was great. Then I was very happy that Graham Bonnet this time, he wanted to write his own lyrics. He wanted to write his own melodies. He did a fantastic job and I'm very happy about it; it sounds very majestic. It sounds fantastic and that was taken care of. In the end, everybody took their songs and they were behind them. It just seems to work every time so far."
On whether he considers himself to be "underrated" as a guitarist:
Michael: "I don't blame… the underrated part I don't blame because after I finished 'Strangers In The Night' and 'Lovedrive', that was it for me. I dropped out purposely. I had experienced enough fame. I didn't need to carry on that way. I wanted to be an artist. Somebody said I made up to 60 albums. I wanted to experiment with music and so I did not make popular music anymore. So, I don't blame people. That's of my own making, that period. In 2008, I decided, something said in me, 'Michael, you ought to be on stage.' I guess in middle years, I developed enjoying the machine. I never enjoyed the machine before, but I have everything out of my system. I've done everything I wanted to do: instrumental albums, acoustic instrumental and everything that would never happen or made any money for OZZY OSBOURNE, SCORPIONS, UFO, DEEP PURPLE or you name them. If they had to bear with my experimental period, then they would have hated me. I think it all worked out for the best. They should all be 'happy happy' how it worked. In 2008, something said, 'Michael, do you want to be on stage?' I couldn't believe I always had stage fright, but all of the sudden I wanted to be on stage, so I took that as a sign. In light speed, I went all the way back to the top."
"Revelation", the second studio album by MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST, will be released on September 20 via Nuclear Blast. The album was produced by Schenker and Michael Voss and was recorded and mixed by Voss at Kidpool Studio Greven & Kidwood Studio in Münstertal, Germany between December 2018 and March 2019.