Interview: Guitar virtuoso Michael Schenker breaks new ground with latest album and tour
Nuclear Blast Records/YouTube

Few musicians rise through the ranks to become as influential and enduring as the Michael Schenker. Since first bursting on the music scene in the early ‘70s with the Scorpions, this German guitarist and his ever-present Flying V guitar went on to assist UFO to become one of the world’s top rock bands of the decade. During the 80s he reigned supreme with the mighty Michael Schenker Group ( MSG). Michael was just 15 years old when he and Klaus Meine first began writing together. Many people do not realize Schenker wrote most of the music for the Scorpions’ 1972 album Lonesome Crow.  AXS had the opportunity to catch up with Schenker to chat about the new music and tour.

AXS: Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming Michael Schenker Fest album Resurrection

Michael Schenker: The new Michael Schenker Fest album Resurrection comes out on March 2 through Nuclear Blast and we kick of the Michael Schenker Fest North American Tour on March 6 at the Fillmore Silver Spring. What really makes this unique is I have three Michael Schenker Group vocalists joining me. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. Doogie White, the singer of Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock as well, you know, ex Rainbow. I mean who does that? Who takes that many vocalists out with them but I figured why not. Fans like to hear the songs performed by the person who sang it at the time. So why not just take them all out with me. I am the first to do that.

AXS: We are including the video for “Warrior” in this article. People really seem to enjoy the behind the scenes feel to the piece. How was the recording process?

M.S.: It was great, a lot of laughs. I was surprised at how everyone got along. Most of the songs are sung by either Graham or Gary or Robin individually, but we wanted one song that had all of them sing together. I think it came out very well. It was fun. We didn’t know how it was all going to work at first but their voices all really complement each other. When I walked in and saw everyone joking and getting on, it was great. I wrote that song with Michael Voss-Schön, he was our producer. Do you know we recorded everything in four different locations over a five-month period?

AXS: We hear you have a special guest join in on the “Heart And Soul” track?

M.S.: Yes, Kirk Hammett from Metallica plays on “Heart And Soul.” I like that song, it is a heavy song. “Warrior” is a heavy song too but it gets heavier towards the end. This one is harder all the way through. Kirk was a fan, so I asked him if we wanted to be a guest on Resurrection. He was more than happy to play on it. Kirk wanted to record in Hawaii at his own recording studio, so we had to fly Michael Voss, the co-producer, over there to record Kirk's guitar solo.

AXS: You were only 15 when you teamed up with Klaus Meine to write Lonesome Crow. What was the first song you wrote?

M.S.: Ah, that was “In Search Of Peace Of Mind.” Klaus and I got on really well and I wrote much of that album.

The Resurrection album features twelve brand-new classic rock guitar-driven songs, pre-orders are available here. Joining Michael on the Michael Schenker Fest North American Tour is second guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mann, bassist Chris Glen and drummer Ted McKenna. AXS tickets are available. A complete list of tour dates is available at MichaelSchenkerhimself.com.