Michael Schenker Interview
Michael Schenker is regarded as one of rock's best guitarists, and with good
reason. He co-founded The Scorpions, joined forces with UFO, and finally formed
his own band - MSG, short for Michael Schenker Group.
Today, however, Michael simply refers to his band as MSG. And as Michael's
lead singer Robin McAuley explained, "The name of the band is MSG, not the
Michael Schenter Group or McAuley Schenker Group."
Now that everyone is clear on that, we can tell you that MSG's latest release
is titled "MSG" (Impact Records).
Q. Tell me if I'm wrong, but it just seems to me, that in
the mid 80's we heard a lot more about hard rock/ heavy metal than we do
A. I don't know, I mean the world I'm living in, it's happening. (Laughs) Maybe
sometimes if our own lives change, it seems like everything else is changing.
You know what I'm saying? Maybe, your own personal life is changing. Maybe,
you're kind of getting interested in different things. I don't know. Heavy
metal in general, is kind of right on top of the charts, with Nirvana, and
Metallica, and all these people.
Q. At the age of 16, you wanted to be one of the best guitarists
in the world, and you practiced very hard. But, there's gotta be more to
becoming a great guitarist, than just practice. What else enters the picture?
A. There was a guitar lying at home and through certain different situations,
I got involved in playing. I realized how much fun it was. So, I think realizing
you love doing something is Number One. Automatically, when you love doing
something you're obviously also talented and you're going somewhere. That was
the beginning of it. When I was 14 or 15, I heard people like Jeff Beck and
Leslie West play and they made me want to do something like they do. Today
I would say, by saying one of the best guitarists in the world basically, what
it means, is one day I want to be able to do something to other people like
Jeff Beck did to me.
Q. So when you would listen to a record, you would probably
listen a little closer to what the guitarist was doing.
A. Yeah, that's right. I also liked drums very much. I think most people listen
to the lyrics more than the music. There's all sorts of different ways of listening
to music. The way I was brought up in Germany, not being able to understand
English, I, and my brother, and sister, would just listen to the vibrations
of the music. I think that focused more on the musical aspect instead of getting
split into two ways, you know, one for the music, and one for the lyrics.
Q. You like to play with different musicians don't you?
A. I like to play music.
Q. Is it easier for you to keep changing the musical line-up
than to stick with the same guys year after year?
A. I don't even know why there are different musicians. I'm changing all the
time. I'm a man of change. (Laughs) You know what? My guitar always stays the
same. For some reason, I think it's part of my destiny to go through all these
changes. I'm realizing so much. Life is all about growing, and understanding
more and more, instead of getting sucked up in the external world, and into
the competition part. And that is another point. Music should never be treated
as competition, because if you do, you lose all the depth.
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