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 today.
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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