Michael Schenker has done it all musically. Through stints in UFO and Scorpions to his ambitious solo albums featuring four vocalists, he has refused to conform to conventional music structures and instead gone by what he feels is right at any given time.
It is a mantra that has seen him reject an offer to play with Ozzy Osbourne and also become somewhat of a recluse in his middle years, but he back now with Revelation from the Michael Schenker Fest.
“In my middle years, I kind of withdrew from the spotlight,” he detailed. “After Strangers in the Night with UFO, I decided to get out of the spotlight and find an unknown singer and completely get out of the machine. I felt I had to write hits and I was just a kid in the sandbox. I didn’t expect these things and I didn’t compete with anybody, I didn’t really look for money or fame or success but all of a sudden but all of a sudden people were saying Michael Schenker is God and people were calling me from America in the early eighties saying ‘Michael, they’re all playing your guitar style’ and I said ‘what’ (laughs). I was always shocked when I heard what I had created without even knowing. I was lucky to experience fame early in life so I got to make a decision if I wanted to stay in the game of fame or if I wanted to stay as an artist and experiment with music and focus more on life and what it is; who am I – I had no clue who I was – so that’s what I did. That’s why I wrote the song ‘Into the Arena‘ which means from the battleground on to the school of life and I was experimenting with music and got everything out of my system. I refused Ozzy Osbourne – and he wouldn’t have made any money if I hadn’t have joined him (laughs) – I was in my experimental stage but those middle years were the most rewarding. Eventually, I dropped out completely of the machine. I went to Arizona and I was my own person for 15 years.”
In the full interview Michael opens up about his treatment at the hands of his former bands, details his life choices both personally and musically, talks about Revelation, describes the meaning behind the artwork, having four vocalists in his band and more.