Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with iconic guitarist Michael Schenker. Portions of the interview appear below.

Metal Titans: In the past, you’ve had history of stage fright? 

Michael Schenker: Yes, but in 2008 it went away, I think it had to do something with me accepting that this is what I do, I create and I began to embrace my past, in Scorpions, UFO and M.S.G., after that I entered the third phase of my career which began with Temple of Rock and now Schenker Fest. There was a time, when I didn’t know who I was, now I know who I am. [laughs] It’s crazy. [laughs] 

Metal Titans: With Schenker Fest actively touring and now on the verge of issuing a second album, what’s the status of Temple of Rock?

Michael Schenker:  That’s a good question, I don’t know. We have been touring this for a few years. When we shot the DVD in Tokyo, Japan and I saw it, I knew we needed to continue doing this. It was fantastic. We had to have Doogie be a part of this, because Doogie and I are Temple of Rock, it brought everything full-circle. So to answer your question, if down the road we feel like there should be another Michael Schenker Temple of Rock record, so be it. Right now, I don’t focus on that, I focus on this tour, this band and the new album

Metal Titans: If the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, nominated Scorpions and Scorpions got in, would you make it for the ceremony? 

Michael Schenker: That kind of thing doesn’t mean a lot to me at this stage in my life, but I was in Scorpions and made some great records with them. I think I would. [laughs] ….

Metal Titans: You former bandmates in UFO are winding things down, what’s your thoughts on that? Have you been approached about doing anything with them before they end? 

Michael Schenker: Well, I think if Phil [Mogg] thinks that it’s time for UFO to go away, then it’s time. He knows what is best, I have not been asked nor do I plan on doing anything with UFO before the end. I don’t know if I would consider it, even if [former UFO bassist] Pete Way were involved. I tried to help Pete many times, but he does not want help, I can not trust Pete. He is a grown man, he is 60 years old today, he’s not 40 years old anymore. He will find his way, when he is ready. Like with Scorpions, we created great music together, they are part of my past, my musical history and I’m proud of that. 

Metal Titans: I picked up the Whitesnake Super Deluxe Edition of Slide It In. There’s a DVD in the box set, where David Coverdale mentions that he had his eye on you to join Whitesnake leading up to Slide It In. I remember, years ago reading in an article in import magazine about that. How close did you get to being a part of Whitesnake? 

Michael Schenker: [laughs] I would have never joined Whitesnake! [laughs] I think, it would have more likely that, David Coverdale would have joined M.S.G. [laughs] My manager was contacted by David Coverdale’s management about me auditioning for Whitesnake, but I was not interested in joining someone else’s band, even back then, I was aware of my self-expression and I would have not felt fulfilled being in someone’s band. If I recall, he [Coverdale] wanted to use the M.S.G. band, he was planning on working with Cozy [Powell], who had worked with me on the first M.S.G. album, and he [Coverdale] wanted to get Chris Glen, but as I say, I would have not been happy, so no, I would have not joined his band [laughs].  I did do some writing with him, but I was not going to join Whitesnake! [laughs]. It would not have worked, it wasn’t possible.  So, I found Graham Bonnet and worked with Chris [Glen] and Ted [McKenna] on Assault Attack and Cozy [Powell] went on to work with David Coverdale. 

Read more at Metal Titans.

Following the release of their successful first album Resurrection, Michael Schenker Fest is currently recording their second album.

The band will be starting a North American tour on April 15th. See the tour itinerary below.

4/15 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/16 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/17 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/19 Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
4/20 Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA 
4/21 Revolution Hall – Portland, OR 
4/22/ Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC 
4/24 The Palace (formerly Flames Central) – Calgary, AB CANADA
4/27 Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO 
4/28 The Truman – Kansas City, MO
4/30 Bourbon Hall – Louisville, KY

5/3/ The Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
5/4 Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
5/5 Piere’s – Fort Wayne, IN
5/7 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
5/9/ The Egg – Albany, NY
5/10/ The Palladium – Worcester, MA
5/11 Irving Plaza – New York City, NY
5/12/ The Space at Westbury – Westbury, NY 
5/14 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD
5/15 The National – Richmond, VA
5/16/ Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
5/18/ Empire Garage – Austin, TX 

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  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    Schenker has repeatedly said he wouldn’t join another band, and didn’t want to play other people’s music.

    So I’d love to see an interview in which he explains why he joined Ratt for a while and why in his tour a few years ago played Scorpions songs he had nothing to do with, like “Hurricane”.

    Pete Way is 67.

    Crazy guy, but love his playing anyway. I’m going to see him this month.

    • Dana on


      He was my ex’s (who passed) hero. He used to say that Schenker is a musical genius, and like all geniuses, well, you know…

      I agree that, as a musician/guitar player, he was a pioneer and far ahead of the curve. That being said, I am glad he never joined Whitesnake, because if he had, John Sykes most likely would have never been in the band.

      D 🙂

    • Tyger of Pan Tang on

      I totally agree Dana. My all-time favourite album of his is actually Thunder and Lightning with Thin Lizzy. I wouldn’t be surprised if that unapologetically bombastic style on that one – if combined with Cozy Powell’s drumming – is what convinced Coverdale he was the man to take Whitesnake to the next level.

    • Dana on

      Yes, the ’84 Whitesnake line-up was the BEST, crazy talent there.

      Cozy has always been one of my favorite, if not my favorite drummers.

      D 🙂

  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    Also, consider his most recent singer, Doogie White.

    In just the Temple of Rock Live in Europe CD and the Black Masquerade CD he did with Rainbow, you hear Doogie do spot on performances of classic songs by:

    Ian Gillan
    David Coverdale
    Ronnie James Dio
    Graham Bonnet
    Joe Lynn Turner
    Klaus Meine
    Phil Mogg
    Gary Barden

    How is this guy not more famous?

  • Ray Gillen on

    Seeing him at the ace of spades next week. One of the greats I have yet to see. Also looking forward to hearing Graham Bonnet, that old dude can still freaking sing awesome.

  • robert davenport on

    As far as Schenker joining Whitesnake… I’m a big believer in fate , john Sykes was meant to be in Whitesnake with Coverdale at that moment in time – and Schenker was obviously meant to be on his own – can you imagine Sykes and Schenker as tandem guitarists in Whitesnake … now that would be amazing

    • Dana on

      Wow….that would be something.

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