Guitarist Michael Schenker thinks he was the first choice for Deep Purple and Ozzy gigs that he declined

Photo by Joe Schaeffer Photography

Guitarist Michael Schenker thinks he was the first choice for Deep Purple and Ozzy gigs that he declined

Former Scorpions and UFO guitarist Michael Schenker was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay for Canada’s The Metal Voice to promote his upcoming new studio album Immortal, which will be released on January 29, 2021.

With respect to when he was asked to join Deep Purple, Schenker indicated (with slight edits): “In 1993, I got a phone call. I was the first person to be chosen. You have to remember me and Ritchie Blackmore have so many parallels. Everyone that leaves Ritchie Blackmore joins the Michael Schenker [Group]. It’s the funniest thing. There was always a conversation in Deep Purple and Ozzy. That’s why Ozzy called me up and asked me to join. I was always the first choice but I declined and I must say I’m the kid in the sandbox [that] just enjoying playing. When I get these offers from Thin Lizzy, Mötorhead, I always decline because I don’t want to copy. I want to do pure self expression. I declined all these bands because I had the vision of focusing on pure expression. I cannot follow a bunch of people looking for something that I have already finished with. My own vision is more important.”

In terms of why he chose Ronnie Romero to handle the lead vocals on his latest album, Schenker stated: “I discovered Ronnie Romero when he sang on the first Michael Schenker Fest album. I always wondered why Ritchie Blackmore chose him and today I understand  why. I understand what Ritchie was up too as we are both in similar situations. Ritchie needed to find a singer who has the ability to sing like everyone — Joe Lynn Turner, Ronnie James Dio and Graham Bonnet. So because I am in the same situation with so many different singers, it would be great to have Ronnie Romero as the main singer and to continue live and have a compact band. Ritchie and I have lots of parallels and an endless amount of similarities over the years.”

You can read other excerpts from the interview with Michael Schenker at The Metal Voice‘s website and/or listen to the interview below: