Michael Schenker does not want to play a show with UFO on their farewell tour
Former UFO and Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker was recently interviewed by Yiannis Dolas for Greece’s Rock Pages. Schenker played on the following UFO albums during the 1970s: Phenomenon (1974), Force It (1975), No Heavy Petting (1976), Lights Out (1977), Obsession (1978) and Strangers In The Night (1979). Schenker returned to UFO a number of times afterwards and also played on the studio albums Walk On Water (1995), Covenant (2000) and Sharks (2002).
In terms of whether there is a chance that he might play a show with UFO on their farewell tour, Schenker replied (with slight edits):
“Never! Because, I don’t want another can of worms… I don’t want to open up another possibility of turbulence. It’s Phil Mogg. I got 50% of the UFO name and I gave it back to Phil Mogg for free. So, Phil is happy being the owner of UFO and the Scorpions are happy with what they had accomplished, with me opening the doors to America for them with the Lovedrive album and I am happy with what I have done. So, why putting together people that may cause friction?
“In Search of The Peace Of Mind”, that we talked about earlier, is the opposite. So, I am very very careful with opening up doors for being controlled like I was as a 15-year old, when they were already 21 toying with me and taking advantage of my talent making them being credited for my song writing. The same happened with Lovedrive. So, I don’t want to go there again. I don’t want these guys. They all want to be in charge. I don’t want them to be in charge of me. Michael Schenker is in charge of Michael Schenker and he is not following any trend, UFO, or Phil Mogg. He is following trends for commercial success, Scorpions follow trends for commercial success, Michael Schenker does not.
I go to the inner spring of creativity and there is no stop, it’s like a kaleidoscope. You shake it and it’s like a tropical fish, every fish has a different pattern. I don’t go by the trend. If anything I inject freshness into the track. Otherwise, rock music would have been dead long time ago, because everybody, or many people just take from the trend and want to take a piece of the pie, what sells and makes a lot of money. At some point, if nobody injected a freshness into the rock scene it would have been dead. It’s like a ditch that become stagnant and nobody wants to know about it anymore.
So, musicians who know what I am doing they take from me and they take their inspiration and they inject that to the trend and keep the trend alive, but in a new way. Michael Staiger, the boss of Nuclear Blast, said to me once that if I wouldn’t have been, he wouldn’t have ever been. Nuclear Blast would never have been and he wouldn’t have started this thrash metal. Thrash metal would have never been, all other kinds of metal never would have been. Another Australian drummer told me “Michael, if you haven’t ever been, thrash metal and all other kinds of metal wouldn’t have existed” and I said “What?”. I found out about this several years later, because I was never interested of what my impact was. I was just having too much fun in the sandbox playing. So, I am very amazed by hearing Slash being a fan and Iron Maiden and Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses… So many bands that I have found out later in my life, because that was never my goal, because I never wanted to be famous. It all happened by itself, so simply because I was being Michael Schenker…”
You can read the rest of the interview with Michael Schenker at Rock Pages’ website.