Robin McAuley explains how he ended up rejoining the Michael Schenker Group

Robin McAuley explains how he ended up rejoining the Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker Group and Black Swan lead vocalist Robin McAuley was recently interviewed by Marko Syrjälä for Chaoszine. McAuley ended up rejoining guitarist Michael Schenker (ex-Scorpions, ex-UFO) last year in the Michael Schenker Group when he replaced Ronnie Romero.

In terms of how that came to be, McAuley indicated: “That was easy. I get an email, “Can you jump in and sing the festivals and shows for the rest of 2023?” And I said, “Let me check the schedule.” We’re about to start working on a new Black Swan and a new solo record, the third of each, and we won’t start working until very late in the year. So I said, “Yeah, sure.” I didn’t ask any questions. And then I saw all of the posts, and I went, “Whatever.” It was the same thing last year or whatever it was. So I’m in for the rest of the year with MSG with Michael for his 50th-anniversary tour. And I’m happy to be here. It’s a lot of fun.”

On whether he was on standby the whole time given that he was given really short notice to perform with the band, McAuley stated: “No, no, no, no. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I remember when I saw– because this post comes up on Facebook. And I went, “Oh, look, Rory Gallagher Festival.” And I went, “Oh, I’d really like to do that.” Because my wife and I were planning a trip to Ireland to go visit family, and coincidentally, it was at the same time as the Rory Gallagher Festival. So I sent Michael an email, and I went, “Hey, I see you guys are playing Rory Gallagher. I would love to do that if Ronnie Romero needs a break.” And I don’t think anymore about it, right? And then I had a reply from Michael’s people, and they said, “This would be great if you still want to do it.” And I went, “Oh, that’s a nice surprise. I’d love to do it.” And I was only supposed to do just that one show, only because of Michael, right? And it was a good excuse. I went, “I’m in Ireland anyway to visit family,” and we were planning to do some sightseeing. My wife, I think you know, is from Austria, so she hasn’t seen a lot of Ireland. I haven’t seen a lot of Ireland. It’s been a long time, right?

So anyway, after we had agreed that I would do the Rory Gallagher Festival, maybe a month later, I had another email saying, “Hey, can you jump in for the rest of 2023?” And I went, “Oops, what just happened?” And it says, “Ronnie will not be singing with MSG anymore. If you could do it, it’d be great. Michael would love you to do it.” And I went, “Sure.” And I again check my schedule, and we don’t start the next Black Swan record until later in the year. And so here I am. Yeah, so no, I wasn’t prepared. Obviously, you have to check and see what the setlist and what I have to learn and jump in without a rehearsal and all of that sort of stuff. So I actually went through Rory Gallagher without a rehearsal. We just had a sound check, and I went, “Oops, better get this right.” But I’m good at doing my homework.”

Syrjälä noted that it would have been great to have a few songs in the live setlist from the McAuley Schenker Group era to which McAuley replied: “Everybody says that. I don’t know why that is, but since the live set is rehearsed already and this is what they’ve been doing, it would, logistically, probably take a couple of weeks of rehearsal to come in and start rehearsing newer material. Not that it’s new material, but you’d still have to rehearse it and change the show or add it or whatever. So it’s easier just to do it this way. And if Michael decides that “Okay, we’re going to add some of the McAuley Schenker period.” then I’m assuming that there would be a rehearsal for that. But right now, we need to do what we were doing before. So usually, it’s pretty good. We learn a two-hour set. And it’s a year since I sang the set, and you still have to come in and prepare and do your best. And it’s not always perfect, but it’s live.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Robin McAuley via Chaoszine‘s website.