MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP - Between peace of mind and immortality

1. February 2021

Michael Schenker Group

MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP - Zwischen Seelenfrieden und Unsterblichkeit

For his 50th anniversary as a professional musician, German guitarist extraordinaire MICHAEL SCHENKER is giving himself a present: The new album "Immortal", released on January 29, the first since 2011 to be released under the band name Michael Schenker Group (MSG), builds on his good albums of recent years and adds a few quality morsels on top. While he has once again brought various singers into the studio for the new work, as he did previously with his Michael Schenker Fest project, he intends to rely entirely on the current hard rock singer par excellence, Rainbow frontman Ronnie Romero, for the live presentation.

Between 2011 and 2019, Schenker celebrated hard rock in the tradition of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin as he has loved it since the early 1970s, first in the formation Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock with ex-Rainbow frontman Doogie White, among others, and later with the three former MSG singers Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley under the name Michael Schenker Fest. On the occasion of the new MSG album we call the former Scorpions and UFO guitarist, born in 1955 in Sarstedt, Lower Saxony, in his English adopted hometown Brighton. In the interview, the former "German wunderkind" explains the merits of his fellow musicians and takes a look back at his musical beginnings

eclipsed: Your new record is once again emblazoned with the "MSG" logo. This time many old acquaintances and a lot of singing celebrities were part of the band. And I have to admit: It sounds even more snappy than your last albums, which were released under the band names Michael Schenker Fest or Temple Of Rock. Was this album from your point of view again worthy to get the seal "MSG"?

Michael Schenker: We had Ronnie Romero, the new MSG singer, as a guest for the first time on the last Michael Schenker Fest record ["Revelation", 2019, note]. Michael Voss [Schenker producer and singer of the Münster-based band Mad Max, note] and I had the impression from the beginning: the boy is a worthy MSG singer. On the other hand, we liked the approach of the MSF albums so much that we [again] chose the right vocalist depending on the song, so we didn't completely throw away the principle of the last albums. Nevertheless, your impression is correct: "Immortal" is MSG 2020/21, that's why it says so on the cover

eclipsed: Celebrating the new is one thing. But as we talked about your former, late companions Pete Way, Paul Chapman and Paul Raymond for the UFO story the other day, let's not forget Ted McKenna, who died of a brain hemorrhage almost exactly two years ago, on January 19, 2019.

Schenker: I'm glad you brought that up, because drummers like Ted are quickly forgotten. Then they say: Yes, he was the one who once played for Alex Harvey, Rory Gallagher and Schenker. But Ted was not only as a drummer a brand of his own, he was a kind-hearted person. I remember when you came out of his dressing room at the Oberhausen gig in late 2018 and we ran into each other in the backstage room and you said, "Michael, stay with him!" and I thought and said, "Of course!" And then he died a few months later during routine surgery. That was and is tragic

eclipsed: Back to the present: Ronnie Romero - what do you particularly appreciate about him?

Schenker: Apart from Ronnie James Dio I worked with all Rainbow singers, on the new album even with Joe Lynn Turner. And no matter what you think of Blackmore, his lead singer choices have always been terrific. On Purple he worked with Ian Gillan and David Coverdale, on Rainbow he worked with Dio, Bonnet, Turner, White and now Ronnie Romero. Why would I have any doubts about anyone who was good enough for Ritchie? And the thing that makes Mr. Romero stand out is his variability. Look, when Blackmore was looking for someone who could credibly replace Dio, Turner or Bonnet live, his choice was Romero. That was [also] my idea for MSG: Who else but him can convincingly do Gary Barden, Bonnet or Klaus Meine? That's why, at this stage of MSG, he's just the guy. Plus, he's a totally nice guy and professional.

MSG - In Search Of The Peace Of Mind (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

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