INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
German born guitarist Michael Schenker is one most inspirational and respected guitar players from the 1970’s. Michael started his career in early 1970’s being one of the founding members of The Scorpions. With the Scorpions he recorded their debut LONESOME CROW in 1972. In 1974 Michael was asked and joined the U.K. band UFO. The classic UFO line-up of: Phil Mogg, Pete Way, Andy Parker and Michael Schenker released a string of highly successful albums like: PHENOMENON, FORCE IT, NO HEAVY PETTING and LIGHT’S OUT before Michael decided to leave band in 1978. Michael was next offered gigs with such bands as Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne, but excluding a brief reunion with THE SCORPIONS, he decided that he wanted to play his own music and not be a hired gun in another group. MSG (Michael Schenker Group) was thus formed in 1979. The band’s self titled debut was released 1980 and it became an instant success. The history of the Michael Schenker Group has been strewn with personality conflicts and “incidents” between band members. In 1982, original vocalist Gary Barden was fired in favor of Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alcatrazz) who lasted for one album (ASSAULT ATTACK). Gary Barden was enticed back to the band for M.S.G. for the recording of a new studio album BUILT TO DESTROY and a live album ROCK WILL NEVER DIE. After the second departure of vocalist Gary Barden, Michael reorganized the band around himself and vocalist Robin McAuley under the name McAuley Schenker Group. After three albums Michael and Robin parted their company in 1992.The classic UFO line–up resurrected in 1995 and WALK ON WATER was released later on that year. Although the band managed to release two more albums in the following years, Schenker finally quit the band in 2002. Since then, Michael has released a bunch albums with different versions of M.S.G and toured around the U.S., Europe and Japan. 2005 was the 25’Th Anniversary of Michael Schenker Group and album TALES OF ROCK’N ROLL. Singers from each incarnation of the group were enlisted to sing on a track or two. That album did lead Gary Barden and Michael to rejoin their forces and as a result MSG released its finest work in decades called THE MIDST OF BEAUTY in 2008. In December of 2009 band finally arrived to Helsinki to play their first show ever in Finland. In Helsinki, we had a chance to sit down with Michael….and here are the results of that interesting chat. Read on!!!