DATE OF INTERVIEW:
MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK
11th January 2016
METAL DISCOVERY: You’ve already mentioned the double-A side single, which came out today - ‘Good Times’ and ‘Rock City’ - which follows the double A-side release of ‘Communion’ and ‘Saviour Machine’ last year. By marketing these as double A-sides, for me, this is a statement of just how strong all the tracks on the album are. There are no B-sides!
(Michael Schenker on his prolific creativity)
"I always write. I’m always on the go. It’s just like, I come up with things constantly... I keep developing new stuff, and that happens on a daily basis."
Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock - live shot
Photograph copyright © 2014 John Bull
Interview by Mark Holmes
MICHAEL: Yeah! [Laughs]
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MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK DISCOGRAPHY
Temple of Rock (2011)
Thanks to Peter Noble for arranging the interview.
Temple of Rock - Live in Europe (2012)
Bridge the Gap (2013)
Spirit on a Mission (2015)
MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK - 2016 UK TOUR
Wednesday 20th January - Bilston - Robin 2
Thursday 21st January - Holmfirth - Picturedrome
Friday 22nd January - Edinburgh - Queen's Hall
Saturday 23rd January - Inverness - Iron Works
Monday 25th January - Gateshead - Sage
Tuesday 26th January - Liverpool - Academy
Thursday 28th January - Manchester - Academy 2
Friday 29th January - Nottingham - Rock City
Saturday 30th January - London - Islington Assembly Hall
MD: Did you personally ask for those to be marketed as double-A sides, or was that a label decision?
MICHAEL: Well, Doogie came up with the idea of… he was really interested in having ‘Vigilante Man’, and I thought, yeah, okay, it’s a great song. And I really wanted ‘Live and Let Live’, so we made a video for ‘Vigilante…’ and then ‘Live and Let Live’. So, that’s my favourite, ‘Live and Let Live’, and then people wanted to have ‘Good Times’, you know, earlier, and I said, “no way”, because it’s such a different song. I wanted to get the rockers out first. So, ‘Vigilante…’ and ‘Live and Let Live’ - completely different. And then you have ‘Communion’ and ‘Saviour Machine’. I wanted people to hear ‘Saviour Machine’ because I think it’s an excellent, additional type of new sound that makes sense, as well, with the classics and, with them together, we were creating our own unique sound, which I think is very important. So, I wanted people to hear that song because it’s an epic, and I wanted to make people familiar that this is something we’re also doing.
Then, it came to the point that ‘Rock City’ was crying out for attention… it’s like a train and it keeps going, and with the melodic vocals of Doogie, and with the guitar playing here and there, it’s high energy. And, so, it was time for ‘Bad Times’ and… actually, I mean ‘Good Times’! [Laughs] ‘Good Times’ was actually one of the songs that people like, you know. People liked that song on the album. I always went, like, “you must be joking, what about this song, and what about this song?!” [Laughs] Because ‘Good Times’ is a more laidback song and it doesn’t represent the album, you know. It’s a great song. It’s a kind of commercial song. It’s not really that simple, you know; it’s kind of quite complex in some parts of the song. But, because it’s very melodic, it covers up the complexity a bit. I was very happy with the lyrics that Doogie came up with because it goes well with the song and it makes people think about their past. It’s a unique little song.
MD: Definitely. You’ll be playing at Rock City again in Nottingham at the end of the month, so I guess you’ll be expecting an extra big crowd reaction when you play the song ‘Rock City’ in that venue?
MICHAEL: Yeah! [Laughs] Let’s see how it goes, and we’ll see how it fits into the set.
MD: The final thing I wanted to ask - you’ve already mentioned the next Temple of Rock album… at what stage are you in the writing process; do you have any new songs already written?
MICHAEL: I always write. I’m always on the go. It’s just like, I come up with things constantly, and I put them to the side, and I let them sit there. To some extent, from album to album, I keep developing and coming up with new… as a lead guitarist, I keep developing new stuff, and that happens on a daily basis. But, also, I have riffs that come out and, if whatever has a good ring to it, I keep it and store it until it’s time to open the box and let’s see what we have… and let’s see what hits me first! [Laughs] So, then, I take that and, usually, what hits me first also doesn’t take much when I get the connection going because I get inspired by that, you know. Then, of course, Doogie gets inspired by what I give him and he usually comes up with some ideas for the same song. Then, we get together and decide which one is the way we should go. So, we have a very good rhythm going on how we should do that, so that’s not a problem. We just hope that we don’t take too long to get an appropriate and suitable deal together for this band.
MD: Well, I really hope that comes together for you very soon.
MD: Right, thank you so much for your time, it’s been a real pleasure speaking to you again. And best of luck with the tour… I’m coming to the Nottingham show so, yeah, can’t wait to see you rocking it out in Rock City!
MICHAEL: Okay, great, see you then!
MD: See you then. Cheers then.
MICHAEL: Thank you very much.
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