Michael Schenker Fest

Classic Rock - - Live! - The tour be­gins in Glas­gow on Novem­ber 5.

Why play with just three lead singers when you can have four?

Hav­ing re­leased an al­bum, Res­ur­rec­tion, since last year’s visit with three lead singers, this time the mer­cu­rial Ger­man gui­tar hero is fronted by four – Gary Bar­den, Gra­ham Bon­net, Robin McAu­ley and Doo­gie White – along with bassist Chris Glen, key­board player/gui­tarist Steve Mann and drum­mer Ted McKenna.

The first tour that Michael Schenker Fest played was a huge suc­cess.

That one had three singers, and we have added a fourth [Doo­gie White] and made an al­bum. The thing is get­ting big­ger and big­ger. Peo­ple loved it in Amer­ica, and here in Ja­pan [where he’s call­ing from] the au­di­ences are com­pletely crazy.

The key is that you’re en­joy­ing be­ing on stage – maybe for the first time in your ca­reer.

I’m hav­ing fun. Some­thing hap­pened to me back in 2008 and all of a sud­den I wanted to be on stage. Over those ten years it has de­vel­oped. It started by talk­ing to the crowd, but now I sing [back­ing vo­cals] and tell sto­ries. I can’t be­lieve it is hap­pen­ing to me at this age [Schenker is 63]. How will this tour dif­fer from the one back in Novem­ber? Since 2016 I’ve played longer sets. There will be songs not per­formed last time, and of course some ma­te­rial from Res­ur­rec­tion.

Although you said the idea was “far-fetched”, you have pro­posed adding singers Klaus Meine of the Scor­pi­ons and UFO’s Phil Mogg, to be­come the Ul­ti­mate Michael Schenker Fest. If they would do that it would be a com­ple­tion of the cy­cle. I don’t know if it will hap­pen. Life is like a train; I’m not driv­ing it and trains have many com­part­ments.

As a for­mer mem­ber of UFO, will you be in­volved in any way in the band’s farewell tour next year – even just get­ting up on stage with them at their fi­nal UK show, in Shep­herd’s Bush? Bands like UFO and the Scor­pi­ons are try­ing to fool the au­di­ence, and I’m not a part of that world. It’s be­com­ing a trend to make a big deal about play­ing last shows, and those bands do it be­cause they can’t get any­where in a nor­mal way.

I re­turned the UFO name to Phil Mogg [in 2003]. It was a pre­cious gift that I gave him for free and he didn’t even thank me. Why should I show up [to play] with UFO again? For me, UFO only ex­ists with the orig­i­nal five mem­bers, plus [clas­sic-era pro­ducer] Ron Ne­vi­son. Phil calls his cur­rent band UFO, but it isn’t UFO. If [Mogg] shows me no re­spect or ap­pre­ci­a­tion, why would I do that for him?

“I’m hav­ing fun. Now I sing [back­ing vo­cals] and tell sto­ries.”

Isn’t Mogg a neigh­bour of yours in Sus­sex?

Phil and I con­stantly bump into each other – when I use a ze­bra cross­ing, Phil’s there walk­ing his dog; or I see him in Mor­risons queu­ing for a Lotto ticket; or he’s go­ing up the hill on his rac­ing bike – but we haven’t ac­tu­ally spo­ken for quite a while. DL

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