Worship at Schenker’s rock temple

Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker
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To say Michael Schenker has lived a little is something of an understatement.

The German metal guitarist has played guitar with the Scorpions, he was part of British prog rog band UFO and was even asked to be in Ozzy Osborne’s band – an offer he would eventually turn down.

His latest work has been with his Temple of Rock band – comprised of musicians Schenker worked with more than 30 years ago. “I think that things tend to go in cycles. You don’t see people for years and then all of a sudden your orbits cross and the planets line up.”

But Schenker’s no spring chicken. The guitarist turns 60 next year, though to him, age means nothing. “I still feel like I’m 16. I am more excited than I have ever been about music right now. With Temple of Rock I’ve actually enjoyed being on stage whereas before I loved the music but didn’t like being on stage. The band is really, really good and we have a really good set. We are all very motivated by what we are doing.” Schenker is a staunch solo artist at heart though. “I realised after I split with the Scorpions that I wanted to experiment with my own music and do my own thing. That’s why I turned down Ozzy Osborne, I didn’t want to copy someone else’s music. I want to do pure self-expression.”

But being a purist takes commitment and energy. “I try and preserve that creative energy so when we go on tour I stay away from the band until about half and hour before the show. I stay away from people for as long as I can. It’s the sitting on top of each other all day on tour and the partying that’s draining. You’re actually not consuming that much energy on stage. The other stuff is wasted energy, you need to conserve energy for the creative stuff.”

And now, according to Schenker, he’s got more energy than ever. “It’s brilliant, I’m so pleased with what we are doing.”

Michael Schenker rocks with the Temple of Rock at Plug onSaturday.