MUSICAL GUEST – Damon Johnson (Black Star Riders, Thin Lizzy)
Eddie raved about the new Black Star Riders album, The Killer Instinct. He told Damon that it is an early candidate for album of the year. Black Star Riders has done shows recently in Europe, and in America, they have played with the band Europe. He has also done some solo gigs recently.
TMS TOP 5 – Schenker Era UFO Songs
- “Rock Bottom”
- “Lights Out”
- “Love To Love”
- “Too Hot To Handle”
- “Mother Mary”
- “Rock Bottom”
- “Lights Out”
- “Doctor Doctor”
- “Love To Love”
- “Only You Can Rock Me”
GUESTS – Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Michael Schenker (Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock, Scorpions, UFO, MSG)
The interview segment of TMS is always interesting, this week especially. With the success that Metallica has enjoyed throughout their career, the expectation when tuning in was that Kirk Hammett would be the higher profile guest being interviewed. It turned out that he was on TMS more because of his fandom of Michael Schenker than to talk about what Metallica has been up to recently.
The interview began with Hammett asking Schenker about the inspiration behind the writing of all of his great riffs.
Schenker: “It started with a fascination about what can be done with a single string” (starting when he was 9-yrs old).
Schenker went on to say that there have been three phases to his career…
PHASE 1 – Unconsciously Discovering: During this phase, which went all the way to the Scorpions Love Drive album, he said that he didn’t really know what he was doing.
PHASE 2 – Developing on a Personal Level
PHASE 3 – Consciously Enjoying his Development
Hammett was in awe of Schenker being self-taught. He taught himself Rudolf’s guitar when his older brother went to work. Rudolf ended up asking Michael to give him guitar lessons, and eventually, he went on to take over for Michael in the Scorpions.
Schenker called his approach “play and discover” and said that the last note that he plays inspires him to play the next note. Schenker surprisingly revealed that he hasn’t really listened to anyone else’s music in the last 43 years (since he was 16), although he said that he does like “Unforgiven” by Metallica. His reasoning is that consuming other music takes energy, and he wants to use his energy to create his own music (pure self-expression).
Schenker talked about his early influences – Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton (up to a certain point), Leslie West, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter…(all the late 60s music).
With his current band (Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock), he is doing a whole retrospective of his career, and enjoying every minute of it. The band’s latest album Spirit On A Mission features Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass) – the original rhythm section of the Scorpions. The last Scorpions album that they all played on together was Lovedrive.
Kirk Hammett and Michael Schenker Performance
These two guitar legends took to the main stage area together. As successful as Hammett’s career has been, you can tell that he was thrilled to be playing with a guitarist that he idolizes (something that Eddie pointed out when they returned to their seats).
Hammett exclaimed…“I just had the greatest guitar lesson! I’ve been waiting to do this since I was 15-yrs old. It’s like being on an episode of Fantasy Island!”
When asked by Don if any of his solos were inspired by Michael Schenker, Kirk responded…“every one!” He went on to state…“this is how deep the inspiration goes…when I’m doing something, I think ‘what would Michael do?”
A very humble Schenker said that he never expected to become famous, much less be so influential to other guitarists. He didn’t know that he had an impact on bands like GNR and Metallica until the early 90s.
Hammett talked about the next Metallica album. He said that it’s still in the embryonic stages, but that it should be out sometime in 2016. He also said that it is similar to their last album, Death Magnetic.
PUT IT ON THE TABLE – Kirk and Michael
If you could be in any other band, what band would it be?
Kirk – UFO, rhythm guitar for Michael
Michael – Led Zeppelin
What is the one song that you wish that you wrote?
Kirk – “Diary Of A Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne. He talked about all of the jazz influences that Randy Rhodes incorporated into the song, and said that it was a testament to the brilliance of his songwriting.
Michael – “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin
What is the best concert that you’ve ever attended?
Kirk – Day On The Green in 1978. He said the concert, which featured legendary bands in the following order – AC/DC, Van Halen, Pat Travers, Foreigner, Aerosmith – changed his life.
Michael – From ages 14-16, he just went to see as many festivals as possible as he sought out great guitarists.
What is the first rock or metal song that you learned?
Kirk – “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
Michael – “Hippy, Hippy Shake” by Swinging Blue Jeans
What is the weirdest rumor that you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Kirk – “That I’m not me. Some guy came up to me and said that I looked just like Kirk Hammett. When I said that I was him, the guy said that I wasn’t because Kirk Hammett is way taller.”
Michael – “That I joined the Moonies.”
RANK – Metallica Albums (by Kirk)
- Master Of Puppets
- Ride The Lightning
- And Justice For All
- Death Magnetic
- Kill ‘Em All
PICK OF THE WEEK – UNDERRATED BANDS
Eddie – Raven – Extermination
Don – Raging Slab
Jim – Tank – Power Of The Hunter
THROWDOWN – UFO’s “Strangers In The Night” vs. Thin Lizzy “Live And Dangerous”
Damon – Thin Lizzy
Kirk – UFO
Michael – UFO
Eddie – UFO
Jim – Thin Lizzy
Don – Thin Lizzy