Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
If music be the food of love, Michael Schenker has got you covered. The guitar virtuoso is back with Resurrection, a new work that’s as much music for the soul as it is for the ears.
Full, rich, and something of a delicacy, Michael Schenker has been through the ringer and back and Resurrection is his celebration of being reborn, renewed and re-inspired. “In the first part of my life I made my musical contribution in the 70s and 80s,” Schenker says, “I experienced successes and had to make a decision about starting a new chapter, to do all this stuff in a more recreational way–that’s when I started Michael Schenker Group.
“I experimented with music and life. 2008 I was over my stage fright and wanted to be on stage. I took that as a sign to be back in the loop of rock ‘n’ roll. I call it my celebration period. I looked at what I was doing and I was performing the most popular of my music but I realised I hadn’t been performing with original singers–I realised, that’s what I need to be doing, that’s how this whole thing came about.”
In my life there has been betrayal, there’s been lost years of Michael, it has nothing to do with Jesus and God, we’re talking about a parallel with music.
[ Michael Schenker ]
An effigy of The Last Supper, the album’s artwork sees Michael Schenker in the traditional position of Jesus Christ, surrounded by his “apostles”–actually, these are his friends and album collaborators, notably vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. “I wanted to have a depiction of a great feast” Schenker says, “I saw this new music as a feast of food–like harvest time–great goblets of ale, fine meats and cheeses, a lot of gluttony because that’s what the music is, it’s full and rich. That sparked an idea that went in a different direction.”
You might assume the imagery is a little egotistical and that Michael Schenker is comparing himself to Christ, but he adamantly points the finger at Doogie White for this concept–Schenker just wanted to gorge on music. “It turned into a religious kind of a thing. Doogie came up with the song Take Me To The Church, I had my original idea of a feast in the recording studio turned into The Last Supper. I looked at myself and thought maybe this is more like a resurrection, maybe that would be a good album title. The [album] instrumental is called Salvation, now it’s looking like a little Jesus story.
“In a musical sense,” he continues, “It is a Jesus story–not in a spiritual sense. In my life there has been betrayal, there’s been lost years of Michael, it has nothing to do with Jesus and God, we’re talking about a parallel with music.”
Everything Michael Schenker has done in his career comes step by step, he says. “I guess it’s what the universe wanted,” he says. “I’ve played music for 43 years and my focus is on a fascination with a single string–the art of lead guitar as pure self-expression–that’s what my life has been. That’s what my life will always be.”