Michael Schenker Explains What He Thinks About James Hetfield And Kirk Hammett Being His Fans

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In an interview with Sonic Perspectives, former guitarist of Scorpions and UFO, Michael Schenker talked about the musicians he influenced throughout his career and shared his opinions about the rumors that Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett are fans of his music.

The well-known German guitarist Michael Schenker co-founded the famous rock band Scorpions with his elder brother Rudolf Schenker in 1965. When the band went on a tour in Germany after the release of their first album, Michael was offered to be the lead guitarist of UFO.

However, Schenker left the band soon after their show in Palo Alto, California in 1978. Later that year, Michael briefly returned to the Scorpions while the band was working on their sixth studio album named ‘Lovedrive.’ Michael later started his solo career and formed his own band, Michael Schenker Group.

Recently, Michael Schenker joined an interview with Sonic Perspectives and responded to the questions about the younger musicians who influenced by his music. During the conversation, Schenker mentioned that when he heard that musicians like Metallica singer James Hetfield and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash are actually fans of his music, he thought it was incredible.

Michael also mentioned that besides playing to have fun, he always focuses on developing a unique style. He suggested that the fact that he hasn’t submitted to the rules of any bands and managed to preserve who he is as a musician was the reason why people like Kirk Hammett and Dave Mustaine expressed such good words about his guitar playing.

Here is what Michael Schenker stated about James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett:

“I want to be myself and so that’s what I did. I discovered the infinite inner spring of creativity, and since then, I took from there. And that’s why Kirk Hammet and people which I never knew until later in my life, many, many years later… I’m glad I never heard about it because I never had an expectation. When I heard about those guys – Slash, and James Hatfield, and so on being Schenker fans, it was just like, ‘What? You must be joking! It was just incredible!’

I just carried on being in the now, being Michael, having fun in the sandbox, and playing! Just play, just enjoy playing. As a result of that what came out of me was something that Kirk Hammet or Dave Mustaine, or people like that – when I heard that later what they were expressing about my guitar playing, I realized it’s because I was being Michael Schenker, and then automatically, I developed a unique style.”

Schenker continued:

“When America found out that I had joined the ‘Lovedrive’ album, and they all thought that I joined the Scorpions, which was not true, all of America was excited. The business people, the managers, and everybody, and it was the door opening for the Scorpions.

I went to America when I was 19 for the first time, the Scorpions never went there until 33 years old. And I was always seven years younger. Can you imagine a three-year-old boy and a ten-year-old boy next to each other? Can you see the difference?”

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