‘That Metal Show’ Recap: Mike McCready + Michael Schenker Guest
It was a Mike-heavy episode of ‘That Metal Show’ last night (May 5), with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and German guitar god Michael Schenker of UFO fame making their debuts on the metal gab fest.
McCready is a huge Schenker fan and even performs in a UFO cover band, with 1979’s double live album ‘Strangers in the Night’ being his favorite album! He is also huge metal fan, in case photos of him wearing Motorhead shirts on stage didn’t clue you in to that fact. He was booked on the show via Duff McKagan, having called the ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist to help him get on the show! How cool is that?
McCready also revealed that his tribute band, called Flight to Mars, exists strictly for charitable purposes. He said, “I have Crohn’s disease, so we do shows around Seattle and we raise money to send kids to camp, kids who have Crohn’s.” He also works with an advocacy group to help kids who don’t have insurance. It’s a noble cause, for sure.
But as for his fandom of his co-guest? It’s massive.”Stone and I would trade pictures of Michael Schenker [when we were kids],” McCready said, referencing his fellow Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard. That’s how much they worshipped him and were influenced by him. McCready told Schenker that he made him want to play leads. He also played in a metal band called Shadow in Seattle before Pearl Jam, too.
Trunk brought up the fact that grunge is often viewed as what killed metal in the ’90s and Pearl Jam are one of the biggest grunge bands…ever. McCready pointed out that Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, also grunge bands, were incredibly heavy. He also attributed the idea that grunge drove a stake into metal’s black heart more to a media-created construct. “We were just out there trying to make a living and it blew up like crazy,” he said. “We didn’t see it coming.”
He was humble when the hosts said PJ would be a first-ballot Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he said he and Gossard talked about holding out until Kiss get in, if the situation dictated.
Schenker was a longtime target, for lack of a better word, for host Eddie Trunk, who has wanted the shredder to sit down and chat with him and his cohorts Jim Florentine and Dan Jamieson forever. So Schenker was surrounded by fan boys in the form of McCready and Trunk. Not a bad position to be in.
“I’ve been through the university of life,” Schenker joked about his ups and downs in life and music. “I did my fair share. Now I am enjoying being back in a group.”
Trunk gushed that UFO is his favorite band, a fact of which anyone who has watched ‘That Metal Show’ is more than well aware. The host flat out asked him if he, as an artist, has an appreciation for his own work on UFO albums and if he can see it from the same perspective as fans. Schenker was modest and humble, saying, “It’s the period when I developed, year after year. Every album had new highlights.”