Michael Schenker has detailed events which led to his final exit from UFO in 2002, saying that “the natural flow of the chemistry was destroyed” by the time he left the band. Schenker made his comments while talking to Eonmusic about MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP‘s “Immortal” album, which has just been released via Nuclear Blast.

Schenker, whose original tenure with the British rock institution lasted from 1973 to 1978, rejoined UFO in 1993, recording the “Walk On Water” (1995) album with the classic lineup of the band that also included lead singer Phil Mogg, bassist Pete Way, drummer Andy Parker, and guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond.

Explaining how the reunion came about, Michael said: “Phil Mogg came to Los Angeles in ’93, begging me to refuel UFO because he completely had destroyed it. I said, ‘I have a few conditions. One is, you have to give me 50 percent of the UFO name so you don’t destroy it again, especially if I put my energy into it.”

The onetime SCORPIONS man went on to say that initially, things were great within the camp, and that he noticed a change in the formerly dejected Mogg almost immediately. “I tell you, when I saw Phil the next time when we started recording, he looked like an one hundred and eighty degree different person,” Schenker said. “He was happy, healthy. He was unbelievably fit.”

But it was a harmony that wasn’t to last. “‘Walk On Water’ was a blessing after 17 years,” Michael said. “It was such a beautiful record that famously carried on from ‘Strangers In The Night’ [1979]. And then, of course, we went on the road, and then Phil lost it, and wanted control again and destroyed everything.”

Despite going on to record two further albums with the band — 2000’s “Covenant” and 2002’s “Sharks”, Michael said that it was further lineup changes (the ousting of both Parker and Raymond) which ultimately destroyed the band.

“I always said to him, ‘Never do a reunion with UFO unless it’s the original setup, including the producer,'” Michael said. “Because if you take one piece out, the chemistry is finished.”

Bringing in producer Mike Varney for “Sharks” in place of Ron Nevinson, the man behind their greatest ’70s triumphs, for Michael, the end was nigh. “I said to Phil, ‘Don’t do this. It will backfire. It will not succeed.’ And it did not. The natural flow of the chemistry was destroyed, and basically, we were just limping towards the end.”

Despite this, Michael made one final gesture of good will toward Mogg. “I’d had enough of UFO at that point, and in 2002, Phil Mogg asked me, ‘Michael, I need the name UFO back.’ I said to Phil, ‘You know what? God bless you. I’ll give you the name back for free. Enjoy your life.’ And then that was it. That was the end of it.”

Read the entire interview at Eonmusic.

This content was originally published here.