Michael Voss, best known as vocalist with Mad Max, Michael Schenker and many more, expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.
Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer in a band?
Yes, I always liked singing and playing guitar. I started to play at the age of 14 and my first idols and they still are, were Status Quo, especially Rick Parfitt. My first live show ever was Quo and I was blown away when Parfitt entered the stage and got rocking away with the riff to “Caroline”.
Have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any other notable bands?
I remember I tried to get the vocal spot in 1985 with Vandenberg but that failed. In the end I made some great recordings with Jos and Bert and call them my friends.Then I was trying to get another guitar spot in 1988 in Accept but Wolf said, ‘you play good,,,but you are not tall enough’ [laughs]. Their manager became our manager and Wolf produced an album with Casanova. We’re still friends.
You have appeared on a number of albums. Do you have a favourite period or album and why?
Too many to mention I guess...I earned my money way back in the nineties in doing a lot of studio jobs, singing and playing guitars. It was always fun and crazy night sessions. I remember one in Los Angeles with Parth Huxlex. We went in to the MCA recording studios at night time to get a better rate and recorded “Lady Luck”.
Yeah the nineties...good n crazy times!
You have the nickname “Heavysaurus”. How did that come about?
Do I???...the only thing I know is that I am singing the role of Mr Heavysaurus on their albums since day one in German language. Rrarrrrr...kids music..kinda very cool...
Do you have any plans to release another solo album and maybe play some solo gigs?
I always love gigging and am planning to play. Next shows will be with my stepdaughter Van de Forst and another gig with Lessmann/Voss.
Do you still get the same buzz out of singing live as you did in the past?
It is my life. I sing nearly every day in my studio, whether writing new tunes or doing studio jobs. It is wonderful that my voice still allows me to hit the right notes 😊
Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip top shape all these years?
Well, less alcohol...and I don’t smoke. I remember my old tour manager told me a secret, ‘you know Michael, the best thing not to get hoarse on tour...don´t speak!’. [laughs]
Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?
I nearly worked with all my heroes. I wish I could’ve worked with Cozy Powell or Rick Parfitt...or even Olivia Newton John RIP…you giants! I am happy how it is. What comes next, well you never know.
Is there any unreleased recorded material from your early days with Mad Max that could be released?
I guess there was a demo we recorded way back in 1984 with Christoph Wegmann...awesome stuff...unfortunately, all material was lost.
You have recently released an album with Claus Lessman. Is this a one-off project or can we expect more from this collaboration?
We try to play a live show now. We are best friends and always like to do music together. We even went into the German charts with the last album. So let’s hope for more. 😊
With the live circuit opening up again, is there a possibility that we could see you performing some live shows in the UK?
Well, never say never...to play some shows with Claus in UK would be more than thrilling. 😊
You have been involved in quite a bit of production work. Is this something you enjoy and do you prefer this to performing?
Everyday I am enjoying it. Waking up, entering the studio, and let the music do the talking...still I like to play live, whether acoustic or electric...smoking! It’s the best chance to meet up with the fans 😊
Do you have anything in the pipeline at the moment that you would like to share?
First, thanks for the interview and then keep on rocking and buy CDs and Vinyl instead of streaming and visit live shows. Keep the flame burning...rock shall never die...best Michael.
Interview by Stuart Dryden