Here you can read the 4th and final part of the translation from this very intensive interview:
Götz: I just remember my first interview with you, shortly after you just joined Helloween.
Michi: I was 18 at that time.
Götz: No you were under 17 back then.
Michi: Oh, 17.
Götz: At that time no one had heard your voice, me included. I asked how you would characterize your own voice. You told to me that you would see yourself as a combination of Halford, Dickinson and Tate. I replied you, that these are very big shoes. Then you replied to me: “And I’m as good as these guys”.
Michi: I did say that? It seems that I had a good self confidence. (Laughing)
Götz: Yes you did say that. I thought your ego would explode.
Michi: Nowadays if people are making compliments to me, I do understatement.
Götz: Then “Keeper 1” was released and your estimation was correct and you are really in between the mentioned singers.
Michi: Not only, there is also a lot of “Elvis” in it, which not everyone recognizes.
Götz: Ok, but not in “Keeper 1”.
Michi: No, of course not.
Götz: Halford, Tate and Dickinson are the styles which can be heard on “Keeper 1”. You were also right about the promised quality.
Michi: But I hope that I have my own identity.
Götz: Yes of course, otherwise you wouldn’t be here anymore. People wouldn’t ask for you anymore. You have a very extraordinary voice. But you also had the self confidence of about 10 people back then.
Michi: That’s interesting. Nowadays it’s different and I do the opposite, it’s not that I don’t have any self confidence. But when I hear “you are the best singer in the world”, I don’t think that’s possible at all. How can I be a better “Bono” than “Bono” himself? You know what I mean?
Götz: When I look at your own records, you didn’t get weaker.
Michi: No, no. It’s the opposite and I can much more. I can sing in a more versatile style. I see high quality of singing in the performer’s ability to reach the listener with the story. No high singing is needed, it must be authentic.
Götz: How old are you now?
Michi: 41, I had birthday a few days back.
Götz: ok 41. There are many other singers of your age who are singing completely different nowadays, they cannot reach the high notes anymore, are too powerless or doesn’t have the expression in their voice. There are only a few one who really got better with age. Most of the singer had their prime time in the middle 20’s or at the end of their 20’s.
Michi: yes, if they are using the wrong technique.
Götz: Is it only a question of technique?
Michi: Yes, I very sure. When you use a very good technique you won’t ever ruin your voice. Of course there are some normal symptoms of old age and your vocal cords get flabbier. That’s not necessary a problem, I only need to use more strength to reach the very high stuff. This also has some advantages and I recognize that with the coming of age I get more power in the middle ranges. I really think I sound much better in the middle ranges nowadays.
Götz: Is there any old song that you cannot sing anymore?
Michi: Generally I’m nervy from the very high squeaks. I formerly was thrilled by this very high stuff, but now I don’t like it anymore. But I have to agree that I need to push myself a little bit more.
Götz: But you can still do it?
Michi: Yes, I think so. I cannot guarantee to do it live, but in studio it is defiantly possible. Of course I need to push myself more. With the age, the vocal cords are flabbier and therefore you need to give more material to keep the tone. But I see it as an advantage; I formerly had the feeling that I sounded too thin in the middle ranges. These little improvement may not be recognized by everyone, that’s some subtleties.
Götz: I think you used more vibrato.
Michi: An extreme one. These days I like to change from using the former one, using none at all or using a faster vibrato. It changes in a natural way and I don’t force it.
Götz: I don’t know if you were ever asked about the rumors about Maiden? Did someone from Maiden ever contact you?
Michi: No, I don’t know exactly how this rumor arose.
Götz: There was this rumor…
Michi: Yes I saw that on TV too. There was this woman who did the hard and heavy tv show. What was their name?
Michi: Ah yes, Hopfenmüller. She said that. There was a picture with me from the “Keeper 2” record and she said, I would be the new “Maiden” singer. And I said to myself, “ok, I need to give them a call and ask them when the rehearsals going to start.” That’s quite funny, if you don’t know about something like that. The only possible reason how this whole rumor started, could be a French interview I gave during the last tour. The interviewer told me, he had done an interview with Steve Harris before where he asked him about 3 singers he could imagine with their vocal style as the new singer in Maiden. And I was one of them. Nevertheless I would have never fitted as a person. There is nothing more behind this rumor and I think it was spread and extended somehow. You know like a silent post thing. I would have never fitted; we just have the same management and the people know each other. In this process I got in contact with Adrian Smith for the guest appearance of “Instant Clarity”, but nothing more. Adrian did only hang around at that time and I needed a guitarist, so this developed. But the whole Maiden thing was never a real topic. By the way, British people would never accept a German singer.
Götz: Therefore it is a huge compliment if Steve Harris thought of you.
Michi: Maybe he only wanted to be nice.
Götz: I’m sure he knew Helloween, you had the same management.
Michi: I still have a picture of Steve Harris where he wore a Helloween shirt.