Helloween - 13/02/2007

The original Helloween line-up featured Kai Hansen (Vocals/Guitars), Michael Weikath (Guitars), Markus Grosskopf (Bass) and Ingo Schwichtenberg (Drums). In 1984 the band signed a deal with Noise Records. 1985 came around and Helloween recorded their first record ‘Helloween’, a self-titled EP containing 5 tracks. The EP was successful, and in that same year they recorded and released their first full-length album titled ´Walls of Jericho´ which became a critical smash, with its innovative mixture of speed and melodies redefining heavy metal. However, during the following tour, it became obvious that Kai had difficulties singing and playing the guitar at the same time. Helloween began the search for a new vocalist, and ended up finding an 18-year-old talent from the local Hamburg band Ill Prophecy, named Michael Kiske.

With their new lead singer they recorded ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part 1’ which was released in 1987 and ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II’ in 1998, their best-known album featuring the classic line-up which established Helloween as one of the most successful Heavy Metal bands in Europe. Soon after the European tour for the "Keeper 2" album due to conflicts within the band as well as troubles with the record company, and a growing dissatisfaction with life on tour the band had some problems with several band members. In 1991 after several rumors about the band breaking up, they released ‘Pink Bubbles Go Ape’ (1991) and ‘Chameleon’ (1993), both albums got bad critics. Soon, tension started to build up between the band members which cost them most of their hardcore fans.  




Helloween returned in 1994 with former Pink Cream 69-singer Andi Deris as their new lead singer, releasing their successful comeback ‘Master Of The Rings’. Dedicated to the tragic suicide of original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg the band recorded ‘The Time Of The Oath’ (1996) and re-established the band as one of the most popular European metal bands. In 1998 Helloween released ‘Better Than Raw’, one of the band's heaviest albums since their full-length debut and 2000 saw the release of ‘The Dark Ride’, Another studio album titled ‘Rabbit Don't Come Easy’ came in 2003.


2005 saw yet another line-up change Stefan Schwarzmann no longer shared the same musical vision with he band. He was replaced by Dani Loeble (Rawhead Rexx). Helloween's new studio album entitled ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy’ was released in October 2005.

Late 2006 Helloween filmed and recorded shows in Bulgaria , Tokyo and São Paulo for their forthcoming DVD. ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 - Live On 3 Continents’ This will be accompanied by a new live album; the second to feature Andi Deris as frontman. The album bears the title ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 - Live In São Paulo’. These new releases are scheduled for release on February 23rd 2007.



Recently I had the chance to ask singer Andi Deris some questions about Helloween’s new live album, so here we go!!!


Did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on this ‘Live album’ ? Any elements or songs you definitely wanted to include?

Yeah, we especially wanted to have those three monumental songs on the DVD and live CD. “Keeper Of The Seven Keys”, “Halloween” and “King For A Thousand Years”.


Why did you choose the Sao Paulo show for this album?

Well, we have the loudest crowd in South America and all Latin countries as well. So it makes sense to have this enthusiasm on record, that’s why.


You also played some songs you haven´t play for a long time, like “Halloween”, why did you choose to play them this tour, was it for the album or was there another reason?

Because it was also a challenge for us as the “new” Helloween band, after recording the so-called third part of ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’, to play the legendary song of the “old” Helloween band during a live show.


For the DVD you also made the decision to use the recordings of two different shows for some songs, who came up with this idea and why didn’t you put these entire shows on an extra DVD for instance?

Our management Bottom Row decided to have this special feature on DVD, since it´s most boring on many music DVD´s, to have just a normal concert and maybe some pictures which you generally can´t save on your hard disk. It´s a nice feature that will hopefully please the fans as they are often curious, how songs are performed on different stages. Since we recorded most of the songs 5 or 6 times during the tour we had an enormous amount of material to use on the record.


Have you received any feedback on the new album yet and what do you personally think about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you liked to have changed anything in retrospective?

Well, the album has gone down great so far, and possibly much better than we thought it would. Because if you do a record, you always try to do the best job you can. But you can never expect anything. Neither in fame nor in sales.


Helloween has a long history, You recorded several live albums and you also did a dozen studio albums. How do you see the future for the band and what can we expect from Helloween in the near future?

First we want to keep on making good music and sta in the music business as long as we can and as long as our fans want us out there. And we would like to achieve a certain stable level of success with the upcoming records and live shows, if possible.


Have you already launched into writing material for your next album?

We have already started with the songwriting process, yes.


Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

It´s always different. Sometimes you get an idea for a song within 5 minutes and sometimes you just write a part and wait for the rest for 5 months. That´s what it´s like with creativity, you never know what´s coming next.


What´s the process of preparing a new album like for you guys? (do you write songs when you’re on the road, do you make demo´s or do you just book a studio and play?)

It depends on the situation. Most of the time we go through all those steps. Everybody collects ideas. On the road, in bed, on the toilet. Whenever something comes up we record our stuff on mobiles, computers or the answering machine. Later on, everybody does demos and before we record the album we rehearse them together. But maybe this time we´ll try something different. Who knows…



How do you write the lyrics, where do you find your inspiration?

During every day life you can find a lot of themes. Since we are all deep thinking persons, we try always to get the thoughts and humor or whatever into our lyrics.


Have you decided on the studio and producer yet?

Well, Charlie Bauerfeind will produce the next record as well, since he did a perfect job on the last album.


Do you have any further plans, can we expect any live shows this year?

During the summer we will record the album but we might go on tour in November, maybe.

Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better.


How did you get involved in the music business?

When I was a kid, some people found out about me playing guitar and got me some good jobs in studios and with live cover bands. That was my first touch with the professional music business.


What songs and bands do you listen to yourself these days?

At the moment I listen a lot to 30 seconds to mars, Disturbed and The Start.


What kind of stuff do you like to do besides Helloween?

At the moment I work a lot in my own recording studio, I´m producing a number of young talented artists. That’s what I like to do most of the time besides Helloween.



What is your opinion about the Power metal scene these days, is there anything you miss?

I sometimes miss a bit of wide range in taste, since most people who are into power metal are not very open minded when it comes to new elements and ideas in music. And sometimes a double bass drum is not really necessary to make a good song.


Is there anything you want to tell us after these questions?

Well, I want to see the Heavy Metal scene growing bigger in the future… Very good questions, thanks for the interest and stay heavy ;-), Andi Deris.


Current Members

Andi Deris - Vocals (1994-present)

Michael Weikath - Guitars (1982-present)

Sascha Gerstner - Guitars (2002-present)

Markus Grosskopf - Bass (1981-present)

Daniel "Dani" Loeble - Drums (2005-present)


Former members

Kai Hansen - Vocals (1978-1986) - Guitars (1978-1988)

Michael Kiske - Vocals (1987-1993)

Roland Grapow - Guitars (1988-2001)

Ingo Schwichtenberg - Drums (1981-1993)

Uli Kusch - Drums (1994-2001)

Mark Cross - Drums (2001-2003)

Stefan Schwarzmann - Drums (2003-2005)



Helloween (1985)

Walls Of Jericho (1985)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1 (1987)

Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2 (1988)

Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991)

Chameleon (1993)

Master Of Rings (1994)

The Time Of The Oath (1996)

Better Than Raw (1998)

The Dark Ride (2000)

Rabbit Don't Come Easy (2003)

Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy (2005)


I Want Out Live (1989) - America only

Keepers Live (1989) - Japan only

Live In The UK (1989)

High Live (1996)

The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 - Live In Sao Paulo (2007)