Here comes the sensation for all Helloween fans: you believed in it for years and continued to ask for it – now is the time: in fall 2017, Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen will once again mount a Helloween stage together and resurrect the band’s legendary original line-up. Yes, it’s official: Weikath, Kiske, Hansen, Grosskopf are going to play Helloween classics live and on a joint tour. Massive news. Awesome. But you might want to sit down again, because that’s not all of it! Under the flag pumpkins united all pumpkin heads will step up – meaning Andi & Michi on vocals, Kai & Weiki & Sascha on guitars, and Markus & Dani in the rhythm section.
Pumpkins united world tour 2017/2018: good. As. It. Gets.
Undisputedly, Helloween are one of Germany’s most respected metal exports and considered the founders of German melodic speed metal. As godfathers of the genre, they have grown to become one of the most influential metal bands of the planet. In an unbelievable career reaching back as far as 1984, Helloween have performed at innumerable metal festivals around the globe such as rock in rio, loudpark in Tokyo, wacken, or the woodstock in Poland, which they headlined in front of over 500,000 fans.
The band has delivered countless headliner world tours, spectacular shows with the likes of iron maiden, black sabbath, dio, slayer, or Ozzy Osbourne to name just a few, and played at exotic locations in borneo, Indonesia, Manaus, brazil, or, at over 10,600 ft in the world’s highest capital, la paz, Bolivia. The band’s spectacular show at the »monsters of rock« festival in castle donington in front of over 100,000 metal heads in 1988 was just as memorable as the massive MTV »Headbanger’s ball« us tour with anthrax and exodus. Including genre masterpieces »Keeper of the Seven Keys« part i & ii, they’ve released 15 studio- and three live albums to date, selling over eight million records and earning fourteen gold and six platinum awards. For 30 years, Helloween have been delighting their fans with fantastic riffs, great songs, and haunting melodies – three decades of a global career they officially celebrated with the »Hellbook« in 2015. This is when the idea for pumpkins united was born: the ‘Anniversary Bible’ as well as touring with Kai made them realize that this band’s story is demanding its next chapter. Or, as Michael Kiske describes it: »playing an original Helloween track with Unisonic was quite a flashback already, but rocking with the original line-up and Andi will be something really special. The time has come!« the chemistry between Kiske, Hansen, Weikath, and Grosskopf is singular – and sees its revival not least because of you: you’ve never stopped asking for it – now the mega event is coming up live, with the complete cast, and heavily wired!
The super tour’s first confirmed date is October 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo and takes the full pumpkins entourage across selected cities and venues in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the US. An extremely big deal, which, including a few secret surprises, will present almost three hours of the biggest hits from three decades of Helloween as the band will obviously insist on performing a full-speed trip through the Helloween repertoire. »we already had an awesome time on the hellish rock part 1 & 2, but this time we’ll definitely double down on it« says Kai Hansen, and Markus Grosskopf adds: »there’ll for sure be songs that we haven’t played in a very long time or even ever before.« Whoever doesn’t secure tickets for this tour, probably doesn’t have all their pumpkins in a row: the original line-up wants to celebrate a global party with you, which is also going to be highly emotional because this special world tour is actually not a reunion and most probably won’t happen again. Andi channels our metal hearts when he says: »I’m so much looking forward to playing Michi’s and my tunes together with him live on stage. It’s going to be absolutely exceptional.«
HELLOWEEN – Guitarist Sascha Gerstner
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
Helloween is a German metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The band is one of the pioneers of power metal and their albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I & II and THE TIME OF THE OATH are considered masterpieces of the genre. Throughout the years, the band has gone through numerous changes, but the current line-up of vocalist Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble has been stable since 2005. The band started their ongoing MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHT world tour in June 2015, and now the circus mad a stop in Finland in February.
During the years I’ve interviewed almost all current and former members of Helloween but for one reason or another I’ve always missed Sascha Gerstner. Fortunately, things now changed as I finally met with a good-humored Sascha at the hotel prior the show. Among many topics, we discussed about his long career with Helloween and…. many other things in general. Sascha turned out to be really genial and humorous person. I’m sure that some metal fans will find it surprising when they read about his musical influences and how his relationship was with Helloween and with the whole metal genre before joining the band. Read on!
When two German power metal legends join forces to tour, it is always a positive thing, at least for the fans. Helloween is one of the most popular bands in their genre, and the band released its 16’th studio album MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT in May of 2015. The band is a familiar visitor to Finland, and they have played here almost every year for the past 10 years. Rage, in turn, has undergone major changes in recent times. The band’s previous visit to Finland was in 2006, ten years ago, so this was set to be an interesting event for fans of both bands.
Helloween is a German band founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The band is one of the pioneers of the power metal genre and their albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I & II, MASTER OF THE RINGS and THE TIME OF THE OATH are considered masterpieces of the genre. The band has gone through numerous changes, but the current line-up, singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bass guitarist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble has been stable since 2005. Helloween releases its 15th studio album titled MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT on 25th of May. Andi Deris visited Helsinki in April to promote the forthcoming album, and here’s what the man had to say about the album, its creation process, the future/past, and about life in general. Read on!
HELLOWEEN are one of the most influential and internationally successful acts of the global metal scene. With the release of their 15thstudio album My God-Given Right,due on May 29th (EU), June 1st (UK) and June 2nd (US), the pumpkin heads are set to further cement their title as the founding fathers of German melodic speed metal. The band’s first self-titled EP was released in 1985, making their new album My God-Given Right the celebratory marker for their impressive 30 year career.
Today, HELLOWEEN releases a new album trailer, in which they talk about the background of the record, as well as give insight into their album listening party on the island of Tenerife.
Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg by Kai Hansen on vocals and guitar, Michael Weikath on guitar, Markus Grosskopf on bass and Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums. Helloween were one of the pioneering and also most important bands of the 80’s European heavy/speed/power metal scene. Their early albums HELLOWEEN and WALLS OF JERICHO fared comfortably but it wasn’t before band hired a new vocalist, the 18 year old Michael Kiske, and released albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS pt.I and KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS pt.II before the band hit the big time and found their worldwide success. Hansen left in 1988 and he was soon replaced by Roland Grapow. The following album PINK BUBBLES GO APE was somewhat disappointing both sales and musical wise and next they tried to break some new grounds with 1993’s CHAMELEON. Instead of taking a heavier approach, the band ventured into completely new territory. They were eschewing its signature double-guitar harmonies for synthesizers, horns, acoustic guitars, country music, grunge and everything in between. Some changes were needed and so Michael Kiske and then seriously troubled drummer Schwichtenberg were let go. In the late 1993 Helloween found itself from a very difficult situation. There was no singer, no drummer, and no record contract (EMI released the band from its agreement because of the disappointing sales numbers of PINK BUBBLES GO APE and CHAMELEON).
Helloween returned in 1994 with a renewed line up which included vocalist Andi Deris (Pink Cream 69) and drummer Uli Kusch. They also had a new record deal with Castle Communications and as a result MASTER OF THE RINGS was released later on that year. The new incarnation of the band proved to be very successful and the following albums TIME OF THE OATH, BETTER THAN RAW and THE DARK RIDE did all great both commercially and critically. But still, more changes followed when Grapow and Kusch were released from their duties in 2002. New guitarist Sascha Gerstner stepped and made his first Helloween album appearance on RABBIT DON’T COME EASY in 2003. After having several drummer candidates in the early 2000’s, it was Motörhead’s Mikkey Dee who played on the RABBIT album, the band finally found a permanent player when former Rawhead Rexx drummer Dani Loble joined in 2005. The current lineup has so far released three studio albums: KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS pt.III – THE LEGACY, GAMBLING WITH THE DEVIL, their latest opus SEVEN SINNERS, one live album KEEPER OF THE LEVEN KEYS – THE LEGACY WORLD TOUR 2005-2006 and the Anniversary album UNARMED – THE BEST OF 25’TH ANNIVERSARY. It seems that the band, despite all those changes and troubles in the past, is now enjoying this time of their lives and there’s no end in sight. Helloween started their latest world tour to support SEVEN SINNERS and in November and in the middle December 2010 they came to Finland to play two sold out shows. In Helsinki we had chance to sit down with Mr. Grosskopf and discuss the new tour, past changes, and various other topics… Read more!!