Former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske’s website has revealed that Kiske and GAMMA RAY frontman Kai Hansen (ex-Helloween) have teamed up again, with Kai joining UNISONIC.
Says Michael Kiske: “After so many years of abstinence I had a lot of fun doing my first live shows with Unisonic in summer 2010, so I agreed to do the short world tour with AVANTASIA. It was a great experience to be on stage with all those great artist, but with Kai it was something different: We instantly felt the magic again and had a lot of fun together on and off stage. We both realized that we want to be together in a band again. He was interested in the open musical concept of Unisonic and finally asked me if he could join the band. I talked to my bandmates and they all felt great about it. His talent as a guitarist and songwriter is an enrichment for the band and we are looking forward to his contribution for the music of Unisonic.”
Kai Hansen will stay a member of his band Gamma Ray and play all scheduled shows. Currently he is writing songs with the Unisonic guys for the long anticipated debut album, which is planned to be released at the end of 2011.
Gamma Ray - Live @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London. 8th January 2008
German power metallers GAMMA RAY have issued the following update:
“You might have heard through the grapevine that the Rays have something cooking again, …..and yes, we do have.
Since the Skeletons In The Closet album was so well received some time ago, we thought it might be time to do an encore. While going through all previous albums we found that there is still a ton of songs that we either never or barely played. So we decided to do a bit of touring with a total different set and revive some of these songs with our nowadays chemistry and vibe.
But that’s not all… while jamming around with acoustic guitars we discovered that it’s actually much fun and that we have a good amount of songs that are cool to listen to as unplugged versions. So these special shows will consist of live un- or rarely heard stuff in full metal gear (Skeletons) and a good choice of our most famous hits in a different way (we chose to call them Majesties) …and presto: here we go with Skeletons And Majesties!!!”
LIVE REVIEW AND PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
German power metal pioneers Helloween have been a regular visitor in Finland since 1987 when the band made its virgin visit in Hameenlinna’s legendary Giants of Rock festival with Dio among other acts. Since then band has faced many up and down hills in its career. The band has gone through many changes including a number of lineup changes and they have had problems with record companies but they have survived and, in fact, during the past few years Helloween’s success has increased tremendously. In 2008 Helloween played two gigs with their colleagues Gamma Ray on the HELLISH ROCK tour and venues were entirely packed. Obviously, due to the highly successful package tour, Helloween have now asked Finnish power metallers Stratovarius to take part in their tour. Doing this tour, without having the new album released, was quite an interesting choice from Stratovarius. However a package consisting of two leading power metal names on the bill turned out to be another great success and the two Finland shows were quickly sold out again.
In support of their 10th studio album To The Metal!, German Metal powerhouse GAMMA RAY will do five shows at the start of 2011 in North America. These will be the only dates the band play in North America all year, so make the trip to join the party! Tickets are on sale through Enterthevault.com. Also, as a special bonus, the band will offer VIP tickets, which give the fan entrance to the venue 1 hour before doors and a special meet & greet opportunity with GAMMA RAY.
GAMMA RAY North American Tour Dates:
1/28/2011 Gramercy Theater – New York City, NY
1/29/2011 Cafe Campus – Montreal, QC
1/30/2011 Imperial – Quebec City, QC
2/01/2011 Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
2/03/2011 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL By far one of the strongest offerings from GAMMA RAY in their storied history, their tenth studio album To The Metal! proves there is no band better when it comes to classic heavy metal! The special edition of the album features a bonus DVD, The Making of To The Metal!, filmed in HD with interviews, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 video clips!
To The Metal! is out now in North America on EarMusic through Dismanic Distribution/Knife Fight Media.
News from one of 70000TONS OF METAL’s scouting parties in Germany: They made their way up North. When they passed through the city of Hanover, a young female fronted band by the name of CRIPPER caught their attention. Then they proceeded further north to the city of Hamburg where they got almost hit by a deadly ray: GAMMA RAY!
28 out of 40 bands on board 70000TONS OF METAL, The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival
The confirmed 28 out of 40 bands are:
Uli Jon Roth
70000TONS OF METAL will sail Monday, January 24, 2011 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami FL to Cozumel, Mexico and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, January 28, 2011.
Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma’s cruise. It’s also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It’s like everyone has a backstage pass!
Ticket prices start at US$666 plus US$249 taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, all meals, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and 24 room service!
What are you waiting for? You might even need a vacation from this vacation when all is said and done! Check out http://www.70000tons.com/ for more information and book your cabin NOW!
INTERVIEW with interview with Daniel Zimmerman and Dirk Schlächter
Interview by MARKO SYRJALA & ARTO LEHTINEN
Technical support by Robert and Sandra
The German power metal squad Gamma Ray made their debut gig in 2000 at the Tuska festival. Since then the German power metal tornado has been a regular visitor up in Finland. The band has gained the solid fanbase resulting gigs have been quite packed and even sold out. The latest album titled TO THE METAL presents the true Gamma Ray power metal from the beginning to the end. It aint wonder why the editor-in-chief worships. However before Gamma Ray got on the stage at Nosturi, we had an opportunity of chatting both Dirk Schlächter and Dan Zimmerman .
Gamma Ray will do 5 only shows at the start of 2011 in North America. These will be the only dates the band play in North America all year. As a special bonus , the band will offer VIP meet/greet tickets which give the fan entrance to the venue 1 hour before doors and a special meet / greet with Gamma Ray.
Tickets go onsale today through Enterthevault.com TODAY
Dates are below
28 Grammercy Theater New York City , NY
29 Cafe Campus Montreal , QUE
30 Imperial Quebec City , QUE
1 Key Club Los Angeles , CA
3 Reggie’s Chicago , ILL
One of the greatest voices in metal, Michael Kiske, is finally back in business. Best known as a former Helloween singer from the band’s golden era, the KEEPER OF THE KEYS, is now returning with his brand new band UNISONIC. Although it’s been seventeen years since Michael last performed onstage his name is still well known in today’s metal/rock world. Even though he has not performed Kiske has kept himself busy over the last 17 years. He has released four solo albums and been involved with several different projects including: Tobias Sammat’s Avantasia –albums, Revolution Reneissance with Timo Tolkki, Supared and recently he’s been working with the Place Vendome –project which in a way was in a key role for Michael’s decision to return. The Place Vendome line up also include current Unisonic members: bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69). The Unisonic line-up is completed with former Krokus and Asia guitarist Mandy Mayer. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Michael at the Swedenrock festival and here is what Michael had to say about his current activities, solo career, Helloween days, Iron Maiden and various other topics…. ENJOY !!
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND PICTURES BY PATRICK CLEMENT
Transcription by Alxs / Live Pics By Arto Lehtinen & Hanntu
Kai Hansen is easily one of the best frontmen in heavy metal today. I recently caught up with my idol (ha) to talk about the band’s latest masterpiece LAND OF THE FTEE II and other things going on in the land of Gamma Ray. Since our conversation it was announced that Gamma Ray and Helloween would be making a stop at this year’s ProgPower USA festival. Plans for this to be more than a one city stop haven’t been announced yet but even when I spoke to him he said they were working on it…so lets hope it works out! Anyway, enough from me, onto the interview…… Prepare for glory!
Ralf Scheepers is known for his fantastic voice and its marvelous capacity and above all being the charismatic frontman of Primal Fear. Even though Ralf has gained a lot of attention and respect via Primal Fear, the man has a legacy from the heyday of the 80’s metal. As widely known Scheepers became well known as the frontman for Gamma Ray in the early 90’s. Before teaming up with Kai Hansen to pursue Gamma Ray, Scheepers used to front an obscure trad metal outfit called Tyran’ Pace and released three albums between 1984 and 1986. After quitting the band, he started collaborating more and more with Kai Hansen and working on his new band project after Hansen’s successful Helloween era. The beginning wasn’t that easy for a new band. Through those rough years of Heavy and trad metal, Gamma Ray with Ralf struggled and released three albums having turned out milestones of the whole of of power metal. However INSANITY AND GENIUS was the last album featuring Ralf Scheepers on the mic. New challenges were waiting as Judas Priest showed their interest toward Scheepers. Ralf had sung in a Priest cover band for years. Even though Tim “Ripper” Owens was chosen for the job with Judas Priest, Scheepers teamed up with Matt Sinner to pursue their common interest in Primal Fear. After ten years and seven albums, Primal Fear entered Helsinki as a co-headliner with U.D.O and Ralf sat down with us to talk about several issues. Above all Primal Fear’s new album and new record label were the priority issues of the interview. Of course it was obvious to take a glance at Ralf’s past and ask Randy Black a few questions about Annihilator. Enjoy… Metal Is Forever !!!!!
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ AND ARTO LEHTINEN
The 10th of December 2007 Tullikamari, Tampere The 11th of December 2007 The Cable Factory, Helsinki FINLAND
Review and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko SyrjÃ¤lÃ¤
Both Helloween and Gamma Ray are without any doubts the leading names of the Power Metal genre in Europe and even worldwide. Helloween can be easily labelled as forefathers of modern melodic power metal as it has evolved within three decades. The bandâ€™s classic opuses KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS Pt I and Pt II have left immortal marks on the history of Heavy Metal, having influenced several musicians to create melodic powerful hymns of their own. Kai Hansen was one of the originators in Helloween and behind the creation process of these two albums. But Hansenâ€™s own band, Gamma Ray, has as well conquered the heavy metal universe on their own mission. Thousands of metal fans arrived at the Cable Factory and Tullikamari shows in order to witness a special gig by these German metal veterans. Even though the event was historical in many ways, neither of the shows were completely sold out and that was little surprising.