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.
Wow! This is the sixth time that the Finnish Metal-Rules squad makes an invasion to the mighty Swedenrock festival. Over 60 bands descended on the the southern area of Sweden for a festival that turned out to be nothing but an utter blast! The bill of Swedenrock festival 2006 covers a wide range of metal styles and even classic rock stuff (Journey and Molly Hatchet). Therefore, there was at least something for everyone who attended the festival. As usual, the whole festival was once again sold out when around 20,000 people arrived at the area every day. The Swedenrock festival has always had tremendous luck with the weather as once again the gods of weather blessed this rocking metallic heaven on the earth with an extreme hot and sunny weekend that burned red the skin of several festival goers.
As stated in the first sentence, this is the sixth time that the Swedenrock festival has been featured in the site of Metal-Rules.com, so it is quite logical for us to give a real in-depth article of several bands performing at Swedenrock. Enjoy !!!
(Thanks to Lana Morganella for helping with the transcription)
Gamma Ray has become one of the leading names in the flourishing power metal genre. When it is widely known that most of Gamma Ray’s albums are well written and catchy power metal. Kai Hansen’s Gamma Ray visited Helsinki early this year by playing a one-off gig in Tavastia Club. Unfortunately the whole interview schedule went totally upside down due to Henjo’s accident on the ferry the night before. Therefore our private interview session became a normal general press event where several people asked all kinds of things.
Interviewers: Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala
Place: Tuska Metal Festival Helsinki Finland
Kai Hansen already gained the reputation in the Helloween rank in the 80’s and until he went on by carrying his metal mission with Gamma Ray. Here is the extensive dinner conversation with Kai Hansen and Dirk Schlachter.