KAI HANSEN, earMUSIC, and WACKEN Foundation are happy to announce the release of XXX, the first “solo project” album by Kai Hansen, one of the most influential guitarists and singers to emerge from Germany during the first part of the ’80s. First with ground-breaking band HELLOWEEN (of which Hansen is one of the founding members) and later with GAMMA RAY, one of the bands that contributed to defining the genre power metal, bringing it to a generation of devoted fans worldwide since its first album.
XXX is, in pure Hansen tongue-in-cheek style, a reference to over 30 years of involvement in the world of heavy rock, as explained with the album’s sub-title: Three Decades In Metal.
The album will be released in August 2016 on earMUSIC with further news to be shared soon.
XXX is a magical journey. It is the story of how powerful dreams can be.
Dreams and passions big enough to bring a teenager from Hamburg who is in love with rock music, glam rock and the first heavy metal sounds from the practicing space in his bedroom and rehearsal rooms to the biggest stages in the world practicing, and ending up influencing and sharing the stage with the very same bands he admired in the first place.
Not strictly autobiographical, XXX is without doubt the story of Kai Hansen but it could very well represent the story of anybody who is not afraid to believe in dreams, with passion and dedication. It is the story of the ups and downs that everybody faces at some point during the journey of life: the lost and found-again friends, the glory, the tragedies and the joys.
After the achievements enjoyed by Hansen lately with Unisonic and especially Gamma Ray’s recent work Empire of the Undead, Kai Hansen has started working on the album with no precise commercial masterplan — just playing music with the same spirit as in the very beginning.
This certainly was the reason for Hansen to communicate to his label the intention of donating the first advance payment he will receive for XXX —which in the meantime was shaping into a proper album— to the Wacken Foundation.
The Foundation helps and supports young hard rock and heavy metal bands for over seven years now: Musicians full of hopes and dreams, exactly as Hansen had in the beginning of the 30 years story told on this album… in the hope that one day, somebody could tell another 30 years long magic story, also thanks to this album.
Together with Hansen, a stellar band of musicians gravitating around the Chameleon Studio in Hamburg has formed spontaneously.
There’s Alex Dietz (guitar player of Heaven Shall Burn) on bass, Eike Freese (who already worked as engineer and co-producer with Hansen on the last Gamma Ray album) on guitar, and phenomenal drummer Daniel Wilding (Carcass). The four will be joined by various guests, ranging from friends to followers to heroes — some having played a significant part in Kai’s career, some who have expressed the wish to join the project with the same spirit that is leading Kai, Alex, Eike, and Daniel to create loud music with joy, freedom and determination.
Kai and friends will do an exclusive one-time performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival, introducing the songs from the album to the audience for the first and only time.
Watch the video of Kai Hansen and Eike Freese discussing XXX below:
Talking about XXX (while in the studio, recording guitars), Hansen has declared, “30 years in metal, that’s a damn long time. Over the course of all these years, I never recorded a solo album. It is quite nice and a hell lot of fun to create something without any boundaries and to get a fresh view on music. I am celebrating 30 years of being able to do what I like best…
“On XXX, I am reflecting on my roots, where I come from, how it all started for me. I believe you need a certain drive, passion and of course a bit of luck and coincidence to make it in the music world – and of course some financial support. This is where the Wacken Foundation came to my mind. They are helping people, musicians just like me, who want to make it. And I remember having had help myself, from my family, the families from the other band members – and by doing a paper round. So hopefully, with my donation, young musicians are given the same chance that I was given a long time ago, too. And who knows, maybe we all will be playing together at Wacken in 20 years…”
Wacken Foundation’s Thomas Jensen adds, “This is really generous donation to the Wacken Foundation. Heavy metal is a way of life – and with this this amazing gesture Kai showed what it stands for: selflessness, thoughtfulness and most of all the passion and love for music. The goal of the foundation is to keep this kind of spirit going. With Kai is doing we are one step closer to this goal.”
ABOUT WACKEN FOUNDATION:
The Wacken Foundation was founded in 2009 and is a non-profit foundation which dedicates itself to the support of hard rock and heavy metal music. Basically every artist and every band from the heavy metal scene can be supported by the Wacken Foundation. More information about which requirements have to be fulfilled can be found here. If the name Wacken Foundation is a bit misleading, the promoters of the Wacken Open Air do not receive a single cent of the donations. The entire assets of the foundation are solely used to support artists from the metal scene.