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Interview For Hard Times Site
By Cristian Batusich

Which are your favorites bands nowadays?
Rammstein, Symphony X, Worldchanger (Jorn Lande solo work).

What do you think about New Metal (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Powerman 5000...)? Do you think it came to overwhelm the traditional heavy metal?
I like it, a lot of songs are great, why should I lie? Linkin' Park and Creed are cool. I don't think it's their fault about the metal market, its too easy to blame always others, quality will always survive. We should blame the record companies who follow all the trends.

Talk about your new album (which is being recorded). Who's playing with you?
Uli and me, we are still not 100% sure about the line-up and the band name, but we started already recording the drums and the guitars in my studio (Crazy Cat, in Hamburg) with the producer Andy Sneap. We got 17 songs recorded, we hope to mix the record in the end of January and looking for a worldwide record deal soon. The line-up is still proposal: Russell Allen (vocals), Janne Warmen (keyboards), Jürgen Attig (bass), Uli Kusch (drums) and Roland Grapow (guitars).

You have played on Helloween for a long time. You recorded your last album, Kaleidoscope, while you were on Helloween. What's the difference between recording Kaleidoscope and this new album?
Our new record means everything for us, it's our future and hope. If you are a member of so many songwriters, you just give 30% or less. In the moment we give 120% each. That is the biggest difference. I hope you will hear it on our CD.

Now it's time for some Metal Sludge style questions! Give the first thing that comes to your mind with those words:
Brazil: I love it.
Japan: Always welcome.
Helloween: Disappointment.
Michael Kiske: Great guy and superb singer.
MP3 music: I don't know.
Shocker: Cool guys and friends, haha.
Kai Hansen: I like him.

Rate the following bands (remember that 1 = shit, and 10 = everything on life) and make a short comment:
Rammstein: 10. Great production and image, I love most of the songs and lyrics.
Motley Crue: 5. Was cool in the 80's, not my taste.
Kiss: 7. Good entertainer, not my taste.
Grand Funk Railroad: 10. My idols, that's why I started playing guitar in 1972.
Bon Jovi: 9. Great songwriter and musicians, respect.
Marilyn Manson: 6. Some songs I really like, but not the image so much.
Journey: 10. They are the best, my favorite band of the end of the 70's.

Who is your greatest influence as a guitarist?
Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, later Michael Schenker and Uli Roth.

What is the difference between brazilian, european and japanese fans?
I would always prefer to play in Brazil, nice and crazy people there. But Europe (Scandinavia, Spain and Italy) are also great to play. Japan is different, like a different planet, but nice. I would say that the mentality is the biggest difference and I prefer to play in front of a wild crowd.

You had a side project, which is a cover band of Grand Funk Railroad. I heard it and liked it very much. Do you still play with this band?
You heard maybe a tape which is seven years old, we didn't play for a long time, but we will reform this band next year again, to do gigs in and around Hamburg just for fun. This music is so different from that what I'm normally doing with my ex-band or the new band. It's like doing holiday from metal, haha (It's rock blues).

Finally, say something to your brazilian fans and friends, who, according to what I heard, are supporting you and looking forward to your new album and tour...
I know we got so many nice brazilian fans waiting for us, it's my wish and hope to come back to see the fans and my friends there. I said it many times, I feel really home there! See ya soon! Roland Grapow.

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