Interview For The Rock Magazin site
Translated By Marcelo Hashimoto
Solo releases seem to have become more popular on the past years for members of famous bands. Helloween is no exception of this fact, and as we can see through their guitarist Roland Grapow and his recent second solo album "Kaleidoscope", does not forbid one of its members releasing more than one.
"Kaleidoscope" is your second solo album. While you sang on your first one, now...
Yes, now I'm not doing it anymore, for two reasons. First, because with the first album I had a lot of criticism about my singing, and I mean a lot. It was said that I could sing well, but it was also said that the singing wasn't free, wasn't spontaneous. That was correct, as I really was being pressured by timelines then. Second, because I'm far from being a metal singer. My style of singing always came more from blues and soul, and also hard rock. I'm simply not that lyrical screamer who needs to acquire opera techniques sometimes. This is simply not my stuff. The current singer, Mike Vescera, can sing both clear and rough. He has also a strong voice for more downtuned melodies, can sing aggressively and reach high pitches, always clean. On Loudness, his former band, he used to sing roughly, and on my album his voice is almost entirely clean. In my opinion, his voice sounds better when less rough.
Your line-up on this album consists only of well-known musicians. Why we hardly see someone using recent talents on solo works?
Well, not one wants to get worse. I'm not saying that the new generation musicians are not suited to anything, but they usually simply miss the experience of working professionally. And I wanted everything to work without any relationship problems. I had an audiction with Henne, who is now with Metalium, for example, but I simply wanted someone with more experience. That's the main reason why I didn't pick some younger musicians.
But that makes your line-up rather busy, though. Wasn't it difficult sometimes to gather everyone together?
Mike Terrana (Drums) is currently living in Hamburg and thus somehow working as a Jörg Michael substitute. During the short time that he's here, he participated already in approximately eight projects. Now and then he is with Axel Rudi Pell, or Metalium... And also played on Rage.
Then he could actually play with Running Wild as well to complete the list...
That would be good, and probably true according to what I've heard. Most members already have their own bands. Ferdy Doernberg for example has Rough Silk. But right now we have everyone completely well together.
If someone listens to your new solo album, doesn't actually find too many similarities with Helloween. Most musicians who are in a well-known band usually lay on their names and go through the safe way by playing the same style...
There are different opinions. Some people say that it could be even further from Helloween. I think the main difference is the production. I helped on the production of this album and I know it sounds better if you follow all the process. "Kaleidoscope" have a cleaner sound, while Helloween sounds roughly careless. Perhaps it's easier to realize on my disc how the band can sound. And about other people's opinions, I never wanted to change the world with my solo albums. They can express sometimes "Ah, there's nothing new...". I don't care. I didn't want this as well. I wanted to make a beautiful album with beautiful songs, and I believe I succeded on doing it.