Interview For Grande Rock Site
By Thanos Aggelakis
Masterplan is definitely the new super group that all of us were waiting for so long. Well, anyone that listens to the album has no doubt about that. We found Roland Grapow the guitarist and the founder of the band, in the middle of the tour, and we asked him as many things as we could. Read below to see what he told us.
Hi, Roland, and accept my congratulations on "Masterplan". As you already know, we voted Masterplan's album as the best of January! How did the idea to form a full time band come?
Of course, after the Helloween split, Uli and I decided to stay together and we just formed a new band. We never wanted to leave Helloween at all! But now we are happy someone decided for us, hehe!
Do you believe that some songs that are included on the Masterplan's album could be on the forthcoming Helloween album, if you and Uli had never left?
Of course it could be, specially the faster melodic stuff. By the way, "Into The Light" was meant to be on "The Dark Ride" album, but Andi never tried to sing on that song! "Into The Light" was Roy Z's favorite song.
Do you think that Jorn is the ideal singer for Masterplan? Did you have in mind some other singers, like Kiske, for the band or Jorn was the first and the last choice?
I guess Jorn is the perfect singer for Masterplan. He was not the first choice, first we asked Russell Allen and Michael Kiske to join our band, but they said no. Jorn loved our music and I guess his influence was also very important to make this album so great.
Tell me why do you call the band Masterplan? Who thought it?
We had a contest on my brazilian homepage, the fans sent us ideas and names and a guy from Mexico told us: "You are master musicians and you have your future in your hands, that sounds like a plan. So call yourself Masterplan.". I loved the idea!
How would you characterize the music style that you play? And what are the influences of Masterplan?
Our music is between rock and metal, very melodic and colorful. We don't like to be limited in any way, music is coming from our heart and soul. If you write a great song, then I won't ask if it's metal, hard rock or pop. I'm very modern and old-fashioned at the same time.
Make a comment about the artwork of the album. I think it's wonderful! Do you think that the world's future is going from bad to worse? Is there any connection with the lyrics of the album?
The artwork is just about the four elements, inside the old way and on the front the modern way of the elements. The four elements are related to each musician... I'm blaze! Jorn is the creator who keeps the four elements under control as a ball in his hand. That is the concept for Masterplan's future. It is not really a concept album. But we have positive messages for our fans.
As far as I know, press reaction for the album was fantastic. How was the reaction of the fans worldwide? What do you believe about Masterplan's future?
The reaction was unbelievable! Live, e-mails, talk with the fans... We went into the pop charts in Sweden and Germany very high. It was like a dream come true. In Japan we are number one right now in the album charts, in front of Bon Jovi and Stratovarius! Playing with Hammerfall was also very, very nice!
What are the next plans of the band? I believe that Masterplan is here to stay and to offer fantastic music to the people!
Right now we are writing songs already for the next album. We will do around eight festivals this Summer and still have many offers for touring. But we'll try to record our next album from November 3rd to February 4th next year and headline for the first time!
How is the tour going? Is there a chance to see you for a live show here in Greece soon?
If we could have a good offer, we could play tomorrow in Greece! But we don't have an offer right now!
And some weird questions now! If you were living in Middle-Earth (I hope that you have seen or read the "Lord Of The Rings"), which character would you choose to be and why?
Sorry, I have seen it in english, but I forgot most of the stuff (I saw it on the plane somewhere!). I don't have a clue. It must be someone positive who gives mankind hope and luck!
Do you believe in luck and coincidences or do you believe that the human mind and will can affect all the things in life?
I believe in both. If you are a good person and treat other humans well, then you will have luck also. But you have to do a lot to make something happen. Will and mind are the key, without that, you are caught in a cage (Maybe without luck).
How do you imagine that the music world could be, one thousand years from now? And why?
I can't imagine it, really. I guess nobody will have a guitar anymore, just chips and computer doing that stuff, horrible. Maybe it is cool when you are born in that period. What a question, haha!
Ok, Roland, I wish you the best for you and for Masterplan. The last words of this interview belongs to you.
Thanks a lot and hope to see our fans in Greece soon. Yours, Roland Grapow... Masterplan.