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Interview For We Burn Site (08/17/00)
By Fernando De Santis

First we would like to thank you for the interview.
I hope I won't disappoint you.

You told me that "Escalation 666" is the most heavy and downtuned song of Helloween. Did Roy Z had some influence in the recording of this music?
Yeah, he influenced me a lot, he has good ideas and he is funny. He has the same musical taste like me and that helps a lot. He is a brilliant guitar player as well. He inspired me a lot, which was easy. We are really good friends now.

Please, talk about "The Dark Ride" album. Does this album sound like "Better Than Raw" or is it completely different?
It's different, more like a story, there is a big development in the music with a nice red line in it. Much better sound and more cool songs. Still Helloween and I wrote two songs this time.

Do you think about playing, on the next tour, some musics that Helloween doesn't play for a lot of time, like "Ride The Sky", "Mankind", etc.?
I don't really know now. After so many great albums, it's really hard to choose the right material. Next tour we'll have even more from "The Dark Ride" album as well.

Roland, what do you think about MP3 files? You think that this sort of thing files is harmful or helpful for the music industry?
I don't think it's really cool. Nobody is buying CDs anymore but everybody wants to have good records from the bands. But bands will have less money for their production from the record companies, and the result is not satisfying the fans anymore. That's why I'm not so happy about it. Good music need a lot of work in the studio! You know, we stayed four months in the studio this time. That is fucking expensive.

Helloween never headlined here in Brazil. Will you headline for the next tour here?
I hope so, but I can't promise, honestly. We will know in three months or earlier. I pray for it.

Do you think about releasing the Rampage albuns again?
No, I don't think so. Now it's 20 years ago, rest in peace! It's not good enough for a re-release.

Lots of people think that you are a big fan of Yngwie Malmsteen. Is this true? Did you choose the guys from Malmsteen band for your album because of that? Does "Kaleidoscope" sounds like his kind of sound?
Me and Yngwie are friends and I respect him a lot, he is a genius on his style of playing and I borrowed some of his licks, that's for sure. But I'm not a fan of him! I love Uli Roth and Michael Schenker, these are my heroes. Maybe he is a fan of my playing, 'cause we sell more records than Yngwie, haha. The only reason for choosing his old band mates is: they are just great musicians. That's it. And great friends as well. Even Uli Roth and Michael Schenker are using Yngwie's bass player and drummer and no one is saying that they're sounding like Yngwie. On "Kaleidoscope" I have maybe one song that sounds like Yngwie ("Listen To The Lyrics"), and that's it.

When will you think about recording another solo album? Will you change the line-up?
I think I would like to do something different in the future. I've changed my style a bit and I've learned a lot from Roy Z. I would like to keep this, I play more tasteful now. I don't need to play only fast and classical stuff. I really like heavy rhythm parts. I will keep most of the musicians, but we'll do something more like a band. Everybody is writing songs and we will have a project name. We'll start next year, I'm already writing some ideas. Maybe Roy could co-produce this project, if he has some time.

I saw some pics, where you're playing a Gibson Les Paul guitar. When you prefer playing Fender and when you prefer playing other guitars? I think you only play Fender guitars on concerts, right?
I've played Gibson Les Paul for all the rhythm part on "The Dark Ride", Flying V for the overdubs and 60% of the solos and all the rest was made with my Strats. For the next tour I'll play both, Strats and Gibson. Check out the new record, you won't be disappointed!

Please, send a message to your fans that visit the "We Burn" home page.
I really need to come back soon, to see my friends in Brazil again, Brazil rules. I miss ya.

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