Interview For Fire Rock Site (June 2001)
By Carla Marabesi
Translated By Marcelo Hashimoto
The germans from Helloween, between their several gigs through Brazil for "The Dark Ride Tour", gave an interview to the press and the fans and, showing a lot of arrogance, talked about the problems with their old record labels, about their side projects and, of course, about the success of their new album, "The Dark Ride". Check it out:
How's the new album going, in terms of audience, media, press and sales?
People really loved the new CD, and found it very different from our previous works. It has been really divulged and, specially on Brazil, it's already very sucessful on sales.
"The Dark Ride" surprised the fans for being a more sad and melancholic job. Does the band intends to keep using this style or there will be innovations for the next album?
We won't keep going with this, because we don't like to do what has already been done. It will be a surprise for all and, so far, even we don't know how it will sound like.
There are rumours about the release of a CD only with Helloween b-sides. Is that true?
The label is always talking about this subject, but we still think it's too early for this. Actually, it won't be a b-sides album, but a compilation with hits and also b-sides.
Will you release another live album to repeat the success of "High Live"?
We'll wait some more time and produce more albums, to have a good material, and only after that we will release this new live album.
On the Internet, there's a song called "Sea Of Fears". Will this song be officially released on an album?
This song is at our official site, for everyone to download it and then tell their opinions about it. It's interesting for people to know from where the song "How Many Tears" came from, but we don't have plans to release this song anywhere else.
You were the creators of power metal, style that it's copyed by many bands nowadays. What you don't like about the work of these bands who are copying Helloween?
We don't hate these bands, but we think that they should do something different. It's funny to observe that these bands start as a Helloween copy, and then they grow and turn into a Dream Theater copy, and then they have no more options left and start copying from themselves, but the problem is that they are not able to write good songs.
Roland Grapow, will you continue with your solo band? Will you keep Michael Vescera on the line-up?
No. I will keep going with my solo band, but with a new line-up and a new singer. I also won't keep my name on it, but create a band name, which is not defined yet.
Roland, how it was recording with Dr. Sin?
It was very good. We met on our second coming to Brazil in 98. By that time, Michael Vescera was already working with Dr. Sin, and since then there was a friendship between the two bands. The guys are cool, and it ended up with the invitation for us to play together. And I did it without asking for nothing.
The band has passed through many problems with other record labels, like EMI and Castle, but what do you guys think about the new label, Nuclear Blast?
So far it has been the best label we ever worked with, although it has the same distribution of Castle and EMI in some countries. It's really better! We realized that the divulgation and distribution increased, we see more ads on magazines and stuff like that. And the communication is also easier, for being a german label.
Andi Deris, since you joined the band, you faced some resistence among the fans. Which was your best and your worst moment at the band?
There wasn't any changes. Since I joined the band, seven years ago, the two or three fans that didn't like me still doesn't like me. But particularly I have no complains.
The song "If I Could Fly" has a more comercial potential to, for example, be played on radios. Is it being worked more comercially?
It is on a video and a single, but on Europe is really hard for that kind of ballad to be played on radios, because it's not exactly "catchy". So much that we didn't include this song on the european setlists.
The current band line-up is the most stable so far. We would like to know what has changed on the band since Deris and Uli joined, and if you could predict for how long you will be together.
Could you change it? I would like to have a crystal ball. Well... we can't predcit for how long we will be together. Nostradamus was wrong when he predicted the end of the world. We are here, and this is like a marriage, we never know when it'll end.
How were the sales of "Metal Jukebox"?
It's not possible to know exactly how the results were, since it has been very badly distributed. It was our last release through Castle, and few records went to the stores. I think the sales could have been a lot bigger than they actually were.
What do you think that has changed on german heavy metal scene since Helloween began until today?
I don't even know what has changed on my city, on the whole Germany, then... I think the german scene today is the same of when we started. Bands have to pay for playing, there's no divulgation on radios and there is not too many people who supports metal. People there only want to know about techno and raves. It's very difficult for the new bands.
What are you listening to nowadays?
We don't hear new bands. I think that any new band that it's copying the style that we do won't achieve anything important. Nowadays, if you don't mix metal with rap or techno, you won't go anywhere. Only great bands like Helloween, Rhapsody and Stratovarius are able to achieve something because we are on road for a long time, and already got our place on the music scene.