Interview For Rock Online Site (11/06/03)
By Lizandra Pronin
Translated By Marcelo Hashimoto
Despite being new, the band brings a strong past on the metal world, since two of its members were part of Helloween. But they don't live in the past. Masterplan's been conquering its own space and fans from all over the world. Before Masterplan arrived in Brazil for five shows, Roland Grapow talked to Rock Online and told a little about the band: the begginning and the expectations for the future.
How did you pick the name Masterplan?
It was a contest made by out brazilian website. Who won was a mexican fan. We were happy. We liked it, because we hate typical band names or violent stuff.
How did you get in touch with the singer Jorn Lande, did you know each other before?
No, I didn't know him. First me and Uli heard him sing, on Ark and on his solo album "Worldchanger", and after that we simply got in touch with him.
Why did you pick AFM Records?
I know Edguy and Tobias Sammet very well. Tobi spoke very good about AFM and I'm very happy with them, they believe 100% on our work.
Do you regret what happened in Helloween? Or do you think that was the chance to start a new period?
Regret? No, not at all. We are much more happy and satisfied now, even without making success we wouldn't regreat leaving the band. God is with us and helps us a lot...
What did you learn, playing in Helloween?
A lot things about musical carreer in general. I can't lose all that experience. Besides, there was the highs and lows we had, it gives me the sensation that everything was worth it. We had a lot of good moments too. In general, it was very good. I'll never forget it.
About the songwriting and recording process of Masterplan, I've heard on an interview that you consider the band to be a "Dream Team" [Expression used for the great american basketball teams]. Do you feel that you can express yourself with more freedom on Masterplan songs?
A lot more. I feel responsible for every movement from the band. I know that without Jorn, Uli, Axel and Jan, Masterplan wouldn't exist the way it does, but what do I mean is that I keep the band united, organized, I'm managing everything so far. Besides, as a songwriter, I feel much more satisfied and responsible for the band. It really is a "Dream Team".
Talk a little about the debut album. What kind of message you wanted to express with this album?
First we wrote the songs, then we chose the name Masterplan, after writing the lyrics. We found a way by writing about the four elements, we found sense and a way to give a shape to everything. We related to the four elements, even on the pictures of each member of the band, with the exception of Jorn. He's the fifth element, keeping all the other together on a crystal ball. On a general way, we wrote positive lyrics about mankind and about our future.
How was working with the producer, Andy Sneap?
It was a very good experience, he created an unique sound and made a great production. He's a very nice guy. I hope he's available for our next album.
The singer Michael Kiske participates on the album, on the song "Heroes". When did you thought about calling him for that participation? Was that song written thinking about his participation?
Before I called Jorn to be a member of the band, I called Michael Kiske to be our singer, but he wasn't interested. So I asked if he would be interested in participating of one song, doing a duet with our future singer, and he agreed. I wrote that song for his voice.
Maybe it's early for that questions, but are you already planning the new album?
Early? We're already on the process of songwriting, I think in February we start the recording sessions. This album is already there for a long time. The next one is scheduled to be released in September next year.
And the tour, how is it going?
Very well. Honestly, we didn't expect such success. Of course we are very happy with that, so far we did more than forty-five concerts in Europe and Japan.
Which Helloween songs are you planning to play in Brazil?
Just a medley of "The Chance" and "Departed".
Thanks a lot for the interview. If you want to add something...
Thanks a lot and I hope to see all of you on the shows. We'll have a lot of fun over there. "Obrigado".