Interview : Michael Weikath from Helloween
conducted by Erlend November 1999

Finally I got the oppurtunity to chat with this great guitarist from one of the most influencing power metal band ever; Helloween ! We had a long chat on ICQ, but I tried to only include the most relevant text :)

Well, Helloween are some of the "veterans" within power metal, and a lot of bands are without doubt strongly influenced by you.... what do you think of the heavy/power metal scene these days?

I must say I dont follow much of what IS going on, I miss most of the stuff...i.e I didnt hear the new Primal Fear yet, and so on...I miss all the newer Rhapsody albums and all that...I know too little... but basically, everything is on a good track, just...I dont get satisfied easily, and some bands should rather do other jobs :)

Ok. (As a side-note I would like to recommend the new Primal Fear if you like Judas Priest in the Painkiller period).

But it's still different, it is NOT Priest... it just SOUNDS like them...

Yes, a good point, though there are a lot of new stuff in the Primal Fear album too... I mean, like their own particularities


Anyway, what band(s) would you say have influenced you most musically?

ARGHHH! Beatles (no particular order OK) Aerosmith Judass Priest Deep Purple Van Halen Uriah Heep...Ted Nugent er... Scorpions Wishbone Ash Kiss

All very good and importan bands to rock, I would say...

Pfff no er...actually pop bands too, why not? hey this was only a tenth of the bands I'd say...please don't ask the most important guitarists now...:)

I won't :)
So do you really consider yourself a Christian band? I mean, some of the lyrics are obviously referring to Christianity (at least from my interprention).

Sure...only Uli can not say he belives in God.

Was that kind of... from the beginning of ?

Yes in my case yes, but Hansen wrote a lot about demons and that crap before, he must have had a very bad night...after he said he believed in God too, after that night...or time...

So he's a dedicated Christian now ?

Why dedicated?

Oh, I don't know, I mean ... i mean just Christian...

Hard subject...:)

Err...I'm way off here :)

:) OK dedicated would mean he goes to the church each sunday, and takes part of the biz in his community...he doesnt do THAT...but he never did...I did. :)

Let's move over to something else... The albums "Pink Bubbles Go Ape" and "Chameleon" were quite different from the others... both musically and lyrically and concept-wise... Whose idea was this?

They were even more different from EACH OTHER too...:)

Yeah, I guess they were, but those 2 albums kind of ... differs from the collection, you know.

Er, we all wanted to try to get more famous by trying a more commercial approach, but that failed...also during Pink Bubbles it became evident that Ingo and Michael wanted to try a Helloween without me as a composer...Chris Tsangarides wasn't of much help was a big mix up, that time.. And then the material may have been called commercial, but not GOOD, and there are commercial albums that are GOOD.

Well, then what do you think of those albums now?

Well I tend to say the Chameleon must have some kind of gravity and still weird quality to is more Helloween than the Pink Bubbles, but I like Roland's songs on PBGA.

I see...

Well no one of us necessarily wants to listen to these records because of the memories we have.... I do so sometimes, but...I need some hours to get normal afterwards..:)

hehe:) So about the new album "Metal Jukebox": Personally I haven't heard it yet, but atleast I know it's a collection of cover songs... are you satisfied with it?

Oh yeah, very entertaining...and very loose...and no responsibility, because we didnt have to compose the songs....:)

I assume the Abba cover must be cool !

Well all the stuff is cool it was a lot of work still...

Ok...I heard some rumours you are planning a tour with Iron Maiden sometime in the future... is this true, or is it just a vicious lie?

There was a plan of touring the US together for a certain time of their June, but as our record will get released in Sepyember next yeasr, and Maiden's around that time too, thwe tour got postponed.

What is your favourite of your albums? And least favourite?

No favs, as usual.. look I played around 80 % of the guitars on the records, and even more of the B Sides (100 %) ...I mUST like that stuff...:)

Of course :)
Have you started working on the next release?

I am now in Tenerife to come up with new material, yes...the others are more or less doing the THEIR homes.

Do you have any personal expectations of how it will be like? I mean, do you want to make it more like "Better Than Raw" or more alike the earlier stuff?

I thought Better Than raw was a bit like older stuff?

Yes, I do agree, but there are some differences, still ....

every record is different, it develops its own dynamics, usually... we want to create some cult Metal this time, but...who knows if we will succeed?

You haven't thought of any title, concept or anything like that?

No way too early. look the release will be in September next year, what can I know about it? :)

I don't know... !

What kind of metal is your own impression of your music? Do you characterize yourself as standard heavy metal, or power metal or whatever?

Rock band, hm? :) fuck all those metal er...classifications... I think, in comparison to a death metal band, we are a pop band :)

Yes... I'm wondering; Are there any particular Helloween songs which means more to you than others?

Sure..but do I have to name them? I can tell you and you know (nearly everyone knows) I don't like I want out much, and now dont ask me why...all the other are sort of OK...:)

Which reminds me, have you heard the Hammerfall tribute to that song?

No naturally not hehehe no I didnt I didnt hear the Spanish pop version of it, either :)v but I heard after the war by Gary Moore...:)

I like that whole album a lot !

well he said he kinda felt inspired by I want out when he did least I think so. hANSEN WAS very INSPIRED BY oUT iN THE FIIELDS, SO ITS NO WONDER mORRE LIKED IT :)

Hey! I didn't know that! (naturally)

well... it kinda look like that I'm out of questions... exept, if there is anything more you want to add... any comments or anything.

was that all? not that I felt inspired to write much :)

Ok , thanks for the interview! Bye!