Interview For Desert Rock Promotions Site (12/21/2002)
By Benjamin Niebla
Tell us how you begun your musical career?
I started playing guitar at twelve and did my first album with the band Rampage in 1980 and 1981.
Who are your musical influences?
Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Michael Schenker, Uli Roth, John Sykes, Zakk Wylde, Ritchie Blackmore and many more.
Which bands have you been an official member of? Tell us some of the highs and lows of each band in which you been in?
I played with many amateur bands in the beginning. Then Rampage with "Victims Of Rock" and "Love Lights Up The Night". We were just a little famous in Hamburg and Germany. Two of the former band members have died already. Helloween had too many lows there, which included band member changes and the suicide of drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg.
How did you wind up in Helloween?
Michael Weikath called me in 1988 and brought me into the game.
Tell us some of the highs and lows of your time in Helloween?
Touring was always the best, meeting the fans, doing some great records with Roy Z and Tommy Hansen, but the band itself was a mess.
Would you ever consider rejoining Helloween? Why?
No way. At this time, it's over. We are not friends anymore.
What is your opinion of the Helloween album "The Dark Ride"? What is your personal opinion of the production on the album?
I still like it, as it is not too dark like some people might say. It really reflected the band situation at the time. I love the songs "Mr. Torture" and "The Dark Ride". Working with Roy Z was really something special.
Tell us about your new band Masterplan? Who are the band members? How did you find each of the band members?
I just called everyone. I mean, Uli and I decided together who would be in our band, but I contacted the people by phone and e-mail. The other band members are Jorn Lande (Vocals), Axel Mackenrott (Keyboards) and Jan-S. Eckert (Bass).
Where was the album recorded and who produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the album?
The album was recorded in my home studio, Crazy Cat in Hamburg. The producer was Andy Sneap. I helped engineering the album. It was mixed by Mikko Karmila. Mika Jussila mastered it at Finnvox Studio in Finland.
Are you satisfied with the final result? What would you have done different?
I'm really happy with the songs and the sound. I wouldn't change anything. It's the best work I have done so far.
How is you label AFM Records? Are they supportive of Masterplan? What they do different than the other metal labels in Europe?
They are really taking care in building up our career. They are the best label I have worked with so far! It's really a great relationship we have.
What is the long-term musical direction of the band?
We will see. At this moment, we have a really colorful style. We have many musical influences combined with our style and taste. We don't want to be limited by directions and styles.
What are the worldwide touring plans for Masterplan?
First, the european Hammerfall tour with a total of 32 shows. Then we will try to headline in South America and Japan. We are also doing a lot of festivals this summer. In Autumn, maybe a little headlining tour... Let's see.
Are there any new vocalists or bands that have caught your ear in recent years?
I like the music of In Flames but not the vocals. I also like Rammstein and our vocalist Jorn of course.
What are you currently listening to?
Red Hot Chili Peppers, old stuff and Masterplan.
This is the opportunity to plug anything you want (Bands, websites, etc.).
Visit our official website: http://www.master-plan.net/.
Thanks for your time.