HELLOWEEN Vocalist MICHAEL KISKE On ANDI DERIS - "I Was His Pain In The Ass Getting Criticized By My Fans, And He Was My Pain In The Ass Because He Took Over My Job"
September 4, 2018, 5 years ago
Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to Helloween singer Michael Kiske as the band prepares to embark on their North America Pumpkins United tour starting on September 7th in Las Vegas, NV.
Kiske goes into the details of the Pumpink reunion, the new album sets the record straight on the Iron Maiden past rumours, and he also talks about the use of vocal playback on the first couple of shows on their tour.
On how the Pumpkins United reunion come about
Kiske: "For a long time this was totally impossible for me because I was hurt and full of anger and I didn't want anything to do with it. For a long time I didn't want anything to do with the metal scene, it went very deep. But in the last couple of years before the reunion, without me noticing, things changed and I realized something is different when I ran into Michael Weikath in 2013. It was a festival in France and suddenly I was standing in front of him and he said something like, 'Michael what have I done that you can't forgive me?' I then said, 'You know what I think, I have forgiven you a long time ago.' There was no anger that is how I felt, we talked a little bit and this is how it all started. I was not aware that during the years something had changed in me. I have learned so much during the years outside of Helloween being my own man without a band and not even management. All those years I learnt so much and after a while I could not be angry anymore about what happened in Helloween. I think it was kind of meant to be the reunion."
On why there was such bad blood between in the past with him and the band
Kiske: "When I talk to Weikath or anyone else from that was part of the past and I realized that everyone had a different view of the past situation, everyone has experienced something completely different. To me that was a clear sign that there was nothing really going on, there was no objective reason for anything, it was subjective, it was just meant to be over. "
On the starting point for the reunion
Kiske: "Kai Hanson always wanted to do it, he was always saying he would love to do a reunion at least once more and I remember after talking with Weikath in France in 2013 and I realized that something had changed in me. After a Unisoinc gig in Spain we were back stage changing and Kai looked around and looked at me and said Michael if we don't do something once more under the name of Helloween that would be so stupid, and I said 'You know what? I am open to the idea.'"
On sharing the stage with Andi Deris
Kiske: "When I started to bring up this idea I was not thinking about sharing the stage with Andi, I was thinking we could do a sort of a Keeper of the Seven keys reunion tour . But management was making it clear to me you can't really do that, you can't create another Helloween band that would be in competition with the present Helloween band, it doesn't work, we have to do something together. I slowly realized he is right and then I started to like the idea because it sends out a nice message with both singers. I didn't know Andi Deris, I never met him before. I was his pain in the ass for a number of years getting criticized by my fans and he was my pain in the ass because he took over my job. We didn't know each other but we had an effect in each other. We both were very nervous when we first met and it was very interesting to see how good we get along just as people, we like each other now which is so helpful. I like hanging out with him."
On the new Helloween Pumkins United studio album set to be released 2020
Kiske: "That wasn't the original plan, it step by step. Since everything worked out on tour and we got along we said let's make a record with two singers. Artistically it's an interesting thing to do because we are different type of singers and you can work with that in terms of songwriting. In regards to musical direction, I am not a main songwriter. I have an opinion and I don't even know if I will be writing any songs but there are other musicians in the band who I consider the key songwriters. The songwriters are Andi, Kai, Weikath and Sasha in the end. The musical direction will depend on what they come up with. I would love to sing some stuff in the Keeper vein. We are writing next year and we are looking at releasing the record in 2020, there is no hurry."
On the lip synching playback comtrovery when the tour first started
Kiske: "It was not all playback. I'm quite glad I did it once because I never done anything like that and I am certainly not going to do it anymore because I can't, it just doesn't work. The situation was I had an infected throat already before the first show. I wanted to skip the shows and the management said we cant start this tour with cancelling shows. So they talked me into it, the whole band made that decision and then management came to me and said Michael we have recordings of you from six weeks earlier, it was recording we did in some rehearsal and they said you just go out and sing and if the sound guy sees you are losing your voice he will sneak the playback track in. I didn't want to do it but I said i will give it a try. I'm so used to singing live of course so I messed it up. I pulled the microphone to the audience when the sound guy had my voice out there. I did it cause they talked me into it. We only did a few bits here and there. I am not going to do that anymore. the next time when I don't have a voice I will either cancel the show or I do it the way I can."
Helloween have some exciting news to share with their fans. A message from the group follows:
"Among the massive Pumpkins United World Tour’s absolute open air highlights were, of course, the headliner slots at Wacken, Barcelona’s Rock Fest and Masters of Rock - but also the mega gigs with Iron Maiden at Sweden Rock Festival and Florence’s Firenze Rocks in June definitely were shows for all eternity.
"For those who mysteriously missed the tour, goosebumps footage of the Pumpkins United World Tour will be released as a live CD as well as on DVD and Blu-ray beginning of 2019! As of now, the wait until the release can be shortened with a stream of the full Wacken show at Magenta Music 360 right here.
"As we are still indulging in the Wacken encore or preparing for the show in Las Vegas/ USA, those maniacs are already launching the next sensation: For starters, Nuclear Blast has insisted to keep the band on their roster for a few more years, and - double bass drum roll - there’ll actually be a brand-new studio album with (vocalist Michael) Kiske and (guitarist Kai) Hansen. When the band around songwriting trio (Michael) Weikath, Hansen and (Andy) Deris will be retreating to the studio together with these two exceptional singers in 2019, it’s clear that the album scheduled for 2020 will be no less than EPIC. If this news doesn’t make you go all dewy, your proper rock baptism might not have happened yet - the rest of us are way over the moon as of now, because: THE PUMPKINS UNITED DREAM CONTINUES!
"Thanks to everyone who has been with us until now!"
Upcoming Helloween tour dates are listed here.
(Photo - Patricia Patah)