MICHAEL KISKE: Stepping Away From HELLOWEEN For Nearly 25 Years 'Was Really Good For Me'

July 21, 2021

HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske recently spoke to Planet Rock's "My Planet Rocks" about the lessons he learned by exiting the band in 1993, only to return 24 years later. "It was very important for me," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "As difficult as it was in the beginning to be suddenly completely on your own, it was really good for me. It shaped my personality. I was figuring out ideals; I was figuring out why I wanna do what and how. And this whole process of getting into these fights and arguments with my former bandmates and being massively disappointed about how it went down, about the industry, about the business, about the scenes and all that, and going through all that over the years and actually coming out of it again more mature and making peace with them again, on a human level, that's what really matters.

"When we live, we always look at things from an ego point of view, and, of course, out of our egos, we want certain things — we always just want the sugar pies: we want success, we wanna be beautiful, we wanna be healthy, we wanna get the prettiest women, we just want the stuff that feeds the ego," he continued. "But we're really growing out of the suffering we go through. As long as it doesn't destroy us, we get stronger out of the challenges, and this whole negative experience that I've been through, especially during the '90s, I don't wanna miss it. It was very, very important for me. It was very necessary. And I'm very happy that we were able to make peace again and to forgive and forget and do something like this together now."

Last month, the new LP from the reunited expanded classic lineup of HELLOWEEN entered the official album chart in the band's home country of Germany at position No. 1.

The "Pumpkins United" lineup of HELLOWEEN features Kiske and returning guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen alongside singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble.

Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Dennis Ward, the new HELLOWEEN LP was recorded in part at the H.O.M.E. Studios in Hamburg (where everything started in 1984). The same recording console used for such HELLOWEEN albums as "Master Of The Rings", "Time Of The Oath" and "Better Than Raw" was utilized to record the band's new material. The effort was mixed at the Valhalla Studios of Ronald Prent (IRON MAIDEN, DEF LEPPARD, RAMMSTEIN).

HELLOWEEN's new album saw the legendary German power metallers going "back to the roots," with the band recording fully analog and Löble playing the drum kit previously used by HELLOWEEN's original drummer, the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, on the legendary "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" recordings.

The "Pumpkins United" tour marked the first time Kiske had played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, had been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set featured several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sang a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)".

HELLOWEEN's European "United Alive World Tour Part II", which was originally scheduled to take place in September and October will now take place next year.

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