UNISONIC, the new band featuring former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY, ex-HELLOWEEN) alongside Dennis Ward (bass) and Kosta Zafiriou (drums) of Germany's PINK CREAM 69 and Swiss guitarist Mandy Meyer (who has previously played with ASIA, GOTTHARD and KROKUS), will release its debut EP, "Ignition" in late January via earMUSIC/Edel. The effort will include the track "Unisonic" plus one demo song and a cover version of the HELLOWEEN classic "I Want Out", recorded live on October 15 at this year's edition of the Loud Park festival at Saitama Super Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Saitama City, Japan.
A full-length UNISONIC album will be made available in March.
Zafiriou previously stated about the band's decision to sign with earMUSIC/Edel: "We had several promising labels being interested in UNISONIC, but the enthusiasm of Max Vaccaro and his team convinced us that earMUSIC is the right company for us."
After the addition of Hansen to the group's lineup in early 2011, UNISONIC continued the songwriting process for its debut release, incorporating Kai's talent for writing great anthemic rock songs into its existing material. The recordings for the album started at end of September at ICP studios in Brussels, Belgium.
UNISONIC's music is very versatile and shows a broad approach to heavy rock without sacrificing the power and strong, catchy melodies that characterized the bandmembers' previous projects.
Commented Kiske: "It feels great to finally bring the band to the studio and record the songs we've been working on. We took our time to grow as a band, but it was definitely worth it and we are very proud of the result."
Added bassist/producer Ward: "We have a bunch of very strong songs and can't wait until people can hear them. Everyone in the band is now looking even more positive into the future."
Regarding Hansen's addition to UNISONIC, Kiske previously said, "After so many years of abstinence, I had a lot of fun doing my first live shows with UNISONIC in summer 2010, so I agreed to do the short world tour with AVANTASIA. It was a great experience to be on stage with all those great artists, but with Kai it was something different: We instantly felt the magic again and had a lot of fun together on and off stage. We both realized that we want to be together in band again. He was interested in the open musical concept of UNISONIC and finally asked me if he can join the band. I talked to my bandmates and they all felt great about it. His talent as a guitarist and songwriter is an enrichment for the band and we are looking forward to his contribution for the music of UNISONIC."
Kai Hansen's position in GAMMA RAY will be unaffected by his involvement with UNISONIC.
Michael Kiske (vocals)
Mandy Meyer (guitar)
Kai Hansen (guitar)
Dennis Ward (bass)
Kosta Zafiriou (drums)
Having split with HELLOWEEN in late 1993, Kiske participated in various projects and released several solo albums but had not been part of a real group effort until now.
While collaborating with Ward and Zafiriou on the PLACE VENDOME project five years ago, Kiske found two musical soulmates. They ended up recording two PLACE VENDOME albums before deciding to join forces in a new brand new band. Ward, who had previously produced a record for KROKUS, suggested Meyer as the perfect addition to the group in the vacant guitarist slot.
Kiske, one of the finest and most unique voices in contemporary rock music, explains his motivation of becoming a part of a band again: "Since the PLACE VENDOME productions I was impressed by Dennis Ward's skills as a songwriter and producer. We were occasionally fooling around since then via email that we should do more together in the future, so the idea came up to do a new band. I was generally getting a bit tired of doing everything on my own for so many years, so it just felt like the right thing to do now. We can all only benefit from working together. No matter how good you are solo, four people will always be better than one, I think, if they manage to function together. And a real band is also a very good reason to finally go on tour again."
"Unisonic" audio stream:
"I Want Out" recorded live on October 15 at Loud Park festival (audience recording):
Kiske / Hansen photo credit: Hiroyuki Yoshihama