Helloween to do ‘Pumpkins United’ tour featuring Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen
Great news for Helloween fans as former members Kai Hansen (1984-1989) and Michael Kiske (1987-1993) will be joining the power metal group during its Pumpkins United World Tour in 2017-18.
Hansen and Kiske will be joining the current Helloween line-up of guitarist Michael Weikath (1984 to present), bassist Markus Grosskopf (1984 to present), singer Andi Deris (1994 to present), guitarist Sascha Gerstner (2002 to present) and drummer Daniel Löble (2005 to present) in what should be a truly historic tour.
Wikipedia states the following in part about Hansen: “Hansen is the founder, lead guitarist, and vocalist of power metal band Gamma Ray. He is also the co-founder and former member of German metal band Helloween. He is a prominent figure in power metal and has sold millions of albums worldwide. He is regarded as “the godfather of power metal”, having founded three seminal bands in the genre. In 2011, he joined the band Unisonic featuring former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske….
In 1983, he and Michael Weikath founded Helloween, where he was guitarist and singer until Michael Kiske took over the microphone for the albums Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2. Hansen left the band due to the extensive touring in 1988–89 and went on to form his own power metal band Gamma Ray. Hansen also joined Iron Savior as guitarist in 1997, but quit after a few years to focus his efforts on Gamma Ray. He has now forged a very successful career with Gamma Ray, releasing several albums and playing sold out tours across the globe.”
With respect to Kiske, Wikipedia states in part (with slight edits): “At the age of eighteen, Kiske was asked to join the German power metal band Helloween, which was fronted by singer/guitarist Kai Hansen. Hansen had some difficulties being both the lead guitarist and lead vocalist, and it was decided that a new vocalist would be needed. Kiske rejected Helloween‘s first offer, because he disliked the sound of the band’s Walls of Jericho album, but accepted the second and joined Helloween in late 1986. Michael‘s first album with the band was 1987’s Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I, widely considered to be one of Helloween‘s best albums and a milestone in the creation of the power metal genre. The album’s worldwide success enabled the band to embark on an extensive world tour and perform at famous festivals such as Monsters of rock. Helloween went on to release Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II in 1988, which went gold in Germany and brought even more success than its predecessor. The Keeper of the Seven Keys albums proved to be highly influential and aided in the formation of a new wave of European power metal bands, such as Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, HammerFall and Edguy.
After the completion of the band’s 1988 headlining tour, the album Live in the UK was released, while Kai Hansen left the band and was replaced by guitarist Roland Grapow. Legal disputes with their record company, prevented Helloween from releasing new material until 1991’s Pink Bubbles Go Ape, which was followed by 1993’s Chameleon. These two albums saw the band moving away from their power metal roots and experimenting with different sounds. Both Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon were commercial failures and resulted in Kiske leaving Helloween. Kiske was fired from the band in 1993, reportedly for personal reasons. He was replaced by Pink Cream 69‘s Andi Deris, who has remained with Helloween ever since.”
Notably absent from Helloween‘s Pumpkins United World Tour announcement appears to be guitarist Roland Grapow who played with Helloween from 1989 to 2001 including on some of the band’s best albums such as Master Of The Rings (1994) and The Dark Ride (2000).
Back in February 2016, Sleaze Roxx interviewed Grapow and asked him if the issues between him and the Helloween guys had been sorted out to which he responded: “Yeah, yeah. We’re friends again… Last year, we had some time and I talked to Andi [Deris] after 12 years! First time I talked to him and Weike was fine. Now, I have met them already three times. I will meet them in two weeks again as they are coming to Slovakia for a concert to play. If I have time, I go there again and go backstage because my friend is a promoter here lining up all these metal gigs. It’s always nice to see them now. I think that they are happy as well. I see that Andi Deris is very nice, friendly to me, and relaxed now because he was really disappointed about me [laughs]. I was disappointed but it was just misunderstandings.”
STOP! DROP EVERYTHING – here comes the sensation for all HELLOWEEN fans: PUMPKINS UNITED World Tour 2017 / 2018!!!