Masterplan to release new album ‘PumpKings’ consisting of re-recorded Helloween songs
Masterplan featuring former long-time Helloween guitarist Roland Grapow will be releasing a new studio album entitled PumpKings on June 30, 2017. PumpKings consists of re-recorded Helloween songs from albums that Grapow played on during his time in the German power metal band.
Track List for PumpKings:
01. The Chance
02. Someone’s Crying
04. Step Out Of Hell
05. Mr. Ego
06. Still We Go
07. Escalation 666
08. The Time Of The Oath
10. The Dark Ride
Three songs from Helloween‘s Pink Bupples Go Ape (1991), two from Chameleon (1993), two from Master Of The Rings (1994), one from The Time Of The Oath and two from The Dark Ride (2000) are featured on Masterplan‘s PumpKings.
While some people might be surprised to see two tracks from Helloween‘s Chameleon featured on PumpKings, Grapow had advised Sleaze Roxx as follows about the controversial album in an interview back in early 2016: “I think it’s something that the band needed to do. I know that a lot of people hated it in the beginning but a lot of people now — they’re 20 years older — and they just realize it’s like a good rock album with heavy metal guys playing rock and all these instruments that we had. For me, it was totally easy. You know, I told you that I came from this melodic stuff but there is also a lot of ’70s era when you hear my song “Music” or my guitar part on “When The Sinner.” I was listening at that time a lot to Stevie Ray Vaughan because Michael Kiske and I were totally nuts about him. Maybe because of the reasons that he died at that time — at the [time of the] ‘Pink Bubbles [Go Ape]’ recording sessions. We were in Denmark in the studio and he died and we were so shocked. Michael Kiske as well. We were really big fans. But you can hear all these influences on the ‘Chameleon’ album — Brian May — a lot of Queen parts that I did. It’s like — all my guitar heroes — I put them into my guitar playing somehow in these rock songs. I liked it somehow and I still like it. It’s a really deep album that is not so much for the big metal fans. I think it’s timeless when you listen to that album.
Notably absent from PumpKings are any songs from Helloween‘s 1998 album Better Than Raw but it’s not surprising given that Grapow did not contribute any songs to that album. In the first part of the interview with Sleaze Roxx back in early 2016, Grapow stated about Better Than Raw: “I think that the album is pretty good to be honest. I mean, my impact is still there as a guitar player. And I helped on the Uli Kusch songs and I worked very close to the songwriting with the other guys but I was a little bit out of batteries. I don’t know what it was. I wasn’t really inspired anymore. Like I said, it started at around the time of ‘Time Of The Oath.’ I had lots of fun anyways — a lot — but I only wrote one song! And then for ‘Better Than Raw’, I contributed two to three ideas, and then Andi Deris said, “That’s crap! [laughs]” He did not like it and slowly, the band started talking behind my back. “This guy is not working for us anymore 100%. He’s just into his solos albums which are really good.” You know, they really liked it. Deris said to me: “Why are you not presenting these great songs to us? [laughs]” That’s why we had big trouble after ‘Better Than Raw.’”
PumpKings can be purchased via AFM Records.