“Helloween” Interview by Keith Clements
We have the pleasure to Interview the Legends from Germany none other than “Helloween” a band that has been for decades and the pioneers of Power metal. I had the opportunity to Interview the founding member of the band “Michael Weikath” Lead and Rhythm guitarist for the band. A very special person and so nice and friendly and indeed a wonderful time talking him over Skype.
Let’s see what he got to say for our questions.
Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, Such a pleasure and honor to have you guys in our magazine, how is everyone with the band?
Hey thanks man, I’m doing well, Hope all is well at your end.
Helloween has been making music for more than three decades now, When it comes to Power Metal, the first name that comes to any fan’s minds is “Helloween” you have set a milestone in thehearts of millions and millions of fans all over the world, how do you feel about this huge success?
I seriously don’t know about it until a few weeks back when we started this Pumpkins United World tour, We were only a band from Hamburg making music, but it’s really great to see people from around the world love what we do.
When you look into the past way back into 1984 the time when it all started, what was your thoughts on the future of the band and how you see the band into the future now, as lots of things have changed over the years and the way people look into the band?
When we started back in 1984,83 we are technically from a place where death and thrash metal played an Important place and when we made our music, We got opposition, people started saying “You guys ruined metal” and we were not accepted in our home city. But things changed as time passed by. We even have opposition from Christian groups as our band says Hell-O-ween. They thought we were satanic band. Well it’s ridiculous. Helloween will always be the same.
We had “Keeper Of The Seven Keys : Part I, Part II and The Legacy” Can we expect another Keeper of The Seven Keys in the future?
Who knows, Sure we can have another one it’s been a long time but you never know, We may even have a couple of more of them hahaha
You have been a huge Influence for lot of the modern day bands, how do you feel about it?
We are so happy that we had made a mark in the music business and it’s always great to being Innovative and be an Influence, we made a lot of struggle and it will all pay its price.
“Gamma Ray” is another band Kai Hansen is working on, Is he able to manage both Gamma Ray and Helloween, does it affect the band in anyways in terms of working both bands together?
We as a band never worked together, Helloween and Gamma Ray are different in many ways, we shared the stage a couple of times together, but nothing more than that and Kai have had his time with Helloween and there is no problem in that.
Although Black Sabbath is considered the Godfathers of Heavy Metal, “Germany” is a country that has given Innovative bands coming up with different genres, styles and music has been driven into diverse, Be it Helloween, Scorpions or Rammstein, do you carry the pride that Germans have done amazing things for music?
Of Course we are so Proud about Germany and our contributions towards music, Scorpions are legends they made a mark for Germany in the global scene, there are a lot of bands who have done amazing for Germany. We carry the pride for what we do.
How does the songwriting process work for Helloween does the Songwriting and music engineering a group effort? do you all sit together and talk about it and do it? or Is it just one or two from the band who makes the decision on how the album should be?
In the beginning It was me and Kai who does the writing and there had been fights too, some that either me or him does not agree but In the end as a band we will come together. Back in the days we don’t have our studio and equipments and we will record it in a cassette tape and take it to the studio and make the song, things have changed over the years.
Music Piracy is a curse for the bands who put a lot of efforts into their music, do you face the same after you release your album, or have you ever felt that Internet should never have existed for all the pain the bands has to go through because of this?
It is, this is not something that is happening after Internet came to picture, this is been happening since the beginning, right when we were young we used to copy it in a cassette but we know the quality is second grade and then CD’s came to the scene and we burn CD’s but still it doesn’t give original quality music, even when digital music came what we get is not original quality, so to get the pleasure of quality music people have to buy, Piracy is not right, we should not jeopardize someone’s hard work. Buy music and listen to quality music.
To be as a band is one of the hardest things, everyone has different Ideas on how the band should be or the kind of music that they should be making, how do you guys manage to make each band member’s desires fulfilled so that the operation is smooth and everyone is happy in what you were doing?
There can be differences, but in the end we are a band, We are Helloween, so the spirit will stay and we don’t see any obstacle in it.
After 2015’s “My God Given Right” what is Helloween doing, Is there a plan for another album?
Right now we are getting in the Pumpkins United World tour which will start later this year and go until next year. Right now I cannot say If there will be an album coming out soon, but fingers crossed anything might happen in the meantime.
Helloween has been touring around the world, Is there any country that you would love to go that you have never ever been, If so what would be that country?
I really cannot answer this question, I love many countries and I don’t like some, there are many problems in terms of Religion or race, If I say this some will say Boo hoo You don’t like our country, I don’t want this happen. Maybe we will go for the sake of the fans but it will create a lot of problem from Political and in terms of safety.
Music business is an ever changing one, it keeps changing like the seasons, Some people like the bands to be the same, some wants to hear the band differently, as a band it is hard to satisfy everyone’s desire, did you ever have the fear that there would be an end to Power Metal?
We cannot satisfy everyone, Helloween is going to be the same, We cannot make any changes to the spirit of the band. There is always an end to everything, In fact we had faced a lot of opposition from the local when we started, as you know Hamburg was a hardcore death metal community, but we came up, and people started loving what we do.
Thanks very much for this Interview, we really are so Privileged and honored to have you grace the pages of our magazine, Do you have a message for the fans and the readers?
Thanks to the fans from all over the world. It’s not that we are great, we are here because of the fans, A band cannot go with the ego that I make music and I’m great, Fans come to our concert, buy our music and give their support. Because of them we survive. So my wishes and thanks to all the fans around the world.
Keith Clements / MHF