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Interview with MICHAEL KISKE about HELLOWEEN’s new album, reunion and the UNITED FORCES TOUR

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It’s a dream team! Seven Magnificent of the Heavy Metal genre. Helloween magic is back at large, looking at a brand new mythical tour. Markus Wosgien set things and arranged everything. And I just hoped I wouldn’t have a stroke as I was set to talk to the one and only Michael Kiske. I simply believe that Michael is one of the best singers of all time and now you get the picture. Sincere thanks to Markus and Nuclear Blast. The Pumpkins are going to be in Greece next summer. Did you know that? Well… now you know.

Michael, thank you so much for your time! How are things there with covid-19?

Getting a lot of better right now. We were very extreme. It has to do with the mentality of a country. How they react to this kind of things. In the end, stuff like that will always be there. It’s part of life. Since we are living in such holistic times, trying to control everything, including nature, people tend to overreact to those kinds of things. I am not saying that it hasn’t gone down as it did. It feels that got out of control in many countries.

Five years since Helloween reunited. How did that happen?

That was a long way. I was off for many years. In the 90’s I didn’t want to hear anything about it. I was dealing with other things. Slowly I got back to recording the first Avantasia record. Then Serafino from Frontiers records contacted me, offering a solo record deal. Then it was Unisonic… On the first tour of Avantasia Kai was with us and we started talking, later on he joined Unisonic. On another tour of Avantasia we talk with Michael Weikath and I realize that I wasn’t mad anymore. He was into making pieces and stuff. That was in 2013, but even that time, there were no discussion about pumpkins united. It was interesting for me that my anger was gone. Like a year and half, we played three concerts with Unisonic in Spain and Kai said to me “Michael, we just got to do something with Helloween before it’s too late” and I said I am open. Kosta (e.n. Zafiriou) was part of the Unisonic management and said the word to the office and Helloween called me asking how serious I was. We had a long conversation with Mike, to straighten things up. He wanted me to fly over to Tenerife, where Andi is living, to spend some time and see how we get long, which we did and it felt like I knew him before. Everything went step by step. We only talked about a tour. After that tour went down so well, that’s when we started thinking about an album.

Helloween Helloween

How long did it take to “build” the album?

Actually, that wasn’t long. We have so many writers. Even from 2018 you could see that we had a lot of material. It came together quite easily. It took forever to mix it last year.

How was the atmosphere during the recordings? Anything funny happened that you would like to share?

I can’t remember anything specific. We are always joking around. When we were talking about the material we were concentrated. The funny stuff happened on days off on tour.

What’s your opinion about the album? Is it a new era for the band? Is this dream team here to stay? What should we expect from Helloween in the near future?

Definitely it is. It’s a different band now. Seven members. Nobody knows where this is going to lead. Nobody knows how long this is gonna go. It feels great and definitely a new era.

What is your favorite song from the album?

I like a few… “Skyfall” has the quality of the Keeper records in my mind. “Angels” is a fantastic song. “Fear Of The Fallen” is great. Andi wrote that song for both of us. I like them all for different reasons, but these are my favorites.

How did you spend time?

Listening to a lot of music and starting to record an album. When you do this job, you know that there will be some time off. It’s nothing unusual, but the thing is that we didn’t plan it that way.


If someone told you that from now on all musicians had to do only streaming live, what would you say? Is it the same to be on a stage without people? Do you believe that the fans will feel the magic coming from a screen?

It’s not the same. I think we will lose interest soon.

What is the driving force behind the band? What is the thing that inspires you all to make music?

I think everybody had different people that drove them to do it. For me, it was Elvis. I was nine years old when he died and starting to be all over TV. That’s when I got excited about it. Later on, I discover different types of music. The reason why we do this together is Karma. It’s better and bigger that each individual person can do on their own. Helloween always had that. I almost forgot about it, how it feels like and rediscover that with this band live. This is the only way a band make magic.

In the UNITED FORCES TOUR in 2023, Athens is on the map. The fans are anxious to see you.

We are very happy to celebrate with all you crazy pumpkinheads out there!!  

See you next year at the Release Athens Festival!

Mary Zarakoviti

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