News to HELLOWEEN

statement

statement - 2001-08-28

2001-08-28 - Former HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow stated in an interview conducted with Cleveland’s WBWC 88.3FM during the station’s HELLOWEEN Radio Marathon Live this past Thursday, August 23rd that he first learned of being ousted from HELLOWEEN through a phone conversation with his wife while he was in Los Angeles writing songs with producer Roy Z for an upcoming project. According to the axeman, no band meetings took place prior to the announcement that he and drummer Uli Kusch no longer members of HELLOWEEN, and the pair were reportedly shocked by their dismissal from the group. Consequently, their previously announced side project with SYMPHONY X vocalist Russell Allen will be upgraded to a full-time band, which may result in Allen being side-stepped in favor of a different vocalist, in light of Russell’s commitment to SYMPHONY X. Although no specific names were mentioned (save for a hint of a possible Michael Kiske involvement that was presumably delivered by Grapow in a joking manner), it appears fairly certain the project’s singer will be a German resident, so as to facilitate the group’s potentially hectic rehearsing and recording schedule over the coming months.
HELLOWEEN mainman Michael Weikath also took to the airwaves during the same show and delivered a slightly different version of events leading up to the split with Grapow and Kusch. According to Weikath, tension between the pair and the rest of the group started building around the time of the release of the band’s Time Of The Oath opus, with the bulk of the disagreements stemming from differences in musical ideas and a lack of chemistry in the songwriting department, particularly as it pertained to collaborative work. Moreover, Grapow and Kusch’s numerous side projects were said to be taking away from the HELLOWEEN songwriting process and were beginning to jeopardize the group’s stability, leading Weikath and bassist Markus Großkopf to conclude that ousting the duo was necessary for HELLOWEEN’s long-term future. Michael also revealed that he wasn’t particularly fond of the musical direction on the group’s last studio offering, The Dark Ride, with much of the material on the album being "too simplistic" for his tastes and devoid of the complexity of older HELLOWEEN songs. With that in mind, Weikath expressed his desire to continue with the traditional sound on the group’s next studio release, albeit with a more progressive and more modern approach. As previously reported, HELLOWEEN already have some people in mind as potential replacements and will NOT be holding auditions for a new guitarist and drummer.

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