Ex-HELLOWEEN Singer MICHAEL KISKE: 'I've Always Loved Metal'

Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with with former HELLOWEEN and current UNISONIC singer Michael Kiske. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: How has it been for you to get back out there on stage again after nearly two decades?

Kiske: In the beginning, there was a lot of pressure. I didn't know if I'd be capable of doing it or how the fans would react. And we started with a festival in front of 30,000 people! Sure, we did two or three warm-up shows, but the first real concert we did was at Sweden Rock. I have to say, it turned out really nice. The audience was so beautiful, and I was overwhelmed with the warmth of the audience. After the gig, we did a signing session, and the people were in a huge line all the way around. They had all kinds of CDs that I had done. Now, I feel very comfortable on stage. It was almost like riding a bike as a little kid. You get back on after 20 years, and you never forget how to do it.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: What is your most memorable moment from your time in HELLOWEEN?

Kiske: The first tours we did. "Keeper 1", "Keeper 2". People might say that I say that because I'm back together with Kai [Hansen, former HELLOWEEN and current UNISONIC guitarist], but it's just a fact. When he was in the band, the band was totally functioning. When he wasn't in anymore, it stopped functioning, and it turned into a nightmare, especially for me. There was one special thing in France in a very little village around the "Keeper 1" time. We were very successful in France, and we went there to do a show. But the promoter who did the show didn't advertise it, so people didn't know we were there. We played for about 80 people. But it was the most fun we ever had. It was more like a Monty Python thing than a concert.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: It was often documented that you and Helloween split because some in the media here said that you hated heavy metal.

Kiske: That's bullshit.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: In America, we may wonder more than any other metal fans what happened to you after HELLOWEEN because it's been so long since we've seen you or the current edition of HELLOWEEN play live in this country. With UNISONIC, it's obvious that you don't hate metal or hard rock. So can you clarify what happened after that and why you disappeared, so to speak, for so many years?

Kiske: It had nothing to do with the music. I grew up with that music. There was a lot of anger in me toward the metal scene, especially in Germany. But I always love my MAIDEN records and JUDAS PRIEST records. I'm actually honest with you now, OK? (HELLOWEEN guitarist) Michael Weikath was very jealous of individual people in the band. He was working against me when Kai left the band and doing it behind my back. He was trying to get Andi Deris in the band, and after awhile, I got sick of it. I said toward (Hansen's replacement) Roland (Grapow), "I'm thinking of leaving the band." Fans were disappointed. They (media) tried to twist it that "Michael hated metal." But I've always loved metal. But I was pissed then, and I was getting a lot of bullshit when I did a record. If it didn't sound like HELLOWEEN, it was enough for (critics) to destroy it.

Read the entire interview from San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.

"Unisonic" (song) video:


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