David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: There's been some talk lately of a potential reunion between you and the HELLOWEEN guys, so I wanted to get your thoughts. Any truth to these rumors?
Kiske: No. That's something the HELLOWEEN guys are bringing up. They have that in their head for whatever reason… I don't know why. They have their own singer [Andi Deris]. I wouldn't do that. I'm up for peace, up for talking everything out and getting everything out of our systems. I met up with [HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael] Weikath a couple of weeks ago in Sweden. He was extremely nice and friendly. It was clear they have changed their mood. They've changed their attitude toward me. They really did me a lot of wrong over the years. I don't want to pass the blame here, but they've accused me of doing things that they know very well are not right. They needed some stuff to convince the old fans that it's good I'm not there anymore, and they went way too far. One of the things that I was really pissed about was this "musical direction" talk, as if I would be the person to tell anyone what kind of music he should do. Everyone who knows me — anyone who really knows me — knows my attitude is totally different. I would always say, "Do what you believe in. Whatever song is your song, write it, go play it." I would never be the person to tell anyone in HELLOWEEN the direction we were supposed to go. That was so ridiculous, to blame me for the things that came up. Yes, I was responsible for my own songs, but it was always something the band made work… or not.
DeadRhetoric.com: I talked to Weiki in person when they were here in the States in September and we talked about "Chameleon", and how the band was trying to be like QUEEN…
Kiske: I don't think we were a band anymore in those days. We didn't try anything on "Chameleon"; there were three songwriters trying to make a solo record. We were not functioning as a band anymore. Totally dysfunctional. But about this reunion thing, I'm in UNISONIC now. I don't know how they have suddenly changed their tone and why I should be there for a reunion tour and all. Like I said, I'm fine with making peace, but you can't undo the past. I'm a typical person. I can easily forgive, but I never forget. If someone betrays me, I tell them, "Okay, I forgive you. Go in peace. I don't trust you anymore. You showed me who you are. I'm not saying you can't change, but you have to do a lot to convince me you have changed."
DeadRhetoric.com: Not even for instance, UNISONIC and HELLOWEEN are at a festival and you're asked to do "I Want Out". Nothing like that?
Kiske: I can do that with UNISONIC. For the fans who are in love with the records of those times, like the "Keeper" records, I understand they have hopes and think it would be a cool thing. I don't think they could give me the amount of money, just for business reasons to say yes. My heart is just not there. If they give me 2 million euros, I'd be stupid not to do it, but I know they'd never do it. [laughs] This will never be an option. For the fans, you can do a lot, but for me, it would be very difficult to be on a stage and to sing among people who are not my friends, people who I have such a negative past with and feel so betrayed by. My voice would probably be gone.
DeadRhetoric.com: But your meeting with Weiki went well, though, right?
Kiske: Oh yeah, it went good. I don't think it was…he was just trying to get me on his side. Trying to make me feel good and not about clearing anything up. I just think they're up to something and probably in terms of their career it would be a nice move.
DeadRhetoric.com: Their 30th anniversary is next year.
Kiske: The thing is, all those things aside, there's another thing that I find weird when it comes to this. I have been connected with this name "HELLOWEEN" not completely for seven years, it was under seven years, and the "Keeper" records have been the most successful, but after that, they have a new singer and he's been in the band for 20 years now. If you look at it, both of those bands — the HELLOWEEN of the "Keeper" era and the new one, they're very different. They sound very different. Not only because of the singer, they sound different in many ways, and in my ears, I don't have anything to do with it anymore, but that's just me. The people who come to their concerts nowadays, I'm pretty sure it's because of the records they have done afterward, with their new singer, and they want to hear that guy, and I don't give that to myself. I don't want to be onstage singing material for people who want to hear Andi. When I'm on tour with UNISONIC, they want to hear me, playing together with Kai [Hansen], and doing "I Want Out" and "March Of Time", and it works.
Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.