Former HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow says that he wasn't invited to take part in the band's upcoming "Pumpkins United" tour. The trek, which will kick off in October, will feature seven musicians — including former members Michael Kiske (vocals) and Kai Hansen (guitar), alongside current singer Andi Deris and guitarist Sascha Gerstner — performing material spanning HELLOWEEN's entire three-decade-plus history.
Asked in a new interview with Sleaze Roxx if there were any talks of him joining the tour as well, Grapow said: "No. Nobody asked me, but I heard these news a long time before it was officially announced."
According to Roland, his first reaction upon hearing about the reunion tour "wasn't disappointment," but he admitted that he "felt a bit upset just like a boy that didn't get the invitation to his classmate's birthday party." However, "after a while, I realized that I would not like to do this. I wouldn't feel comfortable with these people around," he said. "And I would have had to sacrifice many things, which are very important and valuable for me such as the MASTERPLAN band, my studio work and free time with my family at home. I worked too hard just to skip it off."
Asked if he was surprised to see Kiske back with HELLOWEEN for a world tour after how things ended for the singer in the band back in '93, Roland said: "And are you surprised to see Kai Hansen joined them for a while? [Laughs] No, I'm not really thinking about that. It is all about business. There are the hard times for musicians. Everybody is trying to survive and using all the methods for that. I only wonder what will those guys [Hansen and Kiske] do with their own bands after this reunion tour. I'm not sure that their fans are ready to see them separate from HELLOWEEN again."
In a recent interview with Spain's TNT Radio Rock, Kiske was asked why Grapow isn't involved in the reunion tour. The singer responded: "As far as I know, they asked him [to take part in it], and he didn't wanna do it. That was the information [I was given]. He's probably still hurt. I know how it feels. When this stuff is fresh, it's difficult."
MASTERPLAN last month released a new studio album titled "PumpKings" consisting of reworked versions of HELLOWEEN songs from albums that Grapow played on during his time in the legendary German power metal band. Included are three songs from HELLOWEEN's "Pink Bupples Go Ape" (1991) LP, two from "Chameleon" (1993), three from "Master Of The Rings" (1994), one from "The Time Of The Oath" and two from "The Dark Ride" (2000).