Tina Kilianov of the Czech web portal Kultura21.cz recently conducted an interview with guitarist Roland Grapow of German/Norwegian melodic metallers MASTERPLAN. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow.
On the status of the songwriting sessions for MASTERPLAN's forthcoming album:
"This time we tried not to make demo productions, which have a poor sound so we wanted to make really nice pre-production [recordings] which sound very close to the album sound, which is very easy [to do] in my studio now. I think we have many, many new ideas which, I guess, are a little bit more modern and more aggressive as well. So we try not to follow any trends of MASTERPLAN I'm not saying we're reproducing the first album or the third one or the fifth one. I think we always have to try to make some surprises for the people. The 'Time To Be King' album is great, but this new album sounds a bit different again. I always want to do this, because I'm not that kind of guy who wants to make every year the same album."
On the band's numerous lineup changes:
"I think it's always difficult in this band, I guess. If you see, the first album just came out after a big turbulence leaving HELLOWEEN, Uli [Kusch, drums] and me. I think this band always needs some very bad moments to some great songs. [Laughs] And it looks like MASTERPLAN, basically, is my main band, and whoever will sing and whoever will play in the band, I'm happy with, or if Jorn [Lande, vocals] will stay as long as possible. But, basically, at the moment, I'm thinking the main songwriters are Axel [Mackenrott, keyboards] now and me. Also Jan [S. Eckert], the bass player, who was very involved in different in projects and has a great job now, just called me one week ago. He's happy to continue with MASTERPLAN and he's looking forward to the next album and the next tour next year, hopefully. So whatever happens, this band will continue. I'm still very positive. I'm a little bit tired of producing bands the last three years in my studio and I want to continue now with my career in MASTERPLAN. It's very important for me to show that we still have the power and the ability to write beautiful melodies and some aggression and rock and metal songs. Whatever we do, we want just to make good-quality stuff."
MASTERPLAN's new album is tentatively due in early 2012 via AFM Records.
The band's last CD, "Time To Be King", was released on May 21, 2010 through AFM Records. The CD's first single, "Far From The End Of The World", was issued on April 16, 2010.
MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande told Germany's Rock Hard magazine in 2009 about his renewed collaboration with MASTERPLAN, "We never had problems with each other, but professionally, we decided for to go separate ways for a while. . . I am happy that we are . . . working together again mainly because the combination of MASTERPLAN's music and my singing [is] truly something special."
Lande left MASTERPLAN in May 2006, citing "musical differences" between the vocalist and the rest of the band. During the songwriting process for the group's third album, it became increasingly apparent that the other members of the band had different visions and plans for the group's musical direction. While Jorn allegedly wanted MASTERPLAN to follow a more melodic path, the rest of the band apparently wanted to return to the metallic roots of their debut album.
Vocalist Mike DiMeo (RIOT, THE LIZARDS) announced his departure from MASTERPLAN in January 2009 after recording just one studio album with the group 2007's "MK II".