In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske was asked why he has no songwriting credits on the band's new, self-titled album. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I didn't want [to get involved in the songwriting this time around]. I'm making a solo album right now — an acoustic album. That's my creative [outlet].
"When it comes to the songs of HELLOWEEN, I have written a few songs that were successful — I know — but still, to me, Kai [Hansen, guitar/vocals], Weiki [Michael Weikath, guitar], later on Andi [Deris, vocals] and also Sascha [Gerstner, guitar], they are the main songwriters; they write the songs that sort of define the main sound of the band," he explained. "And since we have six songwriters, I thought it's enough. Maybe I'll do something for another record that we might do.
"I think it has something to do with the label boss from Nuclear Blast," Michael added. "He's actually really after my solo record. He's really a big fan, which is always great. I told him that I'm doing something like that. And he [said], 'I wanna have it. I'm gonna release it next year.'"
Asked if his new solo album has already been completed, Kiske said: "I have all the material. It's going to be 50-50. It's going to be a few of my own songs that I have, all just acoustic. But I will also record some of my favorite songs — non-metal tunes. It's stuff from various bands that I do my own take on, sometimes even from the '70s or whatever. It's just songs that I love and I feel like I can sing them in an interesting way and do my own thing. It's gonna be 50-50, but it's gonna be very simple — everything just recorded here at my place."
Last week, the new LP from the reunited expanded classic lineup of HELLOWEEN entered the official album chart in the band's home country at position No. 1.
The "Pumpkins United" lineup of HELLOWEEN features returning singer Kiske and Hansen alongside Deris, Weikath, Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble.
Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Dennis Ward, the new HELLOWEEN LP was recorded in part at the H.O.M.E. Studios in Hamburg (where everything started in 1984). The same recording console used for such HELLOWEEN albums as "Master Of The Rings", "Time Of The Oath" and "Better Than Raw" was utilized to record the band's new material. The effort was mixed at the Valhalla Studios of Ronald Prent (IRON MAIDEN, DEF LEPPARD, RAMMSTEIN).
HELLOWEEN's new album saw the legendary German power metallers going "back to the roots," with the band recording fully analog and Löble playing the drum kit previously used by HELLOWEEN's original drummer, the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, on the legendary "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" recordings.
The "Pumpkins United" tour marked the first time Kiske had played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, had been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set featured several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sang a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)".
HELLOWEEN's European "United Alive World Tour Part II", which was originally scheduled to take place in September and October will now take place next year.