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Andi Deris - Singer for Helloween

Alba Wing
 

Andi Deris - Singer for Helloween



Date: 10/24/05
Interviewed By: Rich Catino

 

1. Was writing and recording “Keeper Legacy” a labor of love or the biggest headache the band ever decided to take on?

ANDI: We are more than happy with it and very relieved also you can say, Hahaha. Yeah you could hear the stones of relief hit the floor when we were done recording this. I mean we never said we would or won't do it, we said we would try to and when we were done we were definitely satisfied. We knew it had to be complex and it had to have a lot of double guitar work, and be epic. We had to work doubly hard for this one to satisfy ourselves and the fans. We had a lot to live up to.

2. Why a double instead of a single disc?

ANDI : It kind of turned out that way because everybody had this pressure in the back of our minds that we wanted to do a Keeper album, so everybody worked harder and brought in more ideas, more enthusiasm. After recording all the music, we realized we had over 80 minutes of music. Then the question was, if we do an 80-minute CD do we want to have data reduction, and does the record company want possible returns from people who have first generation CD players which would definitely not play the stuff. So if we were allowed to release a double CD, would the record company be able to sell it for the price of a normal one-CD package, and that's what SPV said we could do. So the fans are getting a double for the price of a single.

3. Of course this is going to be compared to both “Keeper of the Seven Keys” Parts 1 & 2, and the fact that Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske were not involved in any way. So what is the bands defense as to the decision to make another Keeper album?

ANDI: Well first off we have a guitar team that has a great understanding of the importance of the dual harmonies that are very important to Helloween's sound and to the “Keeper” story. From the lyrical point of view we have all the political ties that go into the story this time around based on what is going on in the world today. That also involves the Keeper's world, which is always parallel to the real world. The Keeper character could not stand up and fight for mankind again in the fantasy world if, in the real world, there was not some miserable things happening. So we felt like bringing up the Keeper again because the story is mostly about the key of greed which is being betrayed by a couple of guys by believing the sweet words and promises of the devil, who promises them to be “King for a Thousand Years”. They really believe it, and worked for the devil and try to use the key to open the portals of evil. That's what happens in the fantasy world, so the Keeper has to stand up again and fight. The last “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” story was more or less finished with the key of ignorance during the end of the '80s. Also from a marketing stand point the excitement for another “Keeper” album obviously was going to bring attention to the band again. We also wanted to make sure that the fans knew we were making music that definitely had the “Happy Happy Helloween” feel to it, you know?

4. Is the Keeper Legacy story part of every song and where has the story been taken?

ANDI: We did try combine all the songs. A song that is very outstanding and not necessarily part of the story is Ms. God, and it answers one of the biggest questions to mankind and that is… Why if God exists why wouldn't he/she stop all the shit that is going on down here? And when Marcus, our bass player thought about it, said that God is a woman and she's got no time to look down because she is always looking in the mirror, HaHahaha. That's why Ms.God came up in the first place, and it perfectly fits into the concept where you have “King for a 1,000 Years” or all these doom songs with the devil entering the world and making all these sweat promises. At the end of the day the question should be where is God when all these bad things are going, why must there be a keeper to do all the fighting.

5. Is Sascha now a member of the band and what does he contribute to the music?

ANDI: I think he's not only the new young blood in the band and playing all these new styles that we have not had time to rehearse, and he's very easy going with our other guitarist Michael Weikath who is kind of a character so there are not many people who can get along with him. So privately they have a very good understanding. Plus, if don't have the twin guitar solos you don't have a Keeper album. Plus he also brings in some fabulous and brilliant ideas.

6. Why was the cloaked character from the original “Keeper Part 1” back on the cover for “The Legacy”?

ANDI: Well on the new cover he is only seen from the back. We did not want the evil not as evil so the devil is a she devil with the long blond sexy hair. The keeper is representing the good this time he's only seen from the back, you know it's the keeper but maybe he turns and he's a werewolf or something like that. It expresses our distrust into everything like what the media that tells us what's good and bad, I don't dare to believe what I read or hear because the information is misleading. Something we tried to express with the cover, I don't know if it came across but its still a good cover of good against bad.

7. On your last tour through the U.S. you had a rather even balance between classic and newer Helloween songs. What type of setlist are you working on for this tour?

ANDI: This time we are taking it a bit further and do like a one hour Keeper story, opening with “Halloween”, go into “Keeper of the Seven Keys”, “Occasion Ave.”, “King for a Thousand Years”, “The Invisible Man”. Then come back, maybe change the stage set, and then do another hour or so and do all the hits, go through “I Want Out”, “Dr. Stein”, “Power”, “Future World”, “I Can”, all that stuff. I think that we will also work in a few from the first E.P. and “Walls of Jericho”, like last time when we did “Starlight” and “Murderer”. I think it maybe like almost two and a half hours, HaHaha, I can almost hear the fans complaining “ Hey, how come you didn't play for eight hours”, HaHaha.

8. Do you think you will include anything from “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” or “Chameleon”?

ANDI: Ahhh, I don't think so, that's when the band was almost dead and the guys really don't like those records, so I don't think so, no.

9. Have you ever been asked to play the ProgPower festival in Atlanta ? Is that a festival you would like to play?

ANDI: No never. Yeah that would be great to do.

10. Will you record a live DVD on this tour?

ANDI : We definitely record as much as possible, it's a financial thing, for example like it's expensive to record in Germany and maybe not do it there, maybe do it in Russia, Spain or something less expensive, Hahaha. I would expect we will record six or seven shows. On the other hand my dream we be live in Peru or something like that, we'll see.

11. Are there any plans to release a DVD with the old lineup performing?

ANDI: No I don't think. We have the DVD from the “High Live” tour from “Time of the Oath” tour, and the “Hellish Videos” collection which goes from the “Halloween” video up to “Hey Lord” from “Better than Raw”.

12. What do you think are Helloween's strongest moments?

ANDI: Maybe on festivals like Wacken or Monsters of Rock in San Paulo, I know those were fantastic moments. As far as the albums, definitely the “Keeper” albums, “Master of the Rings” because it was the comeback album for the band. Things were so bad after “Pink Bubbles” and “Chameleon”, the band was almost dead, not only sales but chemistry wise. Also “Master of the Rings” was a great success for sales and artistically. For me it was a dream come true because I came into Helloween from my old band Pink Cream 69, and bringing those fans with me, and to go gold and platinum it was fantastic. Its one of my favorite records because that's years of my blood on that album. It's mainly songs that my band didn't want to play. One of the songs I love is “Why”, that's one my old band did not want to play, they thought it was too commercial. But what is commercial? Commercial for me is something that sells, just because it has a great melody doesn't necessarily mean it's commercial. Then again it's a Hard Rock/ Metal song so its not commercial anyway. Not during the grunge time when we released “Master”.

13. Plans for a U.S. tour since those dates have not been announced yet?

ANDI: Well its maybe around mid March around the South America and Asia dates. The only dates I know so far are the European dates.

14. Will it be a package tour?

ANDI: Well we should, shouldn't we? It would be at least a small package to bring in a nice amount of people. Or a dream come true would be where Helloween would be somewhere in the middle, have a strong opener, and have a very strong act after us. The last two runs we did through the States went from shit to fantastic where only 200 people showed up, then we had great shows like twice sold out Key Club in LA and BB Kings in New York, they were fantastic, I loved those shows. Its 50/50. As far as Primal Fear maybe coming to the States with us I'm not sure, right now it has not been talked about. They are doing the dates with us in Europe and that's great to be on the road with some friends. I cant say at this point if we are even going to headline or be the guest for another band. If we had the choice to support a great band and that can pull several thousand people in the States then that would be much better for us.

15. Anything you want to add?

ANDI: I just want to thank the fans thanks for waiting just a little longer for this album and I think they are going to be as satisfied as we are, and maybe hopefully enjoy it as much as we do. We are back more or less with the more complicated Heavy Metal, but then again I also think its very easy going.

Official website: www.helloween.org

 
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