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Markus Grosskopf – Bass for Helloween

Date: 5/31/15
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. “My God-Given Right” is Helloween’s 15th album. What were the goals?

MARKUS: Well this album compliments our last album “Straight Out of Hell” pretty well, and it didn’t take us too long to work on these new songs after that album. I think the goals were just to make another Helloween album that had the bands trademarks; double bass, fast riffs, twin guitar leads, and variety too, a couple other composition ideas that would be considered “different” for Helloween. But we always try to do a couple songs like that on almost every album anyway. The title of the album is just more of a statement we liked, an attitude for the album.

2. The songs ‘Russian Roule’, and the doomy ‘The Swing Of The Fallen World’, they have a different tone. Did these two songs bring you back to the “Dark Ride” album like it did for me?

MARKUS: Well on that album that album had a few of the Nostradamus theme, and we had a few of those ideas in recent years too. And these type of songs make the album interesting, variety. I think those two songs remind me more of “The Time of the Oath” song and album.

3. While writing my review of the album, when I listened to the song ‘Like Everybody Else’ is one of those moments where Helloween is thinking outside the box, and outside your style. Brought me back to “Rabbit Don’t Come Easy” album. Tell us about that song.

MARKUS: Its just like any song when we write different stuff. We always try writing in a very different way, like Andi (Deris), likes to write in a different way, and he is always good at writing those irregular Helloween songs. Michael (Weikath) always seems to write spirited anthems. I write more in traditional heavy metal form. ‘Living on the Edge’ I wrote, and also one called ‘Free World’ which is a Japanese bonus track.

4. With this album coming out for the 30th anniversary of the band, do you hear every era of the band throughout “My God-Given Right”?

MARKUS: Really, its hard for me to talk about it because I am so close to it. It is easier for you because you are hearing it for the first time. But when I listen to it, yes, I do hear all the classic elements of the band; twin guitars, some keyboards, a few modern parts, that “happy happy Heloween” vibe, etc.

5. Whatever happened to the “rumored”, talked about, reunion of the “Keeper” line with Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske?

MARKUS: We never confirmed that, it was just talk. If Michael Kiske is on a festival with us he can come out and do a song or two with us. And we did do two tours with Kai and Gamma Ray which went very well, and at the end of our set Kai would come out and do ‘Future World’ and ‘I Want Out’. Our relationship is fine with those guys. But as far as part of the plan, no, its not.

6. American tour planned in support of the new album?

MARKUS: We might, for now we do the summer festivals in Europe. Then, Japan in the fall. In 2016 we will be in Florida for the Monsters of Rock Cruise, and then hopefully we will do a US tour around that.

7. Over the past year, Nightwish and Sabaton did a very successful North American tour. And I’m sure the upcoming Blind Guardian/Grave Digger fall tour will be equally successful. Do you plan on also buddying up with another European band?

MARKUS: That might be a great idea, we haven’t talked about that yet, but it is a good idea.

8. Who are a few of your favorites who are influenced by Helloween? Or just European Power Metal?

MARKUS: I like Nightwish and have their music. I also like some Edguy, Grave Digger, Rage, Kreator even though they are thrash.

9. Are there any plans to release any Helloween concerts from the 80s with the “Keeper of the Seven Keys” lineup?

MARKUS: Not that I know of. I have seen a few of those old pro shot shows on Youtube though. It’s funny and great looking back on how young we were at that time.

10. When making up the live setlist for this 30th anniversary of the band, will you try and plan maybe at least one song from every album?

MARKUS: No, but we are working on something special for the end of the year. You will have to see.

11. Being a fan, there are several songs I’d like to hear back in the setlist. I’m curious if they are a consideration, out of the question, one you’d like to see return, etc?

a. ‘Starlight’
MARKUS: It does and has returned from time to time. We played it last year a couple times. It’s a good classic.
b. ‘Kids of The Century’
MARKUS: We only did that one on that tour, and haven’t played it since. You never know, I kind of like it, but I think fans would like to hear something else.
c. ‘Giants’
MARKUS: Yeah I was thinking of doing that one day. One of the better songs from the “Chameleon” album.
d. ‘Why’, or ‘Perfect Gentleman’
MARKUS: ‘Why’ we have done in the past, and ‘Waiting For the Thunder’, which is currently in the setlist, has a similar feel and attitude.
e. ‘Wake Up The Mountain’
MARKUS: We did that a few times on a couple tours. I’d like to do that again.
f. ‘Hey Lord’, or ‘Midnight Sun’
MARKUS: ‘Hey Lord’ has been done before, and has returned. ‘Midnight Sun’ is a great song that we recorded for the album “Better Than Raw”, but for no particular reason has not been played live yet.
g. To the “Rabbit Don’t Come Easy” album, ‘Open Your Life’, or ‘Sun 4 The World’.
MARKUS: I think we did both on that tour, but it has been a while, probably since that album and tour. I don’t remember, hahaha. Its so hard sometimes with all these albums and tours to recall what we did and didn’t play.

12. Working on any side projects?

MARKUS: Not right now. Last thing I did was the Bassinvaders project.

Official website: http://helloween.org


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