Chris Akin from “The Classic Metal Show” recently conducted an interview with guitarist Roland Grapow of German melodic metallers MASTERPLAN. You can listen to the entire interview below.
On MASTERPLAN‘s new “PumpKings” album, which features re-recordings of songs Grapow wrote while he was in HELLOWEEN:
Roland: “When you leave a band a long time ago like HELLOWEEN and you wrote a lot of songs for them and for the fans, of course, it’s kind of a ‘baby.’ I said, after so many years, HELLOWEEN isn’t playing my songs live anymore, I call it for ‘political reasons.’ I don’t even know why they’re not doing it. They know; you should ask them. I felt a little bit the last couple of years that ‘Okay, it’s time to bring my babies home to a different kind of, let’s say, ‘house.” The MASTERPLAN sound is a bit more heavy. Of course, I play a bit of a different style than fifteen-twenty years ago. Everybody knew I was playing Fender guitars. I changed a lot on the last session with HELLOWEEN, on ‘The Dark Ride’. Since then, I kept this kind of style. That’s why the songs are a bit more modern-sounding, but I didn’t try to change them drastically. I just wanted to keep the same feeling and vibe, especially on the solo guitars. I still put my old Marshalls out and Fender guitars to get the same kind of feeling of what I had at that time. I think the basic difference is the vocal parts because it’s a different singer [Rick Altzi].”
On whether his MASTERPLAN bandmates were comfortable with the idea of re-recording Grapow‘s old HELLOWEEN songs:
Roland: “I think not one hundred percent, no. There was some questions like, ‘Do we really have to do this? Would it be better if you did it under your solo name?’ And, I agree, but somehow, I felt, why not? It’s the same, or would be the same, if Ritchie Blackmore plays DEEP PURPLE songs with RAINBOW. He wrote it. It’s funny sometimes to read the comments on the Internet from some of the die-hard HELLOWEEN fans, they think it’s totally not necessarily that I touch them or they even think, ‘Why is he even touching HELLOWEEN songs?’ They don’t even see me as a songwriter. It’s like a totally different feeling to other artists like Ritchie Blackmore or Yngwie Malmsteen. When they played in a different band, it’s still the songs of Ritchie or something else. But they saw myself not in the same position, somehow. The funny thing is that nobody is mentioning Kai Hansen, who since he left HELLOWEEN [in 1988], he’s [been] playing ‘I Want Out’ and ‘Future World’, he’s playing it with GAMMA RAY, he’s playing it solo, he’s playing it with UNISONIC and nobody is complaining. It’s funny.”