TM – Hi this is Elizabeth and Amelia, and we are here with Michael from Halloween, thank you for having this interview with us today we really appreciate it. How has everything been going for you with Covid?
MW - We've had amazing reactions on the new album, we've done the self-titled album from 2021. We have raving reviews and it's taking on proportions, there's a huge buzz growing about the whole thing. For now, it's quite possible that the buzz will stop after we talked then nobody is going to talk about us anymore but for the time being it's looking extremely good, and I wouldn't want to know at what point it would possibly go.
TM - What was your writing and recording process for your new self-titled album?
MW - We sat down whenever anyone wanted to get started after the tour, before Christmas or after Christmas, or after New Year’s. I personally started in February and ended at the beginning of April. I thought, ok now I’ve got those three tracks and it works that way. Everyone has their own studio equipment in some way, and I just have it here on this one computer right where I sit and a large monitor and some audio interfaces that's how I run stuff. Other people have a studio where they can sit down and say “OK I'm going to write some new tracks now” and I start with the drums, that's just the way it goes so that's what everyone has been doing basically. They have some songs ready and the singer in our band Deris probably would have had 30 tracks, and I had the same amount. Other guys had other numbers of tracks and then we met in the middle of April in a hotel in Hamburg, and we played those demos to each other, so then we knew what that album would already be like. Except that single ‘Skyfall’ which took till November of 2019. We had all the tracks and we were pretty confident that everyone had made amazing demos and it sounded great. We have super Melodies it's going to be a great album possibly and that's how it went.
TM - You used the original drumkit of Ingo in the studio, what did this mean to you?
MW - It was, I think, Deris’ idea. You could say there’s some heartfelt involved in the whole thing and explains that that drum set was used in the recordings of The Keeper 2. It's kind of like a Mahogany coloured one and he also had a white coloured one after which he used for the Chameleon recordings in the studio where that took place, but it's been renamed, but who cares. Then we put that Mahogany type drums set on the spot where he was supposedly recording with the white drum kit for Chameleon, so that's the connection there and from what I understood from Deris idea was; get that drumkit from somewhere or the storage room the flatmate of Ingo from back then still had the key for and knew where it was, and they had to freshen it up some and order the parts to make it play well. It’s like, you know I'm at a loss of words for this.
TM - Your new album cover incorporates a lot of the old album covers and it's cool, what inspired this?
MW - That Kantor guy we’d been offered as an artist for our possible album artwork along with two other guys. It was pretty evident that we knew right from the start that this Kantor guy has just got it. He just knows how to do important album covers, we let him do ours and then Deris spoke up and said “you know, if I miss out on a few magic rings then the master of rings could be on that cover as well.” Then kantor must of thought about it and thought ‘if I cram all these things in there and they possibly want more, I could do a landscape cover right away and I can place what else they might want in there and that's probably what would happen. Like, the flying V should be up on the right the Hornblower of The Walls of Jericho is also there. Someone told me there's Dr Stein around there but I couldn't find him yet, I’m not quite sure if he's in there or not or if it was an outright lie someone told me. Yeah, it’s a good cover.
TM - It's a good cover I agree.
MW - Most people say it's good. so there must be something about it.
TM - Can you tell us about your upcoming tour with Hammerfall?
MW - I would like to know more myself, but as it stands it, has been announced for some time in ’22. All I can hope is it's coming to pass as well because it's what we have with covid restrictions so I don't know, I'm not a politician but I'm hoping for some divine intervention to make it all happen. Then when that happens, we go do it and then it's going to be amazing! Because, then you would have two amazing bands going out there giving people proper wash up in their faces with melodious power metal music, and I would expect that some people like that.
TM - What can fans expect from your setlist?
MW - We would possibly incorporate three tracks from the new album, I was told I saw something like 4 or 5 tracks from the new album, but I have considerable doubt that it will ever be that way. I reckon three or four tracks we would probably go that way, I hope it’s all going to happen and we are going to have a look at what classic tracks from earlier we can put in the setlist. Making setlists is kind of like a drag, and it's always difficult that you have management or other people that are friends with the band saying “Hey look guys, why don't you play this other track that you haven't played in 30 years? I was thinking something like I don't know something from The Keeper 1 or something that Kai Hansen wrote?” Michael Kiske said that he would like to play one of the other tracks that we once played on the Live in the UK album, but I wouldn't know it's just all a matter of like you know, talk it out and go for it.
TM - You also have a Crack the Code in the new album, and you win a meet and greet and two tickets to any show so that's pretty cool!
MW - Finally that I know what that's all about, they have to crack a few riddles with numbers written in cycles or in circles or CDs. I’d already seen someone who almost completed the right of what it’s going to be. I can only suppose what it maybe was three letters missing it was something quite extraordinary, I was like oh I wouldn't have thought of that.
TM - Oh really? That's cool! So could you tell us the answer? (laughs)
MW – Yes I could, but as I told you there are three letters missing so how could I possibly know? You know usually, I can combine things and gather something from what I see, and I’m like ok like in Jeopardy when you think ok this must be a no or yes.
MW - Mabey it's an awesome A, that A was like a circle above and that's an R, I don't know I haven't seen an A in that solution.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs what band would it be what song and, in your style, or their style?
MW – Oh, I would love Judas Priest, but you know they are British and we are German, and it's like we have a lot of things in common. Like they're from Birmingham and we are from Hamburg, so if you put that together you have a lot of ham and we could at least agree on that, and I wrote that song to for myself because I wanted to write myself my own Judas Priest song. I actually had a dream about where I was going with a tape or a cd and I wanted to show Rob Halford. I was going yes, a track of mine and I say “I would love if you perform this” and he was already gone and I woke up, and was in my bed and a cup of coffee next to me and no Rob Halford. It was a sad turn of events so I don't know if they would do it necessarily.
TM - But do you all like ham?
MW – yeah! Ham is debatable if one should eat ham or we should all go vegetarian or vegan or something. Recently voices occurred where they said that no good eating ham or meat or anything like that, it's like you never know I'm just going to do what I've been told.
TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live?
MW - Regardless of what may be the question I saw Aerosmith when I was 14 years old in Hamburg in a university in a playroom where people would sit and listen to a lecture, and that's where they did lots of concerts. Then I saw keel there and I saw Nightwing, but the first large show was Aerosmith and they were playing Lick and a Promise and the walls were shaking and they had the huge equipment! They had these huge cabinets stacked up and these LED metres running high going really loud and I had an upset stomach from the base frequency. I was sitting in the second row, and I was listening to that and I was like it's probably a bit much for me being a young guy being at a rock show for the first time it was really good and amazing. I was just like you know sound like something the Beatles would of done.
It was amazing and everyone was freaking out completely it was really good, did that answer your question or did I get it entirely wrong?
TM - Yeh it did Aerosmith are awesome live.
MW - There are other things to see a Russian band when Gorbachev was president in Russia, and they were playing some stuff they were all these music police in Hamburg at the club and they were all watching this Russian band come to do something that no one's ever seen. They made a brilliant record by that time, they were I think out for some propaganda for Russia and they were playing this stuff and suddenly they went into the best part and it was singing and they were playing and suddenly everyone went into tears and I bought their T-shirt.
TM - Do you still have the t-shirt?
MW - Yeah, I still have it somewhere but don't ask me where. I have so many T-Shirts stacked up, there’s like millions of Helloween shirts and that T-shirt must be somewhere in between there. You can see because I wear it in the booklet of the Master of the Rings album.
TM - Yeah I can definitely relate, too many bands t-shirts well. Can you ever have enough really?
MW - No but then I also tried to find something else with something entirely different on there just a little flower or something else, or a can of Campbell soup.
TM - Well I have 3 band T-shirt draw and one normal T-shirt draw.
MW - What are those bands?
TM – Halloween, Aerosmith, Elton John, KISS, and more.
MW – Totally approve! I've always been one of the biggest Elton John fans, no one ever knew but now they know.
TM - Elton John is amazing! He's fantastic!
MW - He's one of the best songwriters for music ever! only in the highest regards. He’s like the best songwriter ever in that field, or Paul McCartney or Freddie Mercury.
TM - Yeh I have a Queen T-shirt in my draw AC/DC, Madonna.
MW - Yeh Madonna she used to be something I really like. Frozen is an amazing track, whoever came up with that and produced that was a mega-storm in production or something. She's no bass on frozen.
TM - What band T-shirts do you have in your draw?
MW - Really too many to many, I wouldn't know I wasn't so Centric on bands I really just got what I could grab.
TM – Well, my favourite t-shirts are my Hellfest ones.
MW - I was thinking was it possible that there was Hellfest in Sweden? No just France, we are going to go as far as we can with this line up we will try to keep it as good as we can as long as we can go. Wherever we could we hope because people told us we shouldn't break up or anything so we try to stick to that.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
MW – Yes, I’d like to say thanks for all your support! We’ve seen a few more cities in Australia the last time we were there and that was kind of interesting to say the least. We felt honoured we enjoyed our time right there, and I wanted to thank for the interest and support it may not be many yet but on the other hand we don't mind. We have been there and done those things and it's been great and we can't wait if we ever made it there again.
TM - Thank you so much for this interview today we really appreciate it
MW - Thank you