HELLOWEEN singer Andi Deris, who lives in Tenerife, the largest of the Spanish Canary Islands, spoke to Mayra Dias Gomes of Brazil’s “Lokaos Rock Show” about how he has dealt with not being able to play shows for nearly two years during the coronavirus pandemic. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, we’ve been in the lucky situation of actually being in the middle of a production [of our new self-titled album] when the pandemic hit. So all my fellow musicians here in the band, we did not even realize that there’s something bad going on in the world because we’ve been, as always, in lockdown in the studio. [Laughs] We were in our own lockdown. As with every production, you’re kind of in your rabbit hole for [a few] months…
“After [each] production day, we sat there at two o’clock in the morning, listening to the news and watching German television, Spanish television — you go through BBC, you’re watching CNN and you try to get a picture what’s going on in the world and read between the lines, ’cause each and every news [report] was different,” he continued. “But there was one common thing: there’s a bloody pandemic going on. People were scared to death, and everybody thought, ‘Okay, we’ll all be dead by tomorrow.’ [Laughs] Over here in Spain, because the Canary Islands are part of Spain, everybody had this [feeling of], ‘The new Spanish Flu again.’ … Everybody thought, ‘Half of Spain will be eradicated by tomorrow.’ So everybody had this big stomach thing going on, ‘Oh, shit. Don’t go out.’
“But for us, actually, that whole pandemic thing, the feeling that I just described, it hit long after the pandemic was actually being announced,” Andi added. “So, for us, it was, like, ‘Okay, you’re here anyway. So, whatever goes on in the world doesn’t affect us.’ As always, in production we’re in our own bubble. And even if there would be World War III and the Germans again invade the moon — whatever — we don’t care. We’re here in the studio. Okay, [we do care] because I am a German. Okay. That was a bad example. [Laughs] Forget it. [Laughs] ”
This past June, the new LP from the reunited expanded classic lineup of HELLOWEEN entered the official album chart in the band’s home country of Germany at position No. 1.
The “Pumpkins United” lineup of HELLOWEEN features returning singer Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen alongside Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha 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.