Helloween then and now pool their resources.
When is a reunion not a reunion? When you’re German powermetal pioneers Helloween, who have merged two line-ups: one from their classic Keeper Of The Seven Keys (’87/88) era, and the current band.
Why decide to merge the two line-ups rather than just go out with the Keeper Of The Seven Keys band?
Michael Weikath (guitar): Because there’s the modern Helloween and there’s the past Helloween. They’re both Helloween. It wouldn’t be fair to what we’ve done for the last twenty years if we just went out with the Keeper line-up.
You had a fractious relationship with former singer Michael Kiske for years. How are things between you now?
MW: We were both on the bill at a festival in France a few years ago and I was basically summoned to have a talk with him. I turned up with two whiskies in my hand and we talked. A lot of what was said was the press making enemies of two people.
Michael Kiske (vocals): We’re all grown up now. It’s undignified for men of our age to still be arguing.
What can we expect from the Pumpkins United show?
MK: It will probably suck – eight very fat people rolling over the stage, drunk. No, we’re celebrating thirty years of this band. Everybody will have his part.
MW: We’re just in the process of coming up with a song list. We’re already close to three hours. There might be a medley.
Will it be a set of Keeper-era songs and then a set of modern songs?
MW: We’re thinking of mixing it up. It’ll be songs from Kai’s [Hansen, guitarist/original vocalist] era, from Michael’s era, from Andi’s [Deris, current vocalist] era.
Did you invite Roland Grapow, who played guitar in the band during the 1990s?
MW: We wanted to keep it to today’s line-up and the Keeper line-up. That’s what the fans want. So no.
Is this a one-off tour, or do you envisage making a Pumpkins Reunited album?
MW: It’s an experiment, so we don’t exactly know what’s going to happen. DE Pumpkins United play London Brixton Academy on November 13.