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Interview with Helloween (Daniel Löble) | ''Helloween''



hello there Daniel new album for Helloween the self-titled studio album how are you feeling guys?

oh, at the moment we can't realize it pretty well because we are so busy with giving interviews taking into use and taking a lot of questions so at the moment, but initially yeah, we are kind of overwhelmed because of the reactions of the journalists so when we are chomping at the bit’s um until Friday the 18th when the album finally gets released here in Europe and we are quite excited. we can't wait to see and to hear and to feel the fan's reaction so if it's as good as the reactions of the journalists then we will be quite happy. So, but anyway um at the moment we are kind of over the moon and quite busy because there's a big run for interviews we haven't had before so yeah and now we're talking about the new album.




so, what were the first reactions from the first listening sessions from fans and journalists alike?

About fans I have no clue the just the journalists are I’m so tongue-tied after all these interviews today (laughs) only the journalists were allowed or got permission to listening to the album and I attended to one listening session that was hosted on from Nuclear Blast from zoom app and so we invited uh or they invited, I don't know, uh 50 60 70 uh journalists at once so you could see all the pictures on your screen and could watch them how they react when they're listening to our stuff the first time and it was kind of quite interesting and yeah, as I said before the reaction were um unanimous and it was like unanimous overwhelming and no one was like “oh that's not the good” no one was kind of criticism. Yeah, they are kind of cheering and let's put it that way, they made us a kind of uh being taken aback of the reactions it’s um yeah, they are completely positive in that way a lot of people talking about “best Helloween album in our career” or “best Helloween album ever since from whatever previous album they like more whatever” so, so to say it's unanimous positive reactions.




Okay Daniel these are strange times that we are living on so how difficult it was for you to make this album you know like we're living by the threat of Covid, we maybe see a light on the end of the tunnel eventually, but how difficult was for you guys making this album?

yeah initially actually we started the recordings right before this situation took place, it might sound a bit strange but to us or for the recording, the best thing that ever could happen to us was this Covid thing in a sense of time because all of the sudden we had a lot of time on top. at the beginning of the recordings we were quite squeezed of time because we started the recordings at the end of 19’ and we should have uh found an end in the middle of 20’ so all of the sudden we had plenty time to being even more meticulous to refine things, to re-record things, to put in more creativity, to be more detailed and whatever, so at the end of the day it was a good thing to us and for the recordings and for this album so take it that way we got so much time all of the sudden that we could get made two different completely different sounding mixes. We are in a luxury position, we have now two different mixes, and so without it might sound really hard and harsh, but without that pandemic we wouldn't have that much time so yeah, we took the time we, all of the sudden, had to refund that album or to make it sound the best we can.




a new album, the self-titled album, an album that fans are waiting for some time now but with three guitar players and three singers and the rest of you guys how challenging was that for you to make this album possible?

it was just a challenge in the point of to take the vocals first I mean Charlie Bauerfeind our long time producer took a lot of responsibility and time to balance three voices especially in long songs such as “Skyfall” I mean as you can imagine to find the right balance between three legendary voices that's quite tough but he did well so it was up to our co-producer Dennis Ward of pink cream 69 and Charlie Bauerfeind to take the responsibility and to take the decisions about the balancing of the voices. On certain spots we got a bit too much Derris or then all of a sudden, we got a bit too much too much Kiske or too less Kai (Hansen) or whatever. So but they balanced it well and in the point of the guitars, I mean hey, having three guitarists such as Gerstner Weikath and Hansen I mean that's a Dream, I mean for me the thing is you know Sasha is a master in mind is a machine in point of precision tone and speed so to me he's the bullet train in Helloween where Hansen and Weikath can jump on so and that's what Sasha did he always lays down an amazing guitar tricks and made it possible or laid down a great foundation for Weikath and for Kai to jump on as I already said. Kai with his energy I mean he's a restless reckless and restless guitar player in a point of energy and Weikath is the mister and the president and the lord and the prince of whatever the lord of such a unique tone in his fingers it's amazing and yeah having three guitarists, legendary guitarists and legendary voices and an awesome bass player and let alone the drumeeer (laughs).




so, do you believe that there were any differences than the previous albums making this Helloween album? Any things that you made differently except from the three voices.

Yeah of course I mean this time first of all that was the first time that we did that before we start the recordings we wanted to make a jam session to get a bit an impression and a feeling for the songs the demos and all the ideas that were flown around and so we secluded ourselves into the studio in Hamburg for a jam session that took I guess four or five six or maybe seven eight weeks I have no clue anymore it's a long time ago but it's it was a never-ending story to me so we jumped around with the ideas and everyone could point out some new ideas and we checked out and so, we recorded every little bits and pieces. After that we started the drum recordings and this time, we split the drum recordings into parts so to say the first part took place in Hamburg in a smaller studio I would say because of the room, and the second half of the drum recordings were made over a trek down in south of Germany close to Nuremberg. That was amazing, one of the biggest studios I’ve ever been to. A big room what we wanted to record as much air as possible and that's a difference to the previous recordings. This time you know we took a lot of time and effort into getting the right sound for every song, so to say, for example the guitars the nowadays standard is more like put in an amplifier and just take the signal, the digital signal and then play a bit around with the digital sounds. But this time we put in and we brought up tons of material in the point of amplifiers and real speakers and every mic, every speaker and every mic, even the rooms where the speakers were set up so to get to get the appropriate sound and so we took a lot of time to trick around with that, and with the drums we did the same way everything what you hear on this album is just a real signal and it's just air and room and we wanted to have or to give the fans or the listeners the feel that they can see and feel finally the human being behind the instrument because the nowadays the recordings of today for a lot of bands whoever I mean a lot of times I sit down listening to a certain album and I can't feel or hear a human being anymore and musician behind the instrument. Those times somehow has gone and that was a thing we wanted to have caught on this album. The human being and the natural sound and I guess we did well it's so it's a great sound to me, regarding my taste of something.





okay I believe Helloween is an album that you may not listen to it only once. It has so many things to give you. Something that I noticed when I was preparing this interview. It has so much things to give you and one listening session is not enough. So, let's talk about this wonderful artwork a nod to the Helloween legacy throughout the years… hell it's decades… What made say “Yeah that's the new artwork” and if there is a message to it?

yeah, the message is like this. the sound when we were during the recordings, we all already started to think about the artwork you know to get everything uh done in time so, we spent so much energy and effort and time into getting a real sounding album you know like a vintage sound a more refined vintage sound because we wanted. that's another point we wanted to have, a vintage sound but combined with the nowadays technology so, best of both worlds. That was the same we wanted to have with the cover artwork. This time we thought we should bring back finally a drawn cover artwork as we were used to have in the 80s where it was quite normal to have a hand-drawn album, there were no computers. And that was actually the meaning of this album to get back off this camera cover, to get back an art work a real artwork not just a computer printed picture which is looks cool or whatever, no we wanted to have an artist, Eliran Kantor who is responsible, for example, the New Testament album too, so, he’s such a talent and wonderful painter and when I saw even his scribbles, he got me in. I was completely over the moon and yeah, it was when everyone of us gave into that painting so it was clear as crystal to fulfill hopefully the expectations with that drawing. It's an amazing big cover artwork.




Let's talk about the elephant in the room the sign of our times the consequences of covid-19 from the start of 2020 to the music industry and not only affected bands labels and releases. what are your plans for supporting this album? what your plans about touring.

yeah, I mean we have postponed and we postponed again our current tour, I guess now for the third time and now it's planned for us to go on tour with that album at the beginning of 2022 around springtime and should bring us as always around the world around the globe in every country. But the times are kind of Unpredictable so, we keep the finger crossed that we can finally, can make it on tour and yeah that's our planning for now. So, this year we haven't planned anything because of the situation, we can't plan anything we just do as much as possible interviews as we are doing at the moment and uh for those kind of interviews we have a big run, really a big run I mean we're pushing the 600 interviews at the moment so , one of us is talking has been talking for days, uh from the beginning of the day until the end so it's , quite busy even for me as a drummer, I’m not used to it that much but hey, a lot of people want to talk with me so why not I’m happy about it. I'm a drummer I prefer that the drums do the talking but now I have to talk real (laughs)




Do you believe that Covid, the pandemic made damage beyond repair to some venues and festivals due to continuous cancellations? a few months ago I read an article about difficulties for the American venues maybe one third of them will close due to coronavirus what do you believe about that?

Oh, what I believe is that's believing to believe something doesn't mean. that it's real you know (about Covid) that it's a matter of fact. hopefully it's not the way you told me (about the venues) but for sure lots I think really lots of promoters and venues slumped out I guess and it hasn't slumped out yet, is still keep on going, I think or bottom down that would be the right expression so yeah what shall I say hope that we will find a lot of friends still on the markets after that pandemic you know.



Do you believe as you said before the pandemic made unintentionally a new way of creativity or new collaborations not possible before you know we we've seen many “quarantine” songs, many collaborations through the internet, to gain some lost time. What do you believe about that?

Yeah, I agree, I completely agree with you, I mean lots of musicians, all of a sudden had a lot of time or they still have a lot of time. So, at a certain point probably they gathered or they caught a lot of their creativity of their ideas and they're were eager and willing or forced to do something in whatever way and so a lot of collaborations happened due to the internet, I mean we are lucky that this kind of tool exists, so I think about it wasn't there around the internet wow then it would be a really tough time. I know a lot of musicians who did online sessions together or spent a lot of exchanged ideas or recorded an album together even though they are living on different countries or a continent, so it became quite easy nowadays or today, to record an album with whoever and wherever this guy lives. You know almost every musician has or own a home studio or demo studio where he easily can record his idea and bounce it down and swap it over to the next internet address. I think you will find for sure some positive aspects of the pandemic on the point of creativity and collaborations so yeah completely with you.




Now as I jokingly say the tough questions… what other bands are you listening this time around what other bands Daniel listen this time around?

Oh tons of different bands I mean the current Onslaught completely dragged me in or the current Overkill or Slayer’s running and I bought tons of vinyl, I mean I’m a vinyl lover, so one week ago I bought I don't know tons of vinyl such as Santana all the stuff and so yeah every kind of music run Van Halen when I got here back home I drove with my car and there was the current -uh what's the name of this band it's a really young band oh they sent me an album- more or less I’m a thrash metal guy in a sense so mainly thrash metal and heavy metal thrash metal that's what's spinning on my turntable at the moment.




okay the question that everyone hates to answer your favorite song from the album?

(laughs) “Down in The Dumbs” as easy as it is




yeah “Down in The Dumbs” for me also and at least it is at the moment. Sometimes I prefer something else (from the album) maybe sometimes “Robot King” maybe sometimes “Skyfall” you know sometimes changes depends on the day.

Yes yes it depends completely on your condition, on your state of mind I would say but I would take the same songs, “Skyfall” probably I’ve heard it too much so that I would skip but with “Robot King” and “Down In The Dumbs” and “Best Times” or even “Angels”, is a killer song yeah it's a kind of an untypical Helloween song even though it sounds Helloweenish but it isn’t it's a really untypical song especially written for Kiske's voice and that you can hear and feel i mean that's uh it's a killer song too but yeah as i would agree with you and go with you and your opinion about the songs you picked out “Robot King” and “Down In The Dumbs” somehow those kind of songs have the kind of feel or gives you a kind of impression being back in the time of the “Walls of Jericho” times, you know, this roughness and freshness and you can feel how the boys were eager to conquer the world back then. That you can feel in those two songs.




Any memories from the first time you went on stage or maybe the first memory from pumpkins united you know the first feeling when you saw all this thing happening

Yeah of course, the first show we played was in a show i guess in Mexico and that was a little venue, so we booked that to do a kind of warm-up show even though there were probably 2 000 people so that was a huge warm-up show but that was a cool feeling for me as a fan, i mean i'm the drummer i see every night, night after night the boys from the back, from the rear of the stage so I can watch the people from my mates from behind while playing those legendary songs with the original voice and original guitar player for example so that was kind of wow, that was a moment where i said wow what a crazy moment they're playing the original tunes with original members in front of so many people and the best is still to come. the tour hadn't started yet back then, and so, i thought wow that's kind of dream i find myself and so yeah and at the end of the tour it was it was a great success.




Any memories from the worst or best show you had any funny moments?

yeah, there were certain shows where mickey caught a flu and i could watch him how he dealt with it during the show he squeezed himself to get the best out of it and i could saw him suffer and that really was a what a bad moment at all to me, to see or watching a brother suffering, but he gave every night his best and I’m really proud of him, how he tackled that problem. we are human beings and on tour you easily could caught a flu or whatever but the show must go on as Freddie (Mercury) already saying.




Any funny moments?

tons of old mate well to slip my mind right away so, but we had a lot of fun on tour for sure I can tell you for example we had a roof pool and so we had a after show relaxing party so we got together on that roof pool to have a couple of drinks so and talk a bit about the show, but all of the sudden I could hear someone screaming and I heard a big splash and guess who was in, Markus so I might all those little funny things.




Something that Daniel regret throughout his career?

No, nothing, there's nothing to regret even the worse moments and even the worst decision I took made me even stronger and became a part of my career and part of my character. Mistakes are there to make you stronger, you always have to emanate from the ashes or from every crisis even stronger and that makes you even more characteristic than before so, in the point of regret I agree, I never regret anything.




Here in Greece, we had our second cancellation of your gig so we are waiting for you to come. What's your experience with Greek fans?

They're enthusiastic, for example they go the same way freaking out like the south American fans they have a lot of common you know, a lot of mutual things and a lot of in common so, I really like playing Latin countries so I call it (Greece) Latin country. they are more open-minded, can show more what they feel and they can make about. They're just cheering and you can watch them having a good time and that's what I really respect and like having when we go to a Latin oriented country so yeah.




we know we're crazy bastards (laughs). So, any last message to your fans?

Hey to everyone out there I mean hopefully you jumping at the bit until Friday it's just two days from finally get your fingers on our new album and hopefully you like it as much as we do and hopefully, we see another soon on wherever on whatever stage and wherever it may be and we can't wait as much as you and stay healthy and have a lot of fun.




Daniel thank you very much I already heard the album it was fantastic I hope everyone will like it, I think they will like it, we like this album this beautiful album with a beautiful artwork. Daniel thank you very much about this interview.

Thank you for your kind interview for your kind questions it was a pleasure talking with you and hey stay safe and have a lot of fun while hearing our album.







Chris Mouskos, Tasos Zervoudakis

Black Velvet Radio

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