Michael Kiske + Kai Hansen to Rejoin Helloween for ‘Pumpkins United’ World Tour
The reunions just keep coming and latest on the list is German power metal kings Helloween, who will enlist the services of iconic singer Michael Kiskse and original guitarist Kai Hansen. The two will not be replacing any of the current members, merely serving as additional members for a 2017 / 2018 world tour dubbed "Pumpkins United."
Both former members will join the current cast of mainstays Michael Weikath (guitar) and Markus Grosskopf (bass) as well as Andi Deris (vocals), Sascha Gerstner (guitar) and Dani Löble (drums). The joint tour will bring three hour sets to countries all across the world with the first date set for Oct. 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The band promises the tour will stretch across Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States.
Fans have been clamoring for the return of Kiske and Hansen for quite some time, especially when the two joined forces under the Unisonic moniker, releasing their debut record in 2012. Hansen's primary outfit, Gamma Ray, also toured with Helloween on both installments of the "Hellish Rock Tour."
"There'll for sure be songs that we haven't played in a very long time or even ever before. Whoever doesn't secure tickets for this tour probably doesn't have all their pumpkins in a row," said Grosskopf. The band has iterated that this is not exactly a reunion and will likely never happen again. Andi Deris added, "I'm so much looking forward to playing Michi's and my tunes together with him live onstage. It's going to be absolutely exceptional."
Hansen served as the band's vocalist and guitarist on Helloween's first album, Walls of Jericho, but relinquished the vocal spot after, allowing the band to land on the young and capable Kiske. This lineup then went on to release two power metal hallmarks, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. I + Pt. II. Hansen departed the band in 1988, citing the shift in the band's direction as the impetus and he moved on to form Gamma Ray.
Kiske left the group in '93 after they released the maligned Chameleon, showing a waning interest in heavy metal and declared he would never return to the genre again. When he and Hansen reunited under Unisonic, Kiske claimed the band was more rock centric than metal, despite some decidedly heavier moments and the decision to resurrect classic Helloween songs in the studio and onstage.
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