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Helloween Biography


Home > Music > H > Helloween > Biography


Birth Place: Hamburg, Germany
Years Active: 1984 - present
Genres: Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal


Helloween are a power metal band that formed in Germany in 1984. The band rose to fame with their second and third studio albums: “Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1” and “Pt. 2.” Both albums paved the way for the band and cemented them as a prominent force in the European power metal movement. The band has incurred a number of line-up changes over the years, with a total of 12 different musicians over the past 29 years contributing to the band. The band's current line-up consists of singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bass player Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble since 2005. The band's initial formation in 1984 consisted of Kai Hansen on vocals and guitar, Michael Weikath on guitar, Markus Grosskopf on bass, and Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums. The band's debut album, “Walls of Jericho” arrived in 1985 but fell largely unnoticed until their second album, “Keeper of the Seven Keys” in 1987. This album, along with third album, firmly established Helloween as a force in the heavy metal world.

While Helloween's success was monumental with their second and third albums, “Pink Bubbles Go Ape” (1991) and “Chameleon” (1993), were commercial failures, As a result some in-house fighting developed within the band and led to the departure of Schwichtenberg and Kiske, who were replaced by Uli Kusch and Deris. This new line-up was the most stable for a while and saw some success with the albums: “Master of the Rings” (1994), “The Time of the Oath” (1996), “Better Than Raw” (1998) and “The Dark Ride” (2000). By 2000, Grapow and Kusch parted ways with the band causing another line-up shake up. The band was unable to find a stable drummer until 2005 when Löble came into the fold. Four more albums ensued with this new line-up as the band spent the best part of the next decade touring Europe.

Helloween's original singer, Hansen left the band in 1986 shortly after the release of their EP, “Judas.”

18-year-old vocalist, Michael Kiske, from Hamburg filled the lead vocalist slot and the band got busy working on their debut album for Noise International and RCA Records. As the band's success took off, MTV championed the single “I Want Out” on the 'Headbanger's Ball' show. As a result, Helloween became part of the Headbanger's Ball Tour in San Francisco with Exodus and Anthrax. The band's exposure to U.S audiences, garnered more success, however, Hansen unexpectedly left the band. 1991 saw the band sign with EMI Records, put out their debut for the label, “Pink Bubbles Go Ape,” which sold poorly. Around this time creative differences on which way the band should go musically caused tension within the band as relationships began to break-down and deteriorate. Schwichtenberg became depressed and his drug use became a problem. In 1995 he committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. The band dedicated their 1996 album, “The Time Of The Oath” to the memory of Schwichtenberg. The band embarked on a world tour the following year with anew drummer.

As the 2000s emerged, the band continued to see multiple line-up changes, as they toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and America. 2007 saw Helloween reunite with former band member Hansen and share the stage with his new band, Gamma Ray for their 2007/2008 'Hellish Rock' world tour. 2009 marked Helloween's 25th Anniversary album, “Unarmed.” The band has continued to tour, put out albums, and collaborate with other artists. With the current line-up being fairly stable, Helloween's fourteenth studio album, “Straight Out of Hell” appeared in 2013.