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The reason why Helloween have two vocalists



The reason why Helloween have two vocalists

Heavy Metal bands usually have two guitarists but there are a few who manage to play with three guitar players and the German Metal group Helloween is one of them. But that’s not the only uncommon thing about the line-up of the group, since they simply have two vocalists!


They are Andi Deris and Michael Kiske, who were the singers of two different eras of the group, which were more successful. Besides them the group has Michael Weikath (Guitar – Since 1984), Markus Grosskopf (Bass – Since 1984), Kai Hansen (Guitar – 1984 to 1989 and since 2016), Sascha Gerstner (Guitar – Since 2002) and Daniel Löble (Since 2005). But why, unlike many of their peers, Helloween has two vocalists and three guitarists?

The reason why Helloween have two vocalists and three guitarists

The vocalist on the first two Helloween releases was the also guitarist Kai Hansen. But the band really achieved fame with the release of their classic albums “Keeper of the Seven Keys” part 1 and 2, which already had the classic vocalist Michael Kiske. He joined the band in 1986 and was fired in 1993 after the founding member and guitarist Michael Weikath refused to work with him again.

He was replaced by the Pink Cream 69 vocalist Andi Deris in 1994. With them the group recorded praised albums in the 90s and many more until 2016 when Michael Kiske re-joined the group alongside the classic guitarist Kai Hansen.

So what happened was almost the same as Iron Maiden, since Helloween already had members they considered important for the history and success of the group but they also wanted to bring other classic musicians who were equally important. Named “Pumpkins United”, that first tour with the two vocalists was a celebration of both eras of the band. That’s the spirit of the band since then, celebrating both eras and also the new one that started with those classic members back. In 2021 a self-titled album was released featuring both vocalists and in many tracks they sang together.

How Michael Kiske was convinced to return to the band

As Kiske told Belgian Jasper in 2023, the Helloween manager told him that the only way a reunion would work was if they do it together. “At first I thought the idea (a tour with the classic lineup). At first I thought, without firing Andi or anything, they just wanted to make a ‘Keeper’ tour or something like that.”

“But I realized it doesn’t make sense. Because you create another Helloween that is sort of in competition with the Helloween of the last 20 years. And it was pretty quickly clear to me, ‘It doesn’t make sense. I agree.’ Jan (Bayati, Helloween’s manager) was putting that to me that it doesn’t work. ‘You guys have to do it together,'” Michael Kiske said.

In the same interview he said that now his relationship with the guitarist Michael Weikath is great. According to him the guitar player is a totally different person now. “My relationship with Weiki is completely different to how it was, because Weiki is completely different. I’m different too, but he has changed completely.”

“He used to be a troublemaker; he used to be someone (who would play) games behind your back. He’s not at all like that anymore. The only thing he cares about is smoking a cigarette and having a good time. And he sticks out of all arguments and fights, and that has completely changed. He’s like the most easy going person ever,” Michael Kiske said.

What Helloween did was something that Van Halen thought about doing before Eddie Van Halen passed away. They thought about touring with both vocalists, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth, playing two sets, one from each era. But that obviously didn’t happen because Eddie was ill.

Michael Kiske praised Andi Deris work in Helloween

It’s never easy to replace a classic singer in a band but Andi Deris did a good job in Helloween. Kiske told Loudwire in 2021 that back in the 90s when “Master of The Rings”, the first Deris album with the band was released, he wasn’t interested in hearing it. But he did enjoy Deris’ work after he rejoined the group.

“I cannot imagine Iron Maiden without Bruce Dickinson, and I can’t imagine Judas Priest without Rob Halford. Helloween didn’t do so bad with Andi though. He was just what the band needed in those days and, in my opinion. He saved Helloween in the early ’90s,” Michael Kiske said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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