Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2010
Brian Rademacher: Hello Michael and welcome to RockEyez. I am one of the lucky ones in the U.S. that actually got to see you live and photograph you, as I was working for Metal Forces Magazine at the time in 1987. That show really made an impact on me and many others. How special was that time in your music career?
Michael Kiske: Cool! Actually I am meeting more and more people here and there again these days that were there in the eighties. That time with Kai Hansen was great; a time I wouldn’t want to have missed.
Brian Rademacher: Can you tell me is the "Ill Prophecy" demo available anywhere? I would love to hear that?
Michael Kiske: Believe me, it ain't worth it! (It) sounds horrible!
Brian Rademacher: When you were a child did you always want to sing?
Michael Kiske: No, but at the age of eight I got the idea when discovering Elvis Presley.
Brian Rademacher: During your school days what were some of things you did after school?
Michael Kiske: Mainly making music with my band or friend Karsten (playing BEATLES songs and later metal songs), then writing songs and also playing the first video games.
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first concert you attended and did it make any kind of impact on you?
Michael Kiske: I can't really remember my first concert. The first concert I DO remember was IRON MAIDEN. That made a big impact on me!
Brian Rademacher: So many people and artists consider "Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2" one of the best releases ever. I recently did an interview with Luca Turilli of RHAPSODY OF FIRE and he mentioned that this CD is what turned him onto metal and was the first album he ever bought. Do you feel "Keeper Pt. 2" is the best HELLOWEEN CD you recorded?
Michael Kiske: Yes, I think it's "Keeper 2" by far. Unfortunately it promised something we couldn't keep…
Brian Rademacher: After your departure from HELLOWEEN did you have something planned already?
Michael Kiske: I was just fooling around on my solo CD’s then. I was kind of tired of it all and mainly dealt with other things instead, like reading thousands of books.
Brian Rademacher: Rumours have it IRON MAIDEN approached you to replace Dickinson. Is that true or false?
Michael Kiske: False. I know the guys, but that was just a rumor. They even had it on TV here in Germany that I was the new singer of IRON MAIDEN! That was so funny!
Brian Rademacher: When you started working on your first solo Album "Instant Clarity" did you have to put yourself in a different mind frame?
Michael Kiske: Of course it was a whole new situation being suddenly on my own then. All of that has of course changed me; that's life, right?
Brian Rademacher: You have worked with so many great musicians and one of my favorite is Tobias Sammet who you worked with on AVANTASIA. What’s your relationship with Tobias and do you foresee another AVANTASIA collaboration in the future?
Michael Kiske: I will meet him personally for the first time on this AVANTASIA tour. We only talked on the phone, via email and stuff before. I don't know what he is up too for the future.
Brian Rademacher: You also worked with Eric Singer KISS on that project; do you have any comments about Eric?
Michael Kiske: Never met him. It's often these days just digital and the internet. (It) saves a lot of time though!
Brian Rademacher: With such a great music career do you feel you accomplished your goal?
Michael Kiske: No, never! HELLOWEEN with me was too short. I am never good enough on my own, etc. But I really don't think ANY passionate musician EVER believes to have accomplished his/her goals. And if he/she does for one album, it won't last long, that's for sure.
Brian Rademacher: By the way what was your first job?
Michael Kiske: Never did anything else but music really.
Brian Rademacher: Your latest release is with Amanda Somerville and put together by Frontiers record president Serafino Perugino. Your vocals are simply amazing and Somerville is stunning in the video The release is simply titled Kiske/Somerville. So what goes through your mind when doing a duet compared to a metal track?
Michael Kiske: I don't compare, I just enjoy it, when good songs work out. And the duet works out nicely. But I am not a big fan of video-shoots, I must admit...
Brian Rademacher: When you’re next to Amanda and looking at her what goes through your mind? She is so beautiful!
Michael Kiske: I am always thinking damn she's so beautiful! No really, she is also a very nice person. I like her a lot.
Brian Rademacher: Do you see yourself working with her again?
Michael Kiske: I damn hope so!!! I hope the album does very well and then we HAVE to do another one!
Brian Rademacher: Let’s talk about some of the new album… "Nothing Left To Say" is a shredding tune; great heavy track that HELLOWEEN fans are going to love and with killer guitars. When you do a track like "Nothing Left To Say" do you approach it differently than a ballad?
Michael Kiske: Of course! You can't sing a song like this like a ballad. It's always the song that demands the performance. There is not much thinking going on anyway. It just happens or it doesn't.
Brian Rademacher: "Silence" has amazing power, can you add anything to say about this track?
Michael Kiske: Love it! It's one of my favorites!
Brian Rademacher: "If I Had A Wish" is another kick-ass rocker and maybe my favorite track on the album. Do you have any comments on this track?
Michael Kiske: On that video-shoot I felt a bit better somehow.
Brian Rademacher: "Don't Walk Away"… I thought this track has a great acoustic sounding feel and really highlights the vocals. It also has a great pop sound that I feel could be a radio favorite? What’s your feeling on this track?
Michael Kiske: Love it too! There are a few tracks that could work on the radio. Just needs to get played, right?
Brian Rademacher: So many great tracks on this release what song was the most fun recording?
Michael Kiske: All different, all different adventures. I was happy in the end, when I was done, because it worked out.
Brian Rademacher: Now you have a new band for the first time in 16 years UNISONIC with Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou of PINK CREAM 69 and Mandy Meyer who worked with ASIA , GOTTHARD and KROKUS. How did this band start?
Michael Kiske: Kosta and Dennis wanted to meet me last year here in Hamburg. They wanted to do something like that, and I said yes.
Brian Rademacher: Tell us about the material that was written for the band and a little about the direction of music?
Michael Kiske: We are still right in the middle of the writing phase and overcritical. It's going to be less AOR than "Place Vendome". You will notice the musicians, but we don't want it to be too overproduced. It will be rock music with a wide range of songs.
Brian Rademacher: Will UNISONIC play dates in the U.S and when will the CD be released here?
Michael Kiske: I hope to play the US! But that's only possible, when the album sells a bit in your country. I hope we can release the album early next year.
Brian Rademacher: Michael it’s been great talking to you, being one of the premiere vocalists in music. I am happy I had this chance. Would you like to say anything in ending?
Michael Kiske: Thanks to you too, Sir! I hope to be able to do lots of traveling and live playing in the next couple of years! That part I was missing the most! All the best!