Published on February 15, 2008
German speed metal band Helloween rolls into the Thunderdome in Muang Thong Thani on Wednesday (February 20) for "Hellish Rock '08: Live in Bangkok".
Comprising singer Andreas "Andi" Deris, guitarists Michael "Weiki" Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel "Dani" Loeble, the group is touring to support its 12th studio album, "Gambling with the Devil". The tracks include "As Long As I Fall" as the first catchy single, and a trilogy of "The Bells of the Seven Hells", "Fallen to Pieces" and "IME". Other numbers are "Paint a New World", "The Saints", "Can Do It", and "Heaven Tells No Lies".
"Gambling with the Devil" is a concept album, says Deris, the lead singer. "The title is all about gambling with the devil, from your own personal life up to the high political stages. All the lyrics have something to say about gambling," he says in a phone interview from Japan.
The topic is something Deris has experience with, and the biggest gamble he ever made was his decision to become a musician.
"I went to university, but it wasn't so easy. So when I decided to say no to the university, and I wanted to make music and make my living with music, this was a big gamble," Deris says. "In America, you can easily decide. Music is looked as something like a profession. But coming from Germany, if you say 'I would like to become a musician', you might has well tell people you would like to become a prostitute. In Germany, being a musician isn't viewed as such a good profession. Deciding to become a musician was like gambling with the devil."
For the tour, three songs from the album form a trilogy, "The Bells of the Seven Hells", "Fallen to Pieces" and "IME". They are about gambling in a broader sense, of people's lives being wagered away in war.
"The spirit of these three songs best cover the feelings that I wanted to express," Deris says. "The Bells of the Seven Hells" is about the Nazis, and the people who followed them. "Fallen to Pieces" is about destroyed ideologies. "You have to find yourself and you have to give up again," Deris says. The last song, 'IME', comes from something Deris says his grandfather told his father - to believe in yourself. "Just believe in yourself, then the sht can never happen again. It is about his experiences as a soldier in World War II," Deris says.
"It would be great if everybody would stand up for himself and take the responsibility for himself, not wait until other people take the responsibility and be lazy and follow the others," says Deris.
Helloween was formed 1984 in Germany, and has stayed together through various lineups because of the "commitment to the music", Deris says. "I want to play music, I like to create something. I cannot imagine another thing that I would like to do."
Helloween flies to Thailand on Monday afternoon, following shows in South Korea. After that, they will go to Indonesia on February 22 and will close their tour in Singapore on February 24.
Hellish Rock '08: Helloween Live in Bangkok takes place at 7pm on Wednesday at the Thunderdome in Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani. Tickets are Bt1,200, available from Thaiticketmajor and many record shops and music stores. The first 1,000 fans will get a set of Helloween Silver Cards with signature, a poster and an issue of Metal Mag magazine. For more information call (02) 262 2456