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Kai Hansen

Wed
01
Jun

KAI HANSEN To Release Debut Solo Album XXX In August 2016

Artist: 
KAI HANSEN TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM XXX IN AUGUST 2016

ANNOUNCES DONATION TO WACKEN FOUNDATION

EXCLUSIVE PERFORMANCE AT WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL 2016
 
KAI HANSEN, earMUSIC, and WACKEN Foundation are happy to announce the release of XXX, the first "solo project" album by Kai Hansen, one of the most influential guitarists and singers to emerge from Germany during the first part of the '80s. First with ground-breaking band HELLOWEEN (of which Hansen is one of the founding members) and later with GAMMA RAY, one of the bands that contributed to defining the genre power metal, bringing it to a generation of devoted fans worldwide since its first album.

XXX is, in pure Hansen tongue-in-cheek style, a reference to over 30 years of involvement in the world of heavy rock, as explained with the album's sub-title: Three Decades In Metal.

The album will be released in August 2016 on earMUSIC with further news to be shared soon.

XXX is a magical journey. It is the story of how powerful dreams can be.

Dreams and passions big enough to bring a teenager from Hamburg who is in love with rock music, glam rock and the first heavy metal sounds from the practicing space in his bedroom and rehearsal rooms to the biggest stages in the world practicing, and ending up influencing and sharing the stage with the very same bands he admired in the first place.
 
Not strictly autobiographical, XXX is without doubt the story of Kai Hansen but it could very well represent the story of anybody who is not afraid to believe in dreams, with passion and dedication. It is the story of the ups and downs that everybody faces at some point during the journey of life: the lost and found-again friends, the glory, the tragedies and the joys.

After the achievements enjoyed by Hansen lately with Unisonic and especially Gamma Ray's recent work Empire of the Undead, Kai Hansen has started working on the album with no precise commercial masterplan - just playing music with the same spirit as in the very beginning.

This certainly was the reason for Hansen to communicate to his label the intention of donating the first advance payment he will receive for XXX which in the meantime was shaping into a proper album to the Wacken Foundation.

The Foundation helps and supports young hard rock and heavy metal bands for over seven years now: Musicians full of hopes and dreams, exactly as Hansen had in the beginning of the 30 years story told on this album... in the hope that one day, somebody could tell another 30 years long magic story, also thanks to this album.
 
Together with Hansen, a stellar band of musicians gravitating around the Chameleon Studio in Hamburg has formed spontaneously.

There's Alex Dietz (guitar player of Heaven Shall Burn) on bass, Eike Freese (who already worked as engineer and co-producer with Hansen on the last Gamma Ray album) on guitar, and phenomenal drummer Daniel Wilding (Carcass). The four will be joined by various guests, ranging from friends to followers to heroes - some having played a significant part in Kaai's career, some who have expressed the wish to join the project with the same spirit that is leading Kai, Alex, Eike, and Daniel to create loud music with joy, freedom and determination.
 
Kai and friends will do an exclusive one-time performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival, introducing the songs from the album to the audience for the first and only time.
 
Watch the video of Kai Hansen and Eike Freese discussing XXX here.
 
Talking about XXX (while in the studio, recording guitars), Hansen has declared, "30 years in metal, that’s a damn long time. Over the course of all these years, I never recorded a solo album. It is quite nice and a hell lot of fun to create something without any boundaries and to get a fresh view on music. I am celebrating 30 years of being able to do what I like best...

"On XXX, I am reflecting on my roots, where I come from, how it all started for me. I believe you need a certain drive, passion and of course a bit of luck and coincidence to make it in the music world - and of course some financial support. This is where the Wackeen Foundation came to my mind. They are helping people, musicians just like me, who want to make it. And I remember having had help myself, from my family, the families from the other band members - and by ddoing a paper round. So hopefully, with my donation, young musicians are given the same chance that I was given a long time ago, too. And who knows, maybe we all will be playing together at Wacken in 20 years…"
 
Wacken Foundation's Thomas Jensen adds, "This is really generous donation to the Wacken Foundation. Heavy metal is a way of life - and with this this amazing gesture Kai showed what it stands foor: selflessness, thoughtfulness and most of all the passion and love for music. The goal of the foundation is to keep this kind of spirit going. With Kai is doing we are one step closer to this goal."

 
Categories: 
Release Year: 
2016
RELEASE MONTH: 
08
 
Tue
09
Jun

GAMMA RAY Announce 25th Anniversary 2CD Reissue Of Debut Album

Artist: 
 
WORLD TOUR + REISSUE OF WHOLE GAMMA RAY PRODUCTION TO FOLLOW IN 2015 AND 2016
 
(New York, N.Y.): It was with great surprise that, back in 1988, Kai Hansen decided to leave Helloween, the band he co-founded and that in few years had reached a high level of success, ending up influencing and challenging the bands that were once their original inspiration.
 
Hansen left Helloween just when the band had finally reached international stardom and after having won the appreciation of metal giants such as Iron Maiden who often publicly championed the German band.

While nowadays, Hansen, Gamma Ray and Helloween are now very good friends, often sharing the stage, such was not the case in 1987. The divorce was a proper rock 'n' roll (read: acrimonious) split and a true shock for the metal scene.

The reasons that brought Kai Hansen to leave the band are still the subject of interviews and fan debates, despite the fact that listening to the forthcoming reissue of Heading for Tomorrow, 25 years after its original release, makes it very obvious that Kai Hansen destiny was to lead his own band.
 
Heading for Tomorrow (Anniversary Edition) will be released on August 21 on earMUSIC.
 
25 years after the official debut, Gamma Ray and earMUSIC have started a monumental work to re-release the entire production by Gamma Ray in deluxe double CDs.

The original albums will be re-presented in new shining, remastered version on the first disc (with the inclusions of all B-sides) while the second CD will be dedicated to old live recordings, demos digitalized for the first time from the original tapes saved by all members of the band, alternative versions and recent studio and live recordings.
 
Heading for Tomorrow was initially released as a Kai Hansen solo album. By extracting the LP out of its sleeve, Heading For Tomorrow revealed its "secret intention" (it was still the days of LP, or is it again?) revealing a second cover, introducing Kai’s new baby: GAMMA RAY.
 
After the global critical success of Empire of the Undead, Kai Hansen has decided to continue the collaboration with Eike Freese and Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn), the production team. Hansen has spent hundred hours, digitalizing and remastering hundreds of tapes, alternative versions and ideas that were so far jealously hidden in Gamma Ray's private archive.
 
Adds Hansen, "I am incredibly thankful that after 25 fantastic years of Gamma Ray, I am still standing here, making music and performing on stage. It's awesome to see that fans from the first days keep on supporting us and that we still make new friends. It's something you can't take for granted. After my departure from Helloween, it all could have gone the other way as well. Instead, we continue to make albums and tour the world. That's close to unbelievable. Working on the first reissue for Heading for Tomorrow brought back so many great memories and Ralf and I dug out some funny stories.

"Two years ago, our studio, our harbor in Hamburg, burnt down and a lot of memorabilia and original tapes were lost, but we all searched our private archives and managed to find some great rarities and hopefully some highlights for the fans. We are proud to release our little babies in a new style with a brand new cover artwork done by Hervé Monjeaud and a new sound, a fantastic remastering done by Eike Freese and Alex Dietz."
 
Kai Hansen is today the voice of Gamma Ray but it is important to remember that in the beginning of Gamma Ray's history Kai had planned to focus on his role of songwriter and guitar player. If the original album still shines also thanks to the vocals of Ralf Scheepers, the second CD offers real treasures for all Gamma Ray fans, like the original demos of songs like "Money," "Sail on," "Heaven Can Wait," or "The Silence," featuring Hansen on vocals.
 
To celebrate their 25th anniversary in style, Gamma Ray are touring in Europe this autumn.

TRACK LISTING:
 
CD1
1. Welcome
2. Lust for Life
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. Space Eater
5. Money
6. The Silence
7. Hold Your Ground
8. Free Time
9. Heading for Tomorrow
10. Look at Yourself
11. Mr. Outlaw (Japanese Bonus Track)
12. Sail On (B-Side from Heaven Can Wait EP)
13. Lonesome Stranger (B-Side from Heaven Can Wait EP)
 
CD2
1. Who Do You Think You Are
2. Heaven Can Wait (Demo)
3. Money (Demo - Kai on vocals)
4. Sail on (Demo - Kai on vocals)
5. Heading For Tomorrow (Live)
6. Space Eater (Live)
7. The Silence (Demo - Kai on vocals)
8. Mr. Outlaw (Instrumental Version)
9. Heaven Can Wait (Demo - Kai on vocals)
10. Heading For Tomorrow (Karaoke Version)
11. Space Eater (Karaoke Version)
12. Lonesome Stranger (Demo)

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