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KAI HANSEN TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “XXX” IN AUGUST 2016

Written by earMusic on .

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KAI HANSEN TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “XXX” IN AUGUST 2016 AND 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 define the genre power metal, bringing it to 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. A foundation which 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:

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY REISSUE OF "INSANITY & GENIUS"

Written by earMusic on .

2016 insanitygenius anniversary cd 500"Insanity & Genius" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on May 06th, 2016 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album “Heading For Tomorrow” has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm.
In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork.

To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

Their third studio album “Insanity & Genius”, which arrived at the stores in late summer 1993, presented Gamma Ray from an even tougher and more experimental side than their 1991 predecessor release “Sigh No More” had done.
On top of that, an incisive line-up change had taken place in the Gamma Ray camp during the run-up to the production: drummer Uli Kusch and bassist Uwe Wessel had left due to personal differences and were replaced by Jan Rubach (bass) and Thomas Nack (drums), formerly of Lübeck band Anesthesia.

Bassist Jan Rubach immediately contributed compositional inspiration and his remarkable songwriting skills, penning the title track and sections of the opener ´Tribute To The Past`, among others. Thomas Nack’s powerful drum style brought a fresh feel to Gamma Ray’s material, taking the band to occasionally almost brutal levels of hardness on “Insanity And Genius”.

”Insanity And Genius” was a commercial success particularly in the Far East and the top-selling Gammy Ray album in Japan with almost 100,000 copies sold, missing a gold award by a hair’s breadth. It was also the final studio recording featuring singer Ralf Scheepers, who left in 1994 to launch Primal Fear, Kai Hansen going on to replace him as the group’s lead vocalist.

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY REISSUE OF "LUST FOR LIVE"

Written by earMusic on .

2016 lustforlive anniversary cd 500"Lust For Live" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on May 06th, 2016 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album “Heading For Tomorrow” has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm.
In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork.

To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

When Gamma Ray took to the stage at the Hamburg Docks on 25 September 1993 to record the show for their scheduled live video “Lust For Live” (at that time available only on VHS cassette), the musicians Kai Hansen, Ralf Scheepers, Dirk Schlächter, Jan Rubach and Thomas Nack immediately enthralled their fans with their furioso performance. The Docks saw them unleash the primeval energy which had built up during the lavish studio production of their third studio album “Insanity And Genius”. The opener ´Tribute To The Past` immediately proved why Gamma Ray’s shows have been considered a Mecca for metal fans worldwide since the group was launched in spring 1989: as powerful and haunting as the band may sound on their studio albums – live on stage, Gamma Ray have always surpassed their studio performances.

Naturally, for Gamma Ray the Hamburg show in September 1993 was special in every respect. Not only because it took place in the group’s home city but also because the band presented their new line-up to their fans for the first time. On top of all that, the set list that night was impressive: along with brand-new numbers such as ´Tribute To The Past`, ´Insanity And Genius` ´Last Before The Storm` and their back then current single release ´Future Madhouse`, Hansen, Scheepers, Schlächter and new additions Rubach and Nack also delivered a breathtaking Helloween medley featuring the songs ´I Want Out`, ´Future World` and ´Ride The Sky`. In addition, Kai Hansen performed ´Heal Me` as a vocal duet with Ralf Scheepers, already hinting at the personnel change which was to follow a few months later.

What nobody anticipated that night at the Docks: this was to be the band’s last official recording featuring Scheepers. A few months later, Gamma Ray parted ways with their frontman from the south of Germany, Hansen doubling as vocalist ever since and the show at the Docks being the first time since his 1985 Helloween debut album “Walls Of Jericho” that he simultaneously played the guitar and sang lead vocals in a band.  

“Looking back more than 20 years, you can’t help but smile,” Hansen confesses. “We were like things possessed, playing almost every song either too fast or too hard, some of them both. We sounded like some kind of metal tornado. There was pure euphoria among the band members at that time.”

News from the GammaRay Camp

Written by Harald on .

gammaray camp frank beckThe band has decided to further on work with two singers for several good reasons.

So from now on the vocals there will be Mr. Kai Hansen as usual plus and welcome please Mr. Frank Beck with whom the band has done already a good amount of shows in the past. We found out that Frank is not only a great singer that very much fits into the band from his voice and from his temper of the voice and his kind of singing but as well as a very very good human being that is fit to live up to the extreme expectations that we as a band have for people joining.

Mainly this guy cannot only sing, he can party, too and that’s very important. So that was reason one.

Another good reason was that Kai just felt that it’s time for him to cut a bit shorter on singing because he found out that his long touring especially headline shows after a while always tends to fuck up the voice and end up with something that is not a hundred percent. So sharing the vocals makes things much easier and much more pleasurable.

It will not only give the band a new dimension soundwise or vocalwise but it will as well – and here is reason number three – give Kai the freedom to move around on stage a lot and plus create a bit more action on the live performances and be more free to play the guitar which actually he does like a lot.

So ladies and gentleman please welcome the new GammaRay and please welcome Mr. Frank Beck.

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF "SIGH NO MORE"

Written by earMusic on .

2015 sigh anniversary cd"Sigh No More" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on September 25th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album Heading For Tomorrow has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm. Their success is based on more than two dozen recordings, among them eleven studio albums, a number of live releases, DVDs, EPs and singles, which have earned Gamma Ray high chart positions on a regular basis. So it comes as no surprise that the group’s ever-growing fan base turns out in hordes wherever they play. And of course the top 15 position of their current release “Empire Of The Undead” and an album-of-the-month nomination in Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines prove unmistakably: Gamma Ray continue to be on the top rung!

In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork. To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

When Gamma Ray started to work on their second studio album Sigh No More in spring 1991, the international heavy metal scene had just been plunged into their first and at the same time most serious crisis to date. Grunge was the flavour of the day and musicians sporting checked shirts and a grubby street look were fast becoming the new stars. At the beginning of September 1991, Nirvana’s hit ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ arrived on the scene and Kurt Cobain became the icon of a new musical genre. The old heroes were considered outdated, or at least so it seemed for some time.
Gamma Ray’s sophomore album “Sigh No More” sure didn’t sound outdated.

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF THE DEBUT ALBUM "HEADING FOR TOMORROW"

Written by earMusic on .

It was with great surprise that in 1988 Kai Hansen decided to leave Helloween: the band he co-founded and that in a very few years reached a very 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. Hansen, Gamma Ray and Helloween are now very good friends, often sharing the stage, but in 1987 the divorce was a proper rock and roll acrimonious one: 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 listening to the forthcoming reissue of “Heading For Tomorrow”, 25 years after its original release, it looks very obvious that Kai Hansen destiny was to lead his own band.

2015 heading anniversary cd 300"Heading For Tomorrow" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on July 24th, 2015 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 digitalised 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.

GAMMA RAY ANNOUNCE 25th ANNIVERSARY 2CD REISSUE OF "HEADING FOR THE EAST"

Written by earMusic on .

2015 heading east anniversary cd"Heading For The East" (Anniversary Edition) will be released on September 25th, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years of Gamma Ray – 25 years of heavy metal from Hamburg: what started out in spring 1990 with the release of their debut album Heading For Tomorrow has achieved international fame a quarter of a century later. Tours around the globe with sold-out shows in the US, Canada, South America, Asia and the whole of Europe plus appearances at the most renowned festivals worldwide – vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen’s band has long taken the world by storm. Their success is based on more than two dozen recordings, among them eleven studio albums, a number of live releases, DVDs, EPs and singles, which have earned Gamma Ray high chart positions on a regular basis. So it comes as no surprise that the group’s ever-growing fan base turns out in hordes wherever they play. And of course the top 15 position of their current release "Empire Of The Undead" and an album-of-the-month nomination in Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines prove unmistakably: Gamma Ray continue to be on the top rung!

In view of this impressive stocktaking on the occasion of their anniversary, there’s a special reason to rejoice for their international fan community: the band’s full back catalogue will be rereleased over the course of a year. All albums will be available as premium-quality digipaks including newly designed cover artwork. To cut a long story short: Gamma Ray are celebrating their anniversary in style, and all their fans are invited!

Following a thoroughly promising career start, their debut Heading For Tomorrow having caused an international stir and netted phenomenal sales figures in February 1990, Gamma Ray embarked on a major tour only a few months after the album release.
As Heading For Tomorrow turned into a commercial success particularly in Asia, Gamma Ray were still on their European tour when they received invitations to Japan: a total of four shows in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. This offer inspired their record company to have producer Steve Payne accompany the band members and their crew to the Land of the Rising Sun to record the two shows in Tokyo for a live DVD (back then, sound and image storage media were still called VHS cassettes).

Tapes Of The Past

Written by earMusic on .

Kai Hansen busy in a trip back to the tapes days... working on the extra material for the first Gamma Ray reissue. More news soon!

kai hansen 2015 tapes