"Metal Meltdown With Dr. Metal" show, which airs on Cleveland, Ohio's WRUW-FM 91.1, recently conducted an interview with GAMMA RAY frontman and UNISONIC guitarist Kai Hansen. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
On the state of metal:
Hansen: "Metal is vital, man. Metal is like a fucking dragon with many heads, and each time a head is chopped off, a new one grows on the other side. So it's still there, it's alive, it's been mixing up with all kinds of music and influences and styles, from jazz to folk to whatever. Still, the basics, and what it's all about, is that there's a certain need for rough sounds, for aggression, for power, and for this kind of feeling of kicking ass, and that's what unites us."
On GAMMA RAY's "Master Of Confusion" EP:
Hansen: "We got two brand new songs that we actually wrote for the upcoming album, but since we saw that it would be kind of impossible to make it for a full-length album towards the tour, we said, 'Well, we don't want to go on tour naked. We want people to listen to some new stuff, at least something,' so we said, 'Let's take two songs which are in some way representative for the album and record them, and add up two cover versions plus some live stuff.'"
On covering SWEET's "Lost Angels" for the new GAMMA RAY EP:
Hansen: "Definitely one of my absolute favorite songs from SWEET. I mean, there's many, but this is one of them, a song I really love from the point they put it out. It's called 'Lost Angels', and it's very nice. It was on the later albums, but it was a great song. Actually, this is the only song from the new recorded stuff that has been drummed by previous GAMMA RAY drummer] Daniel [Zimmermann] still, because we had already recorded the drums and bass for this song, and we never finished it. So we dug it out, and this time we made it. Actually, we could see while working on this song how much this band actually has done in terms of playing and being really good. All the choirs, and the guitar work is really brilliant, and it's not so easy to reproduce or pick up. But I think we did a real good job on it. And whenever I'm going to meet Andy, I'm going to play it for him and give him a copy and see what he thinks, but I think he's going to be alright with it."
On the departure of Daniel Zimmermann:
Hansen: "It was a hard time since he left. We had the feeling, and, of course, it came along with me playing in UNISONIC and especially for Dirk and Henjo, this kind of feeling that the band starts to fall apart. And for me, it was like falling into a black hole. This lineup was stable, and we were happy, and it was great, and Daniel is somebody you cannot just replace. He was a very unique guy and unique drummer, and he was a real big part of GAMMA RAY as well. So when he actually left, we were kind of hanging there and didn't really know, because nobody really wanted to go for this 'Oh, we're looking for a drummer, let's do auditions' shit. For a while we were hoping he might change his mind, and we kept things open."
On getting older:
Hansen: "I know that we're not a young band anymore, and, of course, we're at this point where you really put some concrete under what you have and make it really stable, or that you as well might lose it, and just wimp out and go down the drain, which definitely we're not planning to do."
On UNISONIC plans:
Hansen: "We came up with this 'one year is a GAMMA RAY year, one year is a UNISONIC year' policy, and we'll try to keep that working. Of course, that doesn't mean that the other band is completely resting in the respective year, but priority is one band at a time for me. Otherwise, I couldn't handle things. So now at the moment, I'm concentrating on GAMMA RAY, and I don't think about UNISONIC too much. And whenever I'm done with this here, and we've done our album and touring, it's time to get back to UNISONIC and start songwriting."
On sharing the stage with former HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske again:
Hansen: "It is new and old at the same time. It seems very familiar in some way, and in the other way, we're not the same persons anymore as we used to be. Only part of us is, but some other things have changed. So that's the point where you start to really find yourself and check out what the other is doing and how he's responding to things you do on stage and so on. But that was kind of easy play for us, and maybe that comes from our past."