ROLAND GRAPOW - Once Around The Ride
from BW&BK

Several months ago, word came down that Helloween guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch, along with Symphony X singer Russel Allen, were working together on a side project. News like this out of the Helloween camp came as no surprise since the members have been involved in numerous solo ventures and side projects over the years. So, it came as a shock to learn that Grapow and Kusch had been fired from Helloween in the wake of this project, with bandmates Weikath, Deris and Grosskopf citing "a lack of interest and contribution to the band" as reasons for their dismissal. Grapow and Kusch were understandably surprised by the decision, but the anger and disappointment has been channeled into the as-of-yet unnamed project, which has since become a serious band with serious plans for the future.

Grapow sat down with BW&BK to discuss what went down with Helloween, and his plans for his new band.

"It came as a big surprise, I can tell you that," Grapow says of the firings. "I was working with Roy Z in Los Angeles and he got a call from my wife saying that it was very important that I call her back. She told me that there had been a message that said, basically, 'Sorry guys, you're fired.' At first I was thinking, 'Yeah, right, good joke,' because this is the way band members sometimes act with each other, especially when you've been together for so long. But then we discovered it was true and I was really surprised. Not so much because I wasn't in the band any more, but how they fired us. I think it's really bad if you see how many great songs we've written, what kind of people we are as individuals, and then on the other side, not grown up at all."

ROLAND GRAPOW - Once Around The Ride Page 2