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Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray)

Interview with Kai Hansen from Gamma Ray
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 10 December 2007, 8:26 PM

GAMMA RAY recently game to Greece along with the famous 'Hellish Tour' and gave an excellent performance. Unfortunately, the METAL TEMPLE did not succeed in interviewing one of the guys for some unknown reasons. Fortunately the band has an excellent Fan Club (thanks Oliver Theiss) that helped us connect with SPV Records and organize the interview below (thanks Ute Kromrey).

First of all Kai I’d like to congratulate on the last GAMMA RAY concert here in Athens, Greece; we had a really good time! What were your impressions and did you have any complaints?

Thanks. The album gets great reviews everywhere so we must did something right ha ha. The concert was awesome; the fans in Greece are one of the best in the world. No complains and I’m sure we will come back very soon!

What are your feelings so far with the ’Hellish Rock Tour’? Are feeling a little bit different compared to the past GAMMA RAY headlining tours?

The tour is great and with HELLOWEEN we have no problems….it’s like going on holiday ha ha not exactly but everything runs smooth and we play in front of more people that means a lot more people are able to check us out.

Did you ever have second thoughts on getting on tour with HELLOWEEN? Who had the initial idea to do this?

We did a couple of festivals together in the past where we jammed in the end so it comes naturally that this will happen. And our albums were released nearly the same time…so it was just the time to do it.

Ok, let me ask you the obvious question; how did you decide to do Land Of The Free II? Did you feel that the first one was left in some way incomplete?

Not exactly but I felt that the new songs were in the same vein as part one. It also comes natural and if we were not absolutely sure that the songs were as good as on part 1 we wouldn’t have called the album Land Of The Free II.

Did you have to think differently when you were writing music about Land Of The Free II? I mean think like a fan and actually try to re-connect with feeling of the first part.

Funny that you ask but I had that feeling……we had trouble with our old record company and now with SPV, the tour and all the other things I feel a little bit like 95 when I decided to sing again. It was also a fresh and exciting start then.

I found many music influences from the 80s especially in some guitar riffs; was this on your intentions or it just happened in the studio?

I’m a big music fan and yes I love IRON MAIDEN, ACCEPT, QUEEN and so on and sure it effects the song writing. But I don’t copy anything…it comes naturally in the process of the song writing.

What was the composing process for the new album? Did all the band members contribute to the song writing?

Yes everybody was involved and this is also a big thing what GAMMA RAY is about.

Do the lyrics or the music come first? Where do you get your inspiration?

Music comes first…I get my inspirations from books, the daily news and what’s around me..

Is Kai an easy person to work with? Did you have any difficult or funny moments in the studio?

I’m very easy to work with…I’m a handsome guy, haha, the whole studio process was good; we had some things like Henjo got problems with his eyes and Daniel had to do an operation but everything’s fine now; we even shot the video after Daniel was one week out of the hospital. haha

I think that you have done an excellent work with your voice; I mean from the Blast From The Past compilation your vocals are getting better and better. Did you do anything special about it?

I smoke more…..haha….no but I think I did it for so long I know now exactly what I can and what I should not do with my voice…

Why did you change record label and what was in your mind when you were searching for a new one?

Our old record label Sanctuary was bought from Universal and from one second to the other we had no contact person anymore. Nobody to talk to; so we checked immediately new labels and SPV was the obvious choice. The offer was good and HELLOWEEN is there and they only said good things about the label. And now I can say the same haha.

If you look back at your career, can you feel any regrets about it? Can you say that leaving HELLOWEEN was the right thing to do?

At that time it was definitely the right thing to do and when I see my career with GAMMA RAY I have no regrets and would do the same again.

Do you have any news about Michael Kiske? Have ever thought of making something together?

Yes, we talked with Roland Grapow doing a project but I don’t know what’s happening now….but 2008 will be definitely a GAMMA RAY year so I will have no time.

What was the best and the worst time in your career?

The best was playing with HELLOWEEN in London at the Hammersmith Odeon in front of a packed crowd and for sure the ’Monsters Of Rock’ festivals. Also the release of the first GAMMA RAY album was a highlight. To be honest I can’t say what the worst moments were…ask me next year again and I will tell you haha.

How do you manage to keep the smile on your face in every single live concert? You have a really sincere and kind of modest attitude upon the stage.

This is what I like most; play in front of the face and their reactions will give me a smile on my face; it’s great to play live…

This question comes from a personal interest; are you a fan of QUEEN? Because I can find some influences from there scattered in some GAMMA RAY’s tracks.

As I said above I’m a big music fan and yes QUEEN is one of my all time favorite band.

Are there any plans of getting ’Hellish Rock Tour’ on a DVD?

Not the ’Hellish Rock Tour’ but we will release our GAMMA RAY DVD in June 2008 with some material from that tour.

 Ok thank you for your time keep doing what you are doing because we love it. The last words are yours.

Thanks for all the great reactions we got from the Greek fans over the years. It’s always a honor and a pleasure, thanks.


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