Helloween S/T Self-titled Debut Banzai Mini-LP

Helloween's self-titled debut EP, the Banzai Mini-LP, marks the genesis of the German metal band's journey in the early 1980s. Produced by Harris Johns, the Canadian release through Banzai Records propelled Helloween onto the international stage. With tracks like "Starlight" and "Murderer," the EP showcases the band's signature melodic riffs and powerful vocals, leaving an indelible mark on the global heavy metal scene.

 

High Resolution # Photo HELLOWEEN Self-Titled Debut Album Banzai

"Helloween Self-Title" Album Description:

The inception of Helloween, a German heavy metal powerhouse, can be traced back to the early 1980s. The band's self-titled debut EP, commonly referred to as the Banzai Mini-LP, marked the genesis of their remarkable journey in the realm of metal music. Released on Banzai Records, this particular version of the debut record is distinctively Canadian.

The formation of Helloween can be attributed to the merging talents of Kai Hansen, Michael Weikath, Markus Grosskopf, and Ingo Schwichtenberg. In 1984, they entered the studio to immortalize their musical prowess in a self-titled EP that would lay the foundation for their future triumphs. The EP, despite being relatively short in duration, encapsulates the raw energy and distinctive sound that would become synonymous with Helloween.

Banzai Records, a Canadian record label, played a pivotal role in bringing Helloween's debut to the international stage. The collaboration between the band and the label facilitated the distribution of the mini-LP in Canada, exposing the Canadian audience to the burgeoning talent of this German metal ensemble.

The tracks featured on the debut EP include "Starlight," "Murderer," and "Warrior," each contributing to the establishment of Helloween's signature sound characterized by melodic guitar riffs, powerful vocals, and an overall intensity that set them apart in the metal landscape.

 

Music Genre:

  German Speed Power Metal 
Album Production information:

The album: "Helloween" was produced by: Harris Johns


Harris Johns is a prominent European music producer renowned for his contributions to the heavy metal and punk genres. With a career spanning several decades, he has worked with numerous iconic bands, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. Born in the late 1950s, Harris Johns developed a passion for music at an early age and pursued his dreams with unwavering determination.

In the late 1970s, Harris Johns emerged as a key figure in the burgeoning heavy metal and punk scene. His unique talent and distinctive approach to music production quickly caught the attention of many prominent bands. With a desire to create powerful and impactful soundscapes, he became known for his ability to capture the raw energy and intensity of these genres.

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Throughout his career, Harris Johns has collaborated with a plethora of big-name bands, solidifying his reputation as a go-to producer. His notable works include projects with Helloween, Coroner, Tankard, Sodom, Voivod, Kreator, Exumer, Ratos de Porão, Slime, Daily Terror, and many others. Each album he worked on showcased his exceptional skill in sculpting the sonic landscapes that defined the heavy metal and punk movements.

For over a decade, Harris Johns operated his studio, Music Lab Berlin Studio, which served as the creative hub for many of his productions. In an effort to further his artistic vision, he established Spiderhouse, a recording facility situated in a former guest house in the countryside near Berlin. For ten years, Spiderhouse became a sanctuary where he could channel his creativity and bring forth groundbreaking music.

In 2007, Harris Johns made the decision to reopen the Music Lab Berlin, reestablishing it as a prime destination for bands seeking his expertise in music production. The studio became a hub of creativity and collaboration, attracting both established acts and up-and-coming artists. However, in 2016, Harris Johns decided to step away from the studio, concluding a significant chapter in his illustrious career.

Despite stepping back from the day-to-day operations of Music Lab Berlin, Harris Johns continues to contribute to the music industry. He remains active as a producer and dedicates his time to teaching music production skills. His wealth of knowledge and experience has made him an invaluable resource for aspiring producers and musicians, as he imparts his expertise and nurtures the next generation of talent.

As we reflect upon the 1980s, it becomes evident that Harris Johns' discography during this era stands as a testament to his immense talent. Some of the notable albums he worked on include groundbreaking releases such as:

  • 1. Helloween - "Walls of Jericho" (1985)
  • 2. Coroner - "R.I.P". (1987)
  • 3. Tankard - "Chemical Invasion" (1987)
  • 4. Sodom - "Persecution Mania" (1987)
  • 5. Voivod - "Killing Technology" (1987)
  • 6. Kreator - "Terrible Certainty" (1987)
  • 7. Exumer - "Possessed by Fire" (1986)
  • 8. Ratos de Porão - "Brasil" (1989)
  • 9. Slime - "Alle gegen alle" (1983)
  • 10. Daily Terror - "Aufrecht" (1987)

These albums showcase Harris Johns' ability to capture the essence and intensity of the heavy metal and punk genres, earning him a place in music history.

Harris Johns' impact on the heavy metal and punk scenes cannot be understated. His talent, dedication, and distinctive approach to music production have left an indelible mark on the industry. As he continues to produce and educate, Harris Johns remains a respected and influential figure, shaping the future of music for generations to come.

Record Label Information:

  Banzai Records BAM 1010  

Media Format:

  12" Vinyl Stereo Mini-LP  Gramophone Record
Album weight: 210 gram  

Year & Country:

  1985 Made in Canada  
Band Members and Musicians on: Helloween S/T Self-titled Debut Banzai Mini-LP
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Kai Hansen - Vocals, Guitar

    Kai Hansen a German Singer and Guitar Player which got famous by performing in German 1st Tier bands like: Helloween , "Gamma Ray" , "Iron Fist" and other bands. He was born on 17 January 17 1963, in Hamburg, Germany.

    Hansen began his music career in the early 1980s as the guitarist and vocalist of the band Gentry, which later evolved into Helloween. Helloween's debut album, "Walls of Jericho", was released in 1985 and helped to define the power metal genre. Hansen's guitar playing and songwriting were a significant part of the band's success, and he remained with the band until 1989.

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    In 1989, Hansen left Helloween to form his own band, "Gamma Ray. The band's debut album, "Heading for Tomorrow", was released the same year and helped to establish Gamma Ray as one of the premier power metal bands. Hansen continued to lead the band and released numerous critically acclaimed albums with them throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

    In addition to his work with Helloween and Gamma Ray, Hansen has also collaborated with other musicians, including "Blind Guardian" and Avantasia. He has also released solo albums under the name Kai Hansen.

    Hansen's guitar playing is characterized by his technical proficiency and melodic sensibility. His solos are known for their emotional depth and expressiveness, and his songwriting often incorporates themes of science fiction and fantasy.

    Hansen's influence on the power metal genre is significant, and he is widely regarded as one of the genre's most important figures. His contributions to Helloween and Gamma Ray have helped to define and shape power metal, and his work continues to inspire and influence musicians around the world.

    In addition to his music career, Hansen is also known for his love of motorcycles and is an avid rider. He continues to perform and record music with Gamma Ray and remains a prominent figure in the power metal scene.

  • Michael Weikath - Guitar

    Michael Weikath Michael Ingo Joachim Weikath, commonly known as Michael Weikath, is a German guitarist and founding member of the renowned Speed/Power Metal band "Helloween." Born on August 7, 1962, in Hamburg, Germany, Weikath's musical journey began at a young age.

    In 1983, Weikath played a pivotal role in the formation of Helloween alongside Kai Hansen, Markus Grosskopf, Ingo Schwichtenberg, and Michael Kiske. As one of the primary songwriters and guitarists for the band, Weikath contributed significantly to the development of their unique sound, characterized by fast-paced guitar solos, intricate melodies, and epic compositions.

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    During the 1980s, Helloween released several albums that solidified their status as pioneers of the Power Metal genre. Weikath's exceptional guitar skills and songwriting abilities were prominently showcased on these records.
    Throughout the 1980s, Weikath's guitar playing and songwriting helped shape Helloween's sound and established them as one of the leading forces in the Power Metal genre. His contributions were vital in defining the band's musical direction, characterized by virtuosic guitar solos, harmonized melodies, and anthemic choruses.

    Beyond the 1980s, Michael Weikath continued his journey with Helloween, actively participating in the band's numerous lineup changes and creative endeavors. He remains an integral part of Helloween's legacy, contributing his distinctive guitar style and songwriting skills to the band's releases over the years.

    As a guitarist, Weikath's playing is characterized by technical precision, melodic sensibility, and a distinct tone. His contributions to Helloween's music have inspired countless aspiring guitarists and have left an indelible mark on the Power Metal genre.

    Michael Weikath's dedication, talent, and unwavering commitment to Helloween have contributed significantly to the band's enduring success and their status as one of the most influential bands in the history of Power Metal.

  • Markus Grosskopf - bass

    Markus Grosskopf is a renowned German bass player, best known for his exceptional skills and contributions to the influential Speed/Power metal band, Helloween. Born on September 21, 1965, in Hamburg, Germany, Grosskopf developed a profound passion for music at an early age.

    In his formative years, Markus Grosskopf delved into the world of rock and metal, drawing inspiration from bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. Fascinated by the power and intensity of heavy metal music, he honed his bass playing abilities, steadily building a reputation as a proficient musician in the local music scene.

    Grosskopf's breakthrough came in 1983 when he joined forces with guitarist Kai Hansen, vocalist Michael Kiske, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, and guitarist Michael Weikath to form Helloween. The band quickly gained prominence for their energetic performances, intricate songwriting, and blistering guitar solos.

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    Markus Grosskopf's thunderous bass lines played a crucial role in defining Helloween's signature sound. His playing combined technical precision, melodic sensibility, and a driving rhythm that anchored the band's music and propelled their songs to new heights. His ability to seamlessly blend with the dual guitars created a powerful sonic foundation for Helloween's speed and power metal anthems.

    Helloween released their debut album, "Walls of Jericho," in 1985, introducing a new era of heavy metal to the world. The album showcased Grosskopf's dexterity and contributed to the band's rising popularity. Helloween went on to release a string of highly acclaimed albums, including "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I" (1987) and "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II" (1988), which solidified their position as one of the leading forces in the European metal scene.

    As Helloween's success grew, Markus Grosskopf's songwriting skills also flourished. He contributed to the band's creative process, penning notable tracks such as "Dr. Stein," "I Want Out," and "Eagle Fly Free." These songs became staples in Helloween's live performances and captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

    Grosskopf's dedication and commitment to Helloween were unwavering throughout the band's journey. Despite lineup changes and internal challenges, he remained a constant force, providing stability and creative input. His stage presence and charisma also endeared him to audiences, as he demonstrated his passion for music through powerful live performances.

    Beyond Helloween, Markus Grosskopf has engaged in various side projects and collaborations, showcasing his versatility as a musician. He released solo material and participated in ventures like Shockmachine and Bassinvaders. However, his primary focus has always remained with Helloween, ensuring that the band's legacy continues to thrive.

    In 2021, Grosskopf and the members of Helloween embarked on the highly anticipated "Pumpkins United World Tour," which united past and present members, including Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, on stage. The tour celebrated Helloween's iconic discography and marked a significant milestone in the band's history.

    Markus Grosskopf's contribution to the world of heavy metal, particularly through his work with Helloween, has left an indelible mark. His mastery of the bass guitar, coupled with his songwriting prowess, has influenced countless musicians and continues to inspire new generations of metal enthusiasts.

    As a bass player and a dedicated member of Helloween, Markus Grosskopf's musical journey exemplifies the power of passion, talent, and perseverance, ensuring his place among the legends of the metal genre.

  • Ingo Schwichtenberg - drums
    Ingo "Mr. Smile" Schwichtenberg was a renowned drummer and founding member of the German Speed/Power metal band "Helloween." Born on May 18, 1965, in Hamburg, Germany, Ingo showed a passion for music from a young age. His fascination with drums began at the age of six when he received a toy drum set as a gift. Little did anyone know that this gift would spark a lifelong love affair with rhythm and percussion.

    Ingo's talent and dedication quickly became apparent as he progressed from his toy drum set to taking proper drumming lessons. He honed his skills diligently and, as a teenager, began performing in various local bands in the Hamburg music scene. Ingo's passion for heavy metal led him to explore the emerging Speed and Power metal genres, which were gaining popularity in the early 1980s.

    In 1983, Ingo Schwichtenberg joined forces with guitarist Kai Hansen, bassist Markus Grosskopf, and vocalist Michael Kiske to form the band "Helloween." This line-up would go on to become one of the most influential and successful bands in the history of Power metal. Ingo's powerful drumming style and infectious energy behind the kit played a crucial role in shaping the band's sound and identity.

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    "Helloween" released their debut album, "Walls of Jericho," in 1985, which showcased the band's fast-paced, melodic sound and propelled them into the international metal scene. Ingo's drumming skills were widely praised, and his charismatic stage presence earned him the nickname "Mr. Smile" due to his ever-present grin while performing.

    Over the course of the next eight years, Ingo Schwichtenberg contributed to the success of Helloween by recording and touring with the band on numerous albums, including the landmark releases "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I" (1987) and "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II" (1988). These albums solidified Helloween's position as one of the leading forces in the Power metal genre.

    However, Ingo struggled with personal challenges during this time. He battled depression, which eventually took a toll on his mental health and affected his ability to continue performing with the same enthusiasm and dedication as before. Ingo left Helloween in 1993, marking the end of an era for both the band and himself.

    Tragically, Ingo Schwichtenberg's struggle with mental health persisted after his departure from Helloween. On March 8, 1995, at the age of 29, he passed away in Hamburg, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most talented and influential drummers in Power metal history.

    Ingo's contribution to the development of Helloween's signature sound and his impact on the Power metal genre as a whole cannot be overstated. His energetic drumming and infectious stage presence continue to inspire drummers and metal musicians to this day. Although his life was cut short, Ingo Schwichtenberg's musical legacy lives on through his recordings and the enduring influence he had on the metal community. He will always be remembered as a true pioneer and a beloved member of the Helloween family.

Track Listing of: "Helloween"
    Side One:
  1. Starlight
  2. Murderer
  3. Warrior
    Side Two:
  1. Victim of Fate
  2. Cry for Freedom
Album cover photos of : Helloween S/T Self-titled Debut Banzai Mini-LP

High Resolution # Photo HELLOWEEN Self-Titled Debut Album Banzai

High Resolution Photo Album Back Cover  

High Resolution # Photo HELLOWEEN Self-Titled Debut Album Banzai

Enlarged High Resolution Photo of the Black ( Background ) and Red ( Lettering ) Helloween Record's Label  

High Resolution # Photo HELLOWEEN Self-Titled Debut Album Banzai

Enlarged High Resolution Photo of the Banzai Record Label with the Two "Samurai" fighters 

High Resolution # Photo HELLOWEEN Self-Titled Debut Album Banzai

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).