||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
Andi Deris, at Przystanek Woodstock in 2011
|Birth name||Andreas Deris|
18 August 1964 |
|Genres||Power metal, heavy metal, speed metal, hard rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards|
|Associated acts||Pink Cream 69, Helloween|
Andreas "Andi" Deris (born 18 August 1964) is a German singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of power metal band Helloween, and co-founder and former lead singer of German melodic metal band Pink Cream 69. He has an active solo career, as well as his own recording studio in Tenerife.
First bands (1979–1987)
Andi was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and started to sing in his first band, called Paranoid, when he was 15. Two years later they changed the band's name to Nameless. In Nameless Deris stayed along with his school friend, drummer Ralf Maurer, who also played on both Andi's solo albums. In late 1984 Andi Deris joined a band called Dragon with the two brothers Bruno and Oscar Di Blasio (Di Blasio BrOs) on guitar and Bernd and Stefan Lüddemann (bass & drums). After playing live concerts in the Karlsruhe area, they went to Edo Zanki’s Studio in Karlsdorf and to Arco Studio, München to record their first demo with producer Tony Monn. Following songs were recorded: “I was made to be with you”, “Call me up”, “Woman”, “I hear the angels singing", "Ballade of glory” and “Rock your body down”. During the production of the demo, drummer Bodo Schopf (ex-Michael Schenker Group) recorded some drum-parts. In 1986, when Bruno & Oscar Di Blasio together with Andi Deris (who had just finished military service), met the Italian bass player Daniel De Niro KYMERA was born! Ralf Maurer alias “Ralph Mason” was "again" recruited as the new drummer of the band.
Soon after, KYMERA went to the Katapult-Tonstudio in Karlsruhe to record new songs for Francis, Day & Hunter GmbH Publishing- Hamburg. Following songs were recorded: “Hello U.S.A.”, “Hot Looking Romeo”, “Send Me a Letter” and rearranged versions of “I Was Made To Be With You”, “Call Me Up” and “Woman”. After a few concerts, the drummer Ralf Maurer quit KYMERA to go to University and was promptly replaced by the talented young drummer Kosta Zafiriou, and the line-up of KYMERA was complete again. Soon, the band went to a Studio in Mainz to record “Shadows Are Falling”, “Lonely Would Be Loving You” and a new version of “Ballade Of Glory” and played many live dates in Germany until the end of 1986. In the beginning of 1987, Andi Deris and Kosta Zafiriou left KYMERA to form the band Pink Cream 69.
Andi was hired for the recording sessions for "No Mercy", a band-project based in Appenweier/Offenburg - South Germany, founded by three locals: Bobby Benz (Bass), Rüdiger Föll (Drums), and Uwe Ulm (Lead Guitar). He also played two gigs with No Mercy. On the second and last gig, Pink Cream 69 played as a support band for No Mercy; on that evening Andi was the lead singer for both bands and hit the stage twice, opening with the very first line up of Pink Cream 69.
Pink Cream 69 (1987–1993)
In 1987, when Andi was 22, Pink Cream 69 was officially formed, with the original lineup of Dennis Ward, Kosta Zaphiriou, Alfred Koffler and Deris. They became popular enough to gain interest from numerous record companies, choosing to ultimately sign with CBS (now known as Sony Music). Pink Cream toured in Europe, America and Japan and recorded 3 albums with Andi Deris on vocal duties. In 1992 they released a live video titled "Size it up - Live in Japan", This hour long concert is also featured on Pink Cream 69's 2009 live DVD release "Past and Present" along with all videos starring Andi as well.
Helloween and solo career (1993-present)
In 1993, Helloween was undergoing lineup changes. Gone was Ingo Schwichtenberg, replaced by ex-Gamma Ray drummer Uli Kusch, and Michael Kiske, replaced by Deris. The new lineup recorded Master of the Rings, a departure from the progressive pop-rock sound of Chameleon and a return to their classic power metal sound. Deris immediately became primary songwriter for the band, resulting in some classic tunes like Why?, Perfect Gentleman and In The Middle Of A Heartbeat. The Time of the Oath in 1996 further lifted up the band's album sales, culminating in a world tour and a concert DVD along with double-CD live album, High Live, set from 3 concerts in Spain and Italy. While Helloween would go on a much needed break, Deris would record his first solo album Come in from the Rain. While the album contained some power metal material (The King of 7 Eyes), for the most part it experimented with more mellow, mid-tempo material. Deris sang and played guitar, accompanied by Peter Idera (guitar), Ralph Maison (drums and back-vocals) and Gisbert Royder (bass).
In 1998, Helloween recorded arguably their heaviest album to that point, Better Than Raw, in which Andi used some new vocal techniques, from fast paced high-pitched screaming in Push and Revelation (that was later used in The Dark Ride's "Deliver Us From Temptation", "Escalation 666" and "Mr. Torture") to deep, low vocals on A Handful of Pain and Time. Andi commented in an interview that the best thing in making album was resting after the sessions at the beach, as he always, from the start of "Pink Cream 69" wanted to record the album on "Bahamas, somewhere". The album was recorded in the Canary Islands (Spain), where he currently lives (in Tenerife, where Helloween guitarist Michael Weikath also resides).
In 1999, Helloween released a cover album Metal Jukebox, and Andi's second solo album, Done by Mirrors, released in Japan (released 2000 in other parts of the world due to record company conflicts), featuring Deris once again on vocals and guitars, Don Pupillo on lead guitar, Maison and Royder. 2000's The Dark Ride showed Andi using even more different vocal styles, in some cases lower-pitched and raspy.
After the supporting tour for The Dark Ride, Helloween fired Roland Grapow & Uli Kusch via e-mail. Rabbit Don't Come Easy would be released in 2003, featuring the band's first tour in the U.S. since 1989. The album contained a stylistic departure from the downtuned guitars and dark themes of the previous album, favoring a more "happy", melodic style. As Deris stated in an interview, the vocals however would remain somewhat complicated. In "Liar" he is almost growling, in "Don't Stop Being Crazy"'s low-pitched parts he is slow and heavy. In still other songs the operatic "happy Helloween" style is preferred, while in songs like "Listen to the Flies" and "Back against the wall", his vocal style is much more "dark".
In 2005, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy was released, with Andi on the peak of his vocal abilities. First single and video was Deris's song "Mrs. God". For the first time in the band's history there was a duet, with Candice Night of Blackmore's Night, in "Light the Universe". It was the second single and the second video for the album. A live double DVD video with documentary and live double CD was released in February 2007.
Helloween completed their twelfth studio album Gambling with the Devil, released on 23 October 2007. It received many positive reviews, with most fans praising the album as being one of the best Deris era albums. Despite being one of Helloween's heaviest albums, it is noted for featuring more keyboards. "As Long As I Fall", the first single, was released in early September and available only via download (save for Japan, where it was released on CD). The video for the song is available on their official site.
Helloween also released Unarmed - Best of 25th Anniversary, 2009, 7 Sinners, 2010, and actually, Straight Out of Hell, 2013, a new band success worldwide. A new solo is being to be released too, called Million-Dollar Haircuts On Ten-Cent Heads, in November 2013.
Compared to Helloween's previous vocalist Michael Kiske, Deris has a more restrained style of singing, with less of a focus on power and hitting high notes. His replacement of Kiske has attracted some criticism, but generally fans have had a positive reception to Deris' differing style. Numerous metal fans have noticed the uncanny similarity of Deris' vocal sound and style to that of hard rock vocalist King Diamond Mercyful Fate, John Schlitt of Head East and Petra. In some areas his vocal sound recalls that of Kai Hansen and Biff Byford as well.
- He provided lead vocals for the song "To The Quasar", from Ayreon's 2000 album Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator.
- He also appears in the Rage album, Soundchaser, in the song "Falling from Grace, Pt. 1: Wake the Nightmares".
- The German Rock Stars has Andi singing on the song "Wings of Freedom".
- Andi was part of the German rock project on the song "Let love conquer the world"
- He sang with an ensemble of singers in the "20th anniversary song" from the band Axxis, a medley of Axxis songs.
- He appeared on the Tribute to Rainbow cd with the song "Catch the rainbow".
- He sang on the album Jail from the band Get into....
- Together with Michael Weikath he appears on the track "Eagle Fly Free" on the DVD and livealum "Ritualive" from the band Shaman, the song is a Helloween cover.
- Together with Angry Anderson and Lemmy Kilmister he sings on the Saxon anthem "I've Got to Rock to Stay Alive".
- In 2010, he recorded guest vocals for a duet in the band Wicked Sensation for the song "My Turn to Fly".
- In 2011, he appeared in a duet with the vocalist of Eden's Curse on their album called Trinity, the song is named "Black Widow"
- He also produced Tenerife based band Meridian Zero´s first album "Doors of Creation" and Esclavitud's album Condenados Al Paraíso.
- Andi worked on the project "Help! For Japan Ep" where he sang along with other known metalsingers like former Helloween singer Michael Kiske to raise money for the Japanese red cross.
- In 2012, he wrote and shared vocal duties on the song "I Must Be Dreaming" by Scelerata.
- Andi worked with Lady's voice and wrote the song "EnAmoria", he sings with he ladies and David Readman, Oliver Hartmann, Hagen Grohe and Marcus Jurgens.
- Andi sings on the song "Accidents happen, even here" by band Crimes of passion
Pink Cream 69
- Master of the Rings (1994)
- The Time Of The Oath (1996)
- High Live Live (1996)
- Better Than Raw (1998)
- Metal Jukebox (1999)
- The Dark Ride (2000)
- Rabbit Don't Come Easy (2003)
- Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy (2005)
- Keeper of the Seven Keys – The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 Live (2007)
- Gambling with the Devil (2007)
- Unarmed - Best of 25th Anniversary (2010)
- 7 Sinners (2010)
- Straight Out of Hell (2013)
- Come in from the Rain (1997)
- Done by Mirrors (1999)
- Million-Dollar Haircuts On Ten-Cent Heads (2013)
- "1000 Years Away" (1997)
- "Good Bye Jenny" (1997)