Roland Grapow

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Roland Grapow
Roland Grapow - cropped from Masterplan - signing session.jpg
Background information
Born (1959-08-30) 30 August 1959 (age 55)
Hamburg, Germany
Genres Power metal
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Bass guitar
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts Masterplan, Helloween

Roland Grapow (born 30 August 1959 in Hamburg, Germany) is a professional guitarist and music producer. Roland is best known for his time in the leading power metal band Helloween,[1] who he played with for 12 years after replacing founding member Kai Hansen. He is also known for leading the acclaimed power metal-based band Masterplan.[2]


Roland started playing guitar at age 12. His father bought him a guitar and had him to take guitar lessons, but Roland couldn't stand the theory part and his teacher told his father that Roland didn't have any talent for guitar playing.[3]

Prior to joining Helloween, Grapow was a member of the heavy metal band Rampage. He joined the band in roughly 1979, and played on two of their studio albums "Victim Of Rock" in 1980, and "Love Lights Up The Night" in 1982. He left Rampage in roughly 1983. He was then fairly inactive until joining Helloween in 1989. Roland played on the albums Pink Bubbles Go Ape, Chameleon, Master of the Rings, The Time of the Oath, High Live, Better Than Raw, Metal Jukebox, and The Dark Ride.

During his time with Helloween Roland also formed a solo project. The first release, The Four Seasons of Life, featured members of Helloween playing backup, with Roland trying his hand at singing in addition to guitar playing. On the second album, Kaleidoscope, current and former members of Yngwie Malmsteen's band were utilized.

In 2001, Roland and bandmate Uli Kusch were fired from Helloween due to musical and personal differences. In 2012, on an interview with Metal Shock Finland's Chief Editor, Mohsen Fayyazi, Roland stated:


Roland and Uli decided to go on with the side project they had been planning and formed the band Masterplan with former Ark and The Snakes singer Jørn Lande. After Uli Kusch left the band in 2006, Roland became the leader and main songwriter of Masterplan.

Roland is currently living in Zvolenská Slatina, Slovakia, where he works as a music producer at his own studio.[6] In 2011 he mixed the album Motherland for the Italian progressive metal band Daedalus and played the guitar solo on the song Underground. He also produced Czech metalcore band X-Core on their and debut album "In Hell" and also their latest "Life and stuff" record. Another Czech power metal band Eagleheart recorded their second album "Dreamtherapy" for Scarlet Records, with Roland producing, mixing, mastering and guesting vocals and guitar solos. Some of best albums recorded, produced and/or mixed by Roland Grapow has been Tony Hernando "Actual events" (featuring Mike Terrana on drums) and the last 2 albums by spanish Metal band Saratoga with Tony Hernando on guitar, "Secretos y revelaciones" and "Nemesis". The new and acclaimed debut album by the band Lords Of Black has been also co-produced and Mixed by Roland Grapow and released in 2014.


Year of Release Artist Title Label
1980 Rampage Victim of Rock Independent
1982 Rampage Love Lights Up The Night Independent
1991 Helloween Pink Bubbles Go Ape EMI
1993 Helloween Chameleon EMI
1994 Helloween Master of the Rings Castle Communications
1996 Helloween The Time of the Oath Castle Communications
1996 Helloween High Live Castle Communications
1997 Roland Grapow The Four Seasons of Life Snapper Music
1998 Helloween Better Than Raw Castle Communications
1999 Roland Grapow Kaleidoscope SPV/Steamhammer
1999 Helloween Metal Jukebox Castle Communications
2000 Helloween The Dark Ride Nuclear Blast
2003 Masterplan Masterplan AFM Records
2005 Masterplan Aeronautics AFM Records
2007 Masterplan MK II AFM Records
2010 Masterplan Time to Be King AFM Records
2013 Masterplan Novum Initium AFM Records
2015 Serious Black As Dying Breaks Nuclear Blast Records
2015 Level 10 Chapter One Frontiers Records


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