Roland Grapow

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Roland Grapow
Masterplan – Headbangers Open Air 2015 09.jpg
Background information
Born (1959-08-30) 30 August 1959 (age 60)
Hamburg, Germany
GenresPower metal
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1980–present
Associated actsMasterplan, Helloween, Kreyson, Serious Black, Level 10, Lords of Black, Sebastien

Roland Grapow (born 30 August 1959 in Hamburg, Germany) is a professional guitarist and music producer. Grapow 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 subsequently created the power metal band Masterplan in 2001, which is still active today.[2]


Grapow started playing guitar at age 12. His father bought him a guitar and had him to take guitar lessons, but Grapow couldn't stand the theory part and his teacher told his father that Grapow 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 musically, and made a living as a car mechanic until Michael Weikath called him to offer him a position in Helloween in 1989. According to Grapow in 2017, "If Weiki didn't call me at that time, I would still be a car mechanic and I'd be an old guy with heavy bones and pain, still working on cars, dreaming about my hobby I had a long time ago, being a musician."[4]

Grapow played on the Helloween 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 Grapow also formed a solo project. The first release, The Four Seasons of Life, featured members of Helloween playing backup, with Grapow 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, Grapow 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, Grapow stated:

I felt very secure in Helloween. In the middle of the tour I said something to Michael and Markus and I said my opinion about something. I wanted to make something the best for the band and I think they misunderstood me, like I wanted to be leader. I was telling the truth and that’s how I am… It was a great time in Helloween… but I was happy when I left the band after the Dark Ride because it’s one of my favourite albums, it totally changed my life.


Grapow and Kusch 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 Kusch left the band in 2006, Grapow became the leader and main songwriter of Masterplan.

Grapow is currently living in Zvolenská Slatina, Slovakia, where he works as a music producer at his own studio.[7] 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 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 Grapow producing, mixing, mastering and guesting vocals and guitar solos. He also produced Slovak symphonic metal band Anthology and their album "The Prophecy".[8] His collaboration work on acclaimed solo album by guitarist Tony Hernando "Actual events" (featuring Mike Terrana on drums) leads him to work on the albums by popular Spanish Metal band Saratoga (with then Tony Hernando on guitar), "Secretos y revelaciones" (2009) and "Nemesis" (2012). Roland Grapow continues collaborating as Co-Producer for the new band formed by Tony Hernando with new vocal sensation Ronnie Romero - Lords Of Black, with an acclaimed self titled debut album in 2014 and a new album "II" to be released by Frontier Music in 2016.

In 2017, Grapow joined Czech band Kreyson as their guitar player.[9] In 2019, he announced the departure from the band.[10]


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
2009 Tony Hernando Actual Events Lion Music
2009 Saratoga Secretos y Revelaciones Avispa Records
2010 Masterplan Time to Be King AFM Records
2010 Sebastien Tears of White Roses Escape Music
2012 Saratoga Némesis Avispa Records
2013 Masterplan Novum Initium AFM Records
2014 Lords of Black Lords of Black Lords of Black Records
2015 Serious Black As Daylight Breaks AFM Records
2015 Level 10 Chapter One Frontiers Records
2015 Paco Ventura Black Moon Fragile Crystal Avispa RecordsMusic
2015 Sebastien Dark Chambers of Déjà Vu Pride & Joy Music
2016 Lords of Black II Frontiers Records
2017 Masterplan PumpKings AFM Records


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-08-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Roland Grapow". Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "ROLAND GRAPOW Says HELLOWEEN Doesn't Want Him To Take Part In 'Pumpkins United' Tour". August 20, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "MASTERPLAN's Roland Grapow - "I Think HELLOWEEN Would Be Much Bigger If They Would Continue With The Style Of Keepers Albums"; New Audio Interview Online". BW&BK. November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "Interview With MASTERPLAN Mainman And Ex-HELLOWEEN Roland Grapow". Metal Shock Finland. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Grapow talking about album "The Prophecy" of band Anthology". Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "KREYSON Ládi Křížka má Terranu a Grapowa". Spark Rock Magazine. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  10. ^ "INTERVIEW WITH ROLAND GRAPOW (MASTERPLAN, ROLAND STUDIOS, EX-HELLOWEEN...)". Black Phoenix Rising. Retrieved January 23, 2019.

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