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Kai Hansen


1978-1985 Helloween - guitars, vocals  
1986-1988 Helloween - guitars  
1988- Gamma Ray - vocals, guitars  
1996-2001 Iron Savior - guitars, vocals  
2011- Unisonic - guitars, backing vocals  
2016- Hansen & Friends - vocals, guitars  
2017- Helloween - guitars, vocals  

Live musician

2008 Avantasia - vocals  
2010-2011 Avantasia - guitars, vocals  
2017-2018 Helloween - guitars  

Guest musician

1989 Blind Guardian - vocals, guitars  
1990 Blind Guardian - vocals, guitars  
1990 Headhunter - guitars  
1992 Heavens Gate - guitars, vocals  
1992 Blind Guardian - guitars  
1993 Angra - guitars  
1995 Lanzer - vocals, guitars  
1996 Michael Kiske - guitars  
1998 Heavenwood - guitars, vocals  
1998 Primal Fear - guitars  
1999 HammerFall - vocals  
2000 Heavenly - vocals  
2001-2002 Avantasia - vocals  
2004 Doro - guitars, bass, backing vocals  
2004 Angra - vocals  
2004 Stormwarrior - vocals, guitars  
2007 Primal Fear - guitars  
2008 Avantasia - guitars  
2009 Dark Age - vocals, guitars  
2010 In Arkadia - vocals  
2011 Merging Flare - guitars, vocals  
2011 Ralf Scheepers - guitars  
2012 Paragon - vocals  
2012 Maverick (JPN) - vocals  
2017 Place Vendome - guitars  
2017 Night Laser - vocals  
2017 Tragedian - guitar solo  
2018 Van Canto - vocals  
2018 Velvet Viper - guitars  
2019 Hevisaurus - guitar solo  
2019 Induction - guitars, vocals  
2021 NorthTale - vocals  

Personal information

Born on: 17.01.1963

Kai Michael Hansen (born January 17, 1963, in Hamburg, Germany) is a power metal guitarist and vocalist.

His musical career started in 1979 in a band called Iron Fist, alongside Iron Savior's co-founder and producer Piet Sielck. In 1984 he and Michael Weikath founded Helloween, where he was guitarist and singer until Michael Kiske took over the microphone for the albums Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2. Hansen left the band due to the extensive touring in 1988-89 and went on to form his own power metal band Gamma Ray. Hansen also joined Iron Savior as guitarist in 1996, but quit after a few years to focus his efforts on Gamma Ray. He has now forged a very successful career with Gamma Ray, releasing several albums and playing sold out tours across the globe.

The Beginning
"At the age of 10 I played drums on old wash-drums, because at the beginning I wanted to become a drummer. At the age of 12 I got my first guitar (I did not get a drumkit because my parents thought it would be too loud). Then I took classical guitar lessons for 6 months and two years later I finally founded my first band together with two school-mates and I also had my first electric guitar (a white Ibanez Les Paul) and a small amplifier. Shortly later, I bought my first effect-instrument, a distortion panel of course. Then I got to know Piet Sielck (today Iron Savior) and the two of us founded another band called Gentry. We played live in youth-clubs, schools, small clubs and so on and we got the first price at a amateur festival in Hamburg. Cannot tell how proud we were! We played music of Slade, the Sex Pistols and Uriah Heep but we also had two songs of our own. At that time I delivered newspapers to collect the money for a Marshall Amplifier. I was so proud when I was finally able to buy it. I changed my guitar with my friend, who was playing a Stratocaster as I always wanted to play a Strat with a humbucker.

After some time Piet and I got to know Ingo and Markus and later on we founded Second Hell, and after that we changed the name to Iron Fist. More gigs in small clubs followed and we started to record our music in the rehearsal room. After some time we got a rehearsal room in a church, which we gave up quite soon as there were no toilets and therefore we had to piss in the corner. Somehow our band split up when we didn't have any rehearsal-room anymore.

During my time at the army, from 1982 to 1984, I got to know Michael Weikath on a party and I entered in his band called Parefool. But as we did not get along with the other band mates too well, we again founded Iron Fist together with Ingo and Markus. We rehearsed at a army-barracks. I was stationed in Hamburg as I could give the Seargents a pleasure playing on their balls.

Anyway, we got to know Limp Schnoor who had some contacts with Noise Records. We gave him our recordings and we got the chance to record two songs for a Death Metal Sampler. The feedback to those songs was so good that we got more contact with Noise Records and as a result we finally recorded our first Mini LP Helloween and the first full-length album Walls Of Jericho.

Okay, well, what happened from then on can be read in the metal press. In an way, music for me always was more important than anything else on earth. I am happy that I managed to finish school successfully despite of all the missed lessons due to all the rehearsing and band stuff. During my time at university (1984 to 1987) this was not much different at all and besides, Helloween got bigger and more successful at that time. So I finally stopped studying as I had the big chance to turn my hobby into profession."

Singing style
Hansen's singing style is reminiscent of the unconventional styles of many Death Metal vocalists. Rather than using a smooth and clear style (like his follower Kiske) Hansen sang with a slithery type sound, interluded by high-pitched screams for dramatic effect. While this undoubtedly helped his vocal style stand out, it has attracted some criticism even from fans of Helloween, many of whom thought the change to Kiske enhanced the band's music. However, Hansen's style is still considered intriguing and the sound of the early Helloween EP as well as the Walls of Jericho debut album is still much admired.

The initial reason for Hansen giving up his post as vocalist was apparently his inability to sing and play at the same time during live concerts.


Walls of Jericho (1985)
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 (1987)
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 (1988)

Iron Savior
Iron Savior (1997)
Unification (1998)
Interlude (EP, 1999)
Dark Assault (2001)

Gamma Ray
Heading for Tomorrow (1990)
Sigh No More (1991)
Insanity and Genius (1993)
Land of the Free (1995)
Alive '95 (1996) - Live album
Somewhere Out in Space (1997)
The Karaoke Album (1997) - Karaoke Compilation album
Powerplant (1999)
Blast from the Past (2000) - "Best of" Compilation album
No World Order (2001)
Skeletons in the Closet (2003) - Live album
Majestic (2005)
Land Of The Free II (2007)

Guest appearances
Hansen is known for making guest appearances on Power metal recordings.

With Angra:
Angels Cry - guitar solo on "Never Understand"
Temple of Shadows - vocals on "The Temple of Hate"
With Blind Guardian:
Follow the Blind - vocals on "Valhalla"
Tales from the Twilight World - vocals on "Lost in the Twilight Hall," guitar solo on "The Last Candle"
Somewhere Far Beyond - lead guitar on "The Quest for Tanelorn"
With Tobias Sammet's Avantasia:
The Metal Opera - as "Regrin the Dwarf" he has vocal parts in "Inside" and "Sign Of The Cross"
The Metal Opera Part II - he reprises his role and has vocal parts in "The Seven Angels" and "Chalice Of Agony"
With Hammerfall:
vocals on "I Want Out"
Backing Vocals on "Man on The Silver Mountain"
With Heavenly:
Coming from the Sky - vocals on "Time machine"
With Stormwarrior:
Stormwarrior - vocals & guitar on "Chains Of Slavery" and "Heavy Metal is the Law"
Northern Rage - additional vocals on "Heroic Deathe" and guitar solo on "Welcome Thy Rite"