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The records that changed my life: Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray

A picture of Kai Hansen holding a guitar

The first album I bought was…

Slade - Slade Alive! [Polydor, 1972]

“My friend’s elder brother played it in front of me and it rocked so fucking hard, I had to go out and buy it for myself. I still listen to it now. I recently copied it to my laptop and now I can listen to it in the car on the Autobahn.”

The album with the best artwork is…

Helloween - Helloween EP [Noise, 1985]

“It reminds me of all that classic nostalgic 80s shit that I still love to this day. It’s up there with Judas Priest’s British Steel and Metallica’s Ride The Lightning for me.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

Deep Purple - Made in Japan [Purple, 1972]

“When I picture myself singing on all the albums I look up to, I think I’m not worthy! I’d love to give Ian Gillan’s vocals a try – he inspired me to go for all the high notes. As a kid, I’d try so hard to hit those top notes on Child In Time and make them sound as strong as he did. He set the bar too high! The last high point in that song is really tough. There was a time when I could’ve done it but high notes don’t come so easily now.”

The album I break the speed limit to is…

Sisters of Mercy - Vision Thing [Merciful Release, 1990]

“This album is what’s in my car right now so when I’m driving on the Autobahn, I really like to turn it up and push the pedal down. There’s something in it that makes me drive faster… maybe it’s the romantic moments in Ribbons.”

A kid asks me what metal is. I hand them a copy of…

Judas Priest - British Steel [Columbia, 1980]

“This wasn’t where I started but it’s true heavy metal to me. What more could you ask for? I grew up listening to glam rock so I started backwards – I worked my way up from Sweet and T. Rex, who were huge fans of Deep Purple, and I went from there to hard rock. Next was punk with The Clash and The Damned until I discovered AC/DC – I fell in love with them and saw Judas Priest support them in Hamburg. Whatever was happening in music at that time, I was eating it all!”

The album I want to be remembered for is…

Helloween - Walls of Jericho [Noise, 1985]

“The first thing that comes to mind is Helloween’s debut. It’s got this really wild, adventurous spirit and a lot of naivety that makes it so precious to me.”

The album that reminds me of school is…

Motörhead - No Sleep ’til Hammersmith [Bronze, 1981]

“I had a 10-minute bike ride to school every day and I was always running late, so I had this album playing on my Walkman every fucking morning. Riding to school with Overkill and Bomber in my ears made that journey fantastic. When I arrived, I was always wide awake!”

The album that should not be is…

Judas Priest - Point of Entry [Columbia, 1981]

“I was a little disappointed because it lacked something special, they were trying too hard to appeal to the American market and the commercial side. I would’ve liked more guitar solos, wildness and great metal, but it did have some great songs with Desert Plains and Heading Out To The Highway.”

The album I want played at my funeral is…

Gamma Ray - Heading for Tomorrow [Noise, 1990]

“As a song on its own, I’d like them to play The Silence. Apart from that, I’d love party music. I don’t want people to be sad – I want them to dance on my fucking grave and get wasted! The departed wouldn’t want to see their loved ones upset – I’d rather people have a good laugh.”

The best album for a zombie apocalypse is…

Venom - Welcome to Hell [Neat, 1981]

“Definitely the title track of Welcome To Hell. I’ll remember that one when they’re making a movie about my life!”

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