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Hansi was doing lots of interviews that day. Trying to deal with press and different time zones can be confusing and overwhelming and overall a stressful day in the life of a rock star. I wanted to keep it short and sweet to help him out a bit but he laughed.

I have long answers he said. I can’t help myself.

Let’s make it super interesting I suggested. And we did.

I had a list of This or That questions for Hansi. You know how I love imposing a good dilemma to my bands.

I guess I can’t help it either.

Doc Martens or Converse?

Oooh, at the very least I have to say Converse but I think I bought a pair of Doc Martens somewhere. Converse I have bought actually to wear on the live shows so at least I wear them you know?

Steven King or David Lynch?

That would be a clear Steven King answer. David Lynch is great, but the final season of Twin Peaks was too much for me. Artistically there were some very nice spots in there and I was hoping I would get the same sensation as 20 years ago, and the performance of the guys s really great but it was too weird. I have no problem with intense feelings or distorted pictures and images, but it just went too far. Brutal in a certain way but it went too far.

Steady and safe 9-5 job or creative, unstable freelancing?

That’s easy to answer, unstable freelancing. I have to say that that kind of unstable freelancing hardly ever feels like a job. Of course, it can be very annoying and it can be very demanding. Especially for the ones in our lives like my wife and my son they are suffering from it a lot and they have to hold back. But I still have to consider it as a real job you know,

It’s what I want to do and if you touch my fingers you’ll see they are so soft I never worked a day in my life.

I really felt for him. My fingers are definitely not soft but as a freelancer, I can relate. The unstable workflow and the demanding situations are hard to deal with and it takes a lot of self-control, especially when you work with a team of people and have others depending on you.

I’m in the business for more than 30 years, Hansi said. And I have felt the pressure. It’s not so difficult nowadays but when I was in my 30’s I was taking everything more seriously, you know. And it had affected my behaviour and my feelings. There were many little things popping here and there, I adjusted that and prioritized family life, so the stress is different but physically I have to say that I really feel it, this job is really demanding. Some musicians pointed out that in a way the waiting is the hardest thing, the time you spend waiting at airports or waiting for something to happen, and that’s the real pressure and the real problem. But the creative part is really cool.

So do you think that you have to grow a really tough skin to be able to survive in the music industry?

Yes, I believe that this is the case. People can be very rude. I’m not sensitive at all which is probably my advantage here but a lot of it came over the years. To really understand the game, understand people, how to be in the business. People will pretend to either like you or pretend they are supportive and then you find out that oh, they are in fact, not. They might even hate you, you know. And I have a saying:

Hate must be deserved.

That is my strong belief. For someone to hate you, you must have done something at least.  But overall, you have to grow a very tough skin indeed.

Movies or TV series?

I recently found out that its’ movies. I can’t keep track of the TV series. I can’t wait for the next season you know? So I can’t really follow up. But with movies, you know what you are getting from start to end in one go. If there’s a second episode or a third episode that great. Like with Star Wars I have to wait for one or two years but that is ok, it’s worth the wait. And I also recently discovered that I like going to the movies, even though I cannot do that very often.

Half-full or half-empty?

That’s a bit like demons or wizards. I’m still more of a half-full kind of guy.

Small intimate venues or large crowds?

If I can get a bit deeper I would say intimate shows, I know what I like.  But of course, if you play a really big festival, a big arena and people are really into what you are doing, then you have one of these magical nights, then this is even more overwhelming than an intimate show I would say.

If you could only keep one for the rest of your life would you prefer clean vocals or harsh screams and growls? Not just you, not just Blind Guardian but for the entire music industry.

I would go for the screams and growls. I like intensity and I like expression and I believe that you can move people with clean vocals while singing your heart out but scream or growl, can go further than that you know? It might be not as nice obviously but it expresses and defines so much more.

Yes! And it involves a lot of emotion too, I added.

So, demons or wizards?

There are more demons in me that people would think, but I’m still more on the wizard side.  Like with the half-full thing I can be very sarcastic very humorous but I still like having positive perspectives. I have a good understanding of the dark side, but I like the bright side, I like the light.

Dark lands or sea and sunshine?

This is a different story again, I like all four seasons and I like the seasons as they are where I am living, so it’s really a question of definition. Bright sunshine as in Greece, that brightness I like a lot and the one in Andalusia but I also love grey skies and Finish, Norwegian, Scandinavian depressing weather. Do I like the Shire or do I like Mordor more? Both very attractive and appealing to me. When I want to calm down I go to a place like Andalusia, but when I go to the beach it’s all about finding a nice shade and not moving because my skin is a bit sensitive to the sun.

I’m not sensitive to criticism but when the heat is too strong too much light bothers me a little bit.

Text or Call?

It still calls for me. There’s so much misunderstanding with texts a still I’m not exactly on top of this game so sometimes I feel that there are so much interaction and confusion created by that so a straight forward call is the best way to go and clarifies things faster than texting or emailing.

Buy I’m even using Whats-App these days. That’s how modern I am. Do I like it? No.

I know that you are a huge fantasy novels fan so Books or Movies?

Books. No second thoughts. I feel that the movies or series are far behind the experience I get when I read the book.

Comedy or Drama?

Comedy! I’m still more into something uplifting. I like South Park, I like Kings and Queens I like Family Guy. That really gives me the chance to calm down.  I like drama when it comes to movies but I like the entertaining side of a good comedy. The one TV series that really attracted me over the past two years is The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Money or free time?

That goes along together! I would choose both. At the very end, I declined something two days ago, I have to say free time.

Classic art or contemporary art?

Classic art! I attend a lot of exhibitions of modern art but I’m still more retracted to classic art.  And that applies to everything but when it comes to music I can really listen to everything.

This had been a really busy year for Hansi. Accomplishing the orchestral album of Blind Guardian, and being on the road with John, having a blast, doing drastically different things with his career, hoping that the fans will enjoy it and follow his journey. I sent him a virtual hug and wished him all the best until we meet again.

Until the next one,

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