Guitarist Roland Grapow of German/Norwegian melodic metallers MASTERPLAN has issued the following update:
"I will finally just work from April on only on the next MASTERPLAN album! I am looking for an album release in January 2013. That means no work for other bands in my studio anymore for the rest of this year! Only MASTERPLAN! We have 15 songs written already! Maybe we write some more! We are looking for a more powerful album this time... still with great melodies and feelings, but also with more orchestration and faster stuff again… just more metal. Right now I am close to finish mixing SARATOGA from Spain and BLACK MAJESTY from Australia 'till April. More news about MASTERPLAN is coming soon!"
In an August 2011 interview with the Czech web portal Kultura21.cz, Grapow stated about the status of the songwriting sessions for the next MASTERPLAN album, "This time we tried not to make demo productions, which have a poor sound — so we wanted to make really nice pre-production [recordings] which sound very close to the album sound, which is very easy [to do] in my studio now. I think we have many, many new ideas which, I guess, are a little bit more modern and more aggressive as well. So we try not to follow any trends of MASTERPLAN — I'm not saying we're reproducing the first album or the third one or the fifth one. I think we always have to try to make some surprises for the people. The 'Time To Be King' album is great, but this new album sounds a bit different again. I always want to do this, because I'm not that kind of guy who wants to make every year the same album."
On the topic of MASTERPLAN's numerous lineup changes, Grapow said, "I think it's always difficult in this band, I guess. If you see, the first album just came out after a big turbulence — leaving HELLOWEEN, Uli [Kusch, drums] and me. I think this band always needs some very bad moments to some great songs. [Laughs] And it looks like MASTERPLAN, basically, is my main band, and whoever will sing and whoever will play in the band, I'm happy with, or if Jorn [Lande, vocals] will stay as long as possible. But, basically, at the moment, I'm thinking the main songwriters are Axel [Mackenrott, keyboards] now and me. Also Jan [S. Eckert], the bass player, who was very involved in different in projects and has a great job now, just called me one week ago. He's happy to continue with MASTERPLAN and he's looking forward to the next album and the next tour. So whatever happens, this band will continue. I'm still very positive. I'm a little bit tired of producing bands the last three years in my studio and I want to continue now with my career in MASTERPLAN. It's very important for me to show that we still have the power and the ability to write beautiful melodies and some aggression and rock and metal songs. Whatever we do, we want just to make good-quality stuff."
MASTERPLAN's last CD, "Time To Be King", was released on May 21, 2010 through AFM Records. The CD's first single, "Far From The End Of The World", was issued on April 16, 2010.
MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande told Germany's Rock Hard magazine in 2009 about his renewed collaboration with MASTERPLAN, "We never had problems with each other, but professionally, we decided to go separate ways for a while. . . I am happy that we are . . . working together again — mainly because the combination of MASTERPLAN's music and my singing [is] truly something special."
Vocalist Mike DiMeo (RIOT, THE LIZARDS) announced his departure from MASTERPLAN in January 2009 after recording just one studio album with the group — 2007's "MK II".