5 Drummerszone artists - Uli Kusch

Uli Kusch
* March 11, 1967
Germany
Ulrich Kusch was born in March of 1967 in the historical German bordertown of Aachen. His extensive musical career started in 1981 when Uli started to play drums in several rock'n'roll bands around town. He also participated in several musician showcases that made many contemporaries take notice of his incredible talents.

His first full time project was the heavy metal band Violent Kids, a band that allowed him to explore his tastes and gain needed experience from 1983 to 1986. Finally, during the summer of 1986, he received an offer to join the established professional thrasher Holy Moses. With Holy Moses, Uli recorded and released three albums worldwide (Finished With The Dogs, The New Machine of Liechtenstein and World Chaos). Numerous gigs across Europe as well as two big ticket tours gave him exposure to the ever growing international heavy metal scene of the late eighties.

In 1991, wanting to try something fresh and new, Uli Kusch changed camp and hooked up with Gamma Ray, the project of former Helloween guitarist Kai Hansen. Kusch replaced initial Gamma Ray drummer Mathias Burchadt. Uli recorded the album Sigh No More as well as the hit EP Heaven Can Wait. The subsequent sold out Japanese tour led to the best selling live video Heading for the East, and reintroduced Uli to his true passion: melodic hard rock!

When Uli Kusch left Gamma Ray a couple years later, he briefly participated in the album project by Axe La Chapelle called Grab What You Can and also toured throughout Switzerland with local heroes Transit. In addition, he helped out friends and punk stars Die Skeptiker by filling in on the drums for their album Schwarze Boten. His desire to better his skills and explore more of his interests also led him to appear live with a Jazz Fusion outfit called JK Special, filling in for Dave Weckel.

His next and ultimately biggest career move came in 1994 when Ulrich Kusch joined international superstars Helloween. Uli Kusch replaced drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, the original drummer for Helloween when they formed in 1984. Due to drug and mental problems Schwichtenberg was forced to leave the band in 1993.

Uli Kusch has since released several best selling albums with the band (Master of the Rings, Time Of The Oath, High Live, Better Than Raw and Metal Jukebox, The Dark Ride) as well as a highly acclaimed video taped on tour in Spain.

These years have been a wild ride for the young drummer. Uli and Helloween have appeared at the Monsters of Rock festival in Brazil, received multiple gold and platinum records for their hit albums, did a world tour in 2001, and Uli himself was awarded Drummer of the Year in Japans famous Burrn Magazine.

Uli Kusch also recorded and produced his own side project Catch The Rainbow - A tribute to Rainbow in 1999, helped out fellow Helloween-ers Roland Grapowon his solo project The four seasons of life and Markus Grosskopf's Shockmachine, and finally drummed on the latest album The End of Sanctuary by German metal veterans Sinner.

In 2002 Uli Kusch shows up in Masterplan, an an exciting new metal act, whose members are not only renowned on the international rock scene but are also brilliant solo artists and experienced composers.

Guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Ulli Kusch were with the German melodic metal band, Helloween, until autumn 2001, Jan S. Eckert used to be the bassist with Iron Savior from Hamburg, keyboarder Axel Mackenrott called attention as a member of various cover bands as "Catch The Rainbow" (Rainbow cover band), "Machine Head" (Deep Purple cover band) and with his own band "Punch TV", and vocalist Jorn Lande has made a name for himself world-wide as frontman with Ark and Jorn, among others. Together, these five musicians make up Masterplan, a band that have drawn attention to themselves even before the arrival of their debut album.

Masterplan's brand-new material is more than a mere mishmash of different influences brought in by five individual musicians; it has a distinct outline and stylistic definition based on the precise visions of the three main song writers, Grapow, Lande and Kusch, who have found the perfect vocalist for their contemporary metal tracks in Jorn. Numbers like 'Spirit Never Die', 'Kind Hearted Light', 'Crystal Night' or 'When Love Comes Close' have a classical-traditional thread running through them, combining modern rhythms with intricate guitar parts and melodic vocals. Collectively, the songs forge an invisible arch that stretches from the beginnings of rock music to the very topical present and are marked by the band members' accomplished technical skills.

In April 2006 Uli Kusch teamed up with Ronny Milianowicz (Dionysus) and Joacim Cans (Hammerfall) to write a song for the upcoming soccer world championship. Entitled "Glorious", the song featured Swedish singer Mikeyla as the main vocalist, with special guest appearances by Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Tobias Sammet (Edguy), Roland Grapow (Masterplan) and Oscar Dronjak (Hammerfall).