Masterplan is a German power metal band founded by guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch upon leaving Helloween in 2001.
Masterplan was formed by Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch, after the two were fired from the power metal band Helloween. The first MCD Enlighten Me was released on November 18, 2002.
Their first full-length self-titled album, Masterplan was released in 2003, it was produced by Andy Sneap. The band then consisted of Grapow and Kusch with Norwegian singer, former Ark vocalist, Jørn Lande. The main part of the keyboard lines on the album were arranged and programmed by Roland and Uli, while Children of Bodom keyboard player Janne "Warman" Wirman recorded some sessions for the album, but could not stay on as a full time member due to his commitments to Children of Bodom. Axel Mackenrott replaced him on tour and since then as a permanent member. Studio bassist Jürgen Attig (Casanova) helped with some bass lines on the recordings, but Grapow was the main bassist for the album. For tour and subsequent recordings, Jan-Sören Eckert (Iron Savior) was hired as a permanent member.
The band received the "European Border Breakers Award" from the European Commission in 2004, for the debut album success around Europe.
In January 2005 Masterplan released their second album, Aeronautics once again produced by Andy Sneap and the band. After two successful albums and their respective tours, during the writing of the third album the band parted ways with vocalist Jørn Lande, citing "musical differences" as the reason for the split. The split was amicable enough that Jørn agreed to perform four previously arranged live appearances before departing although two of these were eventually canceled by the promoters.
On October 4, 2006 Uli Kusch announced his departure from the band in an interview with Darkside.ru. Although not discussing the details of what had happened, he mentioned the democratic principles of making decisions in the band as one of the reasons of his leaving - according to him, it often made getting a consensus nearly impossible. Three days later, Masterplan announced their new line-up through their official web site: Grapow, Mackenrott, Eckert, with new members Mike DiMeo (Riot, The Lizards) and Mike Terrana (ex-Artension, ex-Rage, Metalium). The band toured with Saxon as an opening act for Saxon's Inner Sanctum tour.
The band's third album, suitably titled MK II, was released on February 26, 2007. It was produced this time by the band's actual leader, Roland Grapow himself, at his own studio in Slovakia. The album was recorded in September and October 2006.
On January 11, 2009, Mike DiMeo confirmed on his MySpace page that he had parted ways with Masterplan. On July 25, 2009, the band finally revealed that Jørn Lande has made his return to Masterplan.
On April 16, 2010, a single titled Far From the End of the World was released to precede the band's new fourth album, Time To Be King, once again produced by Roland Grapow.
On July 13, 2011, the band has announced in their official website that they were writing songs for a new album, recordings would also start in the German autumn. On March 23, 2012, Roland Grapow also announced via band's website that they have written 15 songs already and are maybe writing more. They are expecting their next album release for January 2013.
Jørn Lande - lead vocals (2001-2006, 2009-present ),
Roland Grapow - guitars (2001-present), bass (2001-2002),
Jan S. Eckert - bass, backing vocals (2003-present),
Axel Mackenrott - keyboards (2003-present),
Mike Terrana - drums (2006-present),
Uli Kusch - drums (2001-2006),
Mike DiMeo - lead vocals (2006-2009),
Guest and session musicians:
Janne Wirman - session keyboards (2002),
Jürgen Attig - session bass (2002),
Michael Kiske - vocals on "Heroes" on Masterplan (2003),
Ferdy Doernberg - keyboards on "Into the Light" on Masterplan (2003),
Russell Allen - vocals on demos (2001)