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New Schaffer Interview

Iced Earth - Jon Schaffer    Print    E-mail
Written by Lord of the Wasteland  
Monday, 17 November 2008

Guitarist/Mastermind Jon Schaffer

Interview By Lord of The Wasteland

Transcription By Sara "Abominae"

It takes an awful lot to convince me to stay up until 2:00AM on a work night, especially to do an interview, but the opportunity to speak with Jon Schaffer, the mastermind behind U.S. power thrashers Iced Earth, doesnít exactly present itself very often, either.  Speaking with Schaffer from Fort Worth, Texas following the second gig on the bandís current leg in support of the mammoth sci-fi concept releases FRAMING ARMAGEDDON Ė SOMETHING WICKED PART I and THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN Ė SOMETHING WICKED PART II, the guitarist was as forthright as always with his answers and pulled absolutely no punches with whatever I asked him despite the ungodly hour that it was for both of us.

With the two-part SOMETHING WICKED epic causing a rightful stir and Matt Barlow returning to the vocalist position following the firing of Tim ďRipperĒ Owens (ex-Judas Priest) in December 2007 causing an even bigger stir, there was plenty for us to discuss.  However, Schaffer also offered up plenty of information in regards to the long-awaited comic book focusing on the Set Abominae character from the Something Wicked storyline, his own balancing of life's priorities as a musician and a father, as well as some other current projects unfolding within the Iced Earth camp.

The big news, of course, is that vocalist Matt Barlow is back in the band again and Tim ďRipperĒ Owens is out.  Everybody seems happy about that.

Yeah and obviously everybodyís got their opinion and I think for me, I think out of the Tim and Matt discussion, they are both really great vocalists.  I think itís really silly the way people carry on sometimes, but I mean from a spiritual standpoint, it is really great having Matt back in the band.  It feels really great onstage but I really enjoyed the work Tim and I did together, and Iím not just being politically correct or anything.  Iím very, very proud of THE GLORIOUS BURDEN and FRAMING ARMAGEDDON.  I think those albums are kick ass.

I know you and Matt are family, but how did you go about getting him back in the band?  Did he ask you or did you ask him?

When we were together any time after he left this band, it was usually at family function-type things and we didnít talk about music but when I heard about him doing his side-project with Pyramaze, which was basically done through the mail, kind of what Hansi [KŁrsch] and I have done with Demons & Wizards, it was a project thing that he was doing and it made me think he was missing music and I called him up and said, ďSo, man, are you missing it?  Are you getting the bug?Ē  So he was like, ďYou know, yeah I am missing it.Ē  The first thing we talked about was doing a project together and a change was going to happen in Iced Earth regardless of whether Matt would have come back or not.  It just probably would have happened after THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN since we were in the middle of doing all that. If it wouldnít have been with Matt having the desire to come back, we would have finished out the SOMETHING WICKED thing with Tim and there would have been a change. It was clear to me that Timís head was into doing his solo thing and that Iced Earth was kind of a steady paycheck and it felt somewhat like he was going through the motionsócertainly liveóand thatís really not acceptable.

Anybody who has been in the band has always been a true believer and has always felt really strong onstage, and itís always had this spiritual thing going on, and it felt like it was kind of lacking in that department.  Not in the studio, but the studio you have to understand is a very different environment, a very controlled environment, itís a different animal. You have multiple times to get a part right. Itís a different energy, a different thing that happens. In that respect, Tim is, from a technical standpoint, the most amazing singer Iíve ever worked with.  From a technical standpoint, some people like Mattís voice better, some people like Timís better, some people like John Greelyís [vocalist on 1992ís NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER] voice better. Some people like Hansiís voice betterÖwhatever, everyoneís got their opinions.  Purely from a technical standpoint, I have to say there were no compromises with Tim. Anything that I asked him to do, he could do anything that was humanly possible. Myself, as a songwriter and also as a producer, Jim Morris and I were like kids in a candy store. It was like, ďDamn, dude.  We can throw anything at this guy and he can do it.Ē  Then again it comes down to a spiritual thing that was lacking and I felt like it was pretty clear that Timís head was somewhere else and I was going to change that.  It wasnít acceptable.

So thatís how it went down and Tim and I spoke about this.  It wasnít like he got sucker-punched.  It was kind of spun in the media and Iím not going to get into any mudslinging and bullshit because it doesnít really matter.  Anybody that knows me knows how it went down, everybody in our organization knows, Tim even knows, thatís the way it is, but we discussed it several times.  But anyway, when Matt and I spoke, at first we were talking about doing a project, and then it became clear after ten to fifteen minutes of discussing those possibilities he was going to be able to do a good amount of touring and that we would be able to do it as Iced Earth and thatís how we should do it. It was not like some plot that was being planned for a long time. Literally, we spoke about it and within a couple days the decision was made, so thatís how it all happened.  It felt like the right time and the right thing to do. But like I said, a change was coming anyway.

Were you surprised that Matt agreed to re-join the band?

Not really.  I certainly wasnít pushing him. That wasnít the way it went down, like I said, we started talking about doing a side-project together because anybody can do some recording.  No matter what your career is, you can always squeeze that in.  I was not begging Matt to come back and if he wouldnít have come backÖyou know, either way Iced Earth is going to roll and it would have. I wasnít surprised.  It wasnít like I called him and said, ďHey, man, will you come back to Iced Earth?Ē  It started off as discussing the possibilities of doing a project together and the conversation evolved from that point. I wasnít calling him with the intention of him joining Iced Earth. It was obvious he was missing music and I thought it would be cool if we do something together again.  It was not a surprise to me and it would have been cool with me either way.

Obviously, Matt and Tim are both amazing vocalists in their own right, but you have done some lead vocals, as well on the new record on ďA Gift or A Curse.Ē  Itís been quite a while since you last sang a lead vocal, so, number one, why donít you sing more leads and, number two, what was it about that song in particular that fit your voice rather than Mattís?

Mattís singing too.  Heís doing lower harmony.  What Iím capable of vocally is pretty limited compared to what I write or hear in my head.  I will never have the kind of octave range Matt or Tim has, or any of the singers Iíve worked with for that matter, with exception of [Gene Adam] on the first album.  John Greely had an amazing range, as well.  Hansi has an amazing range, so does Tim and so does Matt.

I probably have two octaves, where these guys have four or five octaves.  Iíve always been of the mindset that if I were to do the vocals, it would limit Iced Earth and it would limit what I have going on in my head.  To be the lead singer in Iced Earth, the requirement is that theyíre going to have to be able to have a multi-octave range because thatís the kind of songs I write.  I can do multiple vocal styles, as far as the growling thing like ďStormrider,Ē or melodic like on ďA Gift Or A CurseĒ, or even the vocals on the version of ďGod of Thunder,Ē those are distinctly different versions, but not the high stuff.  Iím just not built that way vocally.  I always hear that stuff when Iím writing.  Itís a big part of the sound, so any vocalist who gets the gig in Iced Earth has to do that.  They have to be able to do that, itís just a requirement.

From a songwriting standpoint, there will be songs that Iíll do once in a while, but even in the songs that are out of my vocal range, theyíre my lyrics, those are my vocal melodies and my vocal cadences and Iíve actually taught the singers the parts.  Itís not like I lay a sheet with the lyrics in front of them and say, ďHere, come up with something.Ē  It doesnít work that way.  Itís all very planned out, down to how the cadence of the syllables lay out, itís very detailed.  Now, the singers have written lyrics.  In some cases, Matt has and Tim even did some lyrics on THE GLORIOUS BURDEN on the song ďRed Baron/Blue Max.Ē  Obviously, with those lyrics, theyíre working out the vocal melodies and the cadences and Jim and I will do any tweaking from there if we need to.  What I do in a demo situation when Iím writing the stuff, a lot of times Iíll lay down the vocal part for the singer to follow, or even if itís something out of my range, Iíll either sing it in a lower octave or play it on guitar in the octave that itís going to be in so they can follow it.  Then weíll throw around terms a lot in the studio, like, if thereís a specific style of singing that Iím looking for, weíll throw around a Geoff Tate voice, a Halford voice, a Dickinson voice, a Dio voice.  Those are the four things we use.  Itís totally to communicate, so the singer knows this is the atmosphere Iím looking for. It doesnít mean I want you to sound like Ronnie James Dio.  It just means itís the kind of voice and the kind of emotion I want you to look for.  Itís a way for us to communicate.  Thatís just the kind of voice and emotion I want you to look for.  The singer is going to go, ďOkay, I know what Jonís looking for and Iíll still go for that,Ē but heís still going to sound like himself.

I understand that the music for FRAMING ARMAGEDDON and THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN were written and recorded mostly at the same time and little bits were added on to the CRUCIBLE OF MAN for the final product.  Why did you choose to release the albums separately and not just release them both at the same time as a double CD?

There is just far too much music to do that.  The record company never would have allowed that to happen.  Itís like giving another full album away.  Itís not like it was just ten or fifteen minutes over the 74-minute max that you can put on a CD.  Itís a considerable amount more; it was a whole other CD.  It was not ever an option with SPV Records.  They would not have gone for that.

If it were an option, would you have preferred to release them simultaneously?

I donít know.  I never really thought about that.  I donít know (pauses).  Probably not, actually.  I donít really see the benefit doing that actually.

I guess in a way it sort of leaves fans a little teaser for something to look for next year when the conclusion comes out.

Yeah, you know, itís a suspense thing.  This has been planned for years.  This was supposed to happen after SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.  The song trilogy that ends that record was supposed to be the introduction.  It was after that I decided not to resign with Century Media Records.  Thatís why HORROR SHOW was our last album with Century Media because I decided to put it on hold.  This was meant to be a two-part epic.  I started collecting world instruments back then.  This whole thing has been running in my head for years and that was the plan.  After we got away from Century Media and signed with SPV, the 9/11 thing had happened and that really did a number on me.  I was not really in the frame of mind to tackle SOMETHING WICKED and besides that, I didnít want it to be the first two albums we would do with a record company that we hadnít really worked with yet.  I wanted to put out an album and get a feel for what they were going to do.  We negotiated that in the original deal.  It was like, ďLook, if everything goes well and weíre happy how you guys are working, weíll go ahead and do the two-parter.Ē  They were into it and I was happy with the way they were performing, but they have gotten themselves into serious financial difficulties, so Iím not sure what the future holds for SPV right now.  Theyíre having a very tough time right now, as a lot of record companies are. Things are not good for them.

Thatís too bad.

Weíre actually done.  Our contract is up.  Itís a little bit up in the air.  At first, we were talking about releasing this box set thing.  Originally, I was going to put on these four extra tracks, segway pieces, I intentionally left off CRUCIBLE because I felt like the album flowed together better, and now that we had the singer change, the continuity was screwed up anyway.  If weíre going to do this boxed set thing and Mattís going to re-sing FRAMING, then Iíll add these other tracks in and itíll make the entire thing flow together better because I felt like with CRUCIBLE, we put the songs on only and leave the segways off, and leave this for a more constant kick in the nuts, not with the moody storytelling segway pieces.  Now it looks like that boxed set may never happen because of SPVís financial state.  Itís kind of a bummer because I would have put those songs on there had I known this going to happen and I was told it was definitely going to happen.

There was going to be a DVD showing the making of CRUCIBLE, and even some of the FRAMING sessionsÖsome of the writing process.  We were going to have a couple live tracks from the summer festivals.  It was going to be a really cool package.  Now that whole thing is kind of falling apart.  Basically from a recording contract standpoint we are finished with SPV.  As far as if the DVD comes out, itís up in the air whether weíll be doing the DVD with SPV, as well.  Itís pretty messed up at the moment.  Weíre going to be fine. The record company is not a problem for Iced Earth.  Thereís plenty out there that will sign us, but I feel bad for them.  Theyíre really struggling right now.

This question is more for media types like myself but when the promos for FRAMING went out, they had a voiceover track for copy protection but CRUCIBLE didnít.  Do you have any idea why?

No, but I was pissed about having to do that voiceover bullshit anyway.  They called me when we were masteringómixing was finishedóand my product manager came in and said, ďYou have to do this.  Itís got to happen or weíre going to lose sales.Ē  They were adamant about it.  They said if you donít do it, somebody here at the labelís going to do it.  That would have been stupid for somebody who had nothing to do with the band come in and do a voice over, so I went ahead and did it.  I donít know if they got so much shit after doing the first one that they just decided not to do it, or if in that yearís time, they decided it was a battle they just canít win, so fuck it.  The problem is as soon as a promo copy is sent out, itís leaked because there are people in the media you canít trust, frankly, and theyíre going to put it out on the internet.  Itís just the way it is.  There was even a point where they were making the media guys go to a central location just to have a listening session.  I donít know why they didnít.  All I know is nobody called me, so we sent it off the way it was. Itís not something I wanted to do anyway.

I know a lot of our writers werenít happy when they got the promo for and said that the voiceover left the record unlistenable and this that and the other thingÖ

A lot of guys are pissed because theyíre not getting their shit for free.  There are plenty of journalists that are in that category, believe me.  Iíve met them through the twenty years Iíve been doing this.

I read that youíre thinking about starting a comic featuring the Set Abominae character.  Is there any truth to that?

Absolutely!  Itís going to happen, thereís no question about it.  One of my next projects, actually, is putting together whatís called the one-shot, which is sort of like a demo for the comic business.  Itíll be a twelve- to fifteen-page comic that will have specific parts of the story and the art team Iím going to use and then weíll shop it to different publishers like Vertigo, DC, Marvel, Image, whoever, and see what kind of deal we come up with. Itís also possible that we might not have to do a demo. Managementís working on that right now and Iíve got some connections at the McFarlane camp. We might be able to just use the art for SOMETHING WICKED I & II for the demo since it will be the same art team that will be doing it. Iíve got a lot of plans for this because this can go far beyond what it is in the music and what Iced Earth has done with it.  Itís got a lot of potential to go pretty far.

You mentioned the artwork and Iced Earth has always been known to have brilliant and striking art on the CD covers and booklets.  The fellows you have doing SOMETHING WICKED PART I & II have done some really fantastic art!

Absolutely, yeah, itís a good team. Itís actually three guys.  Two guys work at and own a tattoo shop in Columbus, Indiana, David Newman-Stump and Nathan Perry, who are the ones that did the pencils and the inks. Felipe Machado Franco is the guy who did all the coloring, so itís a typical comic book style approach to artwork, normally two to three guys, a guy does pencils, another who does inking, another who scans and does computer work. Whatís really cool is having the guys in Columbus, which is thirty minutes from me. We had a lot of face-to-face meetings with this, drew up storyboards and everything, itís really great. They work very well together. Theyíve done quite a bit since weíve started working together from the album cover standpoint.  Theyíve done quite a few tattoos on me, as well. Theyíre awesome.

Youíre a walking billboard for them (laughs)!

(Laughs) Yeah, absolutely.  Iíve had the cover of CRUCIBLE tattooed on my forearm since before FRAMING ARMAGEDDON came out. It was one of the first drawings and I said thatís the going to be the cover of part two so letís just put that one away, but thatís exactly what Iím looking for for part two. At first we had just the image of Set, but I said, ďMan, I want to make it like heís exploding out of the Earth,Ē so Felipe was able to do that. It worked out great.  He took a Hubble telescope picture of the Earth and it came out cool.

Obviously, you guys are on tour right now but I was wondering if you have any plans to stage a full production of both albums played front to back to capture the whole story?

Yeah we do and it could happen.  It depends on the fanbase and if the fans really want to see that happen. Thereís been a discussion, but itís the kind of thing that weíll know a year from now. You just never really know if the albums are going to become the cult classics that I think they will be and to put something like that together is going to take a hell of a lot of work and money, so we want to make sure the people want to see it. Weíre actively in touch with our base and weíll know within a year or so. The other thing is, too, weíre out promoting this record now but itís so new that to go out right now and do all that would not be in the best interest for a live show because you donít want to play too much new stuff when the albumís brand new. Youíve got to give people time to let it soak in and get used to it, so weíre only doing two songs off this album, and three off of FRAMING ARMAGEDDON.  Itís getting more and more difficult when you have a catalog that has been going on for twenty years.  Thatís a lot of records.

Thereís a lot of fan favorites and stuff. I get asked by certain people why we donít do stuff from BURNT OFFERINGS. The reality is that BURNT OFFERINGS is the worst-selling album in our catalog, by far the worst, it sold like ten percent of the amount the other albums sold. In that case, I have to build a setlist that is reflecting what the people like. Its one thing to say, ďWell, an album wasnít promoted wellÖblah blah blah.Ē But none of those albums were really promoted well. If an albumís got legs, it will continually sell through the years regardless. Even the first album has way outsold BURNT OFFERINGS.  NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER has outsold it by fifteen times in the last twenty years. Weíve got to focus on those records that are really selling. I know there are people out there who want to hear ďDanteís InfernoĒ and stuff. Some day we might do it, but itís getting more and more difficult because the catalog is so big. Thereís the long answer but the point is, if weíre going to do something like part I and II, we need to make sure the fanbase wants to see that whole thing live. Weíll do our very best to put it on very spectacular.

I saw a setlist from last weekís show in Tempe, Arizona and while it focuses heavily on the SOMETHING WICKED storyline, there are some real gems like ďPure EvilĒ mixed in, as well. Is this a fixed set throughout the tour or are you changing it up?

Itís pretty fixed.  Weíve had some changes.  Through the first leg, some things werenít going over as well. ďCome What MayĒ was good but too much new stuff. It just felt like a bit of a lull live. Some people are disappointed we took it out of the set, but you know, itís a situation where weíre hitting them with a little too much new stuff.  I just saw AC/DC in Indianapolis and it was an amazing show, but I was disappointed because they played too much new stuff. Six or seven songs that took place after FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK, so for me from that album and everything before it I absolutely love, they could play that all night long. Weíve moved the set around a little bit, but I feel where weíre at right now is where weíre going to stay.

Youíre in Vancouver on Wednesday and Iím really curious to hear Mattís take on Timís songs. Did he hesitate to take them on live at all?

No.  For one thing theyíre Iced Earthís, not Tim Owensí songs. I wrote them all.  Matt did plenty of songs in the old days that he didnít record originally.  Itís a requirement. It just doesnít work that way.  Iced Earth as a band doesnít revolve around the singer, it revolves around the songs. Even though people say Iím this egomaniacal freak and everything revolves around me, itís not that way. Yes, Iím the driving force.  Iím well aware of that. Iced Earth is a vehicle for my songs and whoever is in the singer position has got to be able to do songs from every era of Iced Earth. Itís just the way it is. So weíre not going to deny a specific record or something because a singer doesnít want to do it. Mattís not like that anyway, he fully understands that, he wasnít on NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER, he wasnít on the first album and heís sung those songs for years. Itís the way it is.

While youíre in Vancouver, youíre doing a special event at Scrape Records, one of the big indie metal stores on the west coast.  Theyíre celebrating their eleventh anniversary and Iced Earth is headlining the show but beforehand, thereís a pre-show autograph signing at the store, which is going to have a ridiculously huge turnout. Are you doing a lot of these things on tour or is this sort of a one-off kind of thing?

Itís a one off thing.  Weíve done that in the past, but with the VIP thing weíre doing now and if we were to do the signings, that would already be a lot to do because itís typically a long day then we do the VIP thing afterward. For me, when my management told me the situation with Scrape, I felt that weíve got to help these guys out. To be an indie record store and still be surviving is a fucking miracle. Iím all about that because Iím not one of these guys who is real thrilled with the way the industry has gone in terms of people stealing music left and right.  That has killed so many retailers, record companies, artistsÖso for these guys to be in the trenches fighting, Iíll be right there fighting with them.

Thatís very cool for you guys to do something like that. I know JJ at Scrape appreciates it and all the local fans do, too.

Iced Earth is all about the fans. I know there are a lot of things people say about me.  Iím a very outspoken, brutally honest person and that freaks people out a little bit, but when it comes down to this kind of stuff certainly, and even on a regular basis, if thereís time I will stop and talk to fans all the time. People donít need to have any kind of fear of coming up and speaking to me, as long as weíre not rushing off to an airport or if itís not bus call and we have to leave to make our next gig or something, I will spend time and sign peopleís stuff and talk to them. The band is like that, too. Actually, itís something I insist on. We are here because of these people that fortunately connect with the music, believe in this band and theyíre the ones who are giving us the opportunity to do this, so we need to be respectful of that. So I mean coming down to an indie record storeÖhow many of those are left?  I donít know of any left. In Tampa, there was a store called Aces Records. I donít know of any, so I think itís a pretty special thing, so if we can help them out, Iím happy to do it.

Itís been about ten years since we last spoke with you directly about Iced Earth, it was actually when SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES was released, ironically enough and it was our Editor-In-Chief, EvilG, who did the interview with you.  In the course of the chat, you said ďWhen I started the band, the intentions were to be as big as Maiden and Metallica and we are not stopping until we achieve that.Ē  Do you still subscribe to that vision in this stage of your life?

(Laughs) Yeah, I was young.  The thing is, man, I donít think any band is going to achieve that. Itís such a different world now. I shouldnít say any band but it would be very difficult for a metal band coming up. I just donít see it.  I donít think Maiden could even go and do what they did in the eighties right now, even though theyíre kicking serious ass still. To be able to go and play at any enormadome in every major city in North America itís not going to happen. As naÔve and full of ambition as I was, no.  I think that we are really fortunate to have had the success that weíve had.  When you look at a band like Iced Earth, we sell about 200,000 copies within the first year of release, regardless of whoís in the band and whatís happened, then it continually sells through the years. I think that if you compare nowadays with downloading and all that stuff, what 200,000 copies means now is very different than what it would have meant back in the early eighties. I think weíre still hanging in there pretty damn good. Are we ever going to be at the level Maiden was and still is?  I donít know.  In some countries we are.

The funny thing is, when my daughter was born, it really changed my perspective on life. I used to be so full of drive and  I had blinders on. I never stopped to notice what I succeeded at, it was always ďgot to go, got to go and make this thing happen.Ē  I never would slow down enough to pat myself on the back.  From the very beginning, splitting from home at sixteen, living on the streets doing all that shitÖIíve come along way. It took the birth of my daughter for me to be able to put things in perspective in a way that I never have before. So that kind of ambition that used to drive meÖI still have ambition, but itís very different now.  Itís focused in a much different way.  Now the band is still very important but my daughter is absolutely number one, whereas the band always used to be number one.  Itís up there for sure, itís still very important, but it does change you. I think itís made me appreciate what I have been able to accomplish so far. At this point, Iíd say to be able to have the loyalty and love of people out there who really get it, I know thereís plenty of haters out there, as well, but thereís a very large number of people that understand what Iím about and what this band is about.  Weíre not like a lot of the bands out there.  Thereís a significant amount of people who get my songs, thatís all itís ever been.  I never wanted to be the guitar god, or the rock star guy or all that shit.  Itís all about the tunes and people that are fans get that. Thereís a lot of people that donít, but Iced Earth fans do.

Two quick questions to wrap things up, Jon...

Do you plan on recording a sequel to the covers album, TRIBUTE TO THE GODS?

Not any time in the future, but you know, hell, it could happen.

Youíve got your Spirit of Ď76 store in Indiana.  What are the chances a fan could go in there and find you on site?  Do you spend a lot of time there?

Actually, we are only doing it online now as an internet/mail order store. We closed it down about a year and a half ago as retail.  It was only open on the weekends anyway and it became more difficult. Back when I first opened it for the first year, people would have found me in it constantly. It was my vision.  I put it together, then after the band started getting busy again, I had to hire a manager to come in, and the guy was honest and really knowledgeable with history, but wasnít that great of a salesman and our daughter was born also, which made it more difficult for my wife and I to do that and run the band and maintain the family. Iíll keep all the display cases and all the decorative stuff, put it in storage and one of these days Iíll re-open the store again when Iím actually ready to retire from music.  I bit off more than I could chew from a retail standpoint. Doing it on the internet is something else. Actually having a storefront added an extra level of commitment and work there that was just tough.

What can we expect from Iced Earth in 2009? Are there going to be more tours in support of this album or will this be it?

Weíll be staying busy. Weíve got a European tour going on in Februaryóa month long co-headlining tour with Saxonóand then after that weíll be doing summer festivals in Europe. As far as what weíll be doing in North America, Iím sure weíll be doing some stuff in between festivals, and you never know, if the right support tour comes along, itís very likely weíll jump on something. Iíd love to go back out with Judas Priest.  We had a great time in Europe with them.  I know they liked having us as a support band because weíre pros and easy to get along with and everything. We had a really good time, fans loved the package over there, thereís potential of something like that happening. Weíre going to be staying busy.  Iím actually working on another project thatís kind of in top-secret mode right now. Iím going to be doing that through December and January, so thereís a lot going on.

Jon, Iíll leave the last words to you for our readers and fans of Iced Earth.

Well, man, I know it probably gets old for people to see this, but I always end the sameÖI just want to say thanks so much to all of the fans out there that have been with us through all these years, and the new fans who have just come on recently. The loyalty is really something special, man. I promise that regardless of anything, as long as I am able, I will do my very best to deliver the best product that we canóthe best music, the best art, the best metal, man. It comes from the heart and soul. I am committed to this.

Great fucking interview!

Nice interview, but the thing that bothers me is what he says about the Something Wicked boxset and that it might perhaps never happen due to the financial problems of SPV.
I really hope that this box will be released since Iīd love to hear Mattīs take on the Framing Armageddon record. And the bonus DVD would have been interesting for sure.

On the other hand itīs great to hear that they are heading back to Europe in February, even though I hoped for a real Iced Earth headlining tour and not a co-headliner tour with Saxon.
Aggelos Poneros

We’ll be staying busy. We’ve got a European tour going on in February—a month long co-headlining tour with Saxon—and then after that we’ll be doing summer festivals in Europe.

Hihihi. European dates ;]]
The Wicked One

hmm top secret project....hmmm
great interview but the way this sounds its not a D&W album.
Set Abominae

The Wicked One wrote:
hmm top secret project....hmmm
great interview but the way this sounds its not a D&W album.

The way I see it, it's either they're working on a new album for IE, it's another US tour, or they're going to get booked for Ozzfest.
The Wicked One

that last 1 is definetly not going to happen.

1. Ozzfest is a major joke.

2. A random tour with a select group of supporting acts is better

Since its a 'project' i don't think its another tour. So either its the newest IE album in process or another sideproject.
Set Abominae

The Wicked One wrote:
that last 1 is definetly not going to happen.

1. Ozzfest is a major joke.

2. A random tour with a select group of supporting acts is better

Since its a 'project' i don't think its another tour. So either its the newest IE album in process or another sideproject.

Normally I would agree with you, but now that Matt is back in the band and he's still keeping his police officer job, Jon said they weren't going to do massive tours anymore, they would instead play at festivals and such.

So, I still think its a possibility
The Wicked One

Ozzfest  used to be a demanding tour.
Its annoying since most fests should be a limited event in 1 area rather than a tour.

The 'fest' at the end seems to only confirm that particular tour will happen every year.
So those kind of fests aren't what Jon and IE would go for.

Prog Power
Chicago Powerfest
Nightmare Metalfest
Heathen Crusade
BAR fest

are all stagnant events that would be up IE's alley

another D&W album?? *crosses fingers*

This is actually the first time i hear Jon directly speaks about John Greely, and he actually talks good about him!

What no fucking Sometrhing wicked boxset  FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!! I still want to hear Matt on framing armargedon and the four song bonus! Maybe someday with an another label they will do it! And for the secret project ithink it's like a futur D&W album or an another IE album or something like this

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