Sons of Liberty interview with Jon Schaffer
Interview & Transcription by EvilG
So…Sons of Liberty…I don’t have an actual physical CD yet, but I’ve listened to the album through your website. The obvious question, why did you start another side project? Were the ideas or the music something that you didn’t want to do in Iced Earth? Did you think a project would be a better way to focus more on the message than on the band?
Yes it’s sort of all that and of course legally I could never give it away for free as an Iced Earth record. I’m playing all of the instruments, writing it, and in control of it completely. I don’t have to ask other people "hey do ya mind doing this for free so I can give it away?" (laughs)
It’s that, and it is my message, it was my awakening. It’s a very personal thing. It’s something I felt very compelled to do. I’ve never been motivated to sing before. As you know, I’ve written Iced Earth vocal arrangements since the beginning, the majority of them anyway, from the lyrics to the arrangements and melodies, harmonies, the whole thing. I never felt motivated to sing, but this really shook me up and I wanted to give it away for free. So for better or for worse, they really can’t complain because they didn’t have to pay for it ya know? If they hate my voice, fine.
I’m hoping the real thing is that they will hear it. Many people that know me, and have been following the band for a long time, know that I’m a straight shooter and that I have credibility. So I hope they can sense some of the stuff that is going on in the music and get inspired to do the research because it’s something people need to be aware of. The western world is collapsing right now. Things are getting worse every day. I believe it’s happening by design. I’ve put together the case, the evidence is overwhelming. You just have to read the enemy’s playbook. When you do that, you see what’s happening and how they will implement World Government and one World Bank. It’s in this government that they are fantasizing about this; it has nothing to do with freedom or human liberty. It has everything to do with a massive fascist dictatorship and oligarchical control. So it’s not good stuff man.
Yeah, I haven’t done as much research or read up on this as you obviously have, but it’s the kind of thing where, over the years, you kind of step back and think that something is very wrong with society. I can’t point a finger at exactly what it is, but with so much wrong about the world. You read up on things and find out that most things you took at face value turn out, is a lie. You have to question EVERYTHING, and even then, you might not be certain you have the right answer.
Yeah I know man, that’s true. There are a lot of people who look at what I’m talking about here with the banking cartel and stuff and say it’s "conspiracy theory". I honestly believe there IS a conspiracy. There is no "theory" about it. You just have to look at the history. It’s a puzzle. The missing piece of the puzzle for many people is the fractional reserve banking system and the Federal Reserve.
That’s explained in detail in the Zeitgeist addendum right?
The first part of addendum goes into detail about the fractional banking process, how fractional reserve banking works. It was one of the things that led me to this, and I was like…"What??!?! C’mon man…" Then I started looking more. There are things I might not agree with from Zeitgeist like anytime I hear someone talking about a utopian style system you know, it makes me…collectivism never ends well because someone is always making a decision. In a collective situation, individuals lose their rights. It’s historically the way it’s always been. I think it’s a nice IDEA, but mankind is going to have to evolve to a certain point for that, beyond our comprehension now.
But there is great information in the Zeitgeist films and it does spark a fire in your mind to look further into things and that is what is cool about it, it’s what’s cool about all of those styles of documentaries. They are just factual, but it would be hard to research everything that Zeitgeist says about the history of religion. That would be hard, there is some grey are there. I don’t think it’s so far-fetched, not that I don’t believe there some truth in there.
"America, Freedom to Fascism" is something everybody should watch. It’s an amazing documentary, and everything is just true. So you learn about that system, the Federal Reserve System, and how the IRS is just an agency of it. Fractional Reserve Banking is a tool that they use to dominate society, and to in fact take over. This is all designed be a very small group of people that have been able to seize most all the monetary systems in the world. It’s just fraud, the whole thing is fraud. They have everybody fooled because people don’t understand it.
It’s an age old thing for conquest. How many men through the ages have dreamed of taking over the world? This is just people learning [how]…and people by the way, families, have supported these madmen, financially. People like Hitler and Mao, Stalin, who kind of sit back and play god…the financing of America in WWII, the imperial Japanese, all sides…they sit back and play god with our lives. It sounds like, according to David Rockefeller’s own writings that they believe that the model under Chairman Mao is the model they would like to have for their world government.
When you look at it, these people are total eugenicists. The eugenics movement started here in the early 20th / late 19th century, and it inspired Hitler. That’s what we’re talking about, sterilization, killing off people that the system considers morons. Dude, it’s just really creepy when you start looking into this stuff. You see that their goal is a population reduction on the planet of 80-90%. We’re talking billions of people dead! That’s their endgame goal, and it is on record!
Do you find that the deeper you look into the whole, the more concerned you become, or like myself, you reach a point where you go, "What can I do?". You have your band through which you can get the message out but for the average person who might not have the talent to promote their ideas through music, art, or writing what do you suggest is a way that a normal person can stand up against what is going on?
There are a few things there. First of all, yeah, the more I look down the hole, the more I find it disturbing. But also there is a line which I have t draw right now. A lot of this stuff, you get into it, and you hear people talking about UFO’s, aliens, and this kinda stuff, and I’m not saying that this cannot exist. We are just a tiny little speck in the universe. Anything is possible, but I’m just trying to get my head around the stuff that I can prove and what is clearly, once the puzzle is put together, what is obviously happening. So I can only go so far down it [the hole] at this point you know? We have to focus on the here and now. We know corruption is rampant, we know that a very small group of people are running the world, doing horrible things to humanity, crimes against humanity. We know this. Now, what to do about it?
I realize that what I’m doing is just going to reach a very small number of people. Out of the people that actually hear it, a much smaller number still will actually accept it and stand up against it. What we have to realize is that the human race is on the brink here. We are going into another dark ages or into a new renaissance. It’s really a decision of what we do and how we enlighten ourselves and see what’s happening. I think that there is a peaceful way out of this but it takes awareness.
So the first step is awareness. There is a solution, but it would take humanity acting en masse, and coming together like never before because this system completely relies on us feeding it. Whether it’s the government, and the corporations that control the government, and the bankers that control the corporations, if we were to make it Gandhi-like and not engage, it would collapse, the empire would collapse. It has to rob us of our treasure. It has to sucker us into buying their products. The quick answer is to do everything you can to spread the word and the other thing is to stay out of debt, become more self-reliant, don’t look to the state for solutions because criminals are running out states! So we have to look to each other for help. It’s the people, not the governments, corporations, and the banks that run the people. We have to be the ones to support each other and to rediscover our humanity because we’ve become, at least here in the states….you go down the typical neighborhood in the evening and there’s just not many kids out playing anymore, you don’t see people having cook outs together very often. You see, as Alex Jones says, the glow of people’s TV sets through the windows.
We’ve become disconnected. We are not communicating with each other like we used to. The typical family here comes home from work, and they sit down in front of the television, and that’s their evening. They are being downloaded, what this controlled society is supposed to be. Television is a weapon. I hate it. I enjoy the occasional TV show and I like to see a movie once in a while, but to sit around and to constantly have your sub-conscious mind bombarded with trash…
And fear….especially with the "news".
Yeah, dude, the news is all full of slivers of the truth and a lot of half truths. There is nothing more dangerous, and there’s no better way to manipulate a society if everybody is walking around carrying half truths thinking that just because they say it on TV, that it’s real. It’s not reality, it the perception of reality. The reality is that our world is burning down in front of us and we have got to stop this shit. We have to come together. We have to learn from history and learn about economics. We have to try these people for the treasonous acts they are committing against our governments. Once the enemy is identified, I believe it’s going to fall. They are so deceptive, the whole thing is so…that’s the way they will pull it off.
The thing I know is, if we don’t make people aware, we lose. That’s for sure. There is no chance. I’m not going to stand for it. I love the principle of what this country was founded on but what this country has become is something completely the opposite. A year and a half ago, I was walking around locked in the matrix too. I see that with my countrymen, with people all over the west, with people in Europe, Canada, Mexico…we’re being deceived, betrayed, and manipulated and turned against one another so these people can pull of their sick twisted agenda.
It’s not so far-fetched if you learn about the Federal Reserve, learn about history, and learn about what the founding fathers of this country were actually fighting against, it’s the same thing. They were fighting the bankers and the manipulators, the tyranny from Europe and the monarchy, the whole thing. It’s a repeat here but it’s like a 1000 times worse because they’ve been able to pull it off through deception and on a global scale by seizing the money supply of all these countries.
This reminds me of one of the songs on the Son of Liberty album with the line, "The answer to 1984 is 1776".
That’s Alex Jones actually. He coined that. That line is a tribute to Alex, and that song is a tribute to G. Edward Griffin who wrote "The Creature from Jekyll Island" and also Ron Paul who’s been trying to educate people about the Feds for the past 35yrs since he’s been in Congress. He’s probably one of the only good people that we have in our government. Alex Jones is always on the front lines with this stuff. He was out in front of, I think, the Federal Reserve building, yelling "the answer to 1984 is 1776!". I was like "YES!!! This is kick ass, I have to use that!". He’s a true patriot. He drives people crazy because they cannot pigeon-hole him. When the Republicans are in power he’s called a left-wing lunatic, when the Democrats are in power he’s a right-wing extremist. They just hate it. He’s an American, he believes in the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and they can’t stand it because he hates both parties as they are both criminals and it drives them nuts. It’s pretty funny.
That’s something I wanted to touch on. The message here doesn’t seem to come off as "oh Jon is now a right-wing wing-nut" or "Jon is a left-wing, socialist" or something…it’s not like there are right and left sides of the main issue. It’s more like this is what’s going on, it’s not left or right.
Well that’s what I was shooting for. That is just a distraction. We may have people that are constitutional conservatives, we do, and I believe in the constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe if the attorneys and manipulators would stop fucking with it, the world would be far better off. History has proved me right on that. As soon as Andrew Jackson crowded out the second bank in the United States, there was this boom, this period of growth. The industrial age took off and the country grew. Then the civil war happened and the manipulators, the corporations started taking control. In the late 1800′s John D. Rockefeller was able to…there was a point in the United States where for the first 100 years, a corporation cold only get a charter if it was there to serve the public good. It would be limited. If you’re going to build a bridge or whatever, then it’s dissolved. Then John D. Rockefeller with Standard Oil corrupted the people in Delaware and in New Jersey and said he was going to get around this whole “for the people’s good” thing.
Corporations were created by the monarchies of Europe as a way to control. What we have is free market corporatism and monopolism. If we had free market capitalism we would still have family businesses in our country. But the corporations have usurped all the small towns in America. You don’t have a family shoe store, hardware store, drug store, etc. Those days are gone. We have Wal-Mart.
Exactly. I remember when Wal-Mart came to my town and it negatively impacted any small business and some pharmacies or whatever suffers.
Yeah my grandfather had a family owned pharmacy over 100 years ago. It was in business until there was a Wal-Mart 10 miles north and 10 miles south. Now it’s a ghost town. That street was a thriving little burg for 5000 people or whatever, a tiny town. But it thrived and people kept their money in the town and they understood that. The whole thing has really turned upside-down.
That’s why this is so important. I’ve put everything on hold, paying projects. I spent a lot of money to record this and put it out there for free because I really believe in it that much. I believe if good people don’t do anything, we’re in trouble, the country is in trouble, and your country is in trouble, ALL of our countries are in trouble. Humanity is under assault right now. It’s just being done in a very stealthy way.
Do you think things always been this fucked up, or are people now starting to realize how things have been? Or is it worse now than ever?
I think it’s worse now than ever in the history of the United States but this thing has gone on throughout civilization. It’s always the money changers. Historically, it’s the bankers that will absolutely decimate society, even if you go back to the ancient Greeks and the Romans. You know what dude; if you watch the film “The Money Masters”….everybody needs to watch that. It’s long, like 3.5 hours long but it is linked. I’d strongly recommend watching “America Freedom to Fascism” and “The Money Masters”. Then you’ll have a really good picture of what’s been going on throughout history with these manipulators and how they influence governments and every part of society. Fleece the people, rob them, and reduce them to servitude, you know…
And give them mindless drivel like American Idol on a million channels to keep them stupid and entertained.
Exactly dude! The Romans gave them…
Bread and Circuses….
Yup the same shit.
That’s what we get.
Yup! There so many distractions, so much garbage in the whole of society. We are entertained to death. I believe it’s very much by design. If you start looking you find things more disturbing like Monsanto and the shit they are doing to our food. (If this doesn’t piss you off, wake up! http://www.seedsofdeception.com/GMFree/GMODangers/WorldAccordingtoMonsanto/index.cfm). Monsanto are taking over farms all over the world. Their genetically modified organisms are causing organ failure and so much other shit. They make soybeans so they are resistant to round up poison. You can throw that shit on the ground and not even a bug will eat it, but we will. It’s off the charts. To me it’s crucial, it’s…
Evil… Real evil.
Definitely, and that’s the whole reason why I’m doing this. I know there are risks involved and any time a system goes towards totalitarianism…and in reality most Americans have been disconnected from this. The United States is not a democracy, it’s a republic. The founding fathers knew that democracy was 2 wolves and a sheep deciding on what’s for dinner. They knew it was mob rule. 51% can steal the rights of 49%. In a constitutional republic, the idea is that 99% of the people can’t steal the rights of 1%. If it’s a nation of laws and it’s a republic with citizens diligently protecting the republic then it can be a place of great of great prosperity and happiness. Throughout history, democracy is always the step before totalitarianism because they always murder themselves. In the last 100 years, the United States has transformed to a despotic totalitarian system slowly over time, in stealth, so the citizens are not even aware of it. If you just look at the Communist Manifesto, you see that we have 5 planks of it alive and well in the United States. It doesn’t feel like a very free country at that point. When you realize you can work your ass of your entire life and pay off a mortgage for 30 or 40 years and then because of this boom/bust economy bullshit that the Federal Reserve has control of, things can go bad for you all of a sudden you can’t pay your taxes and the government can steal your land and sell it on auction. You don’t own your property in the country. You have the illusion that you have property rights and this is one of the huge things that our revolution was fought over. It’s completely the opposite of what it was intended to be. We’ve been asleep, the people have been asleep. My biggest concern is if this whole thing goes belly-up, not only will it be devastating for the people here, but around the world. Nothing good ever emerges from this.
I know a lot of things on the album are US-based but globalization is a problem, and here in Canada we’re so close to the United States that whatever happens there has a major impact on what happens here of course. (Absolutely.) Do you think where you are talking about the Federal Reserve or whatever, and people across the pond might look at this and say something like “ahh crazy Americans, I’m not interested in what Jon has to say about what is going on in America.” Do you think they will feel alienated or that they will get the message that this is more of a global problem and not just a problem in the United States?
No, I’m encouraged man because the last three days or so that I’ve been doing press I’ve talked to a lot of Europeans and they are listening very closely and they get it. In fact, they are seeing it because Europe is collapsing too. It’s not only here. They are feeling it. You got Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain… The Greek problem is just a sample of what’s to come. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is like “yeah, we’ll bail you out, just give us you IO ends.” (sp?) I mean, fuck that man! Iceland is standing up to the banksters, and that’s what we all need to do. We need to band together and arrest these mother-fuckers!
When did you start getting interested in these topics? Were you always somewhat interested? Have you learned that the opinions that you help before are changing.
Yeah, they’ve changed, no doubt. I was walking around my whole life thinking that what the founders did was still relevant. I knew that government was getting big and stepping over its boundaries. I guess if you really believed that the terrorist threat is out there then I guess the patriot act is ok. I was completely buying the whole thing and not paying attention. I would hear what they say but not look at their legislation. It changed when I was on my vacation down in Central America. After working so hard for the past 20 years and being exhausted completely it was a life changing vacation because I went there and had the television on twice. When I did one time I heard about MIAC report. That’s where the Federal government put out notices to law enforcement agencies all over the country to be on the look-out for potential terrorists all over the country including Christians, ex-Military, gun owners, constitutionalists, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters. I’m sitting there going “You know what, this is weird because this is just about everybody I care about. So what the fuck is going on at home?” I get back home and see Janet Napolitano coming out with the American Legion because all the veterans were just furious because they go and serve their country and now they are just terrorists. I see that and I see her come out and apologize. But they didn’t change the policy, it was all lip service!
Note: (Janet Napolitano, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, apologized for her official offensive memo naming American combat veterans as likely terrorists. Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security on April 9th 2009 issued a national security assessment that named veterans as potential home-grown terrorists.)
Then I saw Zeitgeist Addendum and started seeing that Obama was implementing all the same stuff that Bush did. He started campaigning that he would end the Patriot act, pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, or at least Iraq, or Pakistan… and we are actually encircling Pakistan now. The wars are advancing. We got ships going into the Gulf and targets set on Iran, it’s just…dude…c’mon! It was really at that point, it was me getting out of the matrix for a while and being able to get somewhere to be completely away from it to wake up and feel human again, to then come back and view this, and learn about the Federal Reserve…that was it. It was like “Oh my god, this is what Thomas Jefferson was warning us about, this is what Andrew Jackson was warning us about”. I thought they were a legitimate part of government, a part of the Treasury Department. I took it for granted. It really was all that and it happened a little under a year and a half ago.
I know you consider yourself a patriot but there are also those who appear to be patriots who wrap themselves in the flag and carry the cross. They are the complete opposite of a patriot, they are the same ones responsible for or a part of the reason why things are so fucked up. So how does one distinguish between the pretender and the real deal?
I think it all goes back to the founding documents which is what I’ve always said. My loyalty always lies with the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. They were not perfect but it was a huge leap for humanity and through the ages. It was a big deal and it inspired many other nations. It made the United States grow into something really special. But globalists wanted no part of this because if everybody would have mimicked what the United States did, then they would lose control. They would lose their power over their subjects, more or less that is what we are talking about here.
The real patriots are the dissenters who believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and not the Kool-aid drinkers from either party who wrap themselves in the flag while they trample on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution at every step. Most of those people are in our government, they commit treason, daily! We the people have been complacent. We’ve gotten brainwashed and dumbed-down.
That’s the problem, it doesn’t matter if it’s Bush or Obama, they both serve the same master and it’s not the people. That’s what we have got to start seeing through and it’s easier because their agenda is accelerating at such a rate. It’s easier to talk about this stuff. More people are opened up to the fact that there’s something more going on here. I think the democrats and republicans have joined the tea party movement. Even though, yes, the republican establishment that are trying to infiltrate and hijack the tea party movement. The real tea party guys that started back in 2007 with people like supporters of Alex Jones and Ron Paul and of the libertarian movement, they are not going to stand for it. They will not fall for it. You have to be careful, you have to watch out. There are traitors amongst us everywhere. You have to watch their actions; we can no longer rely on listening to these people’s words. It’s come to the time where the people have to get off the couch, stop sucking their thumb and start getting involved and start reading the legislation these scumbags are signing. Also watch their voting record and hold their feet to the fire. You have to educate people at the local level. If you live in a small town, go to Town Council meetings and talk to those guys about this stuff. Go “hey, do you guys know that the Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel? Did you have any idea about that?” You’d be surprised at how many who don’t. I know one of my good friends who is a brain surgeon, she had no clue about it. At one time, I didn’t know that it was a private banking cartel. A neighbor of mine, who is a home builder, who is a very intelligent guy, also didn’t have a clue.
I guess with the word “federal” in there you assume it has to be government.
Exactly, and they absolutely did that on purpose. They knew if it was called the Third Bank of the United States, that the American people at that time were much smarter and much more engaged would have been “Fuck no, we are not having it!”. So that’s what we’re up against. It’s got to start here in the States at the state level where we start taking our country back. If the States have to serve their Tenth Amendment rights, then that’s what we gotta do. Most of the states have been corrupted at the high office level as well so it’s crucial for the average person to get up. It’s going to be really hard because as long as they are in a comfort zone watching football or American Idol…and I’m not saying every bit of entertainment is a bad thing, but dude…how much entertainment to we have to have?
Yeah you don’t need to be entertained in front of your TV for every hour you are not at work.
That’s crazy. You’re being manipulated, that’s what is happening and it’s gotta end. The harder things get, and they are gonna get harder as we’re just at the top of the iceberg here, the more people are going to wake up. On the other hand, it makes the globalists that much more nervous and dangerous because they are sort of back on their heals. Even Brzezinski made a comment at a CFR meeting, on video, about how the world is now more politically awake than at any other time in history.
(See: CFR Meeting: “Zbigniew Brzezinski Fears The Global Awakening. Zbigniew Brzezinski giving the CFR branch in Montreal a presentation discussing world government and his fears of the mass global awakening that has taken place.”: http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2010/06/cfr-meeting-zbigniew-brzezinski-fears.html).
So they are nervous, and that makes them dangerous. It’s a double edged sword here and it’s really important to keep the momentum of this movement going and to keep educating people as to what is really going on. The system would have you believe that Obama is the problem, or that Bush was the problem, or Clinton, or whomever…Gordon Brown, Tony Blair…those dudes are ALL puppets. That’s what we have to get past. You know that, it sounds like you know?
Well I’ve always figured that the powerful politicians are puppets for those who really control the world behind the scenes…the corporations, and the money. I’ve had that belief for a long time but I haven’t delved into it as deeply and I’ve always come back to “what can I do besides complain?”
It does feel that way, but there are things man…try to make other people aware, try to get them to watch some of these films and learn about money creation and how that works because you never know who you are going to wake up. That’s the thing. One dream of mine with Sons of Liberty is that if some kid out there somewhere in the world, in whatever country I don’t care, but if they hear this record and it sparks something within them, and they can grow up to be the next Thomas Jefferson. I think that would be huge. That’s a dream for me, that it would affect somebody in that way, to be the spark.
You know, I’m a tattooed, long-haired metalhead, I’m 42 years old, and this is my only power – music. It’s got to be used for good. So you never know who you are going to touch, that’s the point. The system wants people to feel helpless and powerless and we are NOT. Human beings are very powerful creatures. We are powerful beings, our spirits are powerful, our minds, hearts, and all of that when working together can be an amazing force! Especially when we all come together, it’s kind of unstoppable. We have to unlock ourselves from the matrix and realize that we are powerful beings. We CAN make REAL change as soon as we decide “enough is enough”!
Awesome, inspiring. So if I still have you for a few more mins, I’d like to talk a bit about the music of Son’s of Liberty. [Yeah, no problem.]. I was curious, I might be wrong, but I am assuming that perhaps it was the message that came before the music of Sons of Liberty? Or did both happen at the same time? Did you plan to do a solo album, and then later decide to write it about the message?
The first thing that happened was “Our Dying Republic”. That was after it had really hit me and I was devastated. I really started digging in and reading books. Then after a while I thought I had to get my head out of the books and get over to the studio to turn this into something positive, or at least let it be just an outlet. So I came up with that song, wrote it, recorded it one day by just working steadily on it. I didn’t know at that point what I was going to do with it but I knew something would come of it. As I did more research, I just got more and more angry and then decided that I was going to do a full album based on this stuff. It wasn’t like the music came first, or the music came first.
Almost always, regardless of what project it is, except if it is Demons & Wizards because Hansi handles the majority of the lyrical content and titles, but when I’m working by myself I typically start with a title as a theme for a song. Then I try to make the music sound that way. So I did that a little bit with Sons of Liberty but I also knew I would be a kind of limited because my voice doesn’t have a very wide range. It was the first time I was trying to sing. So it was somewhat of a different process because typically when I’m writing Iced Earth songs and vocal arrangements and everything, I’m always working with such great singers that I can realize whatever is going on in my head. There’s never been, with the exception of the first album, an issue with that. So I knew that this was going to be an issue for me because I have never really sung before and I don’t have that kind of range. I never worried about what key a song would be in when working with guys like Matt and Tim. They just have such a wide range that it’s not an issue. But for me that did come into play on a couple of songs I think on “Feeling Helpless” and on one other… “Cleansing Wind” – both of those I experimented with different keys. Also this is the first album I tuned to 440, it seems I can hear pitch a little bit better at that tuning.
So you’re in standard E tuning then?
I also play guitar, but I’m not a wizard or anything (laughs).
I’m not either man, I’m just a song writer guy.
But man you are the riff-miester, if I had your right hand for riffing, I’d maybe be a professional musician!
(laughs) I appreciate it dude. It’s one of those things that have always come naturally. I’ve always been more of a big picture guy and this is one of the other things that are different between Iced Earth and Sons of Liberty. With Iced Earth I’ve always been able to visualize the whole thing. I mean the whole product from the logo to the cover design, the title of the album, whatever, it was all there. When doing this Sons of Liberty thing, it’s like man, I got this massive message and I can’t even figure out what I’m gonna call it, or what the album or artwork would look like. This was bizarre. I really couldn’t picture it. I couldn’t even decide on a name for it. Finally it hit me and it was right there in the first song that I wrote. It made total sense because I’m a huge fan of the original sons of liberty - Paul Revere, John Hancock, Sam Adams, and the others who really stirred a lot of shit up in 1765. That’s really the thing that was different about Sons of Liberty. This wasn’t about me. For some reason this is a vehicle for me, I had to get this out, this is much bigger than me.
I had a really good Muslim friend of mine from Sarajevo who I was talking to through the whole process. He’s the one that came up with the shackles design and the logo. I was like “that is perfect”. So I did finally decide on a name. At first I was kicking around the name Truth Sayer and then RevWarrior and I didn’t go with that as it was too aggressive, and that is not what this is about. So there it was, Sons of Liberty.
I know you are doing 4 live dates in September with Iced Earth and Sons of Liberty on the same bill. I can imagine a full tour where you had to play in both bands might be a bit tiring, but do you think it might happen or maybe Sons of Liberty might go out on their own tour?
Well if Sons of Liberty grows to the point where we can sell some tickets, then yeah I can see that happening. I can see something happening with Iced Earth, it would be very tiring for me but we may do that. The problem is, here’s the situation – I would love to get Sons of Liberty out on the road to do something like on a cool tour to do an opening so the message can get out to more people. But the problem is, even though I am the founder of Iced Earth, that doesn’t mean that Sons of Liberty automatically translates into ticket sales or into album sales. It’s a brand new thing; it’s like a baby band starting off with maybe a little bit more of a kick because I’m involved in it. But to go out on the road as a support band, if a bigger band comes along and understood we were a baby band and offered say $500 a show…well you know it’s $1000 a day for a tour bus and you’ve got all these other costs. I can’t do that and go into a proverbial black hole of debt. It’s got to be the right situation. Maybe that is sucking it up and doing it with Iced Earth because if some of the guys in Iced Earth play live with Sons of Liberty which is what we are going to do now at least. At least for now the costs are already there because Iced Earth is on tour and the guys in the band are into it. They like it, and they like the message. So I would love to do it. We have some financial challenges facing us with that and that will probably be the biggest obstacle.
I was going to ask you, for the shows in September 2010, who will be playing with you exactly?
Yeah it’s going to be Brent Smedley (drums), Freddie Vidales (bass), and Troy Seele (guitars). Then a guitarist named Matt O’Rourke from Vegas will be playing my parts because I’m just gonna do vocals, I’m not going to play guitar and sing. I don’t want to be trapped behind a mic stand and not be able to walk around in between the songs and talk to the people.
Do you think that will feel kind of strange to not have your little shield in front of you when performing live?
Absolutely dude! I’m a little nervous about it; I have to admit, because I’m not a singer. But I feel like I have to do it and especially September 10th is the night before the gigantic march on Washington D.C. And that’s the reason why we are doing that as the first show. So it’s a while different world for me.
Plus, I have this really annoying drip over my vocal chords for about the last year and I don’t know what the hell is going on with it. I was struggling getting through the recording of the vocals parts (clears throat)…see, I’m always doing that, always clearing my throat because the stuff is dripping on my vocal chords and its really fucking with my upper mids. I’m hoping I can get this solved. I’m actually going to see a doctor in New York when I go there in a couple of days for promotion so hopefully I’ll get some answers on it.
I know when you originally left the label Century Media, you didn’t have a lot of really great things to say about them but with Iced Earth and Sons of Liberty, Century is back in the picture again. So what was it that brought you back together? Did things change, or did the labels’ attitude towards how they would treat the band change in some way?
We both changed. There were always many really great employees at Century Media who I never had an issue with, it was just like some upper management issues. Iced Earth was shopping for a deal and we talked to a lot of different labels and as far as the indie labels go, the cool thing is, there are people there that are aware of what’s going on. I can’t say that about any of the other labels. So it’s kind of a cool thing to know that they have been preparing for it, that they are aware of it. They really wanted to release Sons of Liberty even though I gave it away for free online because they believe in it so much. So that was a very cool thing. Once you get this knowledge, it really changes your perspective on just about everything. Everything we were fighting about was really petty. These people that I butt heads with in the past are now as aware of what’s going on as I am. So we can look past all the dumb shit and take this thing on together.
Do you have any things lined up for Sons of Liberty coming up for the rest of 2010 beyond promotion now and a few live dates in September?
Not yet, I don’t think so. The next priority for me is to get started on the writing for the next Iced Earth. The DVD “Festivals of the Wicked” will come out before Christmas of this year. In the late summer/fall I want to get my head into the next Iced Earth record. Like I said before -if a good touring opportunity came up for Sons of Liberty, we’ll definitely look at it. Certainly after the Iced Earth record is done if there is an opportunity to do something then I would look hard at it. It’s just got to be something that…it’s expensive to tour. I don’t mind going out and doing it in a van to keep costs down but I really don’t want to go into debt because I’ve already spent so much money on this. So with the whole idea that we’re talking about, debt is not a good idea (laughs).
Ok man, that’s everything I had so was there anything else going on with Iced Earth or Sons of Liberty that we didn’t touch one that you’d like to get out there?
No man, that’s everything. I just want to encourage people to check out this album, download it, get it, download it off the internet, MP3 copies, I don’t care. Just if you hear it, and do a little bit of research and go “holy shit there is something going on, I wasn’t aware of any of this” then the best thing is to try and make other people aware. Don’t worry if people think that you’re some crazy conspiracy theorist because at some point there’s going to some event, something that strikes a chord with them and they are going to be like “hmmmm”. It could be a year from now, 2 years, whatever, but they will say “maybe that stuff that guy was saying wasn’t so crazy after all.”.
So I encourage people to visit the website, and there are others out there. I have links to a lot of other ones. The Sons thing is a pretty simple thing. There is going to be a discussion forum on the new one on which I will be interacting with people.
That’s what I gotta do man, spread the word!