Interview with Stu Block of Iced Earth
“Daylight breaks hard on sacred ground, For centuries we’ve questioned them of His birth, But in this hour, on this day, The Elder knew, Years of madness must now subdue,Order must be enforced to hide the truth,Cause on this day, in this hour it’s coming true”. Set Abominae, the Setian Messiah, shakes the ground of Babylon and he unleashes the plagues! Metal-Rules.com got in touch with vocalist Stu Block, by the way of the release of their eleventh album, the latest new DVD, the downloading issue and many more…
Metal-Rules.com: Hey Stu! I am very happy for this interview and greetings from Greece! First of all, how are you doing today?
Stu Block: Hello, Hellias, how are you? I am doing well…just trying to adjust to the European Time Zone because I am in Tampa right now, home sweet home! Hehehe!
Metal-Rules.com: As you know Iced Earth is extremely beloved here, especially since the release of the ‘Alive in Athens’ DVD! As we speak for the very first time, I would like to ask you some questions for your first days as a member of Iced Earth. You are new in the band, so, how has the transition gone so far?
Stu Block: It has been great so far. Everyone is a jackass like me so it has been going very well. No seriously it has been going really well, the band is sounding really tight and tense. We made a lot of jams and we made sure that we would have a great time onstage.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s the reaction of the fans for this transition? Has it been pretty favorable?
Stu Block: Yeah man it seems like there has been a very positive fan reaction to me doing, “Dante’s Inferno” or any other Iced Earth classic song. As soon as that hit people really got it and understood that I could really pull this stuff off.
Metal-Rules.com: You are about to release the new album, Plagues of Babylon. (I have not listened to this stuff yet). Well, what’s different in this upcoming album regarding to the previous one? Please tell us about the approach that you have chosen to create this album and production of the album. What’s the feedback of the new record till now?
Stu Block: I think it is very positive till now. The new album is still dark and heavy; there are cool differences to the previous album. The line-up is much tighter than that of the recording of ‘Dystopia’. This makes sense due to the fact I am with these guys for 2 years now. We tried to make a cool metal album, in the well-known ‘iced’ path, you know. I hope this is a cool album.
Metal-Rules.com: Can you tell me a little more about the lyrics, did anything particular inspire you?
Stu Block: Horror movies and scary movies like ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ inspired Jon and the rest of us to write the lyrical material.
Metal-Rules.com: How did you get into playing music?
Stu Block: Since my childhood! Music has chosen me to be a part of it! My family learned me to listen to music as they were listening to music for many hours! Also, my dad plays piano, my sister likes singing.
Metal-Rules.com: Is she singing metal?
Stu Block: No, not at all! But she likes heavy metal, not the very heavy of course. She sings r’n’b songs.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s your opinion on other kinds of music?
Stu Block: I really like heavy metal but if another song of other kind that seems to be good, I will listen to it. I like true and good music regardless the kind of the music.
Metal-Rules.com: Is there any Greek metal bands that you really like or want to share the stage?
Stu Block: I cannot remember any name, Sorry!
Metal-Rules.com: How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics apart from listening to your music?
Stu Block: It is very engaging and gratifying if someone not only sings along the lyrics, but he understands and conceives the lyrics. This doesn’t happen often, but I think that the true fans are just the greatest at really absorbing both music and lyrics.
Metal-Rules.com: And now I would like to discuss about some deplorable events. We are in the end of 2013 and three big metal personas have passed away… Ronnie James Dio, Peter Steele and Paul Grey (SLIPKNOT) and finaly Jeff Hanneman (SLAYER) . Are the last 4 years the most donsie years of heavy metal?
Stu Block: Yes, this is very sad; we cannot do anything to change things. Sad for the heavy metal world because these artists have brought something to everyone of us. So, their art will never die. We can inspire by their lives and death also.
Metal-Rules.com: What do you think of today’s music industry in general?
Stu Block: Thirty years ago, musicians have nothing that could be described as technology in regard to nowadays. It would be very interesting what’s gonna happen ten years after. However, technology made people listen to music without purchasing a LP, a vinyl or cd. This is bad as we speak of the gaining money from music, but band and especially the small ones can create a fanbase easier and quicker than in the past.
Metal-Rules.com: Is technology part of your life or are you still a “romantic”?
Stu Block: Yes it is. I use mobile phone, the computer, email etc, BUT it does not take over my life! Hehe!!!
Metal-Rules.com: I have beholden that heavy metal changes through the decades. Heavy and Thrash metal dominated over in 80’s, Death, Black and Power metal in 90’s and Metalcore and Nu Metal in the 00’s in general. 2010 was the beginning sign of the new decade. What do you see for the future?
Stu Block: I don’t have a crystal ball, yes, there are a lot of kind of metal genres and subgenres, possibly bands would follow different ways to create their music. I don’t know if musicians can write something unique, unless the uniqueness and innovation has no expire date.
Metal-Rules.com: If you could pick only one musician to work with, who would that be and why?
Stu Block: The most cool of all; Glenn Hughes, a great voice and bass player.
Metal-Rules.com: Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:
Thrash metal: Aggressive
Prison Break (TV series): Really liked it! Eventive
Black Sabbath: Godfathers
Metal-Rules.com: One last question: You recorded the latest DVD in Cyprus, in Kourion! Can you describe the feedback of the audience?
Stu Block: Cypriots are very effusive and expressive at live concerts!!! We had an amazing great time down there, great emotion, I can remember the true metal spirit of Cypriot people, can’t wait to go again!
Metal-Rules.com: Thank you for this interview. I wish to you and the rest guys of ‘Iced Earth’ all the best!!!
Stu Block: Thanks man, have a nice day!
For more information visit www.icedearth.com