When I read up on what Jon Schaffer’s new project, Sons of Liberty, was about, I was interested in talking to Jon about the message. Often with interviews, the focus is on the music, the upcoming tour, etc, and while that is covered here, the main things we discuss are the ideas that Jon is getting out with Sons of Liberty. Rather than editorialize, let’s step into the mind of Jon and hear firsthand the important issues that has been occupying the thoughts of the Iced Earth mastermind over the past 1-1.5 yrs.
ICED EARTH brainchild, Jon Schaffer, has developed a new project, SONS OF LIBERTY, for the purpose of spreading awareness about the current state of affairs worldwide. Schaffer’s goal for this project is not to sell records, t-shirts or tickets, but rather wake people up and to get them to start researching and talking with each other. Check out the new video below where Schaffer discusses the concept behind the song “Jeckyll Island”, and the book it’s based on – a core principle to the topics covered in the band’s lyrical content. Also, catch a special interview with Schaffer and G. Edward Griffin (author of The Creature From Jekyll Island).
The entire album can be heard now at www.sons-of-liberty.net, so head over now to check it out. Schaffer setup the very informative resource website as a think-tank containing lots of interesting web-links, book and movie recommendations, and much more. SONS OF LIBERTY: Brush-Fires of The Mind is set for a July 13th release.
Schaffer handles all vocals and instrumentation for SONS OF LIBERTY, but the effort also features guest solos by legendary producer Jim Morris, ICED EARTH guitarist Troy Seele and world-class bassist, Ruben Drake. Born from Schaffer’s desire to stimulate curiosity about a pattern of global banking corruption that is undermining the independence of people and their countries, SONS OF LIBERTY aims to spearhead a multi-faceted and peaceful resistance of the tyranny being wrought every day on regular people.
Newly signed to Metal Blade Records with his band CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED, most of you will remember Richard as the former drummer for Death, Iced Earth, Control Denied, Leash Law, or Burning Inside. Then there are those who came to learn of Richard’s other "talents" on the Howard Stern show. We catch up with Richard to see what he’s been up to recently.
Some eighteen years, and another eight albums, since the release of ICED EARTH’s eponymous debut album, it’s still band leader and guitarist Jon Schaffer’s unique vision and rule by iron hand that define every aspect of the band. After two albums, THE GLORIOUS BURDEN in 2004 and FRAMING ARMAGEDDON in 2007, with Tim "Ripper" Owens of JUDAS PRIEST fame, Jon has again, on the latest album, CRUCIBLE OF MAN in 2008, been rejoined by returning Matt Barlow on vocals. Matt originally appeared on some of the bands most classic albums such as BURNT OFFERINGS in 1995, THE DARG SAGA in 1996, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES in 1998 and HORROR SHOW in 2001.
In addition to his work with ICED EARTH, Jon and his good friend Hansi Kürsch of BLIND GUARDIAN, released two albums under the name of DEMONS & WIZARDS. ICED EARTH has currently just finished a co-headlining tour of Europe with SAXON. We had to opportunity to sit down with Jon to catch up about some of the recent developments in his band and learn some interesting things concerning his plans for the future.
For an introduction to what Bloodstock Open Air is all about, check out my preview of it here. Suffice it to say that BOA is the only proper UK outdoor metal festival that is devoted to true metal of all genres. This would be the first time I was making the trip up to the Midlands to cover this amazing festival.
Reaching there late Thursday night, we set up camp and went off to explore. BOA has one of the most random things I’d expect at a metal festival: a shisha tent! Armed with a 1.5 litre bottle of JD and two bongs of shisha, we spent the night there meeting weird and crazy people (Frida from Sweden, if you’re reading this, get in touch!). After a disgusting fry-up at the All-Day Breakfast bar, I went off to bed to catch some shut-eye before Friday’s bands. Good start to BOA!
One of the highlights of this year’s Bloodstock Open Air festival in England was the opportunity to see Iced Earth with Matt Barlow. Along with many other Iced Earth fans, I consider Matt Barlow to be the definitive voice of Iced Earth; and while Ripper Owens is a fine vocalist in his own right, the Iced Earth sound is pretty much incomplete without Matt’s soulful and emotional croon. When I was offered the chance to interview the man himself, I jumped at it, although I only had ten minutes.
The Iced Earth camp turned up late (stuck in traffic), and immediately Jon and Matt jumped off the bus to fulfil their publicity obligations, as true pros – even though they were due to be onstage in about two hours’ time. Matt looked pretty tired and flustered, but was anything but cold and distant, answering my somewhat inane questions with thoughtfulness and depth. Here’s the nine-minute interview…
Wacken is a blessed mecca of the whole metal world. Again this year it was entirely sold out when ten thousands of metal manics travelled from all around the world to gather and witness plenty of ass kicking bands. The weather forecast for Wacken didn’t look that promising. The chaotic and muddy mess caused by long and heavy rains rampaged the ground during the whole summer. The festival often provides a survival test to every visitor with its mud and crap. But but gods of metal had seen the light and blessed the whole three day metal inferno with tremendous extreme heat and a sunny weekend. Things could not be better…sun, metal and beer. That combination is nothing but an utter perfect way to enjoy the metallic mayhem at Wacken.
As usual, the true metal commando team from Metal-Rules.Com was there again witnessing a helluva lot of great bands and above all an unexpected huge fire in the main area. Feel, see and enjoy this article.
Article and pics by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
(Addiotional comments by J. Huovila – Thanks)
Wow! This is the seventh time that the Finnish Metal-Rules squad made an invasion to the mighty Swedenrock festival. Almost 70 bands descended upon the southern area of Sweden for a festival that turned out to be an utter blast from the beginning to the end! The bill of Swedenrock festival 2007 covers a wide range of metal styles and even classic rock stuff such as Kreator to Black Oak Arkansas and everything between. Therefore, there was at least something for everyone who attended the festival. As usual, the whole festival was once again sold out with around 30,000 people at the area every day. The Swedenrock festival has always had tremendous luck with the weather every year. Once again the gods of weather had given their blessing for this rocking metallic heaven on the earth with an extreme hot and sunny weekend that burned red the skin of several festival goers.
As written in the first sentence, this is already the seventh time that the Swedenrock festival has been featured in the site of Metal-Rules.com, so it is quite logical for us to give an in-depth article of several bands performing at Swedenrock. However we are not able to cover every band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading moment… Enjoy !!!
Iced Earth is making a return to the limelight and has been booked to a few European festivals and will heading to tour as a supporter for Heaven and Hell. At the Swedenrock festival we got the great opportunity of having a small chat with the front man of Iced Earth as well as Beyond Fear, Tim Ripper Owens. Iced Earth will be unleashing their new album called “Framing Armageddon” via SPV. The album’s story continues of the saga of the trilogy from SOMETHING WICKED. Owens tells us more about the concept of the album and plans to get on the road again. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ AND ARTO LEHTINEN
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen & “The Sentinel” KILLgast Live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen
Thanks to Sari Ikolampi for the help with transcription
The legendary New York Speed/Thrash Metal patrol Anthrax visited to Helsinki, Finland 21st of April on their “Cursed Earth” Euro-tour, bringing along Beyond Fear with them; a new band fronting no less than Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Winters Bane, ex-Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Brainicide). As most of you should be aware of the band by now, the band has been built around 5 experienced musicians off which two members, John Comprix on guitar and Dennis Hayes on bass, have also won their spurs in Winters Bane whereas Dwane Bihary (on rhythm guitar) has previously played in Missing Skin and Eric Elkins (on drums) destroyed his drumkit in such line-ups as Cyptkicker and All You Fear.
As Beyond Fear´s self-titled debut album has already been impressing a large number of metal fans all around the world with its straight-forward, heavy, somewhat Priest-tinged yet honest modern sounding Heavy Metal approach, it became way too tempting to avoid meeting Mr. “Ripper” here in Helsinki, and ask him about the ground reasons for forming Beyond Fear. And that´s what we did eventually; sat down comfortably at the dressing room of the band and started inquiring a fair number of things about the band in sheer excitement.
Here´s the whole conversation with Tim “Ripper” Owens in its entire lenght yet uncencosed form in which we couldn´t completely avoid asking about Priest, Iced Earth or Winters Bane either.
To me, Iced Earth are like the saviors of American METAL. They, and a small but growing handful of bands from the US, are playing what I consider to be REAL METAL. The latest piece of excitement for all Iced Earth and Blind Guardian fans is the much hyped (and deservedly so) collaboration of Jon Schaffer and Hansi Kursch called Demons & Wizards. I was given the opportunity to talk to Jon about this band and about what’s in store for us with regards to Iced Earth.
Iced Earth – Interview With Jon Schaffer Interviewed on Dec. 5, 1998 by EvilG
Iced Earth, a band that has been around for nearly 10 years yet still hasn’t made a noticeable impact in the USA. Why have they been the underdogs? I’ll tell you why, they have never sold out nor changed their sound to accommodate the flavor of the week. This is no bubble gum band and Jon makes no bones about it, Iced Earth are a heavy metal band.