Iced Earth: Jon Schaffer, prophet of a dystopia

Jon Schaffer, Iced Earth’s leader and guitar player, is a worried man. He’s worried by the turn the society in which he lives is taking, particularly the American one. Known for being very supportive of his country, he’s nonetheless very critical regarding how it is evolving nowadays, especially in the context of the economical crisis we all know.

But John Schaffer is also an angry man. He’s angry because he tried to understand, to know, to research and to explain, then became aware of the corruption filling the world, a world that’s doomed, according to him, if the true, painful, power-overthrowing revolution doesn’t happen. This is the shout sent by Schaffer in Iced Earth’s new album entitled Dystopia that will be released the 17th of October. The pack’s leader explains everything about that in the following interview. Just like he did through his project Sons Of Liberty, he considers his duty to encourage people to think about the state of the world and the politics.

Regarding the future of the band, he’s way less worried, and actually rather optimistic, especially about Stu Block (Into Eternity)’s new arrival. A singer with a surprising and dynamic range from whom he mangaged to get the best thanks to his coaching, making a very strong record.

As an introduction, Schaffer go back over emblematic singer Matt Barlow’s departure and its circumstances. Good occasion to evoke and understand the impact of both the musical industry and the consumers behavior’s changes on an artist like Iced Earth, who built his fame in the metal world.

Have a great read.


Turisas: Olli, Def Leppard, goldfish and The Space Byzantinian Varangians

Some days you just know from the very first words expressed with the artist that the interview is going to be interesting. This is when it is compelling from the very beginning. Bumblefoot (Guns N’Roses) told us about his dream, David Coverdale (Whitesnake) talked about his ejaculatory fantasies, Turisas violinist Oli Vänskä taught us his techniques for picking up French girls. To be honest, I am pretty sure that with a little coyness and an awkward approach providing sweetness, the cat is in the bag.

Their latest album, Stand Up And Fight, is a quality blockbuster. It’s awesome in every way: Orchestra, chorus etc, however, despite the packaging the inspiration is still there. The album is cinematic, filled with influences and preciously arranged. It was worth the wait and worth pushing the release date back a few times. In fact, we admire the way the band were able to put the situation into perspective. Olli claims that after months of hard work, it is fair to say « ok we’ve done for like 5 months already so let’s just get it over with » for the good of our mental and physical health or be a perfectionist until the end risking a nervous breakdown and saying « because you have spent so much time on it already, you want to finish it well whether it takes a few months more or whatever, it doesn’t really matter anymore ». We discussed these long days and sleepless nights working on the album with him. The hard work paid off and notably even good Hollywood soundtrack fans can appreciate it.

Besides from this, all that the band have to say about the importance of extra-musical visuals, history as a cycle or even the expression of life through all types of art is well-grounded.

This album and the interview will prove when needed that Turisas is successful on every point (musically and extra-musically) in the Folk/Viking scene which Ollie described as « flooded and repetitive ».

Click here to read the interview…

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