ICED EARTH guitarist/founder Jon Schaffer talked to Metal Kaoz about the band's future plans, Greek fans, the global economical crisis and his other project, SONS OF LIBERTY. An excerpt follows:
Q: Even though this might be too early to talk about, what do you think Stu’s voice will bring in the sound of Iced Earth?
A: "For one thing Stu brings new ideas. He is very good in coming up with great vocal melodies and that has always been my cost and burden to carry for forever. Matt could perform great also, Tim was amazing too and even John Greely was great. Those guys brought their own thing, but with Stu I actually have a writing buddy and that’s really cool. He contributed a lot in the new album."
Q: Now that we are talking about singers and since Iced Earth have changed a couple ones, have you ever thought of dealing the vocals by yourself?
A: "Not in Iced Earth. I can never do what I have in my head. I simply do not have the singing abilities to do that."
Q: I am asking this because in Sons Of Liberty you are doing a hell of a job.
A: "Oh, thanks man! But Sons Of Liberty is a different thing. One morning I woke up so pissed and went to do the vocals. I haven’t done this before, so it felt very weird. For Sons Of Liberty I am writing lyrics with straightforward messages, while Iced Earth things are more theatrical, so the vocals have to do more. I could never do the falsettos and stuff like that."
Q: Talking about “Dystopia” I have to ask about the lyrics; even though the general concept was something like “Horror Show”, they seem to follow a main theme that is applicable to the current situation we live in, right?
A: "Yes, exactly. This was all part of the plan to get a message out there. In Sons Of Liberty it’s like a kick in the head but since I don’t want to get political with Iced Earth I chose a different approach."
Q: Why don’t get the same message in Iced Earth?
A: "Well, the message is still there but the thing is that a lot of people from the Press would not even talk to me about this stuff, like they did not get it. But now, a few years later, people start to see the shit I was talking about is actually happening and in fact, it’s getting worse every day. For example, the guys from Rock Hard, who have been friends of mine for years, did not want to talk about these things but when “Dystopia” came out, they put me on the cover with a six pages story and almost everything was about what Sons Of Liberty. And the guys have done some research with quotes like from Rockefeller so this article was about what Sons Of Liberty is all about. Anyway, Iced Earth is my job and my career and I have a lot of people to take care of besides my own family. After all, the band and the people involved in it are also my family, the guys in the crew, the management and the whole thing, and I cannot take the risk of something happening due to the misinterpretation of the messages. For example in some parts of Europe they thought that “The Glorious Burden” was pro-war or pro-American and it was nothing like that It was all about military history. But this was one of those things, you know?"
Read the entire interview at this location