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My Interview with Jon Schaffer 5.26.05

Discussion in 'Iced Earth' started by sixxswine, May 27, 2005.

  1. sixxswine

    sixxswine rockandrollazine.blogspot

    May 31, 2002
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    I had a chance to catch up with Jon Schaffer for a quick interview. He was doing promotion for the Demons & Wizards record "Touched by the Crimson King." This was meant to be used for a well known website, but due to time constraints, lack of participation from the entire crew, it just didn't happen. Since Jon gave an effort, I will use the interview & post it here for all of you to read...
    Thanks To Jon & Tara @ SPV for their participation! You Rule.

    Jon, I had the pleasure of meeting you in Seattle Washington last year. You guys put on one hell of a show! You took the time to meet & greet the fans. I can’t believe you hung around until the bus had to go, it must have been after 2 A.M. & it was pouring down rain.
    Thanks for that. It meant a lot to me & the others that stuck around.

    First of all how are you recovering from the back surgery? And what is the prognosis?

    Jon:I've had 3 different surgical procedures in the last 2 and a half years and I think we're finally on the road to recovery. It's been a very difficult time for me. However the future looks good, and as long as a physical therapist goes on tour with me in the future, I don't see any reason why when the next record comes out we can't go out and do a killer world tour.

    Jon, what has been the delay in getting the Iced Earth DVD ready for release?

    Jon:It took longer than we expected to get the video portion done. Mark Briody did the visuals himself and did an amazing job. It took hundreds and hundreds of hours to do this.

    I recall, there was projected date of January of 2005?

    Jon:Most things take a bit longer than projected, it's well worth the wait.

    What has been the trouble with keeping a consistent line-up with Iced Earth? I know it must be more financial related than musical?

    Jon:That's very true. I would love to be in a position to offer year round salary and health benefits, etc.. It's not easy holding something that's basically underground together for 20 years. It takes a lot of sacrifice that most people are not willing to make. As the band grows the perks will grow as well. IE has never been in a position to play in front of huge crowds to get exposure as an opener so it's been built at a slow process.

    Do you have any ideas that you have working
    on for the new I.E. record?

    Jon:Many ideas and very big things to come. An announcement will be made soon about where things are headed. It will be the most ambitious undertaking for me as a writer ever!

    I’m sure you have heard this in the press, but it appears that “some” fans think that you aren’t playing to the best of your abilities the records? I think that some feel you’re holding back?
    What do you have to say about that?

    Jon: Not much. I've never really concerned myself with what others say, especially frustrated musicians.

    Richard Christy left the band last Spiring to try out for the Howard Stern Radio Show. Have you spoken to him at all since that time? If so what do you think?

    Jon: No and I have never heard his bits on the show. I've never been a fan. If I have time to listen to the radio I'd rather listen and learn something. There's nothing I can learn from that show!

    On to Demons & Wizards, a better record than the last, by the way. "Crimson" sounds more to me like a “band” than a side project. How long did it take for this all to come together from start to finish?

    Jon: We've been kicking a few pieces of music around for about 2 years but the bulk of it came together at the end of ‘04.

    And how many tracks were left over from the recording sessions? Will they be used for another Demons & Wizards record?

    Jon: None, where left over, that's the record.

    You have Bobby playing drums on this record, Jim Morris, played guitar & produced the record, and obviously Hansi, yourself, but who on earth is the bass player? I’m not familiar with him.

    Jon: I played most of the bass. The songs that I wanted a finger player on,
    because of the sonic difference, were played by a guy in Tampa named Ruben Drake. The best bass player I've ever recorded with, he was truly a master at his instrument.

    What was the song from “Crimson” that came the easiest? And which would you say was the most difficult? And Why?

    Jon:Beneath These Waves would be the easiest because Hansi and I
    wrote it in an hour or so, it just happened and I love it. The hardest would have to be Terror Train; just listen to it and you'll hear why it's so difficult.

    Why not add an original track & skip the Zeppelin cover? I know that your last record had the Cream cover, but that was a bonus track to the import or the limited edition release...

    Jon:There is a bonus disc in the digipak that has 2 more original tracks but we loved the way the Zep song came out and wanted it on the main release. That's it.

    Any chance of Demons & Wizards shooting a music video?

    Jon: Yes, Terror Train in Sweden very
    soon, like in the next week or two.

    Is there a chance that there will be some U.S. performances by Demons & Wizards in 2005?

    Jon:Because of our schedules it's unlikely in '05. However a live album recorded in the States, possibly New York City, is very likely in the not too distant future.

    With Tim out doing his side project & you doing the Demons & Wizards, is there a set time frame for when Iced Earth will reconvene & begin to write for a new record?

    Jon:I will begin the writing process very soon.

    Will Tim Owens get a chance to participate on an equal

    Jon: That depends on how Tim develops as a writer. He will be given more opportunity than ever before.

    You got some flak for The Glorious Burden, it was deemed by some as a “Pro American Record,” rather than a concept record based on historic events. What are your “true” feelings about the accusations?

    Jon:I guess I'm a bit shocked by the ignorance of several
    people out there, but I shouldn't be.

    And have people "gotten it” yet?

    Jon:The people that matter to me get it, the others don't, and never have.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions & in closing,
    Please give me the first thing that comes to mind in regards to the following?

    Matt Barlow: Great front man, great person

    Brave Words & Blood Knuckles: Aren't they from Canada?!

    Richard Christy: Thanks for Bobby(Jarzombek)!

    Judas Priest: Legends.

    Tim Owens: The best singer in metal today!

    Blue Oyster Cult: Been a fan since I was 6 years old, what can I say?

    Tony Iommi: GOD, Riffmeister, defines heavy.

    Seattle, Washington: Nice town!

    Martin Popoff: Nice guy. I don't really know him too well.

    Again Thanks A Million for taking the time to Do the interview.

    Jon: We’ll see you again, I’m sure!


    Demons & Wizards-"Touched by the Crimson King"

    1.Crimson King05:47
    2.Beneath These Waves05:12
    3.Terror Train04:46
    4.Seize the Day05:22
    5.The Gunslinger05:15
    6.Love's Tragedy Asunder05:28
    7.Wicked Witch03:32
    9.Down Where I Am04:54
    10.Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)02:28

    Total playing time49:20


    *The digipack version includes a bonus CD containing the following songs:

    01. Lunar Lament
    02. Wicked Witch (slow version)
    03. Spatial Architects
    04. Beneath These Waves (radio edit)

  2. Lopes

    Lopes Fuckin' Dr. of Journalism

    Aug 3, 2002
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    I think that he could learn how to lighten up from listening to Howard Stern. I just hope and pray that Richard prank calls Jon for the show, that would be hilarious just to fuck with him.
  3. sixxswine

    sixxswine rockandrollazine.blogspot

    May 31, 2002
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    Some additional information, when I caught up with Jon in Seattle, he was a straight shooter. To the point, very serious, but good to the fans. I don't know the man, but I think he's got a very serious personality. More on the conservative side, so it would only be fitting that he have this view of the Stern radio show. I don't share this veiw of Howard Stern, but to each their own I suppose.

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