Just what does it take to create those monstrous albums by ICED EARTH? In this -- webisode #3 in an exclusive series of 5 -- studio wizard Jim Morris and ICED EARTH leader Jon Schaffer share secrets to their success -- including the biggest secret of all: "Stop being a pussy." Plus, Jim and Jon reveal what, at the end of the day, sells tickets to an ICED EARTH show. By the end of these four-and-a-half minutes, you'll know what these two long-time friends -- under tight deadline pressure -- laugh about to relieve the stress of creating Dystopia, ICED EARTH's 10th studio album.
If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in the recording studio with ICED EARTH, now's your chance. In this episode, you are given a rare (and exclusive!) five minutes in the studio with the iconic American metal band. Watch as Jon Schaffer, Stu Block, and Jim Morris mix "Dark City," a track from ICED EARTH's forthcoming album Dystopia, which was just named "album of the month" by Germany's prestigious Rock Hard magazine. Just how powerful is Stu Block's voice? Watch -- and hear -- for yourself. Dystopia will be in stores on October 17th (EU) & October 18th (US).
Check out the behind-the-scenes footage of the making of Dystopia. This is the first of five webisodes that will be uploaded to Century Media's Official YouTube channel. So stay tuned!
Fury UK and White Wizzard will join Iced Earth on the European leg of the legendary metal band’s 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour.
Fury UK, a three-piece British metal band that combines the rawness of NWOBM with an aggressive power-metal vibe, has released three full-length albums, with Way of Life being their most recent. Fury UK will open the show. The band’s official website is here.
American heavy-metal band White Wizzard – with riffs, attitude, and swagger to burn – will tear it up after Fury UK leaves the stage. White Wizzard has released two EPs and an album titled Over the Top. A new album (Flying Tigers) is due later this month. The band’s official website is here.
“I’m really looking forward to touring with these guys,” said Iced Earth main man Jon Schaffer. “Both bands bring a lot of energy to the table. I know fans will enjoy seeing them as much as we will.”
Dystopia, Iced Earth’s 10th studio album, is scheduled for release in Europe on October 17th, and in the U.S. on October 18th, both via Century Media. Two bonus tracks have also been recorded for inclusion on special editions of the album. Dystopia is now available for pre-order worldwide.
The release of Dystopia will be followed by the most extensive world tour Iced Earth has ever undertaken.
The European leg of the 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour has been posted on Iced Earth’s Tour page, as well as on all of its official social-media sites. The tour begins October 30th in Bochum, Germany.
A concert in Cyprus – a first for Iced Earth – was just announced. The date is December 15th, 2011.
Iced Earth has just added a show in Cyprus on December 15, 2010. See Tour page for details. A limited number of VIP tickets are available. Order yours today!
Some bands release mere snippets of songs to preview their upcoming tours. Some release a single song. In typical balls-to-the-wall Iced Earth fashion, the legendary metal band has re-recorded the entire 17-minute fan-favorite epic “Dante’s Inferno” – and will give it away free here, on the band's official web site.
“If there’s one song fans have asked us to play live more than any other it’s ‘Dante’s Inferno,’” Iced Earth main man Jon Schaffer said. “The simple reason why we haven’t is because the original click track was erased, therefore requiring a keyboard player to do the parts live. That’s OK for a special event like when we recorded Alive in Athens, but to hire a keyboard player for a full tour, for one song, just isn’t financially feasible.”
This summer, during the recording of Dystopia, Iced Earth’s soon-to-be-released 10th studio album, the band entered the studio for the express purpose of remedying that situation – and emerged with a powerful rendition that’s (if possible) even more monumental than the original, which was the closing track on the band’s 1995 album Burnt Offerings.
Schaffer and new vocalist Stu Block talk about the recording of “Dante’s Inferno” in this exclusive video clip just posted to the band’s Official YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialIcedEarth.
“Dante’s Inferno” can be downloaded – free – from Iced Earth’s web site here.
“Dante’s Inferno” (which is based on Inferno, the first part of Dante’s poem The Divine Comedy) hasn’t been played live since 1999’s groundbreaking Alive in Athens album.
“We wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to all of our loyal fans who have waited so long to hear us play ‘Dante’ again,” said Schaffer. “So, we decided to give this to them, free. It’s because of our fans we’ve been able to make music all these years. This is a way to show how much we appreciate them.”
Schaffer promises “Dante’s Inferno” will be back in the band’s set lists for all upcoming shows on the 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour.
The European leg of the 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour has been posted on the band’s official web site, and all official social-media sites. The tour begins October 30th in Bochum, Germany.
Dystopia is scheduled for release in Europe on October 17th, and in the U.S. on October 18th, both via Century Media. Two bonus tracks have also been recorded for inclusion on special editions of the album.
The release of Dystopia...
Jon Schaffer, founder and creative force behind American metal icons Iced Earth, today released this statement about the Internet music-listening service Spotify:
“A lot of fans have contacted us regarding Century Media’s decision to pull all of its bands from Spotify,” Schaffer said regarding the 9 August statement from the metal label. “I want our fans to know that we had nothing to do with that decision. We understand Century Media’s position. The music industry has been deeply and irrevocably affected by illegal downloading on the Internet. I understand that all too well. In fact, all professional musicians today understand that.
“But Spotify is one of the most important developments in music I’ve seen in quite awhile. It allows fans to search for music from bands all over the world – sometimes rare, impossible to find, or out-of-print music. They hear it, decide they like it, and seek it out to buy it from a variety of sources – legal sources like iTunes, Amazon, or Amazon Marketplace.
“That’s a good thing. Stealing music is not. But sampling it on Spotify – which is legal and highly regarded worldwide – is not stealing it.
“If it were up to me, I’d put Iced Earth’s music back on Spotify. But I also have to respect the wishes of Century Media, our record label. They’re only trying to protect the best interests of their bands. So, I ask fans of Iced Earth to be respectful as well. Maybe additional dialogue with Century Media will change their minds. In the meantime, let’s all just agree to disagree on this one and wait to see what the future holds.”
For Iced Earth, the future holds the release of Dystopia, the band’s 10th studio album, scheduled for release in Europe on October 17th, and in the U.S. on October 18th both via Century Media. Two bonus tracks are also being recording for inclusion on special editions of the album.
The release of Dystopia will be followed by the most extensive world tour Iced Earth has ever undertaken.
The European leg of the 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour has been posted here, as well as on all official social-media sites. The tour begins October 30th in Bochum, Germany.
Although Dystopia, Iced Earth’s 10th studio offering, is not a concept album, founder Jon Schaffer admits there are unifying themes to several of the songs – and even an appearance by band mascot “Set Abominae.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by the darker side of life,” Schaffer said during a break from master tracking Iced Earth’s forthcoming album. “Movies like Metropolis, Brazil, and The Matrixresonate with me. The same for albums like 2112, The Wall, and of course Operation:Mindcrime. Their images of a soulless, repressive society stuck with me over the years. It must be the sci-fi fan in me.”
In much the same way Horror Show (Iced Earth’s tribute to classic characters from literature and movies) was born, Schaffer said his interest in dystopian themes in music and movies led him to try his hand at that genre as well – even paying homage on the new album to the movies Dark City, V For Vendetta, and Soylent Green. The end result is Iced Earth meets the nightmarish offspring of Brave New Worldand Blade Runner.
Of special interest to long-time fans are two songs on Dystopia (the title track and “Tragedy and Triumph”) that feature the return of the “Something Wicked” storyline and “Set Abominae” – who, when last seen in The Crucible of Man , had taken his position as ruler of the world.
“The opening song is a step back timeline-wise from the ‘Come What May’ track,” said Schaffer. “‘Come What May’ [the last track on Crucible] sets the scenario that it’s up to us and the decisions we make that will determine the future of the human race. These two songs [on Dystopia] take place at a time when people are in highly controlled prison-like city states, and their eventual emancipation in the closer, ‘Tragedy and Triumph’.”
In an uncanny case of art imitating life, Schaffer said Set Abominae fit perfectly with the general theme of Dystopia.
“I remember it hit me like a ton of bricks in ’97, the whole Something Wicked story did,” Schaffer said. “I thought, ‘Man, this is going to be so cool.’ Many years later, we were on tour for Crucibleand we were doing an interview over in Eastern Europe. A buddy of mine said, ‘You know, Jon, this whole Something Wicked thing could be true.’ I thought about it a moment and said, ‘Well, I don’t know about that. But there are some creepy parallels in contemporary life.’”
“So as I was thinking about all of the great...
All is well here as we are pushing forward with master tracking the new album "Dystopia."
We have finished drums and rhythm guitars and are right on schedule. I'll be heading to Europe tomorrow for a few festival dates and then right back to work in the studio on Monday. Jim Morris and I are having a great time, as usual, and are very much looking forward to starting vocal tracks with "Stucifer" next week!
Stu has contributed a lot to the vocal parts on this record, with co-writing credits on 10 out of 12 songs, and I'm very happy with our chemistry and what we've accomplished together so far. And we're just getting started.
Here are a few titles for you to ponder...
- Days of Rage
- Soylent Green
- Boiling Point
- Tragedy and Triumph
- Anguish of Youth
- Iron Will
Just a little update for you guys. It's a crazy-busy summer. But I'll try to update you as often as I can!