Cover art for FRAMING ARMAGEDDON revealed, and a big "THANK YOU" to all the loyal ICED EARTH fans from JON SCHAFFER.
Hello my friends,
I hope at this point you’ve had a chance to absorb the single/EP OVERTURE OF THE WICKED, and are enjoying it. So far the reaction has been overwhelming. We’ve charted in several countries around the world, which is quite unusual for a metal band to do with a single. Madonna, Michael Jackson and the “pop stars,” yes, it happens all the time, independent heavy metal bands - not so much. We have you amazingly loyal fans to thank for that. The Iced Earth legion grows stronger and stronger all the time. When I think about the simple fact that Iced Earth has only opened for 2 bands in the last 17 years, Blind Guardian and Megadeth, it really makes me wonder what could happen if we had an opportunity to open for some of the big guys here in the States. It’s the belief that if we get a fair shot, we can do some great things. The incredible loyalty exhibited by all of you has and will continue to keep me in the trenches fighting the good fight.
We’re going to get one of those shots in November when we open for HEAVEN AND HELL (BLACK SABBATH) in the UK. I’m absolutely fired up about it. ICED EARTH is finally going to be heard in the UK, and believe me, we‘re going to be so freakin’ pumped, everyone’s going to remember that we were there!
I’d like to thank the Swedish Fans for their awesome response to our first appearance at Sweden Rock a few weeks ago. It was a great festival, very professional and very fun for us all. I personally had a great time, the chemistry of the live band is the best it’s ever been and even though this was our first show together, we played like we’d been together for years. It’s been quite sometime since I’ve had as much fun onstage, and we’re just getting started.
I’m very sorry about the confusion on our set length at Sweden Rock. We were told that we were to have a 50 minute set, and that’s what we played. When I arrived on the festival grounds and saw the festival program, and the fact that they had us listed as playing for 90 minutes, I was a bit concerned and knew that we were going to have some disappointed fans out there. All I can say is that we will do our level best at making it up to you guys on the headline tour, and it will not happen again.
The day after the festival we filmed the video for TEN THOUSAND STRONG in Gothenburg, Sweden with director Roger Johansen. Roger did the TERROR TRAIN video for Hansi and I, and I was very happy with his integrity and dedication to the project. Because of this, he was my first choice for the new IE video. This will be a very special video with many hours of work being done in post-production to help tell the early stages of the SOMETHING WICKED story, focusing on the struggle of the 10,000. If all goes as planned this will be the first in a line of videos that will be filmed through Parts I & II that will reveal key points of the saga.
At this point I’m wrapping up preparations for our show in Athens next week with HEAVEN AND HELL. I must say it is an absolute honor for us to be able to play with these guys and I can’t wait until the UK dates in November. We will start the headline tour of Europe in October and jump on with HEAVEN AND HELL in the UK after that. I’ve met RONNIE JAMES DIO several times over the years and I have to say he is hands down, the most genuine, inspirational and real person that I’ve met in this industry. It’s so refreshing when one of your idols is a wonderful person, and RONNIE JAMES DIO is all of that and more. There are some very cool things to look forward to for sure, for you the fans, and for myself as well.
Just before Sweden Rock we finished mixing and mastering FRAMING ARMAGEDDON (SOMETHING WICKED PART I) and I’m very happy with the end result. I’m totally pumped about wrapping up Part II now, and will be doing that in between the festivals and promo tours this summer. Part I’s timeline runs from the human invasion of Setia Earte, or Earth as we know it, and ends shortly before the birth of Set Abominae. Part II will start with his birth and continue on ‘til present day. Remember, Revelation Abomination (Something Wicked Part II) is a working title only and I’m certain I will change it as I finish the writing of Part II.
Stay tuned, stay true, and we will see you all soon. The “burning times” of man will be soon upon you!