ICED EARTH band leader, Jon Schaeffer, posted a long update on the progress of the new album, the band’s touring plans, and the latest in his personal life:
“I know I’ve been really lame with the updates and I’m sorry about that. We’ve let things get pretty lax here at IcedEarth.com and we’re going to be making some changes in this in the not-too-distant future.
“As some of you are aware, I’m not really the Internet type of guy and only use it for my email, and even that I avoid often (which does annoy my business associates at times; but hey, that’s what phones are for!), so I spend as little time as possible on a computer; unless it’s my studio computer and I’m spending a LOT of time on that one. Tim [Owens, ICED EARTH vocalist] enjoys surfing and all of that stuff so he’s going to be involved in the IE site a lot more in the future. You’ll be seeing some big changes in the site with the release of the next IE CD.
“Which actually brings me to the next bit of news… I’m completely consumed in the writing process of what will be by far the most ambitious album(s) IE has ever done. Some of you probably know that the next two releases will comprise the full concept album of the Something Wicked storyline, Part 1 & Part 2. I know it’s taken quite some time to get this beast on its way to fruition, but it IS finally happening, and I really feel the time is right. The goal is to make this our most epic, dynamic, most melodic and heaviest CD ever. Because of the depth and detail of the story it would be impossible to do it on one CD, there simply is not enough time, so I’m writing both parts at one time so that the continuity is there. If I were to wait a year or two to start writing part 2 I would be in a completely different frame of mind and it wouldn’t work nearly as well, so the best thing is to do all the writing at once. We’ll get Part 1 recorded, mixed and released and then finish part 2 which will come out about 6 months later. That’s at least the preliminary plan. We are still pretty early in the process but things are starting to move along nicely.
“I know it’s been some time since the release of The Glorious Burden and I ask you to please be patient because what’s coming next is going to blow you away. This is the album that IE fans have been waiting for.
“I want to apologize to the European fans for not making it over there for a headline tour on the last album. My back problems got too intense to be on the road and that really screwed things up for everyone, myself, the rest of the guys in the band, our crew, the promoters etc. We would have toured a lot more than we did had I not had these problems. The great thing is that the last surgical procedure I had in October of 2004 seems to have worked to make the pain much more tolerable. I did very extensive therapy for many months and am committed to being in the best shape of my life by the time we tour again. It’s good to be enjoying life for the first time in a very long time.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those of you that have picked up the DEMONS & WIZARDS Touched by the Crimson King CD. Sales have been excellent worldwide and again have exceeded myself and Hansi‘s [Kürsch, BLIND GUARDIAN/DEMONS & WIZARDS vocalist] expectations. It outsold the first release in mere months in many territories (including the U.S.), around the world and charted high in several European countries. The normal mode of operation is to get out and push the CD by doing live shows but due to Hansi‘s activities with BLIND GUARDIAN and my writing schedule for the next IE release it will probably be a while before we do any live shows. We knew we had a small window of opportunity to get this one recorded and released and were aware that touring was going to be done at a later date from the beginning. We felt it had been too long since the first CD was released so we opted for this plan instead of waiting another two years to get the second CD out. We will be doing a live CD at some point here in the States, probably NYC, and that’s sure to be quite an event!
“2005 was a very special year for me. My daughter was born and it’s been by far the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. After so many years of ass-breaking work to keep this band alive and successful, it was time for me to take care of #1. So I devoted my time to my health and my family and it was great. My batteries definitely needed recharging. Things are in perspective like never before and I feel more determined and more focused than ever. I can say in full confidence that this is coming through in the music.
“Contrary to some rumors, IE is still very much alive and will be coming back with a vengeance, stronger and more driven than ever to spread our brand of metal. Tim, Bobby [Jarzombek, drums] and I are very much looking forward to getting these CDs in the can and getting back out to see you all again.
“I haven’t concentrated until recently with filling the open positions as there are plenty of very talented musicians out there that would love to be a part of the IE legacy. We get hit with demos and email constantly from a lot of great players, even when we’re not looking. I’m checking out a few people and announcements will be made when the decisions have been made.
“I’ll leave another post here in the near future with some titles and updates on the writing and happenings in IE world.”