recently conducted an interview with vocalist Hansi Kürsch
of German power metallers BLIND GUARDIAN
. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Powerline
: Your musical style has been called power metal, speed metal, thrash, progressive … even bard metal … Doesn't it get tiring to hear all these labels?Kürsch
: As long as people talk, everything is fine. One of the best things which can happen to a band is that it is categorized by its own trademark, so I am very fine with bard or fantasy metal. Luckily, it seems to be difficult to categorize us. Sometimes I am getting more confused by the bands we are compared with.Powerline
: BLIND GUARDIAN
's first two albums, "Battalions Of Fear"
and "Follow The Blind"
, were more in the style of speed metal than their following works.Kürsch
: ?Depending on the point of view. They certainly are easier to categorize. Speed, in terms of music, is so much a matter of understanding and one's musical point of view. I, personally, think we have accomplished many faster songs afterwards. Some fans may disagree about that. It really is a matter of perspectives. Both albums were strongly related to the spirit and the musical understanding of the late '80s.Powerline
: And then there's the term "German metal." Germany has represented heavy metal very well for decades with bands like SCORPIONS
… Is there a certain German sound to you — even subtle? Were you influenced by these bands and did you ever get a chance to form a camaraderie with them? Kürsch
: Yes and no. The SCORPIONS
have not been our number one bands, but are always very well respected by us, while HELLOWEEN
can be seen as a strong inspiration for BLIND GUARDIAN
. There were other bands, of course, but when we listened to the HELLOWEEN
outputs in the mid-'80s, we knew our mission. We have a very good relationship with Kai
] and HELLOWEEN
. They belong to the nicest people you can imagine.Powerline
: Do you feel that you have captured the American market well enough?Kürsch
: No, not at all. It took almost 12 years to get a foot in the door and another 13 years to introduce ourselves. That's all what has happened so far. I believe, that the Northern American market, especially the U.S. market, is about to become aware of the band in a more mainstream-ish manner. Quality music will be rediscovered by the people.Powerline
: In America, the term "power ballad" comes with some negative connotations of it being a wimpy song from a hair band. However, BLIND GUARDIAN
's European style of power ballads, if you will, are a lot more riveting and mature. Songs such as "Lord Of The Rings"
and "The Bard's Song"
, for instance. Is it harder to write a power ballad than a regular metal song?Kürsch
: Depending on the composer. To Marcus
, guitar] or me, a power ballad usually comes more natural, while for André
, lead guitar], it most probably would be a straight-forward song such as "Another Stranger Me"
, which might come more natural. The regular heavy stuff such as "Tanelorn"
require a lot of detailed work and serious thoughts, because they are not written on a nice and sunny afternoon, but over months. So they are definitely harder to compose.Powerline
: What's the update on an orchestral project for BLIND GUARDIAN
? Is it still slated for 2013?Kürsch
: 2013 sounds a little ambitious at the moment. I am hoping for 2014. This could be a great year. Ever since "A Night At The Opera"
, my goal is to release the orchestral album the same year we are going to release the studio album. In vain, so far. But I will never give up hope.
Read the entire interview from Powerline