ICED EARTH has issued the following update:"Freddie Vidales from San Antonio, Texas has been selected to pound the pavement (and a few eardrums) on the road with ICED EARTH in 2008 as the band's new bass player. Prior to joining ICED EARTH, Freddie was the bassist and frontman for 10 years in his own band called INFUSION. Freddie has been influenced by bands such as IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, DEATH, KING DIAMOND, and of course, ICED EARTH. You can hear and see Freddie covering tracks from a few of the bands above not only on bass, but also guitar at his personal MySpace page." Commented ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer: "I feel like Freddie is the right guy for the gig. He has the chops, the attitude, and from the videos I've seen, a commanding, energetic, and intense stage presence that will fit in nicely with what ICED EARTH has always strived to be. I had a strong feeling about him based on the material that he sent and our phone discussions, so I asked him to fly up here before the slated auditions were to commence later in the month. After meeting Freddie in person and watching him play up close and personal, I didn't feel the need to continue the search. He's going to fit right in. We welcome him on board and look forward to jamming together at our first gig at Chicago Powerfest on May 2! "Finally, I would like to personally thank everyone who auditioned for the position, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors!" ICED EARTH's official web site, IcedEarth.com, posted a 36-minute audio interview it conducted with Jon Schaffer on January 15, 2008. The interview can be downloaded and/or heard at this location. Topics covered during the chat include tour and release plans for 2008, longtime frontman Matt Barlow's return to the band, the band's upcoming gig at ProgPower USA on September 27, 2008, and the impact of family and other personal committments on ICED EARTH's stategy for the future. Schaffer issued a press release in December (Statement#1, Statement#2) announcing that the band was parting ways with vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (BEYOND FEAR, ex-ICED EARTH, JUDAS PRIEST) and was once again working with Tim's predecessor, Matt Barlow, who originally left ICED EARTH in 2003. Freddie Vidales jamming:
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