ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer was recently interviewed by Greece's Rockpages. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On whether the band's latest album, "Incorruptible", will be judged a "classic":
Jon: "It's very early to tell. A classic record gets decided a few years after it's released, and the fans decide that, not me — but I have a pretty good feeling it will be. The response is very strong."
On the prospect of re-recording the group's early albums:
Jon: "We're talking about it. It just depends on really if it's going to be worth the time for us to do it. It's a lot of work to do. It would be completely different than [the previous re-release of] 'Days Of Purgatory', because the only thing that was was re-recorded vocals. This, we're talking about a ground-up production so that we have it for a set of masters that we actually own and can exploit in our way in the future, and that this band will be able to benefit from financially going forward, because our contracts were terrible back in the old days, so there's very little income from all the years of work. Plus, with my knowledge of production now compared to the very beginning, we can make those records sound amazing. I'm certain of that. But it's not to try to beat them — it's just to create something that we can actually control and have some financial benefit from, instead of a big corporation like Sony. People go, 'Well, you should just focus on new music.' We will do that too. I have my own studio, and we're not in a hurry to do a new record — we just put one out — so if we can take a year and just take the time to spend time in the studio doing re-records, and then work on a new album, and then do more re-records or whatever, we can do whatever the fuck we want. I don't really care if somebody lost their virginity listening to 'I'd Die For You'. It's my fucking song; I'll re-record if it I want to re-record it. That's the way it is."
On the band's early days:
Jon: "There was not promoters all over the world saying, 'Hey, ICED EARTH. We want you to tour.' It was the opposite. We were desperately trying to get tours. I moved the band from Florida to Indiana to be able to go to, like, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit on the weekends every now and then, to try to spread it to the coasts of the United States, which worked. We did two or three van tours, then we moved into a camper, and after that, we were in a tour bus, so my strategy worked. This is purely about understanding the situation and fighting all the time, and trying to push forward. That's the only thing that's kept this band going forward. Now the band can go... everywhere in the world, but that didn't happen like that [snaps]. That took twenty-five years of work beforehand, laying the groundwork to make it happen."
On his other future projects:
Jon: "SONS OF LIBERTY... people always ask me if there's going to be more, and there will be. I do have the masters back, so when I release it again in the future, I want to do a vinyl version, and I want to put the 'Spirit Of The Times' EP on there and maybe two or three new tracks and probably do a double-vinyl with some cool artwork. But next on my agenda is the DEMONS & WIZARDS stuff. That's this year that I'm focusing on. Hansi [Kürsch] and I have already got three songs going. This year, I would really love to get my parts finished, and to have the master tracking done. We'll see."
On being a KISS fan:
Jon: "KISS 'Alive!' is definitely, I would say, responsible for me pursuing this way of life. It was certainly this record, and then what pushed it over the top was seeing the band live in 1979. That's when I decided that's what I was going to do. ['Alive!'] was the first record I bought. I bought it the day it was released. My sister had the first three KISS records, so I was already familiar with their music and we were listening to it, but I really wanted to impress her and her friends, because they were older than me, by being the first one to get KISS 'Alive!' Whether it's live or not doesn't even matter because it's fucking awesome. It's just got the right vibe, and it's perfect illusion."
ICED EARTH is continuing to tour in support of "Incorruptible", which came out last June via Century Media.