BLIND GUARDIAN Frontman Discusses New Album's Direction

Metal Asylum recently conducted an interview with BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal Alysum: Is the direction of the new album as orchestrated and layered with vocal harmonies as "Night at the Opera" or does it have more in common with "Imaginations from the Other Side" or even "Somewhere Far Beyond"?

Hansi: "Well, the working title of the album is 'Twist of the Mist'. We have about five weeks of mixing coming up so during that time is when we will decide on the album's title. Would I confuse you if I said we are consequently going in the direction of 'Opera' but with less orchestration? [Laughs] You can definitely hear the roots of the band on it, especially if you have the single for 'Fly' and on the song 'Skalds and Shadows', but there is a new direction as well. I think we have included the qualities of every album so far. Of course, our target lies in the future, so it's not exactly to be compared with any of the albums we have done before. All the 12 songs differ drastically and go in different directions. There is a traditional section, a more modern section and a more orchestrated section. I am very convinced that this was the right step to do because every song contains great melodies. The album has a focus on melodies but not so as many layers like we did with 'A Night at the Opera'. There are tons of guitar melodies and we tried to focus on the lead vocals more this time than on 'Opera' and we removed a lot of those backing vocal layers. 'Opera' was a very busy album, this time the attitude is still the same but based on a very strong melody line either played by Andre's guitar leads or my vocals. I think you can feel that in 'Fly' already and that is a great example of the new album."

Metal Asylum: It has been understood that your original drummer Thomen left the band and started SAVAGE CIRCUS because he was more interested in making music in the style of earlier BLIND GUARDIAN. Is that because BLIND GUARDIAN is phasing out that part of the band's history in the future?

Hansi: "Well, he really liked that stuff, as we all do, but it was more of both a mixture of artist and business matters. We all had a discussion and decided it was the best thing to do for everyone. It depends how you look at it addressing your question. If you look at 'A Night at the Opera' and find that a complete change for you then we have in a sense moved away from that part of the band's past but without really thinking about it. I think 'A Night at the Opera' is a consequence and development of what we have done before but that does not mean we have denied our roots or do not want to do that music anymore, it's just not the time for that right now. That was the '80s and early '90s and we need to come up with something new and develop. We are progressive band and therefore it is important for us to have something different between all the albums. There was no discussion neither with or without Thomen whether we were going to do another 'Imaginations from the Other Side' or 'Somewhere Far Beyond'. As I said, it's nothing we would deny, and, of course, you can still feel those Celtic elements in the single 'Fly' or 'Skalds and Shadows'. We just write the songs we are comfortable with."

Read the entire interview at www.metalasylum.net.

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