DEMONS & WIZARDS, the side project of ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer and BLIND GUARDIAN singer Hansi Kürsch, will embark on the "A Magical Encounter With Demons & Wizards" North American headline tour in the summer. The band will hit the road starting August 17 in Los Angeles and will wrap up the trek with a sold-out show on September 7 in Atlanta. The band will be joined by special guests LIZZY BORDEN and TÝR and will be playing major markets like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and more.
"DEMONS & WIZARDS touring North America? That is going to be pure magic, guaranteed," states Kürsch. "You better not miss it, 'cause you never know when the Demon and the Wizard will join forces again. I am really thrilled about these first shows for DEMONS & WIZARDS in North America and we are going to make every single night a legendary night to remember. Join us on this path of glory."
"I am very happy that we've announced the first-ever DEMONS & WIZARDS tour in North America," adds Schaffer. "We've been getting fan requests for many years to bring this show to all points around the world. To be able to do it in the USA is an exciting development. Stay heavy and see you on the road soon!"
Founded in 1999, DEMONS & WIZARDS released two highly acclaimed albums — "Demons & Wizards" (1999) and "Touched By The Crimson King" (2005). The band recently announced its worldwide signing to Century Media Records and is gearing up to release its highly anticipated third studio album, which is scheduled for early 2020.
Before then, Century Media Records will release the band's first two albums as expanded deluxe editions. Remastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ICED EARTH, QUEENSRŸCHE, SANCTUARY), both releases will be out on June 7, and will feature liner notes by Kürsch and Schaffer as well as bonus material and will be released as a limited edition digipak, deluxe 2LP with etching and LP booklet as well as digital deluxe editions.
"A Magical Encounter With Demons & Wizards" North American tour dates:
Aug. 17 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
Aug. 20 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SODO
Aug. 21 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore
Aug. 22 - Portland, OR - Roseland
Aug. 24 - Denver, CO - The Summit Theater
Aug. 26 - Dallas, TX - Gas Monkey Live
Aug. 28 - Chicago, IL - Concord Music Hall
Aug. 29 - Minneapolis, MN - Skyway Theater
Aug. 31 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
Sep. 01 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theatre
Sep. 04 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
Sep. 05 - New York, NY - The Playstation Theater
Sep. 07 - Atlanta, GA – ProgPower USA
Schaffer spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to "Touched By The Crimson King" during a December 2018 appearance on the ICED EARTH-centric podcast "Podcast In Stone". He said: "I have written some of the best instrumental pieces in my entire career in the last few weeks, and I'm very, very excited to hear what Hansi does on top of these things. So, the feeling is really good. He's very into what I sent him.
"We had three songs going that we started working on a few years ago, but everything got busy for me with ICED EARTH and him with BLIND GUARDIAN," Jon continued. "But I'm stoked with the stuff that I've written — I mean, very, very happy. We're gonna be taking people on a journey, man — for sure."
"Touched By The Crimson King" was partially based on the "The Dark Tower" series of books (written by Stephen King) in which the Crimson King is the main antagonist. The album was released in Japan in September 2005 with the following bonus tracks: "Lunar Lament", "Wicked Witch" (slow version) and "Spatial Architects". The CD also included the "Terror Train" video. The disc featured an appearance by HALFORD and SEBASTIAN BACH drummer Bobby Jarzombek.
Schaffer said in a 2009 interview that he felt "Touched By The Crimson King" was a bit rushed and he was determined to do things differently next time around. "We had this window of opportunity where we had to get it done and we kind of let time dictate the schedule instead of our feelings, and that was probably a mistake," he explained. "I mean, I'm proud of that record and it sold killer and it's a good album, but I think Hansi and I are capable of a lot more, especially when we get back to the root reasons of why we did this thing together."
Photo by Dirk Behlau