DEMONS & WIZARDS frontman Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN) recently spoke to Metal Temple magazine's Michael Dalakos about the group's upcoming second album, "Touched by the Crimson King". A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
Metal Temple: Hansi, let's start by breaking down how long the whole process for this second album took...
Hansi Kürsch: "Well, we have to separate things. The songwriting didn't take long. I worked for four weeks on the vocals while the basic arrangements took roughly four weeks. It took so long to release this second album because we never had the time to sit down and work for it. Jon [Schaffer, ICED EARTH] and I, we have a very busy schedule with our bands. After the release of the first album it took us two years before we started considering the possibility of doing a second one!
"Jon provided me with the basic arrangements at the of beginning of 2003 but I wasn't able to respond until the end of the same year. Of course, all this time I've had the ability to listen to the material and start creating some ideas in my mind for the vocals. I think this way the new album is far more mature than the first one. When I started working on the album Jon didn't have any time at all. When Jon was forced to cancel their tour because of his health problem we used that gap to get together, finalize the songwriting and do the production. I can say that the finalization of the songs took about two weeks. We had a break for four weeks and then we entered the studio. We used Jim Morris' studio in Tampa, Florida, the recordings took about two weeks and we also spent like twelve days on mixing the new stuff."
Metal Temple: Your first album was highly praised by the press and if I am not mistaken it also sold really well. Did you expect such a success and did this cause you any stress for this second album?
Hansi Kürsch: "First of all, indeed the album sold really well. When we did the album we knew we held something really good at hand. The songs felt really strong and we had a great chemistry as composers. We also knew that our bands were driving forces in heavy metal, at least back then. Therefore it was kind of obvious that we would have some success. However, as you nicely mentioned, it was a debut album. And since this was a debut album by members of ICED EARTH and BLIND GUARDIAN we knew that the expectations would be too high and at some point this wasn't so fair. People didn't understand that it takes time to find the chemistry between the songwriters and this is not a process you can force at all. It takes time. This was the beginning of this project... in the end, however, I think we made it really well [laughs]"
Metal Temple: How difficult was it for two strong personalities like you and Jon to sit down and work together avoiding killing each other?
Hansi Kürsch: "I can assure you it was really nice, we are quite peaceful people [laughs]. It has to do with understanding. Jon is very straight-forward, he offers the best and demands the best. We respect each other and we understand that we have our differences. As long as we respect each other’s differences, there is no problem. We shared opinions about many things. Of course when there was a decision to be made about the arrangements, Jon had the final word and I had the final word on the vocal details.
"He left Tampa when I started recording my vocals and he returned when I was finished. So, it takes a lot of faith and trust for each other. We give each other enough freedom..."
Read Hansi Kürsch's entire interview with Metal Temple at this location.