Sweden's Metalshrine.se recently conducted an interview with DEMONS & WIZARDS frontman Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metalshrine.se: When you started working on this album, how long did it take from the first step to the final product? Was it a difficult process or easy writing it?
Hansi Kürsch: "It was very easy though the process has taken a lot of time, because there wasn't a lot of time! Jon [Schaffer, DEMONS & WIZARDS/ICED EARTH guitarist] sent out some stuff to me years ago and I never found the time to work on it. It took like ten months after that until I could pay the attention to the songs that they deserved. It took me weeks to complete the vocals and then I sent them back. Then Jon didn't find the time to work on it again, so it was more or less something we could do in between until fall 2004. Jon was forced to cancel his live activities the rest of the year because of his spine and that gave us the only oppertunity to put our minds together and keep the focus on DEMONS & WIZARDS. I visited him in Indiana and we did a pre-production, so we had another week there where we completed the arrangements we had worked on so far and we came up with, I would guess...three more songs. And basically afterwards we were ready to do the album. When we decided to do the album in December we were aware that we still had some work to do, but the basic arrangements had been done and most of the vocals as well. Some harmony arrangements I hadn't done so far and I didn't do the lyrics before we started the production."
Metalshrine.se: Do you write all the lyrics or...?
Hansi Kürsch: "Yeah, I do most of it! I come up with the basic ideas for the lyrics and then I start doing the lyrics and whenever I had a problem, Jon gave me a hand or if there was a line missing he put his focus on that. There are two songs that are not on the record, but on the digi pack, 'Spatial Architects' and 'Lunar Lament' and for these two songs it was the opposite, the other way around. Jon started the song writing and when he was missing a line I put it in."
Metalshrine.se: I read somewhere that someone thought that the album was based on a Stephen King book called "Dark Tower"? Any truth in that?
Hansi Kürsch: "There is a truth in it! Some of the songs are related to the book, like the title of the album 'Touched by the Crimson King'. Somehow people tend to think it´s a concept album, but there are only three songs about the 'Dark Tower' and that's 'Crimson King', 'The Gunslinger' and 'Terror Train'. I think it's King's best story and he put a lot of elements in that story about his own creation so..."
Metalshrine.se: What made you record "Immigrant Song" by LED ZEPPELIN? Was that that a thought as well initially or...
Hansi Kürsch: "That was a decision we made during the pre production period in Indiana. We talked about cover versions, but we couldn't come up with a song we both liked. Someone came up with the idea of 'Immigrant Song' and that is basically one of the rare songs that Jon likes. He doesn't like LED ZEPPELIN, but he likes Page and Plant. When you add Bonham and Jones, he thinks they suck! (laughs) I love LED ZEPPELIN and that song and I thought it could be a song that was very easy to acomplish and we just kind of speeded through the song. It was supposed to be a bonus track for the digipack, but when we listened to the whole album we figured that 'Immigrant Song' was better than some of the other songs, so we finally made the decision to add it to the album."
Read Hansi Kürsch's entire interview with Metalshrine.se at this location.