ICED EARTH bassist James MacDonough has posted the following message on the ICED EARTH fan message board Iced-Realm.de regarding the rehearsal sessions for the band's North American tour:
"Hey guys, This will be the last I'll be able to post for a bit so just bringing you up to date and answering a couple questions and ponderances.
"Jon's [Schaffer] back is doing a lot better and thanks for the concern, the extra weeks of rest did him justice but he's still working some kinks out.
"As far as the concern about Tim [Owens] singing the old stuff, well, you guys are in for quite a surprise if you are doubting. Myself and Jon included couldn't stop smiling during the duration of the practices, his voice is awesome and without a doubt the best vocalist I've ever worked with and heard period, and not just whistling 'Dixie' pardon the pun.
"Today is filled with packing up gear, labeling tons of shite, and the bus picks us up late this evening [Saturday, April 17].
"We're all looking forward to seeing you guys on the road and I have to say I've never been more excited about a tour than this one. This is the best lineup we've ever had, like I've said before.
"Also I couldn't care less about the negative comments a couple bad apples have posted, I just care about the real people and you know who you are, so in the future do us a favor and don't even acknowledge or take up space on the board defending me or us for that matter, although I do appreciate it. I think I'm talking more about the posts on blabbermouth than anything else.
"We appreciate all the support and will show you how much every night. None of us are reclusive so we will out and about every show.
"I'm really forward to playing with these bands as well, they are very talented, and it's a damn good package."