2012, Features, Interviews — March 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

Stu Block of Iced Earth

by

Tour press release: “Formed in 1985 by Jon Schaffer , ICED EARTH have created nine studio albums, many of which are considered masterpieces of metal, cementing the band’s reputation for crafting exceptionally well-made music. The centerpiece of all this being Schaffer’s trademark rhythm guitar style and powerful, in your face lyrics that often combine themes of self reliance, a healthy distrust of authority, history, and science fiction.

Their latest creation is Dystopia. Perhaps ICED EARTH’S heaviest and most menacing album to date. A blistering 12 song tour-de-force that explores the nightmarish Orwellian world of the future (or is it the present?), Dystopia runs the gamut of poignant ballads, bone-crushing riffs, stratospheric vocals, and chilling lyrics. It is a soul-searing album not for the faint of heart. Featuring bonus tracks, Dystopia will be supported by the most extensive and far reaching world tour in ICED EARTH history and Australia is firmly entrenched on the map for the blazing onslaught!

Soundworks Touring is pleased to present the highly anticipated ICED EARTH shows in Australia this coming April. Joining ICED EARTH will be Sydney power/ traditional/ thrash metal legends LORD! 

Stu Block, the band’s recent addition as lead vocalist, chatted down the line whilst out on the road about the upcoming Aussie tour and how he has adjusted to being lead vocalist in ICED EARTH!

Hey Stu, thanks for taking the time to chat!  So you guys are out on tour in the USA somewhere right now aren’t you?  Where do we find you today?
Buffalo, New York

So how has the tour been going so far?
It’s been going great man, all the fans have been responding really well and we have been having a great time out here.

So let’s talk for a bit about how you came to be the new lead singer for Iced Earth, how did that come about?
Well basically I was in a band called Into Eternity, we toured with Iced Earth for a while.  That band went on a hiatus and I wanted to keep going.  I got a call from a Century Media representative and he mentioned that Iced Earth was looking for a singer and someone to help write the new album and contribute to the band.  So they gave me Jon Schaffer’s number and I talked to Jon and he sent me instrumental tracks of new songs and old songs.  So I recorded vocals on some old songs, then wrote and recorded some new ones, sent it back to him and he was really interested.  He flew me out to Indiana, we got into his studio and wrote and recorded some more and offered me the gig, so here I am!!

Whilst obviously you posses amazing vocal abilities, what do you feel might have been some of your other qualities that convinced Jon that you were the right man to be new lead singer for Iced Earth?
Well, dedication.  He wants to tour a lot and build the band, so dedication was a major key.  I’m loyal to the band and I’m in it for the long haul.  There’s also my writing ability, I can help write music with Jon and help take some of the stress off him.  We really gel together as friends and people and importantly get along great together.

And what of your background with Iced Earth, were they a band that you have been into for a number of years?
Yeah I’ve been into Iced Earth ever since the Burnt Offerings album.

Coming from Into Eternity into Iced Earth, I guess initially, did it take a while for you to feel like you had settled in?
I felt home right away.  We gelled as musicians and we can write together.  I had been rehearsing the music at home so I knew I could sing it.  It wasn’t instantaneous as such, but it happened very, very quickly

Have the boys had any initiation ceremonies/rituals to welcome you into the band?
It’s an ongoing process (laughs)!  There are all kinds of things they do to me, but it’s fun, it’s cool, we have some fun with it.

Your first big involvement was obviously writing and recording for the new album Dystopia.  How did you find getting thrown straight into the song writing process for the album, as you wrote virtually every song with Jon didn’t you?
That’s right, we co- wrote 10 songs together and we had a good time doing it.  The chemistry really worked out.  Jon had a lot of the music written before hand.  Maybe not totally arranged, but we sat down and talked about what we wanted to write about with this record and get some things off our chest.  It went really well and we wrote some songs about some movies and about other situations, we sort of had a game plan together, so it was good.

Whilst it was obviously your first album with the band, can you give some insight into what the aim of this one was, I guess one could say it’s got a bit more of a heavier sound than the previous couple?
We just wanted to make a balls to the wall straight up heavy metal record.  We wanted to bring it back to the roots of Iced Earth and I think we achieved what we wanted!

Having toured the album now for a little while, how have the fans seemed to respond to the new album and songs?
I’m really happy with the way the fans are responding to the music you know.  It’s tough being the new, but I’ve got some skills to help maybe make the transition easier for myself, so I think it’s all worked out.

What have you found to be your own personal favourite tracks to sing live out of the Iced Earth catalogue…obviously both old and new songs?
Well I’ve always loved Dante’s Inferno and Watching Over Me, A Question Of Heaven.  All the songs from the Horror Show album.  It’s tough for me to pick out one song, because there’s so many songs across the whole catalogue I love performing.

Well in a few weeks you are heading out to Australia for the first ever Iced Earth tour, so we shall look forward to seeing the show!
We can’t wait man, really looking forward to it.  You guys take care and we’ll see you at the shows!

Essential Information

From: USA

Band members: Jon Schaffer –Guitar, Vocals, Troy Seele – Guitar, Brent Smedley – Drums, Freddie Vidales – Bass, Vocals, Stu Block – Lead Vocals

Website: www.icedearth.com

Latest release: Dystopia (2011, Century Media)

ICED EARTH with LORD performing at:
Wednesday April 4th – Billboard The Venue, Melbourne
Thursday April 5th – The Hifi, Sydney ALL AGES

TICKETS ON SALE NOW at the following outlets:

Melbourne – www.moshtix.com / www.ticketek.com.au

Sydney – www.thehifi.com.au

Formed in 1985 by Jon Schaffer , ICED EARTH have created nine studio albums, many of which are considered masterpieces of metal, cementing the band’s reputation for crafting exceptionally well-made music. The centerpiece of all this being Schaffer’s trademark rhythm guitar style and powerful, in your face lyrics that often combine themes of self reliance, a healthy distrust of authority, history, and science fiction.

Their latest creation is Dystopia. Perhaps ICED EARTH’S heaviest and most menacing album to date. A blistering 12 song tour-de-force that explores the nightmarish Orwellian world of the future (or is it the present?), Dystopia runs the gamut of poignant ballads, bone-crushing riffs, stratospheric vocals, and chilling lyrics. It is a soul-searing album not for the faint of heart. Featuring bonus tracks, Dystopia will be supported by the most extensive and far reaching world tour in ICED EARTH history and Australia is firmly entrenched on the map for the blazing onslaught!

Soundworks Touring is pleased to announce the support act for the forthcoming and highly anticipated ICED EARTH shows in Australia this coming April. Joining ICED EARTH will be Sydney power/ traditional/ thrash metal legendsLORD! 

LORD is a band that just doesn’t like to sit still, both musically and on the road. The band is always searching for new ways to create the perfect song or reach out to the audience in their high energy, charismatic shows. A perfect match for the ICED EARTH shows.

Special ICED EARTH VIP tickets on sale now allowing fans the chance to meet the band after the show and receive an exclusive swag of goodies. Limited tickets available from http://tixx1.artistarena.com/icedearth

www.IcedEarth.com
www.lord.net.au
www.centurymedia.com 
www.soundworkstouring.com

Comments

comments

Comments are closed.