Blind Guardian (Hansi Kürsch)
Bling Guardian has worked for mone than a year on a box-set edition that will make their fans happy. We take stock of the situatio with frontman Hansi Kürsch, trying to discover the future plans of the glorious power metal band from German, without forgetting about the past they are celebrating with "A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time": take a seat and enjoy our interview!
Article by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 04/03/13

Hello Hansi, how are you doing?

I am doing fine now, I’ve been sick for two weeks.

You’re a great fan of Bayern München, if I’m not wrong.

Oh, no, that’s André! I am not fan of Bayern München. When it comes to the Bundesliga, I am a Borussia Dortmund supporter, or Borussia Mönchengladbach, that is the closest team to where we live.

Ok, then, that’s André! Let’s talk about music, shall we?

Well, I prefer talking about music! (laughs)

 

Let's start with a song if you agree: “Valhallaaaaaa, deliverance, why you've eveeer forgotten me

 

You also sing that song? (laughs)


Your fans’ dream came true: “A Traveller's Guide To Space And Time” is officially out. 8.000 copies only: how many of them are left in stock?


As far as I know, there are no copies left on stock. I believe they’re all sold, but you can still order on Amazon. I am not sure how long this will take, until they will be completely sold out. I would guess the last copies will be sold in the next four or five weeks. All in all, this can be considered a success and there will be no re-issues. So everyone who got his own copy should be happy.

I have to inform you that I have a copy of this wonderful “guide”. The design is superb, all reminds us the ancient times, the fantasy world and the Middle Age: why did you decide to release this boxset after the “best of”?

It was an agreement we had with the label: they asked us the “best of” and then this compilation. We really had the time to focus on “A Traveller’s Guide”, which means we have been able to spend the first three months focusing completely on it . And later on, we just had to decide how to finalize it, it took us more than twelve months to complete, but it was worth the toll.

I have to notice only one problem for this box: why the decision to take off the booklets with the lyrics?

At first, it was a matter of weight, then a matter of capacity, because if it had the booklets with the lyrics as well, I wouldn’t say it was a problem with the budget, but it would have been hard to design a box with even the booklets. My idea was to add the lyrics to the big book that was included in the box. But even there the space was an issue and we would have had only four extra pages and it was impossible to add all the lyrics in a few pages. We had to skip that idea, but I didn’t realize that could be a problem for people, I realized it later, when the box was released.

blindguardian_intervista_2013_02The pictures in the box are awesome! You looked like anyone other guy who had fun in making music...

Oh yeah, especially at the very beginning, when you usually don’t take things too seriously. You just enjoy life, as you can see in the pictures but we have always been ambitious, you can see that as well!

“Nightfall In Middle Earth” without the instrumental songs is quite strange. I don’t know the fans’ opinion, but I prefer the original version: it’s more atmospheric. Which version do you prefer?


I agree with you: it wasn’t my intention to release this “Nightfall - Special Edition”, but we had a lot of complaints over the years from fans who loved “Nightfall”, but who struggled with the interludes and so on. This is a favour to them and I hope they’ll be happy with it.

Talking about the recording sessions of “Nightfall”, I remember you said that “everything that could go wrong, went wrong”. What happened?

When we did the mixing for “Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)” the tape broke. The tape machine mixed up the whole backing vocal tape, we were in a desperate situation! We were afraid we couldn’t use some parts of the songs, but after having fixed the machine, we found out that that part was just a choral part. Nothing was spoiled, luckily, otherwise the song would have been lost and the whole project would have been in danger. Then ,at the time we were setting up our home studio, but we realized we weren’t able to record drums, so we had to travel to another studio to record drums, but the drum engineer wasn’t good enough, so we were in need of another drum engineer. So, we tried to record with many other engineers, but they had no control of the recording process and they damaged loads of tapes. So we called Charlie Bauerfeind, who had a lot of patience and passion in fixing all the damage that the other engineers had done. It went on like this, so we had seven months of recording session and two months of mixing sessions, instead of three months of recording and one of mixing. Everything was finished the very last day of mixing, I was still singing that day. Plus, I had to leave to promote the album before touring, so I left the studio that very day. But I still think it’s our best album.

I have another curiosity: André said that people like Piet Sielck and Kai Hansen saved Blind Guardian in “Tales From The Twilight World”. Why?

Because they brought in a sort of a party mood, a good mood. It was the time when the studio had finished the maintainance and it was a very stressful situation, but luckily, Piet and Kai brought in a happy mood that gave us good times during the recording session.

How the orchestral album will sound like? I need to know something you haven’t told anyone yet! I need a real scoop!

Oh well, the album is progressing very quickly and it’s progressing in the right direction. Each day, though, we find something to adjust. It will be a concept based on a fantasy story and we have plenty of material, in order to release a Part 1 and a Part 2. I would love to say that we need other 24 months to have everything completed. I am not sure when we will release it, I have a good feeling that it might be in 2015.

You said that the second “Blind Guardian Fest” depends on this orchestral project. Why?

Because the opportunities to present this orchestral album in a proper live situation would be very few. We need the right environment and the right situation, that festival would be the right chance to do so. And we would like to do a proper three days festival, with two Blind Guardian concerts in a row, with the band performing with an orchestra.

blindguardian_intervista_2013_03On the other hand, you’re already working on the new album.

That’s true.

Can you tell me something about the concept of the next album?

There’s no concept so far, we’re collecting the songs and drum recordings for some of the songs. It will be a very natural-sounding album, but it will be a complex album, no doubt about it. The quality of the sound will be like our last two, three albums and it will give you an insight of how the orchestral album will sound like.

All right. What about the lyrics? Will you write something based on G.R.R. Martin or Tolkien?

Maybe Martin, I don’t think Tolkien. It’s still a difficult issue to decide the direction of the lyrics, because I need a stronger picture of the album, I need a good amount of songs. There might be two or three songs related to historical issues...

Do you like “A Game Of Thrones”?


Yeah, I like it a lot, and so the TV series. I have just watched the first season and I think it’s very close to the story in the book.

You are still a friend of Tomen Stauch I suppose… Has he ever asked you to come back?

Well, we never asked him... We are totally fine and he knows the situation in the band. We’re very happy with Friederich, he had his reasons in leaving the band. There are no discussions on that matter.

Are you ready to rock in Italy again?

Yeah, but not before 2014! We’ll take our time and when we’ll be back, we’ll deliver some good surprises and a great show!

Thank you very much for your time Hansi, feel free to leave a message to our SpazioRock.it readers and all your Italian fans...

Please don’t forget us, keep on supporting us and I’ll see you all in 2014! Bye!

 

Translation by Alessandra Leoni




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