BLIND GUARDIAN Studio Report Part 2

In this second part you could learn more about the next Blind Guardian album, and in the first part we have already covered first 5 songs and in this second part we will cover the rest of the songs for a brand new record which is still untitled one. One thing is for sure you are going to learn many interesting things about upcoming album of BG.

When it comes to new record, you have finished five tracks. Now we are going on the next
five or six tracks, how many are recorded. First, how many more songs have you finished
As for the album, I think we more or less worked on everything which will be used in the
one or the other way for the album. I would think that we ended up with nine songs for the
album directly. So the original album is going to contain nine songs. Frederik has started
drums for these last five songs in around October, and Andre together with Marcus started
working on our stuff after he finished, end of October. And then we had a regular run off
of recordings for everyone. I actually have finished my singing. Everyone has finished it’s
performance. So, we’re about to start mixing very soon. The only thing left for recordings is
the backing vocals, and the backing vocals will take place next Sunday to next Wednesday.
So, they will be done in the beginning of March. We are still working on some keyboards
effects, but that is of minor importance, because I think I mentioned that some of the
songs are really more the let your hair down style. So it is not as constructed as in
Beyond The Red Mirror where the keyboards have played an essential role as well as the
orchestra. Both have a smaller role on the album, but it’s mainly a band album.
So whoever is performing with regard to the regular metal instruments will be featured,
and the rest can be seen as candy but is not as important as it has been on the last
albums. Basically I sing Destiny, which I think I mentioned before, which is maybe the
most epic and most classical soundtrack Blind Guardian song on the album. It’s maybe six
minutes, seven minutes long. And it contains a lot of changes. This one is about, in a
very gory and scary way, about The Ice-Maiden, written by Hans Christian Andersen.
It is a horror fairy tale love story to say so, with a surprising end. And the song
itself delivers a very icy feeling because of the way Andre has conducted the guitars,
there’s a lot of chorus guitars, very cold sounding chorus guitars, it’s almost a
progressive song, that is the song I may have mentioned which from the structure of some
parts reminds me on Rush, the way I treated the vocals in there, it’s very the vocal
oriented but also very catchy. Same can be said about the way Andre mingled in his guitars.
They are kind of ear catchy. They are very irritating, both the vocals and the guitars
at point, but they always follow a line and they have a target. They end up in a very
ecstatic chorus which is very long and it’s very theatrical, so I have very expectations
for this one. Then, I have done vocals for a song that in the pre production was called
Alter Carbon. We call it Endless Space for now. And it’s a Andre that called it Alter Carbon.
And for him, it’s a cyberspace song, whatever that exactly is cyberspace. So what I did,
is coming up with a story about the creation of a universe, out of nothing. It’s a sort
of storytelling Big Bang Theory, where basically everything has come into life out of
nothingness. And that nothingness basically is the only existing thing in the inside.
The universe is the inside. And still, there is an extra terrestrial race, watching from
the outside, and somehow confused about what is happening in the inside, in the nothingness
or the void, if I call it how I call it, and all of a sudden, the void is bearing space.
That is how the song starts now, more or less. And it’s telling the way of the creation
of such universe. And it’s also telling about the concerns these outsiders have, because
they see something is happening. And they have witnessed something like that before. And
it usually always turns out to be a catastrophe and they don’t know if they are supposed
to interfere, and, you know, do a stop to the whole thing, or just let it go. That is
what Endless Space is about.

And the song when it comes to musical side of the track?

It’s a very catchy song. I think we have very catchy choruses this time. They are quite
extensive, which means they are still a lot of words but very ear catchy, I would say.
And Endless Space certainly has a modern approach, but it’s very heavy again. It’s a very
dramatic, space opera story, storytelling style, I have to say. That’s how I would define
it best. There is a lot of effects with regard to having delayed voices or having distorted
guitar sounds, and also with regard to the keyboard effect we have built in that is very
massive. I would say from from the melody structure it also is very heavy metal. It’s not
too progressive I have to say, it’s still a comprehensive song I would say.

Great and the next one? We have spoken already about Violence Shadows, the song about
American Gods, Demon Hunter, Trial By Fire and Architects Of Doom.

Yeah, I revisited Architects Of Doom and made that even more harsh than it was before.
That was one of the first songs I worked on when we started the second round of a vocals,
because I was not satisfied with some of the elements. That is quite interesting song now,
it was before, but I think it gets stronger to the point in the way I altered stuff there.
Also, lyrically, I went in a, from my point of view, even harsher direction. I translated
that into Battlestar Galactica, like universe. Basically, it’s inspired by Battlestar Galactica.
It has a straighter, clearer line now in the way I did the storytelling. I believe that
this is easier to comprehend for people, if they can relate it to this, it has elements
which deal with the attack of the Cylons, to destroy all the colonies. And it also
contains elements of the journey, you know, under done by the last survivals of mankind.
That was quite an important move I did. Because I think everything comes more to the
point now and is more essential. Demon Hunter, you said we had already spoken about this.
One song is a ballad. And that is extremely important for Andre. He really fights for
this long. It’s called Let It Be No More. It was originally called Tamriel, but I didn’t
see the relations. I do not know who Tamriel is. I found out that it’s a fantasy figure
from a computer game, I think. But, you know, I think even though it’s a ballad, it’s not
something I would relate to fantasy. We started writing this song when my mother passed
away. So lyrically, this one is about loss in general, the loss of a beloved person. And
I found inspiration in a storytelling way. When I watched the series, The Leftovers, a TV
series and also read the book, and this is the other connection to the lyrical part. It’s
a very atmospheric song. With with a big choir, almost stadium like choir. Very emotional.
And yeah, I believe that this is going to attract a lot of people. It’s very personal.

No Return and Patrick Rothfuss

There’s one song, It was the last song we wrote for the album, which was called No Return,
I believe. That is a typical Blind Guardian song, very heavy, very well constructed with
regard to the pieces in there. There’s a lot of speed metal elements in there, but it also
changes into different directions. It has a very epic beginning. And I finally found that
one suitable for one of my favorite books. That is Patrick Rothfuss,
The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy, basically just wrote the first two parts and it will
introduce the Chandrian, which is a mysterious tribe or mysterious society within the story.
And the song Chandrian is about these society. It’s a very hooky song, it has a very strong
book line, but also some very intense, aggressive pieces in the music.

Why did you choose Patrick Rothfuss for the very first time?

I was hoping for a song which would fit to this for a long time, even when we were working on
on this new album, I was desperate because I couldn’t find the right tune. But then I said,
the last song came up. And it has that epic, storytelling, aggressive Blind Guardian approach,
that a story like this needs, and you know, it’s a very epic story. And it’s a very intriguing
way of, of telling the story, the way Patrick Rothfuss introduces us to his universe.
So I needed still to find something very specific, but essential for the story, because
you know, I cannot even barely scratch the whole epic story he came up with, but with a
characterization of this society, which plays a vital role in the story itself, not
completely concluded at the moment, I felt that this would be a quite nice introduction,
for for the people who do not know the story. And as usual, whatever I’m singing about in
the songs, will make the stories to people maybe more accessible, but it also makes the
comprehension of the lyrics themself and the music easier for the listener, because then
you always can relate to at least my emotional mindset had been at points. And when we
did this song, I was pretty much in the mindset for Patrick Rothfuss.

And so, it is the last track or do we have any other?

There’s another speed metal song. So many of them were not titled when we worked on them,
it was called Song Number Six. It’s still a working title, but it may stay, it’s called
Blood Of The Elves. It’s a very aggressive song, maybe the most aggressive one. It’s a
little bit like with Violent Shadows. It’s a very straightforward song. But it has a very
catchy chorus and the chorus somehow softens the intensity of the song, as it is with
Violent Shadows, which is a very melodious and very ear catchy chorus. As for the topic
in Blood Of The Elves, I went for the storytelling of The Witcher. I have not seen the
series, and I have never played the game. But you know, I was looking for something,
with regard to the way the story is told, to little more back to the pulp fiction trivial
way, some of the 70s and 60s fantasy stories are told. And I found that very attracting
when I stumbled over the Witcher story, and basically Blood Of The Elves is dedicated to
one of the characters in the story.

So definitely the song is linked with the Witcher. Very interesting to hear that.
I didn’t expect that from you, to be honest.

Yeah, it was a suggestion. And as it is, you know, I have a song. And the song has a
certain approach, a certain language, and whatever I feel is somehow comforting the music
and the way I approach this song with vocals, I follow that direction, I found it most
interesting when I was working on Let It Be No More, because that was one of the more
difficult ones for me. As I said, it was more or less completely created when my mother
passed away, that always has an impact on someone who’s experiencing something like this.
But I could not really get things connected the way I wanted it to have. And then I
stumbled again, over the novel, The Leftovers, which you know, is the inspiration for
movie and for an HBO TV series, which I’ve seen years and years back. And somehow that
may pop and I was like, okay if I, you know, connect my own experience with the
storytelling of The Leftovers with the essential storytelling in there, then this will
make a great story. No matter if someone likes The Leftovers, or someone can relate to
the loss of a person. Everyone will understand what this song is about. And this makes it
so special. And that was the same with Blood Of The Elves. The way The Witcher is
introduced in the novels reminds me a little bit on Elric of Melnibone, and not only
because of his appearance.

Alright. So could we say actually, when it comes to brand new record, when it comes to
songs, is going to be really straightforward?

Not really straightforward. Nothing with regard to Blind Guardian is really straightforward.
But it’s more straightforward than the most of the stuff on the Beyond The Red Mirror, or
even on At The Edge Of Time, that’s case. I would say expect something which has ties to
the Twist In The Myth, but also has ties to At The Edge Of Time, and also has strong ties
to Imaginations From The Other Side. So it’s not straightforward, that would be wrong to
say so. There is a lot of brain, and the structures of most of the songs you still will
not have comprehended completely after listening to the album one time or two times, and
I believe the depth of the individual parts that will take forever before people realize
what is going on, you know, by heart. I just believe that as with At The Edge Of Time, we
were really good in doing redline vocals. I think they really got you easily through the
album. And the the orchestration of the guitars Andre came up with is very tasty. And yeah,
the rhythm crew of the rhythm ensemble of the band has supported the melodious approaches
very heavily in a very accurate way. So everyone involved will shine I would say. Will
have his own moment where people will really celebrate the rhythm guitars or the bass or
the drums, but it’s mostly a guitar and a vocal album.

For the last question, do we have any idea about the cover artwork?

That’s coming next. I finished singing last Friday and we still work on corrections and
that means I may have to go back and we’ll do some more thing during the next days.
As mentioned, from the weekend on we have the the backing vocals session here and after
that my focus is going to be to find an artist and to find the direction for the artwork.
I have not worked on it. I have not worked on title. I have more or less all the song
titles together. Once this is decided, we will have a closer look if we either go for an
independent album title, or if we decide to, you know, use one of the song titles for the
album. And once that is sorted out, then I will really make up my mind with regard to the
front cover artwork, what could be seen on there.

Interview by Marko Miranovic

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