Hard Talk

Interview with Hansi Kursch of Demons & Wizards

In New York for a couple days gearing up for the Blind Guardian listening party and North American release, I was given the chance to talk with Hansi Kursch. Many of you may have read the Blind Guardian interview already. Some of you may not. I had already taken up a bit more time than I should have on the Blind Guardian interview but could not help myself to asking a bit more time for a few Demons & Wizards questions. Hansi was more than happy to oblige.

This is a short chat about the band, but it was last minute thinking on my part. Since the 1999 release of ‘Demons & Wizards’ and 2005’s ‘Touched By The Crimson King’, I know I’ve been hooked. The dynamic chemistry of both Hansi and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) make for an honest to goodness super group. Even if it is just to two of them, trust me. If you have not listened to them by now, you are missing out.

JH: So how did you and Jon get together to form Demons & Wizards?

HK: Well, we’ve known each other way back into the early ’90’s when we toured together in Europe. We have had a very close relationship ever since. We said together late in the 90’s after a tour in Spain, we found the opportunity to accomplish a song in whatever place. A very short amount of time it was. On a Sunday after having a party on Saturday. We both had a hangover and went into the studio for maybe two or three hours and we accomplished the song, ‘My Last Sunrise’ and that was when we considered that it might make sense to improve. That there is even more potential than just that one song. So we considered a possible band which we made happen later on when we started working on the first Demons & Wizards album.

JH: There’s six years between ‘Demons & Wizards’ and ‘Touched By The Crimson King’. Is this just a case of more important priorities? (Your main bands?)

HK: Exactly. There’s just no time. It was even tough to set things up for ‘Touched By The Crimson King’ because we had it in mind in I think 2003. It was really tough, for me to work on the stuff Jon provided me with. And when I found the time and accomplished my part, it was then very hard for Jon to find the time to keep on. But we finally made it. Then it was very difficult to find a recording schedule. It all worked out fine and I’m sure it will all work out fine for us again.

JH: So we’re going to have to wait another six years for a release?

HK: (laughing) Yeah, I think so. It would be stupid to say that it goes quicker but just by knowing my schedule, and by seeing what Jon has in mind for Iced Earth in the next few years, it would be impossible to say that we could do that before the year 2009/2010.

JH: ‘Touched By The Crimson King’ was/is an excellent album. And received many rave reviews by the media. How did it do for you guys sales wise?

HK: It did good. As for reviews, I’ve seen a few bad ones. I was really surprised to see so many people feel it was weaker than the first one. I felt it was a strong build up and I still relate to it as a strong build up. The sale have been very good so, there is no question that the fans have received it very well. I think we have to continue to build up and continue on to the third one. But, john and I have to spend a lot of time to make that a very special album.

JH: Will there ever be any possibility of ever doing any touring?

HK: Yes I would say so. I would be pretty certain that we would do a tour afterwards. Because we would have three albums and we would be able to possibly do a real headlining tour.

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