Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian
The new Iron Maiden release is due out this week, and the songs sound promising! Soon the new Blind Guardian album will be out in America. I was so pleased to speak with the Sacred Bard - Hansi Kürsch - all about his soulforged journey from the dark into the light, and their first studio release in almost four years.
Now, no longer just another stranger, me and Hansi used our imagination to discuss The Wheel Of Time series; Tolkien Tales, and the twist in mythistory; Wacken guest performances, getting older, but wiser, and some other far forgotten tales from the twilight world of the Masters of the Ring.
MettleAngel: Hello Brother, it is great to finally speak with you again. We met in Cleveland while you were touring for 'A Twist In The Myth'.
MettleAngel: I totally understand. I want to congratulate you on another amazing album.
MettleAngel: I was so pleased to hear that you are revisiting some of the elements of your past like 'Somewhere Far Beyond', and Michael Moorcock's Tanelorn, but you are also keeping the symphonic quality of 'Nightfall', and 'Night At The Opera'.
MettleAngel: I respect the eternal evolution of the band. You always uphold your roots, then you expand upon them. I have always been a strong advocate of your lyrics, both derived from fiction, and from your soul journey of life. I noticed that this time you have delved into Robert Jordan's - Wheel Of Time series.
MettleAngel: I have never read the books, but my wife Wendy is a huge fan, and dedicated supporter. She has most of the books in original hard cover edition. She has been a collector of these tomes, since before we even were married. I assume that you wanted to pay your respects to his memory, since he died before completing the series?
MettleAngel: Oh really! I was surprised that you had never written about this series on previous albums.
MettleAngel: There is assuredly a real yin-yang source energy balance of male and female strength being established. My wife has informed me of this. The Dark One (Shai'tan or Ba'alzamon), like the Sithlord, or Voldemort, with Harry Potter, is represantative of an ongoing dualistic nature dating back to the writing of the gnostics, or even earlier.
MettleAngel: I assumed that given the nature of your lyrics. Those 13 forsaken (eight men and five women) chosen leaders in the WOT, are like the 12 archons under the reign of the Demiurge in Gnostic philosophy. Have you read all the books up to date?
MettleAngel: Yes, indeed there is a notable amount of relevant typology ever presented.
MettleAngel: I can understand your fascination. Interestingly enough, I read that you were a practicing Christian.
MettleAngel: At Wikipedia there is this direct quote, "I am a faithful but very critical Christian".
MettleAngel: So you are not a Christian?
MettleAngel: Many famous musicians have admitted that they are Christians, and I respect this. Alice Cooper, Sean Peck of Cage, Tom Araya, Chris Jericho, all are Christians in their personal lives.
MettleAngel: Neither do I. It seems like you have much more in common with your Gnostic and Pagan ancestors. Personally, I have studied religion all my life, and I am this close to becoming an atheist. I know I never will be, though because like Plato, I believe in Life, Love, Truth, and other higher ideals. The divine elements of light, water, air, earth, and spirit are essential to our existence.
MettleAngel: I guess you could say that I am a Monotheist, with Polytheistic and Pantheistic tendencies.
MettleAngel: I belive in God, because I love Life, but God is everywhere, and God is everything!
MettleAngel: Well, given your love for Tolkien, Moorcock, and especially Stephen King, I think your journey in the dark to light has forged your soul's desire.
MettleAngel: Speaking of Tolkien, what do you think of the fact that Peter Jackson will handle both new "Hobbit" movies?
MettleAngel: I can sympathize! the first two LOTR movies were great but "Return Of The WalKing" (to quote Clerks II), was too much hype. Then that bastard took his award money and made the ridiculously long "King Kong", an updated "Jurassic Park" with Jack Black, WTF!
MettleAngel: When I first saw Ralph Bakshi's "Lord Of The Rings" animated epic on the big screen in 1978, I was blown away. I had already read every book, but The Silmarillion. I just could not handle that when I was nine. Kudos to you and your fellow bards for making sense out of that and creating 'Nightfall'.
MettleAngel: As I mentioned, your lyrics have always held a place in my heart. I was so drawn to the soul struggles and unique music of 'Night At the Opera'. I see that on the new album the song "Control Divine" is inspired by Milton's masterpiece - Paradise Lost.
MettleAngel: You know the more I think of it, the band's name really sums up both the music and the message.
MettleAngel: If I have my facts straight, the band chose the name after reading Stephen King's IT, right?
MettleAngel: The song "The Guardian" still gives me pleasant chills. I know that you changed your name from Lucifer's Heritage to escape the Black Metal and evil connections.
MettleAngel: This belief of being guided is one that I feel a strong connection with, as well.
MettleAngel: Man, we sure have a great deal in common. I know you are only a few years older than me. I just watched the 'Rage Live At Wacken 2009 DVD' which comes with their new album as a bonus edition. When you joined Peavy on stage, I almost did not recognize you with such short, and slightly grey hair, you older wizard you!
MettleAngel: You have lost a few pounds as well.
MettleAngel: I see Peavy has packed on a few pounds.
MettleAngel: Yeah, and then Schmier from Destruction joins him later for some classic Avenger cuts. How did Peavy persuade you to do this with the band?
MettleAngel: Actually no, I have not. I know they have a new album due out in early October called - 'The Clans Will Rise Again', go figure! I was sad to see them lose both Manni Schmidt and Thilo Hermann, as they are both great guitarists.
MettleAngel: That is understandable...
MettleAngel: Now, you have me laughing. I will have to look for that. I am still surprised that Grave Digger are pushing the Scottish bit again. I know that before Running Wild disbanded, they were going to do an unnecessary sequel to one of their trademark pirate albums.
MettleAngel: Yes, but they also stagnate, unlike Blind Guardian. I know you are very fond of Classic Rock. I really liked the cover of "You're The Voice" by John Farnham on the 'A Voice In The Dark' (Single).
MettleAngel: I may live in the US, but my heart and heritage is all European. I may have had my issues at first with The Beach Boys cover, or "Mr. Sandman", but once I saw the video, I was hooked. Speaking of your love for The Who, Genesis, Queen, and other great bands of the '70s, when can we expect to see a cover of Peter Gabriel era Genesis, or Keith Moon era The Who?
MettleAngel: "Baba O'Reilly" would be most fitting from The Who, or even "The Bargain". I know Anvil just did "Slip Kid" from the awesome "Sons Of Anarchy" TV show.
MettleAngel: I was wondering if you are familiar with the "70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise"?
MettleAngel: My wife, son, and I are definitely doing this! They just announced Agent Steel with John Cyriis! As so many Nuclear Blast bands seem to be signing on, is there a chance Blind Guardian might consider?
MettleAngel: That would be killer! You and I can talk the "God Stuff", and you and my wife can discuss The Wheel Of Time series. Brother, Thank You so much for taking the time to indulge me.
MettleAngel: You are such a noble entertainer, yourself. You have such a unique vocal delivery, as well, which is easily recognizable like Kai Hansen, Peter "Peavy" Wagner, Ralph Scheepers, and other German Power Metal Lords of this ilk. You and your kind have such truly awe inspiring lyrics.
MettleAngel: Brother, as long as Blind Guardian continue to evolve musically, you can be 100% guaranteed that I am there as a fan and friend!, I truly wish you all the best!