Hansi - Blind Guardian
It was such another holy warrant for Wendy and I to sit down and engage in a mirror to mirror discussion with his majesty - Hansi Kürsch. I know he does interviews all the time, but this tryst in the myth was definitely another stranger meeting two longtime fans of all his bands and metal affiliations. For a brief moment, time stood still; while Wendy and I were lost in the twilight hallucination of our own reality. It was as if the great Gods of Valhalla had summoned us to follow our blind imaginations to otherland, somewhere far beyond our expectations, banished from sanctuary, with our souls forged in reverence. So seize the day, welcome to thy yin and yang. Join us on our journey through the dark path of glory, as we deftly attend to this operatic theatre of painstaking effort, and Hansi's personal symphony of doom - his own inquisition; that we may all become better acquainted with the dark wizard and his script for recreation...come turn the page and harvest no sorrow...
MettleAngel: Man, I have been waiting for well over 15 years to see Blind Guardian live, now here I am speaking with you, Hansi Kürsch.
MettleAngel: What kinds of numbers are you noticing as far as turn out?
MettleAngel: Yeah, I expected snowfall by now, too. We are really enjoying the Indian Summer effect. Sadly, we know, overall, this is a by-product of global warming. We know nature will balance herself out in the long run; so we will definitely enjoy it while it lasts, I guess.
MettleAngel: So what age demographic are you seeing coming to the shows. I imagine that the older fans from the other side are really becoming the minority?
MettleAngel: Well, I go back to Lucifer's Heritage, myself. I actually prefer the earlier Blind Guardian aggressive sound. Any chance of your playing Lost In The Twilight Hall, Last Candle, or Majesty tonight? What about Valhalla?
MettleAngel: So I guess this means no Majesty tonight, bummer! I do like the new CD too. I love all of your music. Will you be playing a great deal from A Twist In The Myth?
MettleAngel: The video for Another Stranger Me is really out there; what inspired this bizarre concept?
MettleAngel: Man, I love that movie. It really carries some seriuos memories when I look back on first seeing it in theaters. Be honest with me, did you figure it out before it was all over?
MettleAngel: Yeah, me too, I knew that DeNiro was really Lucifer; but I did not realize that Johnny Favorite had done all the brutal killing; Do you remember the dude who died by oral asphyiation, in as much as the cop says in the movie, "...basically someone cut off his dick and choked him with it..". Man, that movie even had the chick from the Cosby Show doing her Voodoo vibe...
MettleAngel: So then it really is just like Angel Heart! I saw the video on You-Tube, it must have been the European version, as I did not notice too much taken out. Now, back to this tour, you obviously love the weather, what have been some of the downsides or set-backs?
MettleAngel: Yeah, like what exactly?
MettleAngel: That's encouraging, so let's discuss the recording process for the new CD. Do you feel that everything went as planned?
MettleAngel: What about writing and recording with your new drummer, Frederick Ehmke?
MettleAngel: I'm glad you mentioned Savage Circus. What do you think of their singer Jens Carlsson? Many critics claim he sounds just like you.
MettleAngel: Yeah, Persuader is not Blind Guardian. From Evolution Purgatory on, though reviews claim he sings better than you, and that is why they all love Savage Circus. I like Persuader and Savage Circus, but, they are definitely not Blind Guardian clones.
MettleAngel: Getting back to Blind Guardian, with the advent of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, do you think that has created some newer fans for you?
MettleAngel: Yes I know this. One of my favorite books by Stephen King is called On Writing where he explains how to write proper fiction. I suscribe to Entertainment Magazine, and even though most of it is your typical Hollywood B$, I look forward to the Stephen King editorials every month. He also just interviewed the creators of Lost like J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse, in the most recent issue which was an incredible read, as they themselves are major fans of his. The even admitted to establishing the Charlie character based on his character in The Stand. Stephen King also just contributed a short story to this month's edition of Playboy. He may be almost 60, but he is just as popular now as he was like 20 years ago. There is even a new show on the TNT Network called Nightmares & Dreamscapes. These vignettes are based on short stories written by him, which may be decades old; but, given today's technology, they make for great visual storytelling. You should check this out. We don't watch TV, but I found it on DVD at my local library.
MettleAngel: Yeah it's like a modernized and updated version of Cat's Eye. Now, I know this may seem like a dated question, but I would really like to know the origin for the band name.
MettleAngel: I had heard that your name was based on some obscure reference in Tolkien. I'm pleased to hear that it is Stephen King, after all. Now, Stephen King never calls the children the guardians of the blind, so the name you created is just an allusion, correct?
MettleAngel: Blind Guardian lyrics have always been an incredible inspiration for me in my voracity for veracity, or should I say my quest for Tanelorn. Where exactly did you find a reference to Tanelorn?
MettleAngel: I heard rumours that the creators of American Pie were working on making Moorcock's Elric sword legends into a series of movies.
MettleAngel: What inspired you to do so much reading and create all these amazing lyrics, over the last 20 years?
MettleAngel: Many Lord Of The Rings fans are not aware of Tolkien's zealous Christian beliefs, or that he convinced Clive Staples Lewis to convert from being an atheist. The Lord Of The Rings is riddled with rife Christian typology, if the spectator carefully reads between the lines. He was also a scholar of Middle Earth and it's cultures. He wrote a reknown treatise on Beowulf and The Song of Roland. In time, he was able to tell those ancient stories in the context of myth, without preaching too heavily. I guess you could say that he put a twist to the myth; whereas, after C.S. Lewis wrote Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, his Chronicles Of Narnia and his science fiction Perelanda Trilogy, were much more overt in the Christological sense.
MettleAngel: Well, I know we need to wrap this up, so you can get ready for the show....(MettleMaiden:) I have one last question. Hansi, as a true metal fan, have you noticed a major return to all things metal, in the scene over the last few years?
MettleAngel: You are right, they are establishing a precedent which allows for metal enthusiasts to learn about the artists who inspired the bands they love. A good example of this is when fans of Leaves' Eyes can learn about Atrocity and Theatre Of Tragedy. Now, I have one last favour to ask of you, my brother. There is a band from Norway called Gaia Epicus who are major fans of Blind Guardian. Are you familiar with them?
MettleAngel: Well, I'm sure you will really enjoy them as they are seriously influenced by Blind Guardian. They have really had a tough time with corrupt labels ripping them off, and their bass player from this CD - Symphony Of Glory, died tragically in a car crash. We became really good friends with them when they played Minneapolis Metalfest this summer. Thomas personally sent me this CD, and I want to officially present it to you, on their behalf.
MettleAngel: Thank you too! Are you familiar with the amazing Blind Guardian tribute from Eastern Europe called - Tales From the Underworld which came out in 2003, and is now becoming increasingly more difficult to find?
MettleAngel: The unsigned bands on this tribute are incredible. They truly show their dedication to Blind Guardian by covering your songs with every genre of metal incorporated. My favorite track is the one by a band called Cruel who play the song Lost Tales From The Twilight Of Valhalla. This medley has a female vocalist covering all the Kai Hansen parts of both Lost In The Twilight Hall and Valhalla. This is why I'm giving you the Gaia Epicus to hear, even though they are not on this particular tribute.. Their guitarist Joakim is such a fan of yours and Metal Covenant. He was so excited when we covered your album release party for A Twist In The Myth. Now I know this will truly brighten his holidays. (Then for a minute, Hansi enjoys the silence and looks at the Gaia Epicus CD)
MettleAngel: Thank You ever so much! (Then we pose for pictures and I say, "Time, what is time? Time to go!").