ICED EARTH - A Tale Of Two (Three?) Records
By Martin Popoff

Jon Schaffer, while doing press for the current covers album Tribute To The Gods, has indicated that the next Iced Earth studio album is coming along just fine, as are tentative plans for the long-awaited second spread from Demons & Wizards, Jon's project with Blind Guardian's Hansi Kursch.

"Well, what I've been doing right now is writing," says Jon, "for Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards simultaneously. I've got 14 songs at the moment that I'm playing with, that I've already programmed drums for, for the demos, for the guys to listen to. So I'm just building upon all those basic ideas. I guess that's the biggest news, that we're getting prepared for the next record. I would like to be starting the recording in January. We were talking late December/January; that could change. I've still not decided on a record company. We're getting down to the wire here if we do want to record then. The decision is close to being made, but I don't have anything final I can tell you on that yet. I would say that within the next month or so, the deal will be done and then we'll lay out a 'for sure' schedule."

When asked whether he would record Iced Earth first, or Demons & Wizards, Jon answers unequivocally, "Iced Earth. Actually, a bit of both, because Richard Christy will be playing drums on the Demons & Wizards album. So if Hansi and I say, 'OK, these are done arrangements, OK, go ahead,' we'll knock out the drum tracks at the same time, you know what I mean? For some of those songs; not for the entire record. We may end up having Richard record 15, 16 tunes and 11 of them will be Iced Earth or whatever. We'll have to see how the writing goes between now and then."

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