||ICED EARTH ANNOUNCE NEW SINGER AND FULL SCALE EUROPEAN TOUR
16th March 2011
In the wake of vocalist Matt Barlow's retirement, dozens of demos and resumes flooded Iced Earth's management team. But one name kept popping up – Into Eternity vocalist Stu Block, who has been named the new lead singer for Iced Earth.
According to Schaffer, Robert Kampf, CEO of Century Media, early on suggested Block, whose band Into Eternity was previously on the CM label. That reminded Schaffer of one night in September, 2008, when Into Eternity opened for Iced Earth.
"Iced Earth was backstage waiting to go on," said Schaffer. "We heard one of Stu's incredible wails. I remember turning to Matt and saying, 'Damn, that dude has serious range.'"
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So while Iced Earth's management team sifted through the growing number of prospective vocalists, Schaffer got in touch with Block.
After several phone conversations with the then-prospective Iced Earth vocalist, Schaffer asked his manager to e-mail Block several key Iced Earth songs, with the vocals stripped. Block went into his studio and recorded himself singing, then sent the files back to the team.
The result landed Block an intense two days at Schaffer's studio where the two musicians hit it off.
"I felt a lot of chemistry between us, we knocked out a couple of great original pieces of music in no time" said Schaffer.
"He's very good at coming up with catchy melodies, and will help with lyrical duties as well. There's no doubt Stu has an amazing vocal range and a lot of energy, but he also has the touring experience, which is a big plus for our plans of performing in all corners of the world."
In addition, Schaffer said Block has what Iced Earth needs in a front man: "stage presence that includes high energy, passion, and focused rage."
"Stu is charismatic and understands the depth and varying emotions in Iced Earth's music," said Schaffer. "So he will embody not only the emotion of our songs, but he will be able to perform them in a dynamic way. I believe fans are in for some incredible records and live shows in the coming years."
New Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block concurs: "Iced Earth fans are wonderful, wonderful people," he said. "The music is so passionate. So they're passionate, and very loyal to the band. I am, too. I'm a huge fan of Iced Earth myself. So I share that same passion, and I will show it on stage. I think the fans are really going to dig it."
Block continues: "It's a huge honor to be doing this, to be part of this team," he said. "It's a dream come true, for sure."
Schaffer is totally stoked. "This is a new beginning," he said. "It's game-on time. Iced Earth is going to record and tour like it never has before. The band is really amped-up and ready to hit the ground running in November."
And to prove it, Iced Earth has released the European leg of a world tour that will take the band to countries it has never previously played. All told, the 2011-2012 Iced Earth world tour will be the largest the band has undertaken since its inception.
ICED EARTH 2011 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
01.11.2011 NL Amsterdam Melkweg
02.11.2011 NL Uden De Pul
03.11.2011 BEL Antwerp Trix
04.11.2011 GBR London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
05.11.2011 GBR Birmingham O2 Academy
06.11.2011 GBR Bristol O2 Academy
08.11.2011 FRA Paris Elysée Montmartre
09.11.2011 FRA Lyon Transbordeur
10.11.2011 ESP Barcelona Salamandra 1
11.11.2011 ESP Madrid Sala Heineken
12.11.2011 ESP Bilbao Rock Star Live
14.11.2011 ITA Milano Alcatraz
15.11.2011 ITA Rome Alpheus
18.11.2011 GRE Athens Gagarin 205
19.11.2011 GRE Athens Gagarin 205
20.11.2011 GRE Thessaloniki Principal Club
21.11.2011 BUL Sofia Yubileina Hall
22.11.2011 ROM Bucarest The Silver Church
23.11.2011 SER Belgrade SKC
24.11.2011 HUN Budapest Club 202
25.11.2011 SVK Bratislava Majestic Music Club
26.11.2011 POL Warsaw Stodola
27.11.2011 LTU Vilnius Forum Palace
29.11.2011 RUS Moscow Milk
01.12.2011 FIN Helsinki Nosturi
03.12.2011 DEN Copenhagen The Rock
04.12.2011 GER Hamburg Markthalle
06.12.2011 GER Herford X
07.12.2011 GER Köln Essigfabrik
08.12.2011 GER München Backstage Werk
09.12.2011 GER Geiselwind Christmas Metal Festival
10.12.2011 SWI Pratteln Z7
11.12.2011 GER Ludwigsburg Rockfabrik