While singer Hansi Kürsch is busy with vocal recordings in the studio (and still provides us with a fantasy top 5 list), guitarist André Olbrich talks to us about the logistical challenges of the double live CD "Live Beyond The Spheres" and the long-awaited orchestral album. Beyond that he goes with us on trace search for a genre called Fantasy Metal.
eclipsed: You have put a lot of effort into "Live Beyond The Spheres"..
André Olbrich: We already had thirty shows recorded during the 2015 European tour. But there was certainly the same number of concerts that we recorded worldwide afterwards. With an average playing time of two and a half hours, one can imagine how time-consuming the evaluation of the material was. But from the European tour recordings alone, we filtered out about ten recordings that could have been released as high-quality bootlegs. After everyone had checked the individual concerts over and over again, thirty gigs of each number left about two to three versions, which seemed album worthy to the whole band. Then we had to filter out the one that seemed most impressive to us. But I think it was worth the effort, because there are a lot of magical moments now.
eclipsed: Blind Guardian are generally considered with the stamp Fantasy Metal. Is this a legitimate genre description?
Olbrich: From a musical point of view, the term "fantasy" is, of course, rather to be seen across genres. For me personally, of course, I'm also a passionate gambler who plays a lot of role-playing games. And also in this area there are fantastic soundtracks, which don't necessarily have much to do with metal, but are also produced with orchestra and choirs in a very elaborate way.
eclipsed: How did the symbiosis of metal and fantasy develop with you?
Olbrich: It was clear from the beginning that both Hansi and I like Tolkien. And I was already an enthusiastic computer player back then, who was fascinated by role-playing games like "Bardʼs Tale". In any case, we didn't want to make any political statements, and music should always be more important to us than the lyrics. The fantasy theme itself is neutral enough on the one hand, but on the other hand it also offers enough leeway to address things between the lines. Hansi always does this very cleverly in his lyrics, I think. And in this subliminal way, it is much more thought-provoking than if the listener is really bumped off the head. But especially with our fans you don't have to, because most of them are already wide awake.