In our country, very few know Blind Guardian. Except for a small tribe living in the mountains, most seem to ignore the pleasure this group may bring for the lovers of symphonic hard. HARD FORCE will not tell you more to make you get to know this talented group, who already released seven albums.
- The compilation "The Forgotten Tales" is the first Blind Guardian album to be distributed in France. We missed a great part of your career.
"We already have 7 records, including 'The Forgotten Tales'. [Forgotten Tales] is an interesting selection of another musical genre that we are able to play [orchestral versions, cover of pop themes...] but it does not really reflect what is Blind Guardian. To understand us, you should get our last studio album to date, 'Imaginations from the Other Side' that corresponds better to our musical direction (...)."
- Isn't it bad that France should discover a group with an album that does not corresponds truly to the band?
"We were surprised... We are the best hidden secret of Virgin International after many years! We sold well in Germany and some other european countries, did relatively well in south-east Asia, but we have been almost completely ignored elsewhere. Virgin is not a Heavy Metal label, and that is the greatest problem."
- For discovering your previous work, which albums should we search for?
"Without hesitation, 'Imaginations from the Other Side', followed by 'Tales from the Twilight World'. The latter is full of energy, and even if we didn't play very well then, the ideas of composition that were present, as well as the choirs, are very good. 'Imaginations...' is the most (?????) that we have recorded until now. We like all our albums, but these two are the most interesting and representative."
- Your influences are not limited to Heavy Metal.
"That's right. Groups like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden marked us on the beggining, but classical music and, in a more general way, the melody, have a preponderant place in our compositions. Our fans like rock and classic, a bit like Queen's. That group is a good model, since most they have done, they have done it with talent. Everyone who really likes to listen to an album will surely find something in Blind Guardian"
- You belong to a true line of german groups. Which one among those do you prefer?
"Without hesitating, Gamma Ray and Rage. It's a question of taste and those guys have an excelent mentality. In what concerns Helloween, I know the music, which is not bad, but the members of the group..."
- What next after 'The Forgotten Tales'?
"We will start working on a new album, which shouldn't be out before one year from now. It sacred, the composition part. We'll be back from tour, and we'll be able to give our maximum. We are always very serious in studio. We'll be in studio for about six months, and then we'll have to take time to listen to our work before making some changes that should make it better."
- The complexity and diversity of your music makes it particullary hard to compose and to interpret?
"Perharps, but we like it that way. It would be harder to compose simple parts in the song structures. The song 'Imaginations from the Other Side' took us more than six months (at least we were working on other songs meanwhile) to be finished. It's a bit like building a puzzle, we must make sure all the parts sound good together, and our music is a huge puzzle with lots of pieces to build."
- Your music is not depressed nor depressing.
"That's exact! We consider music to be an amusement, and that means it should never create bad vibes."
Interview by Henry Dumatray in French Hard Force, July 1996
Translated by Pedro Andrade