Demons And Wizards
ne can ask the question of this band's name: who is the demon and who is the wizard? For one of the two protagonists the question seemed to be clear enough. I identify myself more with the wizard, once explained Hansi Kürsch, whose day-job was also frontman and bassist of the German Prog. band Blind Guardian, and now singer of the Demons & Wizards project. His statement definitely leaves a clear implication that Jon Schaffer (of Iced Earth) must be the demon.
The first idea for this side project super group dates back to the spring of 1997. Kürsch and Schaffer, were close friends for years since touring together with their original formations Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. They started working directly together when they composed a song (which appeared on the Demons And Wizards debut album under the title My Last Sunrise later). The remaining problem was not artistic but time, for they had commitments in their current acts. In the Autumn of 1998 they agreed to get together when Blind Guardian had completed their Nightfall In Middle Earth tour and when Schaffer was able to present his friend and partner with the first song-fragments.
In June 1999 Kürsch flew to America for the production preparations. Already waiting for him there were Schaffer and former member and producer Jim Morris; Morris is/was the owner of the famous Morrisound Studio in Florida. The resulting album Demons & Wizards (1999), featuring Hansi Kürsch (of Blind Guardian/ex-Edguy/ex-Therion/ex-Angra/ex-Lucifer's Heritage; vocals), Jim Morris (ex-Jag Panzer/ex-Iced Earth; guitar), Mark Prator (of Iced Earth/ex-Ralph Santolla/ex-Unearthed; bass) and Jon Schaffer (of Iced Earth/ex-Purgatory (USA); bass/guitar), contained pure Metal tracks like Rites Of Passage, Poor Man´s Crusade or Blood On My Hands, culminating in a conceptual trilogy which is brought to the audience's ears by the song titles Tear Down The Wall, Gallows Pole and the aforementioned My Last Sunrise. In 2001 they went on tour with Ritchie Wilkison (guitar) as guest.