Canada’s The Metal Voice recently interviewed (Ashes or Ares Ex Iced Earth) singer Matt Barlow. Barlow spoke about The new Schaffer /Barlow project ‘Winter nights’ an album of reworked Christmas songs and re-imaged Iced Earth classic. He also spoke about Ashes of Ares new upcoming E.P. “Throne Of Iniquity” which will be released December 18 via ROAR! Rock Of Angels.
When asked about the The SCHAFFER/BARLOW PROJECT ‘Winter nights’
“This is something Jon and I have been kicking around doing for a long time and it worked out for us to pursue. Iced Earth and Demons and Wizard are on hiatus for Jon due to Covid, so the timing was good for this project. obviously there are a lot of aspects of 2020 that have been horrible but hopefully this is a tiny shining star in the darkness and hopefully that is the way people take it. We were looking to do something inspiring. We reworked a couple of Iced Earth tunes. “
When asked about working with Jon Shaffer again?
“We always worked well together, we had a lot of laughs, we were just sitting in the studio, knocking tracks out and laughing in between, just like old times. It was pretty relaxed pretty chill it was a good time. The idea of it is to introduce the Schaffer/ Barlow project to people and doing it in this way we can sort of knock out a couple off of our bucket list so to speak. A, Jon and I working together, B the Christmas songs we talked about doing before and then C the re-working of classic Iced Earth stuff but also the next step will be doing some original stuff together. That is what our goal and is we what we want to build on and add on to it.”
When asked about the new Ashes of Ares E.P.
“It’s available on limited (300 copies) vinyl only, one of the tracks will be on the next full length record. it’s sort of a single E.P. As for the others songs on the E.P. I was listening to the radio at the time and I heard Chicago’s 25 Or 6 To 4 and I thought this is such an iconic bass line and I floated the idea to Freddie to include this cover and he was totally on board with it for the E.P. Now the song Throne of Iniquity you will kind of get the idea of the song when you look at the artwork, you will see a character in the artwork but I don’t want to give it away. Then the guys at the record label Rock Of Angels really wanted us to do ‘Dust in the wind’ (Kansas), which I really love. There have been other cover versions that we heard so we wanted to make it was our own but we also pay homage to the original, we left some of the beauty in there but we also punched it up a couple of notches. “
When asked if the songs are completed for the next Ashes of Ares’ record
“We are somewhere in between the demo and done, we have studio time coming up at the end of December and beginning of January 2021. We should have the record completed by the end of January and then handed off to the record company and they will decided when to release. The record release is not going to matter for us one way or another we will still promote it the best we can. I’m kind of hoping in a way for us that concept of Live Streaming concerts still stays popular that maybe a window for us to do more because of our limited ability to tour we will see how it goes.
” Ashes of Ares “Throne Of Iniquity” track listing:
Side A: 1. Throne of Iniquity Side B: 1. 25 Or 6 To 4 (CHICAGO cover) 2. Dust In The Wind (KANSAS cover)
Schaffer and Barlow’s first collaborative recording since 2008 will feature the following songs: 01. We Three Kings 02. Silent Night 03. Do You Hear What I Hear? 04. Little Drummer Boy 05. I Died For You (Winter 2020) 06. Watching Over Me (Winter 2020) 07. Silent Night (Traditional)