Jimmy Kay from The Metal Voice spoke to former singer of Iced Earth Matt Barlow ,current singer of Ashes of Ares in a video Skype. Matt Barlow is set to release his new Ashes or Ares album called Well of Souls on November 9 2018 on Road Records
Barlow spoke about his musical history with Iced Earth, the reasons from him exiting the band twice, his thoughts on the re-recordings of the old Iced Earth albums with Stu Block on vocals and the musical direction on the upcoming album Well of Souls
When asked about the musical direction of the new Ashes of Ares album Well of Souls compared to the debut
"The new album is a bit different from the last album, some ideas were established throughout several songs so we have a trilogy type set up with this and Well of Souls is a kind of concept within that idea and story line. Without giving too much away, in a big picture aspect it's our connection as living beings with our living earth. It's sort of a horror sci -fi kind of concept. The whole album does not have a theme but there are some elements that are in parallels. We have a song called Sun Dragon, that is kind of like an earth ending story. A lot of these ideas are about a grander scale, our place in the Universe and then there are some personnel songs as well. Also I threw in another vampire tune which is kind of an ode to novelist Ann Rice which is our only ballad on the album. I would say overall with this record there is a lot more darkness than in the last one. Another song is the God of War which is kind of an Hommage to our band name."
When asked about his thoughts on Jon Schaffers plans on re-recording his first five or six Iced Earth albums with Stu Block on vocals
"Whatever I contributed to the writing of the songs I will still receive payment, from a financial aspect. If people want to buy the record again that's great for me financially because I still get writing credit for it. In regards to performance rights I signed away my performance rights in the past. I got paid for my performance I don't have a problem with it because if they re-do the record it doesn't hurt my feeling at all and the original records will always be out there. "
"It is so hard for musicians to make a living, so if Jon Schaffer can make some more money to keep Iced Earth going more power to him, it is his livelihood, it's his company. Just like I hope that the original singer Gene Adam was not offended when i re-did his vocals on Days of Purgatory."