Matt Barlow is retiring from Iced Earth again.

Barlow cites his commitment to his family and the need for Iced Earth to tour more as the reasons for his retirement. He'll still perform with Iced Earth on all 2011 European festival dates, which will be his last with the band. Barlow fronted Iced Earth from 1992 till 2003, and rejoined late 2007.

Matt Barlow's heartfelt statement reads as follows: "Let me begin by saying how much of an honor it has been to share my time in Iced Earth with Jon and the guys... and with all of you! Since my return to the band in 2007, it has truly been extraordinary. I have had the opportunity to travel the world and see old friends and meet new ones. Though we had originally thought that the Iced Earth touring schedule would be very limited, we were able to play our fair share of concerts.

During that time we were also able to have a live DVD produced [the forthcoming Festivals Of The Wicked]. However, due to the rapidly changing music industry, it has become increasingly clear to recording artists that the only way to keep a band viable and to truly reach its potential is through live performances. That means that a band must reach out to new regions of the globe and become pioneers for their own livelihood. Since 2007, Jon and I have always had the best intentions for the future of Iced Earth, and we still do. However, given the band's projected touring schedule, Iced Earth's future and mine must now take separate paths.

On my departure from Iced Earth in 2003, I made a commitment to my wife and to the idea that we would start, and raise, our family together. Two years later, my first child was born and two years after that, my second. My youngest son was born about a week before Jon asked me to return to Iced Earth. It was a very exciting and emotional time for all of us, but we were all clear on our intentions. It is apparent to us now that regardless of our belief at that time, time can change an intended outcome. In this instance, I hope that change will not be regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a necessary part of evolution.

Jon and the band must venture into new realms to continue to grow Iced Earth. I commend him for his ideals and wish nothing but to share in his vision. I know that this is not the last time Jon and I will work together, but it will be my last endeavor with Iced Earth. Iced Earth is a name and force of its own. It has been very good to me and has allowed me to live a dream that others would give most anything for. I have been truly blessed to share this experience with everyone. I will continue to support Jon and Iced Earth in every way. I will also continue to create and perform in my own capacity.

These next months will prove to be a very emotional time for me. I am extremely happy to be able to share the experience with Jon, Brent, Freddie, Troy and the Iced Earth family. I am proud to know them and honored that they consider me their friend. It is going to be phenomenal to share the love of this music during several summer festivals and I know that it will be a time we will never forget.

Please consider all that I have brought forth and all of Jon's offerings before passing judgment on the future of Iced Earth. This band has always strived to give its listeners the very best and I know that Jon, as always, will continue to lead that charge."

Band founder and leader Jon Schaffer reacted to his friend's decision with equal parts sadness and praise. Commented Schaffer: "I knew Matt wrestled with this for a long, long time. It wasn't an easy decision for him. But I love him dearly and I can't fault his reasons.

Matt is one of the most sincere people I know, and one of the most talented. His departure deeply saddens me, but I hope all fans of Schaffer will cut him some slack. I wish Matt well, respect him greatly, and I ask everyone else to do the same."

With a new album in the works, and a world tour pending, Schaffer has already begun the search for a new vocalist.

"I have a few guys in mind," said Schaffer. "And as you can imagine, it is a very important decision. One thing is for certain: we are not looking for a Matt Barlow 'clone' we are looking for a front man that brings power and character of his own to the table. There's only one Matt, and that era of the band's history will always hold a special place in my heart."

Announcement of a new vocalist will be made through all social media outlets as soon as a decision is made.


Source: icedearth.com
Band profile: Iced Earth
 
Posted: 02.03.2011 by Thryce



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Angelic Storm - 04.03.2011 at 02:37  
Written by Novas on 03.03.2011 at 23:57
Well Ripper was in both Judas Priest and Iced Earth a "substitute" singer until Halford and Barlow got back. And he did both songwriting in both bands. Barlow did songwriting in their latest album as well. Barlow did most of the songwriting while he was in the band, just that Jon helped it to sound better with the music. I mean, i see it as Barlow's fault. After leaving in '02 to become a police officer and then Pyramaze's band founder asked him to front Immortal and Barlow decided to come back to Iced Earth. and now leaving again to start a family and decided to NEVER come back again ?


Ripper only wrote one song that Priest actually used. ("What's My Name?", which was a bonus track on the Japanese version of "Demolition") And he only had 2 co-writing credits for Iced Earth. ("Red Baron/Blue Max", and "The Domino Decree")

Matt Barlow never did most of the lyric writing when he was in the band. Even on "Horror Show", the album which he wrote most lyrics for, Jon still had more lyric writing credits. And on the other albums Matt was on, Jon wrote the bulk of the lyrics as well as the music.

As for the current situation, like Ravenking, I did see it coming. Mainly because even when Matt rejoined, he was retaining his job with the police force, and focussing more on his family. So it sounded like Iced Earth was something he only wanted to do when he could fit it into his other activities. Although Jon initially seemed okay with this situation, Iced Earth is his baby, and it's something that he puts full commitment into, and it was inevitable that sooner or later, Matt would either have to commit more fully to Iced Earth, (but that was something that to me anyway, never seemed likely) or leave again. It's ironic that he only brought Matt back because of fan pressure to do so, and now he's in this current mess because of it. It's obvious his decision to bring Matt back was not a fully thought out process, he bowed to fan pressure, and he's now paying the price for that. *sighs*
RavenKing - 04.03.2011 at 05:31  
Written by Angelic Storm on 04.03.2011 at 02:37

As for the current situation, like Ravenking, I did see it coming. Mainly because even when Matt rejoined, he was retaining his job with the police force, and focussing more on his family. So it sounded like Iced Earth was something he only wanted to do when he could fit it into his other activities. Although Jon initially seemed okay with this situation, Iced Earth is his baby, and it's something that he puts full commitment into, and it was inevitable that sooner or later, Matt would either have to commit more fully to Iced Earth, (but that was something that to me anyway, never seemed likely) or leave again. It's ironic that he only brought Matt back because of fan pressure to do so, and now he's in this current mess because of it. It's obvious his decision to bring Matt back was not a fully thought out process, he bowed to fan pressure, and he's now paying the price for that. *sighs*


Once more I totally agree with you, my friend.
That's what I told a few years ago to those who were so excited because of Barlow's return. I was sure he would leave again. Let's be realistic: who would abandon a well-paid job (I have very good wages and cops here have a salary around 150% of mine + the security of employment is much better than I can have) to sing in a relatively small band like Iced Earth who always struggled to survive? Especially if the man has dependant children. Let's say I understand Barlow's decision very well.
Writing music, recording albums, playing a few shows here and there can be interesting as a hobby for someone who has a regular job. But touring is a problem.
It probably explains (at least to a certain extent), why so many Black Metal bands don't play live. Because the guys must have a normal job (since most BM is too underground to be financially viable), so it would be impossible for them to tour extensively. I think they can find enough time to write and record music, to do rehearsals to keep their skills at a high level but playing live on a regular basis would be too much time-consuming and not paid enough. I guess it doesn't worth the trouble.
Novas - 04.03.2011 at 22:12  
Written by Angelic Storm on 04.03.2011 at 02:37

Written by Novas on 03.03.2011 at 23:57
Well Ripper was in both Judas Priest and Iced Earth a "substitute" singer until Halford and Barlow got back. And he did both songwriting in both bands. Barlow did songwriting in their latest album as well. Barlow did most of the songwriting while he was in the band, just that Jon helped it to sound better with the music. I mean, i see it as Barlow's fault. After leaving in '02 to become a police officer and then Pyramaze's band founder asked him to front Immortal and Barlow decided to come back to Iced Earth. and now leaving again to start a family and decided to NEVER come back again ?


Ripper only wrote one song that Priest actually used. ("What's My Name?", which was a bonus track on the Japanese version of "Demolition") And he only had 2 co-writing credits for Iced Earth. ("Red Baron/Blue Max", and "The Domino Decree")

Matt Barlow never did most of the lyric writing when he was in the band. Even on "Horror Show", the album which he wrote most lyrics for, Jon still had more lyric writing credits. And on the other albums Matt was on, Jon wrote the bulk of the lyrics as well as the music.

As for the current situation, like Ravenking, I did see it coming. Mainly because even when Matt rejoined, he was retaining his job with the police force, and focussing more on his family. So it sounded like Iced Earth was something he only wanted to do when he could fit it into his other activities. Although Jon initially seemed okay with this situation, Iced Earth is his baby, and it's something that he puts full commitment into, and it was inevitable that sooner or later, Matt would either have to commit more fully to Iced Earth, (but that was something that to me anyway, never seemed likely) or leave again. It's ironic that he only brought Matt back because of fan pressure to do so, and now he's in this current mess because of it. It's obvious his decision to bring Matt back was not a fully thought out process, he bowed to fan pressure, and he's now paying the price for that. *sighs*


But it was good that Jon took most of the lyric writing. Matt and Ripper wasnt that good with the fantasy and horror atmosphere Jon wanted in his music. I mean if u heard Matt's first band, Cauldron and their Driven By Hate demo, he wasnt good at it. Though they took a song from that demo to make Iced Earth's song "Diary". And by the way, thats all true what you wrote. I totally agree with all that. I mean, its kinda both Jon's and Matt's fault things are going down. It sucks cuz Iced Earth and Matt's voice what my very first metal band and the band that got me into more diverse metal
Angelic Storm - 04.03.2011 at 22:48  
Written by RavenKing on 04.03.2011 at 05:31
Once more I totally agree with you, my friend.
That's what I told a few years ago to those who were so excited because of Barlow's return. I was sure he would leave again. Let's be realistic: who would abandon a well-paid job (I have very good wages and cops here have a salary around 150% of mine + the security of employment is much better than I can have) to sing in a relatively small band like Iced Earth who always struggled to survive? Especially if the man has dependant children. Let's say I understand Barlow's decision very well.
Writing music, recording albums, playing a few shows here and there can be interesting as a hobby for someone who has a regular job. But touring is a problem.




Yep, I don't blame Matt at all for his decision. It's Jon's fault, as surely he should have been able to see this coming himself? Matt made it very clear when he rejoined, that he would not be able to commit fully to Iced Earth. Especially with regards to the touring side of things. It always seemed to me, like Matt was happy to remain in Iced Earth, but only if the band was going to be like a part-time thing. Which is a situation that I could never see sitting well with Jon in the long term. Im sure if Jon had thought everything out, he'd have realised bringing Matt back was a mistake. He fired Ripper and brought back Matt as a knee jerk reaction to fan pressure. So basically, Jon made his own bed, and now he has to lie in it. lol

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