Iced Earth - Vocalist Is Leaving The Band Again


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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Comments: 54   Visited by: 418 users
03.03.2011 - 05:57
mikeprado30
Written by Susan on 03.03.2011 at 03:56

Dude, AGAIN?!?!?!??!?

I think it's time to retire Iced Earth in general. They've had an epic run - leave on top!!!!!

+1 to this. I think this is THE TIME to call it quits in Iced...
----
BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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03.03.2011 - 07:15
Chech-Crusher
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03.03.2011 - 08:25
Sworn
That's some bad news
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03.03.2011 - 09:49
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by Adus11 on 03.03.2011 at 04:22
Yeah really all it looked like was Tim saying he wasn't really happy with getting kicked but in a mostly professional way. I gotta respect that. Seems like he wants to write music as well as sing and Jon wants all the writing to himself. So I don't think Tim would choose to go back even if the circumstances had been better.


Yep, I have heard him mention the fact that he wasn't allowed to write for Iced Earth, and that was something that frustrated him. The way Iced Earth have been lately, I think it would help if Jon allowed someone else to take an active songwriting role in the band. But in that regard, he seems very much like a Dave Mustaine type character, and a bit of a dictator in the band. Tim has also said he wanted to write for Priest, but the difference seems to be that his split with Priest was amicable. Wheras with Iced Earth, it wasn't.
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03.03.2011 - 10:03
corrupt
With a lowercase c
Written by Valentin B on 02.03.2011 at 23:38

Fuck fuck FUCK FUCKAAARRRH048HT0G[2G203GH283H.

now there's really a goddamned dillema: if i don't catch IE, my second favorite band of all time, at Wacken (and i don't have a ticket yet, they're all sold out too) it'll probably be a huge while before Barlow rejoins, and although Ripper is one of my favorite vocalists in the world, IE is NOT the same without Barlow.

i also even liked his lyrics. damn, i wish him the best but i wanted to catch at least one headlining show of theirs, with the monstrous rifs, the epic vocals, and of course "THIS ONE'S CALLED ICED FUCKING HRHREAAAAARTHH!", IE was by far the no. 1 band i wanted to see live even before this announcement, you can imagine how i feel now haha.

Hehe. When I read the headline, I knew exactly what to expect
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Schwarzmetall!
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03.03.2011 - 10:28
Black_Sheep
NOOOO!! ...This means i won't ever see IE with Matt.. ...Damn. This sucks. Big time. ...But i respecpt and understand his decision to dedicate his time for his family.
----
"Reality is almost always wrong."
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03.03.2011 - 10:58
Papa_Ray
Tim Owens did write some lyrics for Iced Earth, as did Matt Barlow. Jon swears he was going to kick out Tim anyway after the two Something Wicked albums because Tim placed more interest in Beyond Fear and other endeavors. Jon wanted someone completely committed to Iced Earth. Ripper isn't coming back.
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03.03.2011 - 12:08
Bad English
Masterchief
Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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03.03.2011 - 12:35
RhaegarTargaryen
Telcontar
Fuck. Guess I'm lucky to see them with Matt in 2008. But seriously this is ridiculous, people leave bands, come back, leave again... Well, I know who would I like to replace Matthew, and he already done it in other band.. Urban Breed!
----
... For years I have traveled in coldness,
But my heart is warm as the darkened sun above me...
Nothing can never take away
What I've seen with these tired eyes
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03.03.2011 - 12:48
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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03.03.2011 - 12:49
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 12:48

Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.


where you read he was a racist? 1th hearing , since I know names and never actualy know much about those 2 singers
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
03.03.2011 - 12:53
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:49

Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 12:48

Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.


where you read he was a racist? 1th hearing , since I know names and never actualy know much about those 2 singers

check the trivia section of the band here. i also read somewhere(forgot where) that Adam was kicked out of IE because he refused to take singing lessons.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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03.03.2011 - 14:40
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:23

Geez.... I bet Jon is secretly really regretting giving Ripper the boot now! lol Whoever is the new vocalist will no doubt face the same flak Ripper did when he replaced Matt. I do love Matt's vocals, and will miss him. But Im more worried about the shambles Iced Earth is quickly becoming.


Poetic justice, if you ask me. Schaffer got what he deserves here.
I remember well that when he brought Barlow back, I told people that what is happening now would happen.

This band is finished. No future.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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03.03.2011 - 19:07
shadowdragonfly1
NOOOOOOOOOO! T_T
well i think i knew this would happen, ... again
They should disband and start fresh with a different focus and sound
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03.03.2011 - 19:10
Behdad K
DEAD
Very very bad news!
Damn... I love the way Matt sings. He's on of my favorite singers and I think Iced Earth without him is nothing!
----
As tyranny becomes normality;
We hang at the end of the rope.
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03.03.2011 - 19:24
Chidder
Damn, it's sucks. But at least I will see him live with Iced Earth at Sweden Rock
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03.03.2011 - 20:23
Hammer34
Sorry to see Matt go, but understand. Glad I got to see them once with Matt in 2009 . . . was really looking forward to having the whole Something Wicked thing over with and hearing Matt on brand new IE, especially with Jon saying the new stuff was going back to a more aggressive, thrashy style. Oh, well.

That said, not interested in having Ripper back, move forward with someone new and different! My top 3 suggestions in no particular order:

1. Urban Breed (Pyramaze, ex-Tad Morose, ex-Bloodbound). If he was good enough to follow Matt in Pyramaze, why not IE . . . especially since Pyramaze looks to be on ice (pun intended) indefinitely? Breed has an awesome voice, great power and emotion, and ability to tackle aggressive and epic vocal parts equally well. Different sound, but a lot of the same qualities as Barlow. Though I know he does kind of have a rep for not lasting long with any band.

2. Toni Parviainen (Machine Men). Killer voice, younger guy who could inject some youth---and Machine Men just broke up so presumably he's free. His Dickinson-esque qualities along with ability to sing in a more aggressive style as well I think would be a really interesting match with Iced Earth.

3. Mikkel Sandager (ex-Mercenary). Still can't believe Mercenary parted ways with this guy---insane voice! Has the ability to sing harsh and aggressive and unbelievably soaring and epic. In some ways his clean voice might be too "polished" and "perfect" for Iced Earth, but would be an intriguing mix.
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03.03.2011 - 23:57
Novas
Written by Angelic Storm on 03.03.2011 at 09:49

Written by Adus11 on 03.03.2011 at 04:22
Yeah really all it looked like was Tim saying he wasn't really happy with getting kicked but in a mostly professional way. I gotta respect that. Seems like he wants to write music as well as sing and Jon wants all the writing to himself. So I don't think Tim would choose to go back even if the circumstances had been better.


Yep, I have heard him mention the fact that he wasn't allowed to write for Iced Earth, and that was something that frustrated him. The way Iced Earth have been lately, I think it would help if Jon allowed someone else to take an active songwriting role in the band. But in that regard, he seems very much like a Dave Mustaine type character, and a bit of a dictator in the band. Tim has also said he wanted to write for Priest, but the difference seems to be that his split with Priest was amicable. Wheras with Iced Earth, it wasn't.


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 ?
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04.03.2011 - 00:52
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:53

Written by Orphan Saint on 02.03.2011 at 23:42
My immediate response is to demand the return of Ripper.


I think if Jon wasn't aware of the high likelyhood of Ripper telling him where to stick it, (and rightfully so) he would be the first guy he'd be asking to join Iced Earth. After the very cowardly and undignified way Jon fired Ripper in the first place, I seriously doubt he would ever rejoin the band. Which is a shame, cos as much as I do think Matt is the ideal singer for IE, Ripper did a great job as replacement, and if I had my way, Id definitely have him back in the band like a shot.


I'm pretty sure Owens would show Schaffer the middle finger and tell him to fuck off.
And if it was me, let's say that's exactly what Schaffer would get.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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04.03.2011 - 01:41
Enemy of Reality
Well i would suggest Nils Patrik Johansson from Wuthering Heights.
Check him right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-P1qSm0ZE
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04.03.2011 - 02:37
Angelic Storm
Melodious
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*
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04.03.2011 - 05:31
RavenKing
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.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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04.03.2011 - 22:12
Novas
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
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04.03.2011 - 22:48
Angelic Storm
Melodious
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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