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Exclusive: Demons & Wizards' Hansi Kürsch on the new "III" Album, football & more

Modified 14 Feb 2020, 09:40 IST

Demons & Wizards live in New York City / Photo courtesy of Demons & Wizards
Demons & Wizards live in New York City / Photo courtesy of Demons & Wizards

Demons & Wizards is a legendary collaboration in the world of heavy metal, uniting the talents of Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth), who have been friends for nearly three decades. Musically, the group embodies both musician’s stylistic trademarks and has resulted so far in two hugely-celebrated studio albums, Demons & Wizards and Touched By The Crimson King.

On February 21st, the third album from Demons & Wizards -- titled III -- hits stores around world via Century Media Records. This is not only the band's first new music in 15 years, but it comes after a big 2020 where the group toured North America for the first time in addition to its first-ever gigs in Moscow and London; Demons & Wizards also have recent gigs at Germany's Wacken Open Air, Sweden's Sweden Rock Festival and France's Hellfest to its credit.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Hansi Kürsch by phone on February 13, 2020 about III, but perhaps just as importantly, his history with sports. The full chat is embedded below for your listening pleasure -- it is also scheduled to air on a future edition of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast -- while part of it has been transcribed exclusively for Sportskeeda.

More Demons & Wizards can be found online at

On whether he has a favorite football team these days:

Hansi Kürsch: I've been a huge football fan, and usually you say that once you're engaged with a football team, it's impossible to get rid of this habit. Because you do not choose your team, it is an addiction. You don't have a chance then.

Over the years I've lost interest in football because it has become so commercial. I still support the third division team of my hometown [Krefeld] and I go to games, but if it comes to professional stuff, I'm completely out.

On whether his lost passion for football has been replaced with another sport like MMA, boxing or wrestling:


Hansi Kürsch: No, I'm too slow and too old for this mind. (laughs) My skeleton just screams at begs for rest whenever we are finished with a tour. I'm a decision mid and long-distance runner, but I ruined my knees completely when I was younger. I was a passionate football player, therefore I have to keep it very slow.

The only sport I'm completely interested in watching would be ice hockey. There's also a popular team in Krefeld. The German division cannot be compared to the North American one [NHL] but it's still a good division, and the league provides you with some good games, so I go there [to live events] sometimes. That is not as commercial as football is... But I like running, I like physical exercises, but this is it.

On his last words for the kids:

Hansi Kürsch: Enjoy this third, fabulous Demons & Wizards album. It's really a trip. It's going to change your life. It's a once-in-your-lifetime experience. It's one of these albums, I'm sure, you're going to listen to when you're old.

Published 14 Feb 2020, 09:40 IST
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