Former BLIND GUARDIAN drummer Thomen Stauch has teamed up with PERSUADER members Jens Karlsson (vocals, guitar) and Emil Norberg (lead guitar) in a new project called SAVAGE CIRCUS. This collaboration is not to be confused with Stauch's as-yet-unnamed band with SOILWORK vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid, which recently finished recording a full-length album.
Stauch has issued the following statement regarding SAVAGE CIRCUS's formation and musical direction:
"It began two years ago in my home studio while working on a few songs for a BLIND GUARDIAN album.
"As I finished the first song I realized very quickly that it would not fit in with the BLIND GUARDIAN style. My new song seemed to sit much more with 'Tales' / 'Somewhere...' / 'Imaginations...' as for 'A Night at the Opera' kind of thing.
"At that moment the idea was born to bring a few people together to write more songs like this.
"But the question was with whom?
"I received a parcel in May 2004 with the new IRON SAVIOR CD, sent to me by my old mate Piet [Sielck].
"After listening to the album I rang Piet to congratulate him on his newest creation. As we started talking I told him about my new project and asked him if he would be interested to listen to my new songs.
"He invited me to spend a weekend in his house in Andalusia, so I went.
"He listened to three songs and became very enthusiastic and said with a wide grin, 'You have to listen to this stuff I recently produced. I'm sure you will recognize the style.' As soon as I heard the first notes I found myself barely breathing? this was melody power metal with the voice of a singer, similar to Hansi's in the good old days of BLIND GUARDIAN.
"The band was called PERSUADER, a young band from Sweden. This band seemed to fit musically as well as lyrically perfectly into my plans. And as Piet told me they were extremely nice with their feet on the ground. I realized these boys where on my wavelength and decided to contact them to see if they were interested to work with me on my new project. Piet gave me their contact address and after this incredible weekend I made my way back to Madrid.
"On the next day I contacted Jens and Emil to send them the files of the songs on MP3. They loved the idea about the project instantly, and this united the three of us. Suddenly the idea came to me to ask Piet to help with the production, as a good friend for the last 15 years and a fantastic producer would make a lot of sense. Luckily enough he was happy to work with us. The band was almost complete with only a bass player missing, Piet offered to take over the job on the bass, which gave us enough time to find the right man for touring.
"In August we all met up in Hamburg at Piet's Powerhouse Studio to get know everyone personally and to produce a demo of our first song. It turned out to be incredibly productive and we hit it off with each other instantly. We managed to produce not only one but two songs. Death Devil was born with the pseudonyms Unholy, Rotting Corps, Hellmaster and Angelsmasher.
"We were extremely motivated and decided to keep on writing songs in Sweden, Germany and Spain. We exchanged ideas over the Internet, via MP3s and meet as often as possible to produce more songs. In the end we had 9 killer songs to show for our work and had managed to get a very fair deal with the brand new label Dockyard1 where Piet is a partner. This gave us the perfect base with which to work together from and it has been altogether very positive.
"In February 2005 we began the production. We laid the drum tracks down in Karo studio, where I recorded the drums previously for my other project modern metal style with Björn, the singer of SOILWORK. After 10 days the drums were recorded leaving only bass, vocals and guitars to go. Piet is at this moment mixing but we will not be able to finish before mid-May because we don't want to miss out on the contribution of Rolf Koehler, who tours unfortunately until the beginning of May. At the moment you can hear on my homepage all the MP3s in pre-production style.
"The cooperation with Björn was originally planned as a side-project and to be released later, but due to the separation with BLIND GUARDIAN plans changed. SAVAGE CIRCUS is from now on my main band, which is more suitable because style wise I feel more at home here. I still stand 100 percent behind my work with BLIND GUARDIAN but my favorites were always 'Tales..', 'Somewhere...', 'Imagination..' and 'Nightfall...'.
"At the same time, I'd like to make it absolutely clear SAVAGE CIRCUS or any other project of mine never had anything to do with my separation with BLIND GUARDIAN. We just realized in the last three years that our musical and personal differences were too hard to overcome.
"I realize that my statement might not be enough for some of you. Maybe it helps to see it more like a broken-down marriage, as in that case you would want to keep the internal details to yourself as well. It is always hard for people not directly involved to understand each side 100 percent. It is easy to judge — be it be justified or not. We decided not to give in-depth details to our fans but the basic reasons are still valid.
"So it will be the best for everyone involved, as hopefully it turns out the best for me. I can understand your initial disappointment, but I hope you can accept our decision.
"I can assure you that I read every single word in the BLIND GUARDIAN forum and I'm truly moved by your sadness and all the supporting words. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your faith in us and your mails. I'd like reassure you that our separation is definitely NOT the beginning of the end for BLIND GUARDIAN. All we want is to produce honest music, which is almost impossible if members in the band don't have the same goal. We preferred in the end this separation so BLIND GUARDIAN can still be a band with integrity — only the players have slightly changed. I will do the same only with different musicians and different visions for the future.
"I hope that you like SAVAGE CIRCUS and you allow us entry into your fantastic world of melody power metal.
"At the very least I hope I made you a bit happier."