Blind Guardian are releasing triple CD live album Live Beyond the Spheres on July 7th, a showcase of the epic sets performed every night by the band.
Guitarist Marcus Siepen has been with the band since 1987 and says three CDs allows them to showcase a diverse range of Blind Guardian songs.
“There’s a whole lot of new songs that we have never done before, as well as rare songs that we don’t play often, I think we tried to put good a mix,” Marcus says.
“My personal two favorites were “The Ninth Wave” and “Prophecies”, both from the last album and we played them live for the first time on this tour.”
“The way the those worked in the live environment and the reactions we got from them were amazing, the reaction was like what we get with the old classics.”
Going with a three CD release was a specific plan from Blind Guardian, anything shorter wouldn’t reflect the epic length of their sets.
“The average show on that tour has been two hours ten minutes, I think the longest one was almost three hours,” Marcus says.
“We tried to put together a CD package that mirrors what we did on that tour, so we put the typical Blind Guardian set.”
“It can be pretty demanding, but we prepare ourselves very and we take touring very seriously when it comes to conditioning and rest.”
The focus was on the first European block of the tour and the consistency of the quality of recordings made editing relatively straight forward.
“We had to sit down and listen to the recordings, make our notes about which song performances were the best and then compare them,” Marcus says.
“We had to compare our notes and see if we agreed or in case we didn’t, we had to go back and listen some more until we could narrow it down haha.”
They used the same recording setup for each show, while the guitar and bass utilized the digital technology of Fractal FX and Kemper units.
These digital effects units are known for their high-quality recreations of popular high-end amplifiers and effects, in an easier to transport setup.
“I like both a lot… I still have my big setup, I’ve always used Mesa-Boogie Triple Rectifier, but using my Fractal on tour is so flexible,” Marcus says.
“Any bands that do flying gigs has to save weight because it costs extra from the airlines, back in the day the alternative was renting amps in each city.”
With the recordings been done with a laptop, hours of footage could then be stored on a simple external hard disk.
“We didn’t need extra stuff for recording because you can do it into a laptop these days, which was mainly done by our front of house [sound] engineer.”
You can order the album online here.