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InterviewsIced Earth bassist Luke Appleton looks back on 2012 and ahead to 2013

Posted on Saturday, December 29 2012 @ 01:29:01 CST by Dean Pedley
Heavy Metal Ever had a dream about joining your favourite band? Imagined what it would be like to get the call that says "pack your bags; we're going on the road"? Well, that is precisely what happened to bass player Luke Appleton when he got the opportunity to join metal heavyweights Iced Earth. Together with guitarist / vocalist Chris Appleton and drummer Martin McNee, Luke was one-third of rising stars Fury UK when the message came that there was a vacancy with Jon Schaffer's band and he was number one choice for the job. Looking back on what was an incredible 2012 and what lies ahead in 2013, Luke talks to Sea of Tranquillity's Dean Pedley and Mark Davies.

So, Luke – 2012 was a pretty special year for you…

Amazing really; a big year of change when I got asked to join Iced Earth about six or seven months ago and we went out on tour during the summer months. But it has been a great start; so far, so good

You were making big strides with Fury UK so it must have been a difficult decision to move on

Yeah it was definitely emotional, obviously my brother was in the band and Martin has also been like a brother to me for years now and they have both been really supportive. When I got the news I sat down with them and said "this is what's happened, so what do you think" and they were "go for it!"

And Chris and Martin have moved on with a different approach with new band Absolva

Yes they are sounding great. I've seen them live a couple of times and they have been very strong and the two new boys are both really good players

Just take us through how you came to get the gig with Iced Earth

Well in November 2011 Fury UK toured with Iced Earth and they took a shine to us both as a band and as people and Jon was very positive about my bass playing. A couple of months later their bass player decided to leave and so their tour manager gave me the call. Jon is a really passionate guy and he does care a lot about what the fans think. Hammerfest in 2010 was the first time I met him and he came out into the crowd and chatted with the fans. Of course he does watch the news a lot and this latest album Dystopia is very much how he views the world and particularly in America. Over here in the UK we really don't see what goes on and when we toured there Jon explained a lot to me about what was happening and told me some real horror stories. He is very intelligent and I think that comes across in his music

How did you enjoy playing at Bloodstock earlier this year…

That was brilliant, definitely a box ticked. It was really emotional because back in 2008 Bloodstock was the first gig I had ever played with Fury UK and so to be back there four years later on that stage with Iced Earth was very special and I also had a lot of my family and friends in the audience to watch me

Iced Earth will have more "down" time than Fury UK who always seemed to be on the road and playing gigs somewhere, I guess that will be quite different for you

Well we just had about three months off and so I have been keeping myself occupying by writing. They want to hear some of my ideas ahead of the new album which I am really looking forward to being involved with. In 2013 we probably won't have much down time at all really, we are going to release a live DVD early in the year and then tour the hell out of it. We have a couple of festivals already confirmed including 'Bang Your Head' in Germany

So as the only Englishman in the band will recording for the next album take place in America?

We haven't really discussed that yet so I'm not quite sure but I would imagine I would fly over to the States or we will meet somewhere in Europe. For rehearsals we all meet in Germany which is where we have some rehearsal studios

Do you enjoy playing the mainland European festivals which always seem so well organised

Yeah it's different – some places are much bigger than others for Iced Earth; for example in Greece there is a very dedicated following there and Cyprus aswell. The last time we played there in an open air amphitheatre it was incredible there were thousands there and everybody was really rocking out

What have been some of your most memorable venues to have played at so far?

The first one I ever thought 'wow' this is a big one was with Fury UK when we supported Saxon at London's Shepherds Bush Empire and to look up that high and see what was pretty much a sold out crowd. Also, Z7 in Switzerland where we played a couple of times is an excellent venue and we'll be there with Iced Earth in December. So if you ever get an excuse to go to Switzerland make sure you check it out

A word about Fury UK – on hiatus as opposed to being completely over and done with?

I think it will definitely happen at some point in the future we just can't say when. Looking at our schedules it seems when I am on the road they are not and vice versa – but Fury UK is not done for good. We all love it so much and it would be a shame to think that we will never play some of those great songs again and we all connect so well together

A final message…

Thanks to everyone who has been out to see us, I hope you enjoy the DVD and Keep It Loud!

The DVD Live In Ancient Kourion will be released in early April 2013 - for more on Iced Earth check out

December 2012
Dean Pedley and Mark Davies for Sea of Tranquility
Photo credits: Tim Tronckoe & Maximilian Topp

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