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Blackguard Posts Post-Tour Report, Future Plans

Paul "Paul Ablaze" Zinay, frontman of Canada's Blackguard checked in with an extensive post-tour report from the band's rigorous touring in 2011 for the band's sophomore release "Firefight."

Zinay reported the following on the band's official Facebook Page:

"It’s been a while since the last time we’ve done a post-tour report and given the extensive year we’ve had and the time off we’ll be taking this feels like a good time to do one.

"2011 has been our busiest year to date. A new label home at Victory Records, our first music video (thank you Victory for the awesome production), a new record, Firefight, which came out in March, and 6 tours to support it (5 North American and 1 European). It’s safe to say we’ve had our hands full (I don’t have the official count but since January we’ve done close to 200 shows).

"It’s been an honour and a privilege to tour with so many amazing bands, many of which we never thought we would have the opportunity to share the stage with.

"So cheers to Deicide , Belphegor , Neuraxis , Pathology , Gigan Symphony X , Powerglove, Otep , Destrophy , Sister Sin , One Eyed Doll , Kamelot , Alestorm , The Agonist , Evergrey, Sabaton, The Absence, and all their crew for being amazing tour mates and we hope to one day tour with each one of them again. Also a special shout out to Overkill, D.R.I, Bonded By Blood , Ensiferum, Moonspell, and Finntroll for the awesome shows in Mexico City .

"For me it’s become less and less appropriate to judge a tour by attendance or merch sales. Yes those things are still important but a crappy show or poor merch night feels less significant when you’re surrounded by good people and get to watch great bands every night.

"This year we were fortunate enough to have been given many touring opportunities (which as you can see we took every advantage of) and has seen us on some of the most diverse touring line-ups we’ve ever been a part of. We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to all the fans of the bands we were out with for every circle pit, stage dive, head bang, and good time had even though you might not have known who the heck we were.

"And of course to our own loyal fans who have come out time and time again to see us play. I’m constantly in shock when I hear people telling me they’ve come to see us 3, 4 even 5 times in the last year. We can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support. We are incredibly fortunate to have each and every one of you on our side, pushing us on.

"These last two months on the road were some of the best and most challenging in our careers. Finally having a second shot at touring with Kamelot after last year’s cancelled tour was something we had been looking forward to for quite some time, and it was only made better with the inclusion of our new friends in Alestorm and old ones in The Agonist. However, the last minute absence of our brother and lead guitarist Kim proved a unique challenge. Calls went out, E-mails were sent (thank you Terry and Justine), and finally prayers were answered. I can’t stress enough how lucky we are to have so many amazing friends in this business who helped us out in our time of need, especially at such short notice (to everyone who made calls on our behalf, we owe you big!)

"We didn’t get just one amazing musician but two: Eric Tisinger of DESTROPHY/OTEP and Gabriel Guardiola of IMMORTAL GUARDIAN.

"Eric came down to Montreal from Springfield, Mass 3 days before tour, learnt the songs and took off with us. He destroyed every night of the Kamelot tour and truly made the stage his own.

"Gabriel however didn’t have a single jam with us. We picked him up in San Antonio TX and his first show was in Tampa FL and played like he’d been with the band since the beginning.

"We owe both Eric and Gabriel a huge debt of gratitude for coming out last minute and allowing us to do these tours.

"We had another addition to the team during the Evergrey/Sabaton run. Mr Anthony Columbus came on board to help drive and voluntarily did sound for us. We met Anthony back in 09 on the Summer Slaughter tour where he was doing sound for ORIGIN. Anthony’s presence was a huge help to us and we could not have made it through or sounded as good without him.

"So here we are. At home for a little R&R at the start of our longest break since we started touring full time in 09, but we won't be spending this time sitting on our ass.

"Work on new material will start very soon, and hopefully we'll have a few full songs done before hitting the road. I’ve already started working on a lyrical concept and am very excited to continue putting ideas down.

"As for our future touring plans, we’ll be taking it a little easier in the New Year. I don’t think we’ll be touring North America more than two times and instead try to focus our efforts overseas. There are big things taking shape now and we can’t wait to let everyone know what’s up.

That’s it for now, take care everyone and we’ll see you at the bar."

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