TOBIAS SAMMET (EDGUY/AVANTASIA)
On a very warm
Monday night I had a telephone conversation with Tobias Sammet,
the man behind the project AVANTASIA and the leader of EDGUY, the
German Melodic Metalband. Tobias is quite busy these days with
the new AVANTASIA record, but he took some time to talk with me
about his music, let's see what he has to say
Tobias, the new AVANTASIA album is going to be released soon, do you expect it to be as successful as the first one?
Well, the first one did ok, although EDGUY sold much better, but we were happy with the first AVANTASIA sales, and we'll wait until next week when the album is officially released here in Europe. It's always exciting to hear that the album you made is in the charts, but if not, we're also pleased, because it was a great album to do. I really liked making these two AVANTASIA albums.
So, this album is the end for AVANTASIA?
Yes, for the moment it is, because the AVANTASIA project was based around a concept, which is now told on these 2 CDs, and so we are finished. I am not saying we'll never do an AVANTASIA record again, because in 10 years a lot of things can change, but at this point the AVANTASIA project is finished.
That also means no tour for AVANTASIA
No tour with AVANTASIA, but during the EDGUY shows we always play AVANTASIA songs, so people can hear at least one song of the AVANTASIA recordings
Yeah, I remember earlier this year, EDGUY played a show here in Rotterdam, Holland, and you indeed played the "Avantasia" song, do you remember that gig?
Yeah, I remember, it was in a small venue called 'Baroeg'.
That's right, 'De Baroeg', only about 200 people showed up, but it was a great show.
Yes, definitely, and it doesn't matter to me that there are only 200 people present at a show, it gives me a pleasure to play in front of less people and do my best entertaining them and gave them a good performance, so everyone goes home happy. For example, we just returned from a couple of shows in Brazil where thousands of people screamed and were already having a good time even before we played a note. So that was quite different for a start, and it wasn't hard to play in front of them, as they totally loved us. But I had a great time and it was quite an experience to do these shows in Brazil. On the other hand I also really liked the shows in Holland and play in front of not that many people, but still give them a good time.
I guess in Germany you have more people showing up at the concerts
Yes, definitely, but still it doesn't matter to me to play in front of 2,000 people or for just 200, in fact, it's a challenge for me to give everybody something good for their money. The shows in Germany attracted many people, except 1 show, in Osnabruck, where only a few hundred showed up, nobody knows why, but the rest of the recent 'Mandrake' was visited very well here in Germany.
What can we expect from EDGUY the coming years?
Well, first we'll finish a couple more tourdates of the 'Mandrake' tour and then we'll be working on a double live-album to be released early next year. We recorded all the shows the past year. From those shows we'll put the best ones on these 2 CDs, probably a lot of the shows recorded in France, especially the show in Paris will be included on the live record. Also a show we recorded in Budapest and maybe even the Brazil shows will be present on this live album.
I guess it was time to do this live record, considering you released 5 albums with EDGUY now.
Yeah, IT WAS A MUST TO DO THIS LIVE ALBUM! And besides, the album will also have a large booklet with a lot of pictures. We had cameras everywhere this tour, backstage, on stage, in the car, in the bus, in the bedroom, in the hotels, in the bathroom (laughter) We have 10,000 pictures to choose from, so I'll guess that will be worth to see when you listen to the CD. For us it's a great memory to one of our most successful tours.
And can we expect a DVD as well?
No, it's just the old fashioned way, audio only, but with 2 CDs and a big booklet to read through, this is enough pleasure for the EDGUY fan.
Yeah, definitely, by the way, are you writing any new songs for a new EDGUY album
Well, everywhere I go and everytime I get an idea, I keep it in my head as a memory to write a song of it someday. It's not that we go into the studio and then write 10 songs in a row and we're finished. No, the ideas of the songs are all in our memories and when we're writing the songs it all comes out and so the writing process develops.
So after the live-album you go back in the studio
Yes, and then record the new album, and probably late next year it will be released, but it might also be later, it all depends on how things proceed. I rather make a good album that takes a few months longer than to release a less good album a.s.a.p.
That's the right attitude, I always wondered what your favourite albums of all times are
Well, that's a hard question, but I'll have to add stuff like DIO's 'Holy diver' and 'Dream evil', AC/DC's 'Highway to hell' and 'Back in black', but also MAGNUM with 'On a storyteller's night'.
Speaking of Magnum, how did you get in touch with Bob Catley?
Well, I always liked the man's voice, he is an old school vocalist, and therefore I thought it was nice to have him on the AVANTASIA album, so I decided to contact him, but that wasn't easy. I first had to find out under which label he was, and saw he has a solo deal with a British label called NOW AND THEN, so I contacted them and from there I got in touch with Bob and the rest is history
I also wanted to know how you got in touch with some of the other musicians of the AVANTASIA record, such as Eric Singer
I met him once in Austria during a performance and he was a really nice guy, so we exchanged phone numbers, and then during the AVANTASIA recordings, I suddenly thought he was the man to do this one particular song. I called him and he agreed to do drums on this song, so it was not because he played in big bands, but it was more like I loved his way of drumming and he would fit the drumkit on this particular song.
And Bob Rock
He was a friend of mine, so I just called him and he agreed. Most of the people involved in the AVANTASIA project I have known for some years, so it was just contacting them and see what happens.
As a singer, who do you admire?
Well, I like a lot of singers, like Michael Kiske, Ronnie James Dio, Paul Stanley and many more. I just sing the way I do and I am not really thinking of my influences when I sing.
Singing comes from the heart I guess
Yes, definitely, also when I hear particular songs. I like a lot of songs, from BON JOVI to KINGDOM COME, if the song has a good melody, I like it. For instance, I am not afraid to admire I also like Popmusic, stuff like ABBA and AHA's "Take on me", this is really an awesome song.
I agree, but do you also think 80s had much more quality music in the charts then nowadays?
Not really, because if you look at the charts, there's still good stuff on there. MANOWAR made it to the top 10!
Yeah, in Germany, but in Holland there's a lot of crap in the charts and hardrock/metal has a hard time
WITHIN TEMPTATION went to number one in Holland I believe
Yeah, but apart from WITHIN TEMPTATION it's really sad what it's in the charts here in Holland
But WITHIN TEMPTATION made it big, so there's a good start I guess, because ten years ago it wasn't that much better, and now you have WITHIN TEMPTATION high in the charts
Well, OK, but the Popmusic in the 80s was much better than the crap you now hear on the radio
15 years ago you had MILLI VANILLI, so crap has always been in the charts, but happily, there's also still good stuff on the charts
What do you consider your best work so far?
EDGUY's 'Mandrake' and the AVANTASIA albums.
Which one of the AVANTASIA albums is the best you think
A lot of people ask me that question and it's always hard to choose, because I think both albums are great and you must not compare both albums. They shouldn't compete with each other, as each album stands on its own.
Finally, do you have plans to do other projects besides EDGUY and AVANTASIA in the future?
No, in the future I will totally focus on EDGUY, because that's my band and I want to do much more in the coming years with EDGUY, starting with this live double CD early next year and then late next year a new CD followed by a tour.
So, we can except a lot in the future from EDGUY! Well, thanks for the interview, anything to add
Well, I want to thank all the people in Holland for showing up at the EDGUY concerts and I hope to comeback in the future.
Good luck with your career.
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