Germany's very own "Super Heroes" of Metal have had a very busy year touring on their most recent album, "Rocket Ride". Armed with enough ampage to power a small city, they have blazed down the open road, leaving electrified audiences in their wake. With a full-length DVD in the works and frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA releasing a new album in 2008, the future is looking bright for EDGUY.
First of all, how's your first U.S. headlining tour been so far?
"So far, except the first show, which we had to cancel, unfortunately, everything went pretty well - nice places. Of course, we play bigger places in Europe, but you've got to start somewhere and far the attendance from the people has been very good and the reactions as well; I think people like the songs we've played so far."
How would you compare it to your U.S. tour where you played as main support for HAMMERFALL?
"Well, it's basically the same - it's basically the same venues, same size, the only thing that's different is that we're playing for one and a half hours instead of forty-five minutes, which is quite good for us, I think."
Why has it taken so long between the release of "Rocket Ride" and the U.S. tour for it?
"I don't know - we just didn't make it earlier, you know; we started touring Europe, then we had the whole festival season, touring Asia and we were always hoping to get a good support slot for a bigger band here in the States, but it didn't happen and finally we said we want to make a tour here, so we have to do it on our own and that's why it took so long. But the tour's not over yet, so then we come back home, we play one show in Russia, one more in São Paulo, one more in Germany and three or four more shows and then the tour's going to be over, so the United States is not the last dates of the tour."
What do you have planned for the next album?
"Nothing. Yeah, we will do another album, but aside from that, there is nothing planned."
Really? Nothing written at all?
"No, just collecting some ideas, but you know, we've been so busy with touring. But after this tour's finished, the United States leg of the tour, we're going to the rehearsing room and want to try to start writing new material. That's it."
Do you think Tobias' involvement with AVANTASIA has possibly led to nothing being planned for the new album as of yet, because more of his creative energy has gone into that for the time being?
"No. I mean, as I said, we've been busy touring all the time and besides that, I've met twice with Toby at home, so that we sort out some ideas to get for EDGUY. We never plan anything for the new album, music-wise, then we just let it flow, but the AVANTASIA project for Toby was much easier than the first ones he did because he had Sascha Paeth as the co-writer and the co-producer, so he basically went to a studio twice every week and showed him new ideas and Sascha was working everything out, so it was not as much work for Toby this AVANTASIA album as it was the previous two."
Tell us a little bit about the forthcoming DVD.
"Yes, we have been working on that a lot. (laughs) We always tried to record a DVD, but it never worked out and finally the last shoot we did in Brazil, in São Paulo, turned out to be pretty good. So far, as I said, busy with touring, we haven't started working on that, as well, so we just have the concert shoot and a lot of bonus material which we are going to select, like behind the scenes from everything, we have tons of tapes at home which we first have to look through and decide what's going to be on there and then... I don't know when it's going to be released, probably close to the next album."
Any footage from being raided by the Italian police going to be on there?
"Uh... no. (laughter) We didn't get any footage of that; we think too slow - it was in the middle of the night when they woke us up. (laughter) The first thing you think of when there is a dog next to your bunk, you don't think of having a camera." (laughter)
What's your favorite song to play live?
"Well, it always changes. I like 'Sacrifice', it's a lot of fun to play live and 'Fucking With Fire' as well. I don't know if we're playing 'Fucking With Fire' tonight, but we played it on some previous shows and that's always a lot of fun."
So you're changing the set out every night?
"No - just maybe one or two songs, but we could, so we have rehearsed more songs for the tour. So far, I think the setlist we're playing right now is quite good with the crowd, a pretty good mixture, pretty good mixture, so maybe we exchange one or two songs every evening."
Tell us a little bit about the growth from the earlier albums, like I've noticed from "Theater of Salvation" to "Rocket Ride", you guys have come a lot more into your own, so tell us a little bit about that process of expanding your songwriting skills and so forth.
"Well, I think it was a natural process, so we didn't think too much about it. The thing was, when we started, we were considered to be a classic speed Power Metal band, but after the 'Theater of Salvation' album, we had that specific kind of music, we had it all covered there - we had like, huge bombastic choirs, very fast songs - our band became somehow limited, you know, if you have the double bass fast, double bass songs; sometimes they all sound the same, and that's why we tried to keep our basic style, but always try to include new elements, because we want to keep it interesting for ourselves, as well as for the people buying the albums, hopefully. And so that was just natural development, like we didn't want to record the same album and the same songs over and over again, so we had to find ways to keep the original style, but include new elements. I think 'Rocket Ride' turned out to be a pretty good mixture of everything and, as I said, I don't know what the next album is going to be. Actually, I'm pretty curious about what's going to happen, because it's always very, very exciting 'cause you have no idea where the journey's will go to and then just see what comes out at the end. It's great."
Just as long as you don't make a Pop album.
"No, we won't do a Pop album. (laughter) If we would do a Pop album, I wouldn't have a job anymore because they wouldn't need a guitar player for that one!" (laughter)
Well, maybe you could contribute a solo to the remix?
"Yes, yes. (laughter) On the single version, you have the radio edit and then the Heavy Metal version where I'm allowed to play guitar. Thank you." (laughter)
Tell us what it was like opening for AEROSMITH in Germany.
"Great! That was like a dream come true, you know? We really didn't believe this could work out. It started off that AEROSMITH was supposed to play... it's called Hessentag, it's where the state where we live, Hessen it's called, they have like every year for a big radio station, they have like a ball, which is going for one or two weeks in the city and I saw that it was AEROSMITH is playing there and since we are one of the most popular bands from our state, I said to our booking agency, 'hey, please contact somebody from the agency of AEROSMITH and ask if they want us to play there.' And that worked out and after that, all the other shows in Germany were confirmed as well and that was great. I was much more looking forward to seeing AEROSMITH every night than playing before them." (laughs)
What was the crowd reception like?
"Totally different. I mean, it was a totally different generation there and a lot of people hadn't heard of us before, so it was a challenge, just go there and play in front of ten thousand people who have never heard of you or just know you by the name, but the reactions turned out to be pretty good... at least always at the end, you know - it grew through the show and that shows that we did a pretty good job, but watching AEROSMITH performing live was very, very, very impressive."
About how long of a set did you get to play, 'cause I've noticed with certain arena bands I've seen, sometimes the opening band will get an hour, sometimes they'll only get twenty minutes.
"Yeah, we got about forty-five minutes every time. It was pretty cool. Even all the crew people from AEROSMITH, everyone was pretty kind, so what an experience!"
Just one last question and Frank Zappa posed this question long ago - does humor belong in music?
"Yes. Yes, of course. Of course it does. Music is just a transportation of feelings, I think and music should create feelings and if you're writing about person things and you're a funny guy, maybe sometimes, then why shouldn't you include it in the songs? I think... we're in the entertainment business, so the question could be 'has humor got to be in the entertainment business?' and everybody would say, 'yes, of course it's got to be there!' You don't want to be entertained by people sitting there like 'oh, the world is shit, I hate myself, I want to die' - that's bullshit. If I were listening to music and seeing a band performing, I want to be entertained, not leave the hall depressed." (laughs)
Well, unless you're into nihilistic Black Metal.
"Yeah, but I don't want to see those shows anyway. (laughs) Black Metal can be quite funny, but even if it's not intended to be funny." (laughter)
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
"Well the only thing is thanks for the support and I hope we're going to have a good time this evening and for the rest of the tour." [FIN]
» Official EDGUY Website