Interview with Edguy
Band Photo: Edguy (?)
On August 16th I interviewed Edguy at BBkings in New York City, NY. Due to time constraints, I had to interview the singer, Tobias Sammet, with two other interviewers. In addition, I missed most of Into Eternity, opening band’s, performance. I enjoyed doing the interview with Tobias, even if it was short and scattered.
Zack: How does Edguy stand out from other power metal bands? What makes the music unique?
Tobias Sammet: When you say what is special about Edguy, you don’t necessarily have to bad mouth other bands, which I’m not gonna do. It is obvious we are the best heavy metal band in the world.
Zack: Why did you choose your name? What does it mean?
Tobias Sammet: It doesn’t have a meaning. We were just looking for a name and we thought, ‘oh we have to be clever.’ Before we were recording our first song, we were thinking about for legal matters, we should have a name nobody else would make, so we would never have any legal trouble. That way we thought, ‘which word could we invent?’ We had a teacher called Edgar. So we got an [bright] idea to call ourselves Edguy. [Mimicking the band’s reaction to the name]‘Yeah, cool name Edguy.’ It stuck, obviously. It sounds like a post-puberty surf punk band. But that’s not what it is now, you know, after six albums and a seventh coming out now.
Zack: What are your opinions about downloading music?
Tobias Sammet: It affects everybody. I think it’s for a younger generation. It’s quite normal, but that doesn’t make it any better. Any more legal. First of all, I’m against it. If I’m gonna buy a CD I buy it, I don’t steal it.
Zack: It’s not really stealing.
Tobias Sammet: Yes it is.
Zack: the only reason why it is illegal is that it breaks copyrights.
Tobias Sammet: Yeah but you’re stealing music. I think it’s kinda stealing. Probably if I were to sell like seven million records I wouldn’t care if another five million were downloaded. For us it’s quite okay, we make a decent living because we sell quite many copies worldwide. But there are many bands that are just losing. I know a lot of people who are losing their record deal. Bands like Pretty Maids, one of my childhood heroes going doing a daily job now working at registers. Just because they don’t sell enough records anymore. Still they kept playing concerts in front of as many people as they did in the past, which means they have enough fans still. Some people just don’t pay for the music anymore that makes it impossible for them to rent the studios for ‘Jump the Gun’ back then or ‘Future World’ when they were spending like three months in the studio. They just can’t do it anymore. That’s the quality, everything suffers. I think it’s stealing. I think it’s just that the kids nowadays don’t perceive it as stealing. That’s what I think the problem about it. Those people who download music from the internet I wouldn’t call them evil people, bad people, mean people that want to do harm to anybody, they just don’t have the relation to this ritual of buying a CD or buying an LP anymore. When I was young, still am, still looking young, I’m still behaving like I’m young, but when I was really young, it was a ritual, I was waiting for the release date of a new kiss album and I would run into the store and look at the wig on Paul Stanley and say wow it’s looking good this time [laughs].
Zack: Back to what he [another interviewer] was saying, that you can’t even get some albums in the US without paying extraordinary import fees. Take Mandrake for example, I looked for it the other day and I had trouble finding it without having to pay these prices, which I cannot afford.
Tobias Sammet: Hey, I’ve never thought about that problem, that way.
Zack: I find it great for imports and even trying new music. If it’s amazing I’ll go out and buy it.
Tobias Sammet: You should be able to find Mandrake it should be listed. Still, if something is not available and you try to [and] it’s really hard. that’s a different story, but still, I think first of all, as a music fan everyone should decide on their own, do I wanna support this band, do I want to pay for it, do I want to guarantee that the band will have enough money to record another album in the future, to record another album with high quality in the future. In Germany, you get all the copies, and still some people just download. I don’t wanna back out these people and say they are all assholes, but some people just don’t think about the consequences. If I wanna eat a pizza I buy it, [I] don’t download. I mean it would be a big mess downloading a pizza [laughs].
Zack: So how’s the tour going, though it’s only the start, how is it?
Tobias Sammet: It’s like the sixth show tonight, and it’s better than I expected. Basically, I didn’t expect so much.
Zack: Any funny stories?
Tobias Sammet: No, not really yet.
Zack: Any advise to aspiring singers?
Tobias Sammet: Ummm, well just sing. [laughs]. It’s really hard to say. Singing is the strangest instrument. [I’ve been] playing keyboards as well. The thing is a totally different story because there’s nothing you can say to move your finger like this or like that. Everything you do in your throat is what you feel. You can just feel it, but you don’t really see anything. You can’t really say, ‘put this bone over this bone and move and flex this muscle’ it’s happening here and I don’t know even what muscles are in there. I think it’s just finding out by learning by doing just trying to get a good mix of having a good sound and not doing too much harm to your health, which is quite obvious in metal. How can you sing healthy going on four times in a row singing these extremely high things. I think nature made our voices to just say ‘watch out there’s a mammoth coming,’ but not for you know going on stage and screaming for two hours.
Zack: Thank you for doing this interview.
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