Edguy Frontman Answers Fans Questions
Band Photo: Edguy (?)
EDGUY/AVANTASIA mastermind Tobias Sammet's official web site has been updated with the following question-and-answer session:
Q: Your new [AVANTASIA] EPs have entered the top10 of the single charts in various countries, a.o. at #9 in Germany, in Sweden even at #3 and #4. Are you satisfied with everything so far?
Sammet: When the record company told me about the single chart entry, I was overwhelmed. Nobody could have expected this, especially unlike all the other Top10 hits our song wasn't played on radio or TV. It was just the hardcore of my fans who made this possible, and that's what I am really thankful for. On one hand, the most important thing is that I am happy with the material myself but on the other hand, chart positions like that are the icing on the cake. We are the first band on our label Nuclear Blast Records that has a single rocketing into the Top10 upon its release.
Q: I don't know if this has got through to you at all, but there are a few of your older fans that don't like the softer direction especially of the song "Lost In Space". They accuse you of selling out commercially. Any comment on this?
Sammet: That's totally unfair. Every successful artist has to go through this, I guess, especially when you dare to break down a few stylistic barriers here and there. I love the song as it is, and everybody's got the right to like or dislike it. But nobody has the right to come up with accusals of things that are just not true. It is good for our beloved metal to break out of certain schemes, be controversial and take a risk. I don't wanna be a square and boring slave that wants to be loved by everybody and that delivers ten speed metal songs just because someone demands it. I know that especially in Japan my fans would have loved to have ten speed metal songs, even a copy of the first two AVANTASIA albums. But they understand I can't do that, because it would be dishonest and unfair. Maybe I'd get a lot of money for that, but I can not do things just because someone demands anything. "Avantasia 1" and "2" are parts of me, and you will surely hear that on "The Scarecrow". But nevertheless I wanna come up with new elements as well, no matter if I get flak or not! "Lost In Space" is one of two radio-friendly songs that will never be heard on radio, I guess; the rest of the album is heavier stuff. The whole discussion is completely stupid.
Q: So to put your fans at ease we can assure, that you won't become the German Jon Bon Jovi.
Sammet: Haha, it seems like he is the public enemy number one for the young heavy metal generation. I gotta say something: BON JOVI headlined the Monsters Of Rock in Donington 1987, I love his old stuff. But I am Tobias Sammet. An artist with the name Tobias Sammet will be ignored by radio whatever I do. Bon Jovi gets airplay because of his name. If you know how the music biz works you gotta admit that — no matter how radio friendly "Lost In Space" may appear to some fans — the chance to get airplay equals almost zero. Tailoring a song in order to get airplay would be lunatic.
Q: To come to an end with the commerce topic, a last reproach of a few fans: Some reproach you for sell out because you released two EPs prior to the album:
Sammet: Bollocks! The labels need singles in order to get attention for the forthcoming record. I just don't like singles, because I wouldn't wanna buy a CD with one song in three versions. We just had so much additional material, so we did two singles with a lot of bonus stuff. A single is very important to prepare the market for the release of an album but ecconomically they generate a big loss, everybody who knows the business will have to admit that. All you can do is hope that the single enters the charts on a good position, because that will make the retailers order bigger amounts of the real album later on. That's an important thing, the CD market is doing so bad these days, you gotta make sure your album is available out there.
Q: Okay, then we have finally cleared this up. So after "Lost In Space" what do we have to expect from the forthcoming album "The Scarecrow"? The EPs had a lot of variety already, will that variety continue on the album?
Sammet: Absolutely! There will be a lot of elements on the album resembling the first two AVANTASIA albums, but there's also gonna be more variety. There is the highly bombastic title track with a running time of more than eleven minutes, which could doubtlessly be the mature brother of "The Seven Angels". We have heavy groovers like "Twisted Mind" or the eerie "The Toy Master" that has a weird horror touch, thanks to Alice Cooper and his cutting voice. But there'll be also a few singalong rock songs like "Lost In Space" or a modern semi-ballad called "Carry Me Over". I'd say it's basically a bombastic metal album, but I was impudent enough to dare to include uncommon elements here and there, just to make it a bit more exciting. The metal press says that it's the strongest AVANTASIA album so far, that it sounds like AVANTASIA but that it also sounds very fresh, new and mature. Despite a BON JOVI single I can't be that wrong I guess, haha. By the way, wait until people see the second video "Carry Me Over", people who thought "Lost In Space" was commercial will crucify me after that one, haha. But that's my definition of metal: I know that I'll get flak and people wanna kill me for doing certain things, but I do what I like anyway.
Q: What do you think, you'll achieve with this new record? Do you think you will repeat the success you had with "The Metal Opera Part 1 & 2"?
Sammet: Hard to say. Success is a feeling you give to yourself. To me success means to love the record I have recorded, even though the record was way more expensive than I had expected, Haha. Every aspect of the production was top notch, we mixed six weeks, we mastered a whole week, we worked in the best and most expensive studios. I had the chance to work with icons like Alice Cooper and Rudolf Schenker. I am so damn happy with the album and the many beautiful recollections of the recording process. One press guy told me that this could become a milestone in metal history. Well, I am not in the position to judge and I don't know that. All I can do is hope that a lot of other people out there will be very happy with this album as well.
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