David E. Gehlke of Blistering.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Tobias Sammet of German melodic metallers EDGUY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Blistering.com: With all of the work you have done recently with AVANTASIA, is it easy to get back into EDGUY mode?
Sammet: When we were finishing the last two AVANTASIA albums [“Wicked Symphony” and “Angel of Babylon”] and I was leaving the studio after doing the final masters, I was really burnt out. After such an undertaking, such an adventure, I thought it was perfect. I still think it is, but when you when you think something is perfect and you can’t do it any better, you lose your motivation for going on. It’s always the same. After four weeks, six weeks, that feeling sets in again. That urge to create new music and all of the sudden, you’re over what you’ve done in the past and you’re no longer thinking about what you’ve done in the past. Creating music is not only a profession for me, it’s something I need to do. After a couple of weeks, it was literally going back to the keyboard, starting from scratch and starting to compose. It doesn’t make a difference if I’m composing for EDGUY or AVANTASIA…at first I just want to have a great melody, harmony, riff. Then I arrange it, and then I start to take it to the other guys, where individually, it starts to take shape over whether it’s EDGUY or AVANTASIA.
Blistering.com: So because the last few AVANTASIA albums have been so successful, does that help you recharge your batteries for EDGUY? Does EDGUY become more important since you were away from it?
Sammet: [pauses] I’ve never thought about it [laughs]. AVANTASIA is what I consider, a studio project. Of course, it has become a touring entity in 2008 and in 2010. And we just did a headlining show in front of 110,000 people, 8:00, prime-time slot at Wacken, so I can’t just call it a studio project. Originally, it was designed to be a one-off studio project. I never really considered it to be a serious competition to EDGUY. And still, I don’t think it’s a constantly operating project because I don’t even know if there will be another AVANTASIA album or tour. I don’t really think about it. What I can say, it was great to have that experience. I have great memories from [it]. It’s great to create that little playground for me [laughs]. All the things I can’t do with EDGUY, like working with ALICE COOPER and the SCORPIONS, and have all of these musicians on one album creating this big concept. It’s something I enjoy doing. But it’s a great feeling to go back to EDGUY and just do 11 tracks of rock ‘n’ roll, but I don’t want to say “rock ‘n’ roll” because heavy metal fans get upset when I say that even though they’re the same thing. [laughs] Okay, I’ll say it: I’m so much heavy metal, I don’t even care what the heavy metal people think. I am the ultimate outlaw [laughs]. I really enjoy going back and writing 11 songs that were in no way connected to each other, just really great rock ‘n’ roll songs, heavy metal songs, that work on their own, along with the band-thing, the fantastic five-piece band thing. This is my day-to-day… I don’t want to call it “business,” because again, heavy metal fans don’t like that word.
Blistering.com: Well, you look like you’re having quite the good time in the “Robin Hood” video.
Sammet: Usually, I hate shooting videos. Everybody in the band hates shooting them. You have to wait 12 hours a day to just do your little spot and do the same thing over and over. This was a little different. The day before the shoot, we met to have our wardrobes fitted and realized that this is so much fun, that we’re in this surreal setting and we’re in this absolutely silly green tights and leggings. It was ridiculous right from the start. There was waiting, 24 hours’ worth of waiting and the horses were pissed off, we were pissed off, the director was pissed off because it was raining. [laughs] It was really a difficult situation, but I think it was most definitely our best video shoot except for shooting the AVANTASIA video with Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS) because you can’t shoot with Klaus Meine every day. In this case, we had a great time and you can tell. If you can imagine, five friends, running through the forest with a bow and an arrow, wearing really silly clothes. It was great fun. That’s a moment when you really know why you’re doing this.
Blistering.com: I’ve always thought it was a really cool thing that you’ve maintained your sense of humor from album to album.
Sammet: I think we don’t do it on purpose. It’s a part of being honest and natural with ourselves. I think it’s very important to maintain a sense of humor or a tongue-in-cheek attitude or you’d go crazy. We’d become alcoholics, because this business is so stupid and ridiculous and there’s so much ridiculousness in the whole music circus. You have to maintain your humor, and I really don’t understand why some bands don’t show their sense of humor. Let’s face it: There are bands who are doing stupid things and are taking themselves too seriously, but nobody else does. We play the kind of music where you have to sing songs about Odin, where grown-up men pretend they’re Conan the Barbarian, wearing silly loin cloths and sing about raping women, behaving like…some primal creatures and making primal noises, and shaking the heads and banging their heads [laughs]. It doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary point of view because we should be quite a few steps further. And still we enjoy doing all of those primal things and behaving in such a primal way. I don’t know… somebody takes it seriously. But if you’re past your 40th birthday, I don’t see any reason why I should take it seriously. I think I take the world hunger problem [as] a very serious manner, but c’mon, this is rock ‘n’ roll, why would we take it seriously?
Read the entire interview from Blistering.com.