Metal Reviews went to Lyon (France) to see the AFM Records
Festival (Steel Attack, Voice, Squealer and of course Edguy).
MR : Okay, we have a few questions, and especially one - who chose Edguy as a name - and why?
Tobias : (Laughs) It's a funny thing because, when we started the band it was in 1992 it was a school band - we were just playing cover songs from AC/DC - and there was this one teacher who was known everywhere, that everybody laughed about - I mean the whole school. We were 14 year-old guys then, and I said "Oh, why don't we call ourselves Edguy"? And everyone was like, "Yeah OK, lets do it", and so I think 2 years later we said " We can handle the name". (laughs). It's a very strange name. Even Kai Hansen... it was on the first tour I remember, he said - "Ok, now that I got used to the band, and I like it... But who the fuck could dare to call the band Edguy" (laughs).
MR : You're new on the metal scene - how is your career going so far ?
Tobias : Well, we're not that new on the scene - it's been 8 years now. Yeah, we formed the band in 1992, but nothing went on for a while. I think everything's gone step by step, and now the past few months it went on big times
MR : The "Vain Glory Opera" album ?
Tobias : Yeah, yeah... That's basically what did it for us - the step into the scene. Before we just did the "Kingdom Of Madness". It was a strange sound. Since "Vain Glory Opera" everything went on very fast, but it's like... sometimes, if people don't cause they're own increase, nothing happens. It was a funny thing - we worked, and immediately we got the rewards. We worked, and there was no time to have any doubts, because every time we worked there was another step - we got the next rewards. It was increasing the band logically, step by step. And it started to go on in big step and so far we can follow the steps.
MR : Do you like this "metal life", is it what you imagined 10 years ago ?
Tobias : Umm...Yes. It's different from what I imagined, because
when you imagine it, it's all a dream, it's just a bubble. And You're
"Ooh. It would be like that, and like that...", and when you're 15,16,
you're like "Ooh... 2000 girls", and no - then it's just 1500 and
it's so depressing (laughs).
MR : Good.... Okay, before I go on and forget this question: We saw you in Pratteln (a small town near Basel in Switzerland) for the concert, and you were joking about this word "Pratteln". What was the joke ?
Tobias : Yeah (laughs), You know how every language has those words
that you can use as a synonym for everything and 'Pratteln' sounds
like a German word you can use for everything. The first time we were
there, we were sitting back stage with Iron Savior : and it was like
"wait I'm gonna pratteln you one" (laughs)... or it's like (he holds
his stomach) "ooh... I got a pratteln" (laughs). The word doesn't
exist of course, but it's a word you can use for everything.
MR : OK, why did you decide to re-record your first LP ?
Tobias : Hmm...It's a mixture between many points. We always waited, and said maybe we could release that again one day, but there was always new material... and new material... and then everyone keep on asking. And on the Internet there were prizes of 500 US Dollar for the original one. In the end more and more people have been asking for it, and we said - we think the songs have good hooklines, and then we've been sitting together and been saying "What can we do with this song....? Oh, please turn back that bit - we could do it like this." And there were ideas coming up, and coming up, so we said okay, let's do it. We rearranged everything - we were 3 months in the studio. Its gonna be 2 versions but it's unsure what printing it'll have - whether it's limited edition. But if it is limited edition, it wont be too small numbers. It would be limited so all fans could find a copy, but then after some time just have the unlimited one for other people wanting to buy it.
MR : What are your sources of inspiration? Cause you are one hell of a song writer.
Tobias : (Laughs) Thank you very much.
MR : I read the first album you bought was a Kiss album.
Tobias : Well, the first album I heard on tape, at the age of 4 years, was the AC/DC tapes of my older brother. I liked it. I mean, it's not a promotion or whatever - nobody would care about it - it's just like that. I always wanted to hear the song with the bell "Hell's Bells". And I was always like, "do it again". In the first class, my Art class, everyone was bringing in their story tapes and I brought my brother's AC/DC. This is funny but its true... And the first album that I really bought was Kiss' "Dressed To Kill".
MR : Ah yes, I read it was a Kiss album, and I'm a mega fan of Kiss.
Tobias : Yeah me too, (reveals Kiss T-shirt and laughs)
MR : Your last 2 albums are wonderful, especially the last song on the last album !
Tobias : I like that one pretty much as well.
MR : So where is your inspiration coming from, girls? (everyone laughing)
Tobias : No, no... I don't think so... Everything...anything... The inspiration is basically everything, you just gotta take a look out and that's enough inspiration. Life. It's always the same thing. But behind it is not just taken from a typical metal attitude, it's everything. My inspiration comes basically from life. I just basically go out and do it, I just play and record, play and record. Maybe because I'm such a big fan myself, you know. Maybe I was the one asking why they couldn't write an Eagle Fly Free part 2 (laughs). So yeah this is just life, and I like all that strong stuff that touches you - deep things, for example Richard Wagner, Manowar. These... movie soundtracks, Jerry Goldsmith's music film.
MR : Yeah he wrote the music for all the Star Treks, and many movies.
Tobias : You can be caught by the moment, and this is why I write music, this is what Theater of Salvation especially does in my opinion. The beginning is very positive, not depressive, like those "depressing songs" (comically sings depressive lyrics - everyone laughing)
MR : Is this your favorite song?
Tobias : Hmm... its hard to say, you know. Because I try to give the best in every song, it would not be fair to say something is the best. Out Of Control for example, I like very much.
MR : So do we. Are you going to sing Theater Of Salvation tonight?
Tobias : No. Maybe we'll do it in the future, we have been thinking about that, but we don't play with the keyboard live. Some people complained about that on the Internet, I know. In the "guest book" of our official homepage, they complained about not having the keyboard. So we try to improve everything - to give everything - and I think it works. If we do a real tour, you know, with effects and stuff, then we'll do stuff with keyboards as well. Theater Of Salvation is a long song, there are so many things happening that it could "work". Like the Hallelujah part, with the audience singing ! I would like to play this one live, but so far, you know, its just we said Edguy is 5 people, and we just go on stage. We don't have anybody in the background, or putting in samples from behind the stage. We're just 5 guys and we go out and do it. Nothing else coming from background.
MR : Pure "original" sound !
MR : Can your name your 3 favorite all time albums
Tobias : Hmm, it's hard, cause it wouldn't be fair against 100 other albums (laughs). But out of my head right now "Keeper of the Seven Keys part 2"(Helloween). Without any doubt about it ! Then there's a 'fucking' long raw of albums. And it changes from time to time ! At the moment it is Magnum "The Storyteller's Night". And......you got to have 3, so I'm gonna say : "The last is a collection of the Metal and Hard-Rock Classics CD's of the last 30 years.(laughs).
MR : OK, if I told you Hammerfall and Edguy are the ones who have created this True-Metal wave, how do you react?
Tobias : Hmm... I'd say you are 50% right. We haven't created that one. Hammerfall were the "right time-right place". People are know jealous of them, but they did it. They were the ones who wrote the songs, Nuclear Blast featured, it went good. I thank you to think that we did that, but Hammerfall did a very very good pioneer job for this you know and for us it's running good, but you don't have to forget Rhapsody. I think we belong "maybe" to the 3 upcoming bands, melodic metal bands of the last 2 years, this kind of melodic metal you know, the new comers...
MR : You also arrived at the right time with "Vain Glory Opera" ?
Tobias : Yeah, we had luck and we don't have to deny that. I think it was the fusion of many things. Maybe good songs, fans who wanted to hear the songs at that time, and of the time itself. You know, just one had to be missing then it would not have been possible. I think it could happen to anyone.(MR note : Tobias' modesty is impressive, but he forgot to mention talent ! Edguy is a very talented band)
MR : Do you think metal should stay underground ?
Tobias : I've been thinking about that 2 days ago because I think it's
funny : everything that is in the media, pretty big : sucks ! (everyone
laughing). But it's not like that, but people think it's like that.
When I take a look now to the charts : there's so much bullshit and
all bands coming doing the same stuff and one more producer sending
out 10 new bands (MR: Tobias talks about the music in general,
not only about metal bands). Here you have them ! Delivery
... it's just not music, it's not art, not something that reaches
you, it's just delivery ! It's a job you know, an offer, business
offer and they push it and people buy it. If metal would be in the
media there would be many bands. I mean now you can even watch that
as well, it's getting a little bit bigger. There are so many bands
coming and .....I don't know..... every one of them would have found
a deal if this music was a little bit lower ?
MR : Yeah, they are too many bands actually, so many bands doing True Metal, when a there's a new revival they are dozens of new bands.
Tobias : Yeah, but now I wasn't talking of the metal only,
metal is just a little part. I was speaking of everything :
like these boys group (laughs)
M.R. : That's what we hope for you (laughs). After all Paul Stanley is 55 and is still "touring".
Tobias : He is not 55, is he ?
M.R. : So he's not yet 50, oops, you better than me...
Tobias : You are no Kiss fan :).
M.R. : I bought all the albums but...... okay you win on that one (all laughs).
Tobias : No problem (laughs).
M.R. : Can you tell us more about your next LP with Timo Tolki, it's gonna be called Sammet ? It's your personal.....
Tobias : Ah... you know about that one ?
M.R. : Yeah you know we're big Edguy fans.
M.R. : Kiss singer ???
Tobias : No :) but Eric Singer will play on one song drums...eah I was amazed by that as well. Andre Matos will sing one role, and Kai Hansen and maybe David Defeis from Virgin Steele, uhm... me (laughs) and some other stuff... Enio plays the guitar and Marc Grosskopf from Helloween play bass, and the usual drums are played by Alex Holzwarth the guy who played on the first Angra album the "Angels Cry" he played in studio job and ... that's it. It's a story and I work on it for one year now. It's a concept album and there's no ending sights still, but I think end of the year it's gonna be released. It's gonna be a very huge thing but you will know about that.
M.R. : Is it over already ? Is it recorded yet ?
No. We have recorded the basics. We started back ... well I don't know... I started to write it in the beginning of last year and we started the recording I think... in September. And now I'm working as well as Enio, the others are a bit working as well.
M.R. : A typical Opera ?
Tobias : I don't like the expression because everyone is now calling every album Opera......., but it is one. I wanted to call it like that. Now I'm thinking about it because everyone call their album opera.
M.R. : So you could change the name ?
Tobias : Uh... I don't know ... Maybe I'm gonna call it Metal Opera. But maybe I'm gonna change the name......but it is an opera.
M.R. : You release it on October, perhaps November this year ?
Tobias : Yeah right... Ah I see Olivier does a good job (laughs).
M.R. : As we told you we are a metal web-zine from Switzerland, we want to show to Switzerland (and the rest of the world of course) that metal is a good music, and we're gonna kick Switzerland's ass if we have to do it (laughs) !
Tobias : So you are from Switzerland ?
M.R. : Yeah from Geneva, from the "French" talking side (MR note : In Switzerland there are today 4 different languages).
Tobias : Is Geneva on the border to France...
M.R. : Yes.
Tobias : Because you said you were from Geneva, but I didn't know if you were from the other side or from this side (France). I mean not from the other side : gay wise (everyone laughing).
M.R. : Two last questions, how do you feel just before getting on stage ?
Tobias : Oh... it's different ... I usually don't feel pretty nervous, I feel ... just a little nervous that makes you getting : "Oh... two more minutes left" , this kind of nervousness. You know waiting for it then you can start it. Because the first reaction is how will people receive you ? How will they get you welcome ? How will they react and then it usually goes from it's own. Sometimes, in some places we played in Germany, especially the more it comes to our hometown, the worst the people get. Not worse but the more defensive they get ! You know you have to fight for them. Then you know when you got out there ... Okay, it's gonna be one more fight (laughs). Sometimes it goes on it's own you know. "What is that !!!" on Wacken for example.
M.R. : We were there. We took the car and drove 2400 kilometers to see the show at Wacken and it was great, but you were on the first opening act this year ?
Tobias : Yeah....because maybe the organizers doesn't like us, I don't know. But he put us as the first band, we had no backstage room or whatever, but it was fun. We did it and I think people liked it. It was amazing audience. Like in France for example : you know the reputation of France has always been like : "Yeah France, they are some metal heads....but not many"! And when you go there and 4'000 people sing, everybody knows the lyrics, what could be better ?
M.R. : If I recall correctly at Wacken, didn't you ask the public if it would be great if Kai would come and sing with you ?
Tobias : I asked "What would you think about if now Kai Hansen would come out and we would play Babylon together ?". Wacken's audience said :"YEAAH". I said :"I think it could be great as well, but Kai is not here, so we played it on our own" (laughs).
M.R. : So it was just a joke then ?
Tobias :Yeah.... but Kai was there, he was behind the stage. But I didn't know that Kai was there. I found him later behind the stage and he came up and said : "Hey ! Tobi, you 'motherfucking' liar" I was there" (everyone laughing). Kai is a funny guy, we're talking sometimes.
M.R. : Do you have anything to say to our readers and your fans ?
Tobias : Yeah... I hope your readers are all fans
(laughs)......uhmm....I'm thankful for everything that went on during the
last 2 years. That's basically the most important thing because people
helped us and this would not have been possible if there was no one.
Perhaps I could have made music and then I couldn't go to the studio and
spend such a long time there, record such expensive albums. Therefore I'm
very tankful to be in the situation and thank everyone for that.
M.R. : Okay, great... will you be in Wacken this year ?
Tobias : No, not this year, maybe next year. This year we play at God of Metal in Italy with Iron Maiden (YES !!! doing the winning fist move) in June.
M.R. : We'll see you there...
Tobias : Hansi is there as well with Demons&Wizards.
M.R. : But he's 'untouchable' (laughs) ...
Tobias : Hansi ? he's a very nice guy.
M.R. : We've seen Blind Guardian 2 or 3 times on tour and we said : "Unbelievable, we like this guy", you feel it in interviews, you feel that this guy is so cool, so Zen.
Tobias : He's nice, he's not a masquerade. I hate those other guys
(Tobias is simulating on a big show off tone : "Okay, ask your questions
?" ... (laughs) ... cause everybody that sells himself for something
better than the others is a stupid liar. I mean of course there's
one musician and one guy asking the questions but we're both human
beings. Nothing more and nothing less. I hate this guys that are "How
you doing, ask your questions" (same show off tone) ... "You can read
that on the booklet ask the next one..." (laughs), then he's definitely
on the wrong positions. He's shouldn't have been on a tour bus, but
instead on a self helping group for mentally deranged people (laughs)
Tobias :Yes of course. It's like everything... when you're for
example.... a guy who's checking computers in companies and you have to go
to the different companies to check the computers system there, it depends
on the mood as well. And then you go "What the fuck are you
doing..." (laughs)........and then you lose your job
M.R. : Thank you Tobias.
Tobias : Thank you guys.
Chris & Danny