Interview with Tobias Sammet: The new album wrote itself
Avantasia is back with the new album ”Moonglow” which is the eight album by this Power Metal ensemble from Germany. The father of the project is Tobias Sammet and he called me up a few weeks ago to talk about the new album from Avantasia, why Edguy never have played at Sabaton Open Air and some football of course.
Hello Tobias. Avantasia is back on record. What’s your feelings around this?
-First of all it’s great to be back. The album are postponed for two weeks and it will be released on the 15th of february. It was not planned to release a new Avantasia album but the record wrote itself so here we are.
In my opinion Avantasia is on another level if you compare to Edguy because the sound is more boombastic, the guest musicians and so on…what’s your top priority if you had to choose between the bands?
-I can’t choose. Right now It’s Avantasia who is the top priority but next year it might be Edguy. I really can’t compare the two bands because it’s two completely different bands. Avantasia started out as a solo project and it was supposed to be my hobbby, my thing. Then it turned out to be bigger than Edguy but that’s not my fault.
Edguy is a band and back in the days we were five young guys who was doing it together and that was great. It’s still great doing music as a part of Edguy but right now it’s Avantasia that keeps me going.
Where is the new album recorded?
-In many, many places. My own vocals were recorded in my own studio and the backing vocals were recorded in Hamburg. Geoff Tate flew in to Frankfurt and do his part, and believe me that was great. I was twelve years when I first listened to the magic album ”Operation:Mindcrime” and from that day Geoff Tate has been one of my heroes in the world of hard rock. It was a real pleasure to have him as guest on the new Avantasia album. Ronnie Atkins were recorded in Denmark and Candice Night doing her parts in a studio in the United States. So many studios has been involved in the process.
How much time did you spent in the studio this time?
-Oh my god, I didn’t count the hours but a lot of time. You don’t realize how long you spent in the studio while you are there. I started to work on ”Moonglow” back in 2016 and from the beginning the thought was to do a solo album. Since I build my own studio is much easier to record music and it gives me freedom. The last two years I’ve spend more time than ever in a recording studio.
If we talk about the different streaming services that exist in these days what do you feel about that?
-I’m supposed to be happy. We’re being told that the kids finally would spend money on music, but to be honest I don’t like it and I’m definitely not happy. When I grew up I used to buy records on my way home from school. It was pure magic when Iron Maiden, Kiss or Magnum released a new album and when I got home I got the chance to unwrapping it and listen to it on my stereo at the same time as I was looking in the booklet.
Right there at that moment it was me and Iron Maiden or Kiss or Magnum or…. I don’t have Spotify but I’m listening to new music and if I’m on tour I use I-tunes to buy it. It’s not the money when it comes to Spotify, it’s more the feeling that I feel sorry for the people out there who doesn’t want or have the time to buy music. The new Avantasia album for example comes with a great booklet and an artwork that Alexander Jansson made, and it’s a shame that people don’t care about those kind of things anymore.
Stargazed Magazine working close to the Sabaton Open Air festival here in Sweden and I have to ask one question about Edguy. When can we expect Edguy to play at Sabaton Open Air?
-I have no idea. What I’ve heard it’s a great festival. Right now we’re not making any plans for Edguy, we needed a break. It wouldn’t make sense to release new material when we didn’t have it in us. But if I return to your question, the answer is yes, Edguy should play the Sabaton Open Air.
At last I want to talk some football. I’m a huge fan of Liverpool and I know that you are very much into Bayern Munich. What do you think of the two games in the Champions League?
-I’m scared. For the past ten years I’ve never been afraid but Liverpool is extremely good at the moment and Bayern are having one of the worst years ever. Of course every match is different and it depend on how lucky you are as well, but the odds are on Liverpools side this time.
Jurgen Klopp is a man with a bag of surprises so you really don’t know what should happen. He is a cool coach and of course one of the best coaches in the world.
Ok Tobias, I’m done here and I wish you good luck with the new Avantasia album.
-Thank you and I hope to see you in Stockholm in May.