Avantasia (Tobias Sammet)
The new Avantasia chapter is finally here: Tobias Sammett looks gutsy, self-confident and willing to share his music with his fans all over the world. We called him, talked about his new Metal Opera and discovered a lot of details and curious facts... Enjoy our interview!
Article by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 20/03/13
Hello Tobias! Welcome to SpazioRock.it. How are you doing?

I am at home in Germany...

We've been waiting for you last week, our readers were ready to take part to the meet&greet!

I know and you're perfectly right, I apologize with the magazine and SpazioRock readers, but I had a problem.

Why? What happened exactly?

I had a little accident in my hotel room in France. I had to go back and cancel the rest of the promotional tour, because I hurt my foot and I had a contusion. Nothing too serious, but you know, I made the wrong move and that’s it.

But I hope that the tour is confirmed!

Oh, yeah! That tour is confirmed!

Perfect. The first time we met was in 2003, at the Motorbike Fest in Cremona.

Yeah, I remember the festival!

You were wearing a wonderful Wile E. Coyote T-shirt... Do you still have it? I want it!

(laughs) I think I still might have it, I just have to find it.

Do you remember the show?

It was a pretty different show: there was a pretty small stage and I think that after us, it was playing an AC/DC cover band! I remember the show and the hotel... It was nice!

Come on, let’s change topic and talk about “The Mystery Of Time”. Do you think you have introduced anything new in this new Avantasia chapter?

Of course this is a new cycle of songs and for the first time we have worked with an orchestra for real. A lot of things are new in this album, but it’s 100% Avantasia. It’s absolutely typical Avantasia, with new things to discover for the listener. I think I have achieved that.

avantasia_intervista_2013_02Yeah, I do think this is a great album: one of the best Avantasia albums.

Thank you very much, I am glad to hear that and... I agree with you!

The orchestral arrangements in “Black Orchid” are very close to the last Nightwish album, in my opinion: are you inspired by this band, while writing for Avantasia?

You know, I really really respect Tuomas and Nightwish, but to be really honest, I haven’t listened to their last album. It’s not that I don’t like it, but, no I am not inspired by Nightwish!

I mean only the orchestral arrangements in that particular song...

Oh no, you know, I would admit it when something inspires me a lot. I am that kind of person, but I am not that familiar with Nightwish album.

No problem. The chorus of the titletrack reminded me of “The Seven Angels”, sung by Kai Hansen. Is it a sort of a coming back to the past? I really appreciated that.

It’s kinda of funny you mentioned that song! It was not intended to sound like that song on purpose: the sound I had in mind for Avantasia was defined in “The Metal Opera Pt.I” and “The Metal Opera Pt.II”. I have never abandoned that kind of sound, we tried different things, combined new sounds... But I think “The Mystery Of Time” is a combination of the old albums and the latest albums, and this is an exciting combination. Honestly, I haven’t thought about that song and it's quite surprising!

Is there a singer you would never do without in Avantasia? One name only...

For sure Michael Kiske.

I have another name... I would say Jorn Lande. For me he’s fundamental in your Avantasia albums.

Yeah, he’s not singing in the new album, but in the others, yes. It’s not that I didn’t want him on the album, but he was so busy with his own band, he had a different agenda, so I had to go down a different path and do Avantasia without Jorn. He’s a great singer and a really good friend of mine, but life goes on, and all the vocalists on the album did a terrific job. And there’s is something new happening in Avantasia for that, and that’s fantastic!

Of course. In particular, I really appreciated the performance by Joe Lynn Turner. He’s a great singer.

Joe is a terrific singer! The first album I heard with him it was not a Rainbow album, but it was of course Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple. I was 12 when I first listened to him and I was absolutely amazed by his voice. He gives Avantasia a completely new facette.

Now a few words on Michael Kiske. Are you a supporter of a possible reunion with Helloween?

I don’t know, I am not in the position to say anything about that! I don’t think it will happen. From a fans’ point of view I don’t think it would be a great idea. You always think that things will happen the way you think they should happen, but they happen differently. And that leads to disappointment, because in your fantasy everything is colorful and happy and beautiful. But Helloween nowadays have a good singer, but they’re a different band too and they’re successful. Michael Kiske left the band twenty years ago. I don’t know if this is what he would expect to happen, it brings along a lot of romantic memories, of the old Helloween times... It’s a different music world now, Helloween have a good singer, Michael Kiske has his own band.

Another question for you: is there an artist that disappointed you by refusing your invitation to join Avantasia?

Well, disappointment is something too harsh. Everybody has the right to say no to anything, to decide what they want to do or don’t want to do. In case of Avantasia, there’s someone I would really love to work with, and never say never, and that would be Bruce Dickinson. I haven’t worked with him yet, but I am not disappointed by this. He’s very busy and he has every right to turn down an invitation.

Toby, Avantasia is much more successful, commercialy speaking, than Edguy. It’s a stupid question, I know, but have you ever considered of making Avantasia your only project?

No. To be honest, Edguy is quite successful too. We cannot complain about the lack of success: our last album was at #3 in German Charts, and it went pretty good in the European Charts... We had a successful South American tour. We can’t really complain about that. Avantasia... I only do that every couple of years and I do very few shows everytime. I have only had 25 shows with Avantasia in my whole life. With Edguy I had more than 600 shows. I am really happy to be in Edguy and to travel the world with my friends and do rock ‘n’ roll shows, talk bullshit, hit the stage with them. In Avantasia I only do that so rarely, the magic in it is that everything happens so slowly and so rarely. I would never leave Edguy to be only in Avantasia.

avantasia_intervista_2013_03Are you working on a new Edguy record? Can you anticipate me anything?

No, we’re not working on anything new. I have just had a conversation with the guys and in October we will see which ideas we have collected, and we will start working on the album very very slowly. I think we will record a new Edguy album next year. Somewhere in spring.

I really wanted to tell you that your last Edguy album is probably one of the best in your career.

Thank you so much! I do agree with you. I really wanted to do that album with my mind free. I wanted to do it without Avantasia in mind, I wanted to make of “The Age Of The Joker” a great album.

You’re like Gollum! You have two separate things in your mind... Avantasia and Edguy.

Well, do you mean I am a little bit schizophrenic about Avantasia and Edguy? Oh, yeah! When I work on Avantasia or Edguy, I do focus on one thing at the time and I give it 100%. That’s what the two projects have in common.

Last time you went to Italy with Avantasia went not very well with the fans. Would you like to invite them to Alcatraz, the 16th April?

Well, I don’t mind if they’re 100 or 3000, if not many fans are coming to the show, the more special it will be for those who will come. I am looking forward to it, we’re going to do a three hours show, with a bigger lineup than Avantasia ever had before: Eric Martin, Michael Kiske, Amanda Somerville, we’re going to kick ass. I don’t know how many people will come, but those who will come, are going to see a hell of a show!

Meanwhile, in Switzerland you had a sold out show.

Yeah, that’s true! The first show in Switzerland is a sold out show, and the second one it’s on the same way!

In your opinion, why is it so difficult to have a sold out show in Italy?

I don’t know, that’s a good question! There are so many possible reasons, but I don’t know! Anyway, from what I’ve heard, the presales in Italy are very good right now. Who knows, maybe it will be sold out in Milan.

I’ll be there for the show!

Well, me too! (laughs)

Thank you so much for your time: would you like to leave a message, the most original one, to your fans and SpazioRock.it readers?

The most original one? I can only say thank you very very very much for your support, and SpazioRock readers, we really really want to thank you for your support and we will wait for you in Milan, at Alcatraz, on 16th April. I’ll be there and we’ll deliver the show of your life. So... Come to the show!

Thank you Toby! See you there!

You’re welcome, see you there!

And remember the Wile E. Coyote T-shirt for me!

I will look for it! Bye!

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