"THIS IS NOT JUST A PROJECT, IT'S A FUCKING EPIC!!!" -Bob Catley (ex-Magnum
Hey everybody out there, now it is official. Many rumors have been going around, that Tobias Sammet is doing a huge side-project with a lot of other musicians from other bands on the metal scene. Now we can tell about it: For over one year now Tobias has been working on the recording of a Metal Opera named "Avantasia", a concept album telling a story which is a mixture beween fantasy, true history and some religious/ philosophic stuff, while the music will be heavy, melodic and bombastic Metal. About the idea Tobias himself says as follows: First of all: I am still in Edguy and I really love the band. The first idea of doing a Metal-opera was basically born a few years ago. When we recorded the Edguy-album Vain Glory Opera, I was so impressed by guest-singer "Hansi Kürsch" of Blind Guardian singing with his voice vocal lines I had written for him. And from that moment on I knew, that one day I would have to record an album with a lot of guests; musicians I feel influenced by, I look up to, I could learn something from or I just had some glasses of wine on tour with... but then the idea was put aside for a while...
Then in the beginning of 1999 during the Theater of Salvation-European tour of Edguy I started (lying bored on the bus, waiting for show-time each day) to write down my thoughts, my ideas and my fantasy and it became a fairytale. And right after the tour I knew, that the material was destined to make a concept album about, as I had a lot of songs to underline the different scenes with music... The fact, that we decided to re-record the Edguy-album Savage Poetry made it much easier for me to say: "Yes it's worth a try", and when the other Ed-guys finally said "Do it!", I knew it was time to start doing it. Of course I was thinking about doing it under "Edguy", but I realized that it would be something different, since Edguy are five guys and no one else, a Metal-Opera would need a lot of singers at least... That was, when I decided to do it totally separated from Edguy and I took the chance to let someone else play the music instead of my Edguy-fellows as well, to have some different inputs at least in the way of playing the instruments, since my musical taste as a songwriter of Edguy and this opera made me guess that this material would be a kind of fast and bombastic Melodic Metal as well. An exciting decision for some new experience and not against anyone in Edguy. They took it easy, since they knew I would come back with a lot of new points of view. But to show! everybody, that we are still one band and good friends, I asked Jens to play some additional lead-guitars on my opera and he was very much into it. Back when I started it I never guessed how much work and tears it will cost me (and how much money my record company, hehehe *laughingdirty* ...), and when I realized that it was fortunately too late to stop... So, still I don't wanna say too much about it yet, but I can promise you all, it's gonna be HUGE!!! A fucking bombastic Metal trip back to the year 1602 and I got some of the best singers and musicians in the entire world to make you plunge into another Metal-dimension... Take a look at the other sections to find about who is joining me. In addition : "Avantasia" Part I will be released in October/ November 2000. It's called "Part I" because there will be a second AND FINAL Part released sometime in the future, maybe 2001 or 2002. It's almost finished as well, but just almost and not completely, and now it's time to concentrate 100% on Edguy again. Just in advance: Avantasia is neither a constant project nor a band. Let's call it a two piece Epic, but it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much work and it's gonna be such a great thing, that I really don't want to compete with it in doing this again. I hope you will enjoy it, but in the future my band EDGUY will need 120% of me, that's what I'm wilt to give it, since Edguy is my constant home... See ya all somewhere in Avantasia...
THE MUSIC: As I already said, it wouldn't be honest to write songs in another style just for they are different from what I usually do with Edguy, since melodic Power Metal is definitely my musical home. So Avantasia's gonna be melodic, it's gonna be fast, it's gonna be heavy, it's gonna be bombastic and it's gonna be BIG!!! Besides the typical sing-along-metal-hymns there'll be some some classical interludes as well. But still: It's gonna be a metal album with a trace of classical influences and not the opposite! That's how I can describe. But it differs from Edguy anyway, since there are ten different singers singing the different story characters, and there are different musicians than in Edguy. But still: I can't - and I don't want to - hide my trademarks in songwriting.
THE MUSICIANS: On this album there will be the absolute cream of metal musicians (okay, okay Ed-guys, you are my first cream of course - I know, but I have to say this for promotional reasons, hahaha...). Well where have we stopped? Ahhh, yes, the cream! Okay, well - I like chocolate cream! Anyway, the instrumentalists are:
Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray, guitars) Markus Grosskopf (Helloween, bass) Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody, drums) Frank Tischer (keyboards) Norman Meiritz (Norman and Killerbums - hehehe) Jens Ludwig (Edguy, additional lead guitar) Tobias Sammet (Edguy, orchestrations and keyboards)
The singers will be (besides me singing the main role of the hero who will beat them all up and get a couple of blow-jobs by all story-chicks in the end, hehehe...): David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) Andre Matos (Angra) Rob Rock (Warrior) Ralf Zdiarstek Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) ERNIE (*) *ERNIE, you have definitely heard about and - if you like excellent singers - you definitely will be impressed by hearing him again. Well, not only impressed: YOU WILL SHED TEARS OF JOY! At least I did so because it was a dream of mine to write some vocal lines for him... All the singers will sing different roles which are similar to their real characters. Me for example, I will be a big hero as I said. And Ralf Zdiarstek will be a young horse-fucking perverted lunatic, (HEY RAMBI, JUST KIDDING!) ... (he is not young at all, hehehe...). No honestly, by the way: Ralf Zdiarstek is an excellent singer who has got no band right at the moment. I tell you, because probably he is the only one in the list of my musicians you haven't heard anything about so far. He's sung a lot of choir-vocals on almost every Edguy-album and on "Avantasia" he gave me the chance, to realize he is one of the most powerful and unique Power Metal singers I have ever listened to! Well as I said: I got the cream in musicians and you can be sure you will love the album. At least I am sure that I love it...
THE STORY: Ohhhhh my god, it's gonna appear here, but it's so fucking complicated. I really don't know what kind of poisoned mushrooms were effecting on me while I created the story together with a friend and brother in mind, René Fandrey. It's weird, a mixture of a late medieval criminal story and a fantasy story. But it's got a real historical background (some of the characters have existed in reality). I really can't describe the story, but although it may sound weird and unrealistic to some when you'll read it, I tried to put as much of my actual and (in my opinion) real points of view about this sick society and the political/ religious control-machinery into it as possible... You will be able to read a shortened version in the booklet...
Faithfully Yours, Tobias Sammet
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