TOBIAS SAMMET Says Some Of New AVANTASIA Music Is 'Quite Heavy': 'It Clearly Shows My Power Metal Sides'
May 23, 2022
EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet recently gave his first interview about "A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society", the upcoming album from his AVANTASIA project. Due in the fall via Nuclear Blast, the disc will be the follow-up to "Moonglow", which came out in 2019. The new LP's first single, "The Wicked Rule The Night", featuring a guest appearance by PRIMAL FEAR singer Ralf Scheepers, can be heard below.
Q: Tobi, the new album is about to be finished. What are you currently up to?
Tobias: "Right now we are designing a limited-edition book package with loads of additional content, liner notes, photos, an art book and I am deeply involved in all of it. I am a control freak, but I want to offer fans nothing less than what I'd personally love to hold in hands. In our webshop we'll offer limited vinyls in colors that I personally picked. Nothing is left to chance. I approach this as a fan and music enthusiast myself."
Q: Is the new album a conceptual continuation of your most recent effort "Moonglow"?
Tobias: "Yes, in a way it is that, but it's far from being just more of the same. It's new and fresh, a good mix of fantasy and poetry, but with each song having autobiographical chracteristics too. I am very proud of those lyrics; they mean a lot to me and even though they have a fantastic approach I reveal a lot about myself."
Q: What can you say about the new music?
Tobias: "It's always hard to judge your own work when you're still so close to it. Some of it is quite heavy. It clearly shows my power metal sides, not just as a writer but also as a vocalist. A friend of mine just said that some of the stuff sounds like my earlier stuff, AVANTASIA or EDGUY, at the turn of the millennium."
Q: Was that an intentional move?
Tobias: "No, it wasn't at all. I guess it just happened because I was deeply involved in every tiny little step of the realization and production as in the earlier days. I was locked in at home and I had the time to deal with a lot of the details. It bears my trademarks and it's a very personal album."
Q: Having run a band and a metal opera and supplied their material for so many years simultaneously, recently it seems to have been easier for you to write complex conceptual albums for AVANTASIA as opposed to more simplistic band albums for EDGUY?
Tobias: "What is easier in a solo project is not the actual composing, but the realization of an idea, whereas in a band such as EDGUY you often have to consider others more than yourself. That can be a difficult balancing act when you're responsible for the outcome. The writing itself doesn't make that much of a difference; a good song is a good song. I currently work with AVANTASIA because, as I previously said, EDGUY had run out of steam. And believe it or not, that is absolutely not because of AVANTASIA. In a band, not everyone walks in the same direction with the same intensity, and that can dilute your creative power."
Q: So what else can you tell your fans about the new album?
Tobias: "The album is called 'A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society'. At first our label was wondering if we couldn't come up with a longer album title maybe. [Laughs] Given the attention span of the brave new world, it's not very memorable perhaps, but it's the concept and the title was on my mind for quite a while. Most fans know that I have never taken the easy way just to deliver things bite-sized for what the market can handle. Our fans are smart enough to memorize the title. As an artist you need to follow your vision, otherwise you get an ulcer and ulcers kill creativity."
Q: Can you tell us anything about the guests?
Tobias: "There are many; some you would expect, some you would not expect. We'll announce them in due time. But they all delivered. When I listen to the final master, I am astounded myself how we could have come up with something as energetic and uplifting as this album in these two years of isolation."
Q: When is the album going to hit the stores?
Tobias: "[In the early autumn]. We'll do the anniversary shows in Europe and in between our hits we'll probably throw in a couple of new songs here and there. And [after] the festival season the album should be released. Of course there'll be some single prior to the album release."
An animated lyric video for "The Wicked Rule The Night", created by Costin Chioreanu, can be seen below.
Sammet previously stated about "The Wicked Rule The Night": "I'm so happy with the upcoming album that you could put out any song as the first single. But somehow, after the last two years, I felt the need to go full steam ahead as soon as I'm let off the leash. And honestly, it's also cool to know that many would probably have expected a less extreme track to accompany AVANTASIA's re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. But AVANTASIA is not stylistically fixed — anything goes, commercial, epic, grotesque or full on the bell, doesn't matter: all that is part of AVANTASIA's very own world. We have found our own pigeonhole and different laws apply there. The fans of the first hour know that. And so I have the feeling that 'The Wicked Rule The Night' is unpredictable, exciting, fresh and new, despite my trademarks, as you know them partly from AVANTASIA or also EDGUY. Playing it safe is a lot of hogwash."
"Moonglow" hit number one on the album charts in Germany and charted in 17 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas before AVANTASIA embarked on a ten-month tour of Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.
Since its beginnings in 1999, AVANTASIA's past releases have featured international stars such as Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker (SCORPIONS),Sharon Den Adel (WITHIN TEMPTATION),Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (KISS),Eric Martin (MR. BIG),SAXON's Biff Byford, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider and many more.
In addition to Sammet and Scheepers, "The Wicked Rule The Night" features Sascha Paeth on guitar and Felix Bohnke on drums.
AVANTASIA will make a dozen or so festival appearances this summer, starting on June 24 at Spain's Rock Imperium.
First interview about »A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society«, in English & deutsch (below⬇️). Tobias on the...