Edguy is a power metal band from Fulda, Germany that was formed in 1992. Edguy was founded in 1992 by 14-year-old students Tobias Sammet, Jens Ludwig, Dominik Storch, and Dirk Sauer. The name “Edguy” was an affectionate epithet for their math teacher at the time. In 1994, the band released two demos, Evil Minded, and Children of Steel. These tapes were sent to many record labels, all of whom rejected the band, believing they would be unsuccessful in the music business.
Frank Zappa once asked the question “does humor belong in music?” If you’ve listened to anything by Germany’s power metal Superheroes Edguy, you’d know that they think it does. We recently took the opportunity to talk to guitarist Jens Ludwig about their new album.
Grim Magazine: Now the album’s already been out for a little while in Europe; how have the reactions been over there so far?
Jens: Actually, much better than we expected. I mean, of course, there are always two sides of reactions – one side is what the critics write and what the magazines write about the album, and that’s already pretty good, but what’s really more important is how the people like the songs when we perform them live. We finished the first part of the European tour last week and I’ve really got to say, people seem to enjoy the new material we played on the tour, so I think we can be pretty satisfied with the results so far.
Grim Magazine: A lot of people, over here at least, have been complaining about the song “Trinidad,” saying that you’ve taken the sense of humor too far. What do you think of these knee-jerk reactions?
Jens: You know, I think that you cannot go too far with humor, (laughter) of course you can’t. But what we don’t want to become is a slap-stick or a parody metal band because that’s not what Edguy is all about, but on the other hand, writing songs is a little bit like writing a diary and nobody is always serious or always funny and I think we have a pretty good mixture on the album, talking about serious topics and some funny topics.
There’s funny stuff on the previous albums as well; take a look at “Hellfire Club” – we had songs like “The Life and Times of a Bonus Track” and “Lavatory Love Machine” and now it’s songs like “Trinidad” and “Fucking With Fire.” It’s just part of our character, that humoristic aspect, that we really enjoy what we are doing and that we have fun playing this kind of music, so we don’t see any reason why this should not be a part of our records as well.
Grim Magazine: Okay, the cover art for “Rocket Ride” has probably got to be the goofiest one yet. What exactly inspired the band to kind of go in that direction and on the “Superheroes” EP as well?
Jens: Well, we liked the “Superheroes” cover so much that we asked the same guy to do the artwork for the “Rocket Ride” album as well. We could think to ourselves that some people would say that it’s not a traditional heavy metal cover, but who cares? It’s cover artwork. As long as the music quality is alright, the worst cover artwork in the world cannot destroy good music and it’s just a cover. (laughs)
I don’t get why people stop to argue about it, because it’s not music, it’s just a cover. But it’s funny to provoke a little bit and to see the reactions of the people because some like it and some just say it’s not a metal cover because they don’t see any warrior or any dragon on the cover; it’s just funny to see people arguing about it.
Grim Magazine: I don’t know how they can say how it’s not metal; I mean, you’ve got little guys with sharp, pointy teeth and then you’ve got the skull and crossbones with the jester in the background, too. (laughs)
Jens: I think, too, that there’s enough metal in this cover. (laughs)
Grim Magazine: Are there any plans for another U.S. tour in the near future?
Jens: There’s nothing confirmed yet, but a short time ago, I talked to the booking agent and they want to bring us over in August, but I cannot tell if it’s going to be another supporting tour or if it’s going to be headlining shows. I don’t know. I just can say for sure that the last tour has been pretty good for us, so everybody in the band wants to come back and tour in the States.
Grim Magazine: Any idea of who you’re probably going to play with or would want to play with?
Jens: Well, I’ve read that the Scorpions are going on tour together with Dio; that would be a very good opportunity, but I’m not sure that it’s going to work. Besides that, I don’t care. As long as there are people who can listen to our music, I don’t really care who is the headlining act, or who we are going to support.
Grim Magazine: Okay, I have a friend who wanted to know what’s going on with Avantasia. Are there going to be any further releases or anything like that?
Jens: Well, actually, at the moment there is nothing planned. Avantasia Part One and Two was a complete story with the story ending at the end of Part Two. If Toby would do another part of Avantasia, it could only be “Avantasia: Episode One” or something like that. But as far as I know, I don’t think at the moment Toby’s going to do something like this, but never say never. If in five to ten years, he’d like to do another all-star project, then I’m sure he will do something.
Grim Magazine: Well, there is also the possibility that the rumors that he killed himself might be true by then.
Jens: Yeah, probably. (laughter)
Grim Magazine: Okay, what are you expecting from the Rock The Boat festival? For me, it just makes perfect sense for Edguy to be playing at that festival, as for some reason I cannot imagine a better fit for a band playing on a boat.
Jens: We already played on a harbor cruise in Australia. (laughter) It was a much smaller boat. Actually, I’m pretty curious about it, because we’ve never played on a ferry so far and honestly, I do not know what to expect from this festival, because we’re playing on the same day as bands like Entombed and Kreator, so I don’t know what will happen on that boat. (laughs) I’m looking forward to playing there.
Grim Magazine: Is there anything particular about music that you haven’t explored yet that you want to go after in the near future?
Jens: Yes. Of course, when you have a band, you always dream of having big aims, for example, playing stadiums and stuff. If that would happen, I think nobody in the band would complain, (laughs) but to see it more realistic, for me it would be fine if it would go on like this for the next ten to twenty years, because what can be better than making a living off what you enjoy most in your life. We just feel very comfortable, it’s like a dream came true at the moment. Of course, we hope that we can continue with the same line-up, doing that kind of music for the next ten to fifteen years and then we see what happens.
Grim Magazine: Is there anything that you haven’t incorporated yet, as far as musical elements, that you want to go after?
Jens: Well, let’s see… I don’t know; we never try to think too much about writing songs before we do it because I think it’s bad to set a direction for an album before you start writing it. So I don’t know. With the “Rocket Ride” album, we had more of a hard rock element and with the next album, I don’t know… we will see what happens.
Grim Magazine: Alright, say, for example, you have a hammer, a roulette wheel, and a midget. What are your plans for the evening?
Jens: Oh! (pauses) Watch the midget playing with the hammer. And I’d keep the third thing out. (laughs)
Grim Magazine: Okay, I really don’t have much left, just basically the generic “What are your plans for the future?” question.
Jens: Well, tomorrow we are heading to Asia to play some shows in Japan, China, and Taiwan. After that, we are going to play the Rock The Boat festival, as you said, we’ll play in Russia, some festival stuff. Well, all together, I can say we’ll be busy touring until the end of the year probably.
Grim Magazine: Whereabouts in China are you playing?
Jens: We’re playing Peking and Hong Kong.
Grim Magazine: Really?
Jens: Yeah; it’s going to be the first time for us to play China and I’m pretty curious about the Chinese metal fans because I’ve never been there before.
Grim Magazine: From what I understand, they have a really rabid scene over there, but you never, ever hear bands from outside of China playing there.
Jens: I would say it’s the same back in Japan. Because Japan has a very huge national music scene where none of the artists are known outside of Japan. I guess it’s basically the same in China, so we will see.
Grim Magazine: Okay, thank you very much and have a good night!
Jens: Yes; thank you for your time and have a nice day!
(1995) Edguy – Savage Poetry
(1997) Edguy – Kingdom of Madness
(1998) Edguy – Vain Glory Opera
(1999) Edguy – Theater of Salvation
(2000) Edguy – The Savage Poetry
(2001) Edguy – Mandrake
(2004) Edguy – Hellfire Club
(2006) Edguy – Rocket Ride
(2008) Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus
(2011) Edguy – Age of the Joker
(2014) Edguy – Space Police – Defenders of the Crown
With: Jens Ludwig (guitar)
Interview Date: March 12, 2006
Years Active: 1992 – present
Genre: Power Metal, Progressive Metal
Website: Official Website
Label: Nuclear Blast, The End
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
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