Since it’s the 25th anniversary for the German power metal band Edguy, we spoke to Jens Ludwig, one of the co founders and lead guitarist of the band for the early days, some turning points on their career and their future plans.
Hello, welcome to Metal Invader…
Hello! Thank you!
Edguy are now of the most well known power metal bands of our time. How do you feel about that? Did you expect such a success on the early days?
Of course we did, we were like 14 years old when we started the band so we did expect this, haha! No, seriously not, definitely not. When we started we were dreaming of making a living out of our music and everything related to it. Twenty five years later is just amazing, we’re thankful for the ability to play for so many people all around the world. I’m proud and thankful for our fans who make this come true for us.
Can you tell us a little about how you joined the band? Were you one of the initial members, right?
Yes, actually Tobias Sammet (vocalist) and I founded the band. We became friends in school when we were twelve years old and before we started the band we realised that we both like rock music. This was something rare in the beginning of the ’90s, everyone was into grunge and dance pop, so listening to traditional heavy metal was a quite uncool thing to do.. So we met before starting the band at Tobias’ place where I first got my electric guitar and we were jamming AC/DC, Kiss, Scorpions etc. Tobias was playing the keyboard. It was around this time when we realized we wanted to have a real band and we knew some other guy from school who owned a drumset from his father so we asked him if he wanted to join the band. He said that he has never played drums in his life but wanted to try, and this is how the band started.
As far as I can see, Edguy’s members have been in the band since the 90s, so there are not big changes on the lineup which is kinda rare. This means you are strongly connected on a personal level with your bandmates? Have there been ups and downs?
There has been only one lineup change actually. We feel each other somehow. People keep asking about the secret. It’s that everybody enjoys what he’s doing but the key is that the characters match together. The frontman, in this case Tobias is the guy who always gets a little more attention that the others on the background so you need comfident people to stand behind. That’s because many bands split up, the egos don’t fit together. We just had the situation where the characters match perfectly.
“Vain Glory Opera” is considered to be one of the best power metal albums of all times. Did you expect it to be so influential, even though it’s been 19 years since its release?
No! hahaha. I remember this was a breakthrough for us personally since this album gave us a little more attention all over the world. A new coming band from Germany playing a genre that was considered a little bit dead back then. There are still so many people influenced by it.
What is your favorite Edguy release and why?
One of my personal favorites is Hellfire Club. I just had good feelings and vibes about this album since back then. There was a lot of energy behind, very optimistic. It was very powerful, not only musically. Each album has a special place in my heart,however. There are strong memories attached to each album of ours.
Since “Rocket Ride” in 2006, the band’s musical direction changed and you adjusted your power metal style into a more hard rocking sound, something more easy listening in contrast to your prime releases. What led you to do that?
It wasn’t a table decision. It started earlier, the turning point was the Theater Of Salvation album for me. After we released this one, we had the typical elements of classical power metal, twin lead guitars, fast double bass, choirs. We had the feeling that after this, we could not take it to a greater level, so we started looking for new elements to our music, like in Tears of a Mandrake or Jerusalem, and we also had the hard rocking influences were already written on our walls. If we were only to be a power metal band, we would always repeat ourselves with each release, so we wanted something new.
What have been your personal music influences?
Many many! Everything you listen to, actually. I could name my first was Kai Hansen. I love his technical skills with his rock ‘n roll. I love that. I’m open minded when it comes to musical styles. Not just metal, also rock.
Germany has a very strong metal scene since the early 80s in almost every genre. Do you listen to new music? Are there any underground power metal gems our readers should check out?
I haven’t heard so many new bands recently, to be honest. I could recommend a new band from Germany called Mercury Falling. They are good friends, they recorded their CDs in my studio so I find them pretty interesting, they have a dark influence mixed with power metal.
Your most recent studio album “Space Police – Defenders of the Crown” came out in 2014. Are there any plans for a new release? What should we expect this time?
We have 5 new songs on our new compilation. It was planned to be only two songs, but we kept on writing! We have new ideas everytime we work on new material. I don’t know when we will start working on new material now. There are other priorities now, celebrate the anniversary and prepare for the upcoming tour. I think in september we ‘re gonna sit and see about the future.
Power metal is considered to be “dead” nowadays among the fans, despite there are still huge fans of classic bands like Blind Guardian, Helloween, Avantasia etc. What do you think is to blame for this?
I don’t see it like that. I don’t know if this is right. Sabaton are huge right now. I don’t know why this happens. Those bands are all bands who have been acclaimed to havechanged their style, people were complaining, but they were the ones who kept on going than repeating themselves, like other bands did. The fans still wanted them to go on, but there are surprises in music.
What does the near future hold for Edguy? Where do you see the band in 10 years?
I have no idea, it’s a long time! Actually we are planning new material for September our next step.
Thank you very much for your time. Would you like to send a message to the Greek Edguy fans?
It’s a shame we haven’t been there for such a long time, I want to apologise, but it’s not our fault. We would love to be there to celebrate our anniversary or whatever! Thank you very much for your support.