Interview By Alison Booth
Tobias Sammet’s AVANTASIA are set to unleash their seventh album “Ghostlights” to fans, which is the sequel to 2013’s “The Mystery Of Time”. The rock operatic opus will be released worldwide on 29th January via Nuclear Blast Records. Tobias is well known for not doing things by halves, which the new album proves in stunning fashion!
In true AVANTASIA style, there are some regular artists the fans know and love on the new album, including Bob Catley, Michael Kiske, Amanda Somerville, Jorn Lande and Ronnie Atkins. Also welcomed to the ensemble are some new guests, such as Dee Snider, Marco Hietala and Geoff Tate.
I caught up recently with Tobi for an in depth chat about “Ghostlights” and an insight into the album, as well as why the first single sounds so much like Meatloaf! Also including the huge forthcoming tour and their Eurovision entry, plus plenty more, along with an update on EDGUY. Check out some excerpts from our discussion below and listen to the full interview, (which Tobi always makes so entertaining!) on the audio player:
Talking of the guests on the album, Tobi discussed some of his choices and the process he went through:
“When I write a song like the title track for the new album, I know Michael Kiske would be the singer for that song. I have it in the back of my mind, then I’d do it right from the start.
But sometimes you have a song, for example ‘The Haunting’ with Dee Snider – the music had been written and I was standing in my basement (which is the music part of the house) and I was in there listening to the material and then I tried to imagine who could be the proper singer for that song. ‘The Haunting’ was in need of a vocalist who would be both theatrical actor, but at the same time dramatic vocalist and the song was very very eery. And I imagined somebody who should sound like a crossing between something very flamboyant and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (laughs).
And of course I was going through my record collection and thought ‘Dee Snider’s got to be in it!’ It was not obvious I would ask Dee Snider for such a track, because it’s not exactly ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ or ‘I Wanna Rock’, but if you listen to the final result, it sounds like no one else could have done that and in the end it fits. It’s not a choice that comes across as reasonable before you finally do it, but after you’ve done it, it sounds like nothing else could have been better and that’s something I’m really proud of.”
“Everything comes together based on intuition. At first I’m a music lover, much more than a music producer or songwriter. I want to put the singers on there that I would want to listen to as a fan.”
Regarding the forthcoming “Ghostlights” World Tour, Tobi revealed:
“I don’t believe we’re gonna do another tour within the next three, four, five years, there are so many people involved with individual schedules. So it should not be taken for granted that everybody is available and why we want to seize the chance that we are all available for this tour. We’ll play for three hours minimum, I think it’s gonna be a little longer and we’re gonna do 24 or 25 tracks. It’s gonna be a journey through the history of Avantasia and it’s going to be very visual, we’re going to bring the whole stage production, it’s gonna be an amazing scene and something quite unique. I can highly recommend it to anyone that’s into Avantasia, it’s gonna be the last time in a very long time that you will have a chance to do so.”