Edguy, a power metal war horse from Germany, hit the scene twenty five years ago with the release of Savage Poetry in 1995, and now in 2017, they are releasing a best of album, Monuments, spanning their career, with five new offerings and a historiographical booklet showcasing photos and key stages of the band’s development. Now Edguy aren’t a “typical” German power metal band who came out of the scene during the late 1990s, they harked from a very small town in Germany called Fulda, and incredibly haven’t had a line-up change in over twenty years. The reality of this band’s humble beginning is that it was putting on shows before they had even been to a show themselves, and they honed their craft as five teenagers in their isolation, and in their collective obsession for melodic hard rock and heavy metal. An interesting fact about the band is that its name, Edguy, was after one of their Mathematics teachers in high school; something I explore later on.
Now Edguy’s link to Australia is an interesting one, and goes back to 2002. Under Metal Warriors, they completed an Australian tour, playing small venues that year. In Sydney they played Bar on Broadway to a voracious packed house. Importantly, they were the first power metal band to have toured Australia, and in my opinion, paved the way for other German and European metal bands that followed. That night in Sydney, toward the end of the set, frontman Tobias Sammet made it clear to the audience that he would take the message back to Europe of the Australian scene and tell bands to come over and play, and ultimately, that’s what has happened. Since then Edguy have been here twice, on the back of Hellfire Club and then as the headlining act of Scream Fest at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney in 2010; definitely overdue for a show in 2017.
I took some time to discuss the release of Monuments and Edguy’s illustrious career with founding guitarist Dirk Sauer.
Dirk can you talk me through the assembly of Monuments?
“Well first of all we were not really making up our minds before this real celebration. So at some point we made that decision. You know it is such a long time. When we started to work through it things came up and how it has turned out is fantastic. We didn’t want to have a normal best of list and so we made up our mind with the record company and we always try and do something different and something worthwhile for the fans. It is a present for the fans and us. It is an overview, and then we went through the archives and we found this DvD show from South America in 2004. It isn’t a perfect DvD show but a great one and this was the biggest tour we had down to this point it was a busy time”.
“We have also put all of the video clips on the DvD release and the best thing is the coffee table book, as it is a big journey through our history and for us, it is even more filled up with stories but ultimately it is fun to share this with fans, you know things they don’t know. This is for old fans and people who are being initiated to us. The new tracks are great and we are happy with them and there is more to come.”
Looking back over your career, and putting this compilation together, what stands out?
“Lots of memories it is, like if you have to go through so much archives and so many photos amazing. We have spent so much time together in our lives you know. As a musician it’s not sharing a job with someone it is more than that. We have spent so much time together. So it is all full of memories and is something that makes you proud and happy that you can live that life. If you look back we can say that we have fulfilled something in our life. I am really thankful for that and it is definitely a lot of joy to look back on this part of our career. ”
Thinking back to your beginnings, what was the initial focus?
“Well first of all we started as a school band. So we came together because we were in the same place. I started because I had a guitar and then there was this other guy whose father had a drum kit and then we started. Initially we played cover songs to develop as musicians. But pretty quickly we developed and we all had the same interest in music. It was pretty cool to just create the old music. We did what we felt we should do to be true to ourselves and I guess find our way. Of Course we changed over the course of our career but it is always, and always will be Edguy, it has our signature. You can really hear that it is us.”
Can you talk us though the band’s name, I have read that it is after a Mathematics teacher from your high school, is this true?
“Yes that is the right story. It is a stupid name and I remember Kai Hansen asked us about this, ‘How the Fuck did you get a record deal with that shitty name?’ he said. We wanted a unique name and Edguy, he was our maths teacher and he was such a funny person. So there it is!! At some point we thought about changing the name as so many people outside of Europe don’t understand. We stuck at it and it is still unique”
Which studio album is your favourite and why?
“This changes from time to time. I would say at the moment I would always mention Hellfire Club, as this was a big step forward and we changed the record company at this time. But I also love all of them, there are ten albums and each has its strength and especially the last one. The latter has more depth as we have changed a little in song writing terms and the complete thing of creating music. When we were young we didn’t think too much which is good, but now we have more experience to expand. With Theatre of Salvation we wouldn’t do thing like this you know but people love this album so it is a stamp of time, it is what we could have done and people love these albums. So this is why at this point we didn’t re-record the songs we wanted them to stay in their time where they should you know. I don’t really have a best one, the latest is always fresh in your mind though.”
I would like to take you back to 2002 and your debut Australian tour. What are your memories of the first time you played here?
“I would think great memories. We were quite young and it was so over whelming, you know bringing us to Australia. Everything was so small and family orientated. There were so many nice and kind people. It was very warm hearted it is rare to feel that. On a different level it is generally just professionally, but this experience was a family thing, you know visiting friends. Australia is one of those spots on the planet where people are so kind you have so much funny animals. I really can’t remember the exact shows but the whole trip to Australia was great and so much fun.”
During the Hellfire Club tour in Australia you did a show on the Sydney Harbour at the end of the tour. Do you remember this?
“Yeah, I do remember, that was special. It was cool, we had a good time and the funny thing is, I have some pictures from that cruise and I saw them when we were collecting things for Monuments. Wow, we loved this and had a great time, awesome memories!”
So when will Edguy be back in Australia?
“I have no idea to be honest, we would love to give you a date but we cant. I am not even sure if there are any plans but if we get a chance we will do it!!! It isn’t easy but if everyone buys the album let’s hope we can get some interest.”
So where to from here with Edguy, after you have finished promoting this project?
“Well first of all we finish the tour. From here we are writing songs and collecting ideas and there is always something going on. Please understand this isn’t the end of Edguy.”
Edguy are an important force within the European, and global power metal scene, and this offering showcases just why. It was a pleasure to speak with Dirk, and I hope that he is true to his word and brings the band back to Australia soon. For more information on Monuments and its different formats visit
Interview by Mark Snedden
Edguy – Monuments is out July 14th 2017 via Nuclear Blast