|More than two million discs sold, sold out concerts in more than 37 countries across America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, extensive tours with aristocratic fellow rockers such as Aerosmith and the Scorpions - and now they are back with their 9th studio album. Certainly not a bad introduction, is it?
But what is most spectacular about Edguy's exemplary career is a seldomly mentioned detail - Even though it may seem like it, we are not talking about an act that was pushed onto the market with heavy marketing. We are talking about kids that started a band together when they were all classmates in 1992 and who set out to conquer the world and to play concert halls around the globe. For almost ten years they set up their gear themselves in small European clubs between Berlin and Torino, traveling around in a mobile home to fight for the breakthrough that they so desperately desired. That breakthrough has certainly been achieved as today EDGUY are doubtlessly the most successful Heavy Metal export that started out in Germany after the glorious decade of the eighties.
Even the masterminds of the German rock legend "Scorpions" call Edguy their legit heir to the throne and invited EDGUY to be their special guest during the Scorps' farewell arena tour.
Despite having repeatedly conquered the international charts, EDGUY are actually still underrated in their home country. But it only takes a brief look at the solo project of their front man Tobias Sammet to understand the status of EDGUY and their vocalist in the international Rock and Heavy Metal scene. Legendary guests such as shock rocker Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine and several other members of bands such as the Scorpions, Kiss or Judas Priest committed themselves to collaborations for the "Avantasia" project of the 33-year old Hessian.
It may be hard to imagine in today's fast moving music business, but three out of the four fellows who founded the band in February 1992 at the age of 14, are still traveling around the globe together year after year: Sammet and the two guitarists Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer. In 1997 the current line-up was completed by adding Felix Bohnke on drums and Tobias "Eggi" Exxel on bass.
Although it almost reads like a fairy tale, in the beginning not many believed in this band. When their self-produced debut album "Savage Poetry" was released in 1995, all that the then foursome received from the public was ridicule. Neither record labels nor the press took handmade melodic Hard Rock seriously, and certainly they hadn't waited for the "Heavy Metal boygroup" that EDGUY was called at the time; because of their young age and their so-called "dated" sound.
Nevertheless there was one small independent label that was willing to sign the band which gave the group the chance to officially release and get their second album "Kingdom Of Madness" into stores. But because of devastating reviews most copies remained in the stores and were shipped back to the label just a few months later. It certainly appeared that EDGUY had bombed!
However, in 1997, EDGUY's career was about to get a boost by the following turn of events. Without any support from their record label the band went for broke and took out a loan to finally finance a proper album production. At this point the band's future was hanging by a thread. All the studios had been booked and paid for upfront, and then, the band's drummer decided to quit at the same time they were to enter the studio. With a last-minute solution of a temporary substitute the band started the recordings for what would become the "Vain Glory Opera" album in Germany and finished the album in Helsinki, Finland. When the album hit the stores in 1998 worldwide reviews were fantastic, and the word spread like wildfire around the globe. Without any marketing campaign the album sold over 50,000 copies in European and Japan just a few weeks after its release. Meanwhile, having become a five-piece band EDGUY set out for the first time on a full fledged European tour, from Sweden to Greece and in between, to play for their steadily growing fanbase.
It was the very same year that EDGUY entered the studio again to work on their first album with the new line-up, the slightly over ambitious "Theater Of Salvation" that nevertheless granted the band their first chart positions in Germany and Scandinavia in early 1999. Finally the record label started to advertise the album properly, and EDGUY headed off on another ten-week European tour, supporting bands such as Hammerfall and focusing on Scandinavia and France.
Taking things a bit easier in 2000 by just rerecording their debut album and playing a few support shows of Iron Maiden during their Metal-2000-stadium-tour, EDGUY found themselves at another important cornerstone of their career. In September 2001 their fifth album "Mandrake" was released and it hit the Top-20-album charts in Germany and several other countries. Finally, EDGUY was not only established in Europe and Japan, they were furthermore acclaimed as one of the most important bands of a new generation of traditional Metal acts. During the "Mandrake" world tour EDGUY played to tens of thousands of fans in Japan, South America, Mexico, Australia, Canada, USA, Russia, and many Western European countries. Within a few years EDGUY had become much more than just a marginal note on the Heavy Metal map of the world.
During the European leg of that particular tour the first official live album "Burning Down The Opera- Live" was recorded. The album was released in 2003 and was to become EDGUY's last contractual album on AFM-records. Later in the year EDGUY signed a contract with industry giant Nuclear Blast/ Warner Music Group, that released the next studio album "Hellfire Club" in 2004. The album became a big commercial success, featured EDGUY's first top-40-hit single "King Of Fools", and resulted in another extensive tour with many sold out shows all over the world.
Even though the band's unbroken tenacity was obvious from the beginning of their career nobody would've dared to predict such a sustaining success for Germany's new Heavy Metal flagship. In the following years EDGUY would underline their status on countless occasions, be it with the slightly goofy "Rocket Ride" (2006), "Tinnitus Sanctus" (2008) or the greatly entitled "Fucking With Fire" live DVD (2009). Each of those international chart breakers was followed by a world tour that also brought the band to the USA on a yearly basis. It may have seemed obvious that Blues Rockers Aerosmith asked EDGUY to be their special guest of the German tour in 2007, the US-legend's first European tour in over ten years.
In 2010 the band didn't tour as much as usual and only played a few gigs across England and Scotland, an eleven date arena tour with the Scorpions and a few more chosen support shows (eg. with Iron Maiden in Spain and Ozzy Osbourne in Japan). Unforgettable for fans and the band might have been one legendary instance on stage in England during the Bloodstock festival. Only a few days after England's football team been knocked out of the world cup in the round of the last sixteen by the Germans, Tobias surprised fans and press alike with the brave tongue in cheek announcement: "We may have lost the war, ...but we made it to the quarter finals!" The press reactions summed up what is quintessential EDGUY: "If you are German and mention the war and England's football defeat against Germany in one sentence on an English stage, and 10,000 people cheer - well, you must be doing something right!"
It's most probably this mixture of dangerous humor and the infectious joy of playing energetic songs that deliver the basis for this continuously growing success. At least every EDGUY fan can certainly confirm that their concerts are what make this band so very special.
And it is that live energy that the band has managed to capture on their brand new effort "Age Of The Joker" (out on August, 26th 2011). Tobias explains: "We just composed, arranged and recorded just like that, without analyzing too much. It doesn't make sense to wonder if it's maybe too soft or too heavy or too slow or too fast. We have never done market research to find out what to do or what to avoid. Radio won't play it while most fans will love it. That's a luxury situation, isn't it? We just play music, that's it!"