Originally Tobias Sammet wanted to use the time after "Ghostlights" for a solo album. Although this eventually led to the next Avantasia project, Hesse's autobiographical work was nevertheless incorporated into the new album "Moonglow" - packaged in a dreamy, gloomy setting that could have sprung from the fantasy of US director Tim Burton.
In addition to all kinds of well-known voices, the new actors Candice Night, Mille Petrozza and Hansi Kürsch expand the cosmos of the progmetal opera project for Avantasia's new album "Moonglow". Despite the big names, Mastermind Tobias Sammet still places quality clearly before quantity. He emphasizes this several times during the conversation.
eclipsed: Please summarize the storyline of "Moonglow". Were there external inspirations or is everything growing on your own crap?
Tobias Sammet: Of course I invented the world myself, but it was influenced by pictures from the Black Romantic period. I particularly enjoy reading the Victorian successors to the classic Black Romantic - people like Arthur Machen, who wrote horror stories with a touch of occultism at the end of the 19th century. I like this fantastic, gloomy world. I wanted to create a fabulous environment where I could place my thoughts and express myself. Personal things in music are important to me, because it also works as therapy. The texts are based on the emotions, experiences and thoughts of a being that is created in a world where it has no place for itself and cannot withstand the expectations of its environment - the reality of the beautiful and strong. It flees into the darkness and opens with its imagination the gate to its own world. But I didn't want to write a novel and set it to music, because for that you need details and suspense, which is often to the detriment of poetry and artistic demands.
eclipsed: If you look at the Avantasia line-up, Sascha Paeth appears as a constant next to you. How has his role developed over the years?
Sammet: She hasn't changed much. Sascha is the best musician I've ever met. Many know he's good, but few know how good actually is. Eric Singer used to say, "If he knew how good he was, he'd take off." But Sasha is totally down-to-earth. He is a friend and someone who understands me musically blindly and knows how I tick and how he can perfectly express things in my head on his guitar. I come from a keyboard instrument myself, but guitar is of course very important for this kind of music. It's incredibly valuable to have someone like that on the production team. Of course it's my album, and Sascha tries to make me happy, but she also brings herself in. In the meantime I am experienced enough to trust him, even if I had done it differently in the first impulse. I am so happy to have met Sascha!
eclipsed: Sascha composes for various artists. Could you imagine writing for others?
Sammet: I've been asked a few times and take that as a big compliment. But I don't want to be a commissioned composer. Creativity may not be an endless pool. Resources should be used responsibly. Besides, when something inspires me, I want to shape my attachments in the last consequence according to my ideas. With my own production I have full control. That is why I have no ambitions in this respect at the moment. There would be exceptions, of course. If [Kiss singer/guitarist] Paul Stanley would want to write for a new solo record with me, I'd be standing rifle by my feet! But I'd do it very carefully. There are tragic examples of grandiose songwriters delivering one commission after another for record companies - and burning it out. Everything sounds the same, the potential is squandered inflationarily, and the main thing at the end is [ex-Journey member] Deen Castronovo singing. (laughs) Now that name's slipped out of my mouth. There are these projects where always the same - great! - People sing and write, but because everything is interchangeable, nobody listens anymore. That's too bad.