» Jens Ludwig - Edguy
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Interview conducted Sept. 21 2007
Interview published Jan. 13 2008

Wendy and I were so excited to be seeing Edguy again. We had witnessed them two years prior as the opening act for Hammerfall on the Hellfire Club Tour. This time we had an actual interview with Jens Ludwig. We wanted to see and converse with Tobi, but he was always resting his weary head; so, Jens provided us with some excellent information, as well as some serious libation. The entire band were perfect gentlemen who played an awesome and very entertaining show.

Even though it has been over two years since the release of Rocket Ride, the music still is fresh and vibrant. The band were filled with enthusiasm and Jens was quite impressive, with his ability to mix wit and wile.

MettleAngel: Jens, just let me just say, that it is quite an honour to sit down with you and discuss all things Edguy.

  • Jens: Thanks, man.

MettleAngel: I mean, if I were conversing with Tobi, I know I would primarily discuss his highly anticipated next Avantasia project. Now that I'm here with you, we'll deal exclusively with Edguy. Let me just say I really love the Rocket Ride release. Last year, I reviewed it for www.metalcdratings.com. When I first heard it, I was not too impressed, as it seemed you had abandoned your power metal edge. Then, after repeated listens, I really began to celebrate your new hard rockin' 80's approach.

  • Jens: Well, we are all so unique and five different guys making different music... so thank you.

MettleAngel: As of late, it seems as though the metal realm is oversaturated with too many power metal clones. I was actually never an Edguy fan early on, when I first heard about you. I bought your Kingdom Of Madness CD as an expensive import, along with every other power metal release, popular at the time. It's a good thing I was teaching at the time, and could afford to spend my money on mettle. It was not until after hearing Avantasia that I found my way back to Edguy. A friend sold me his Theater Of Salvation CD, and then I became hooked again. This is probably my favourite Edguy CD; although, I'm totally entralled by Rocket Ride.

  • Jens: Ah, yes, with an album like Theater, we explored every power meal cliche'. After doing this, we expanded upon our limitations and structual writing opportunities. We felt that everything was covered on that CD with it's specific style, choirs, and all that! We just wanted to broaden our horizons, and move on.

MettleAngel: Exactly, I heard Mandrake, but it sounded too much like Chemical Wedding by Bruce Dickinson. The critics raved about your sophmore release - Vain Glory Opera, but it was not until you signed with Nuclear Blast and recorded Hellfire Club, that I became a true fan. Now, with Rocket Ride I feel Edguy has moved beyond the stereotypical and into the more practical.

  • Jens: That's how we feel. We view the music we create as a character in the writing process. The music is another member of the band. We are all unique personalities, with so much to contribute.

MettleAngel: You all have a wonderful sense of humour, as evidenced by the Superheroes DVD. I know you take the music aspect very serious though.

  • Jens: Absolutely, the music is fundamental. We never know what direction the writing process will develop, until we actually sit down to construct new songs.

MettleAngel: It is surprising that we are praising an album almost two years old. Last time you toured the US with Hammerfall you had quite a loyal following. These new songs really hold their own. Wendy and I have been discussing the set-list for this evening, and what we believe you will play tonight. (MettleMaiden): I assume the ballad for Land Of The Miracle will be a staple?

  • Jens: Actually no, we do Save Me...

MettleMaiden: Any new songs, any surprises...?

  • Jens: Actually we have been mostly focused on touring, so no new songs, yet.

MettleAngel: Wow, I would assume by now, you'd have another album in the bag!

  • Jens: We all have wonderful ideas and we let them flow. We ourselves often wonder how the next album might sound. Honestly, right now; we have no idea (laughs).

MettleAngel: I'm sure whatever ideas gel, will all be brilliant. I know Edguy likes to have a good time all the time; but, you approach the music in such a professional manner . The band formed in 1992, and Jens, you are one of the founding members - an original "Midget of Metal", so to speak, even if you are taller than Tobi.

  • Jens: Ah, you know "Midgets of Metal" (laughs some more). Yes, Tobi, Dirk, and I were just a bunch of kids when we began this band, already 15 years ago.

MettleAngel: This band has been around over a decade and a half, with little line-up changes too.

  • Jens: Yes, Tobi quit playing bass, so we got Tobias Exxel (Eggi), and Felix has been with us already 10 years.

MettleAngel: You mean the appropriately dubbed: "High Speed Drum Bunny"! I'm sure you've been asked a million times, but Wendy and I wonder where the name Edguy originated. It's not German, I checked into it. Perhaps the origin is an edgy guy, like Eggi?

  • Jens: That's a funny story - most fans already know, the truth by now. When we formed this band we were all just school boys. We liked the name Warguy. As we grew together as good friends, we began to develop a sense of humour, even early on. The Evil Minded Demo is an example of this. Our belief is that we would not have survived this long if we always took everything too serious. Anyway, we had this funny teacher named Edgar - so we combined the two. Edgar and Warguy equals Edguy. So the band name translates something like this: "a silly school band's art lesson is an Edguy."

MettleAngel: Tobi's known for his ability to mix names. Avantasia is Avalon and Fantasia; so this approach makes sense. What an excellent anecdote; what an etyomological connundrum; sure makes the google search easier! You sure have developed and improved musically over the years!

  • Jens: Early on we strove for diversity, but ended up sounding like everyone else. So we decided to ease up a bit and get back to the roots of the music we all enjoyed hearing and playing. This is how we have grown and matured as musicians. We have endeavoured to not write the same album over and over.

MettleAngel: You have definitely succeeded in doing this! Rocket Ride is an awesome expression of the band's combined talent and inspiration.

  • Jens: Thank you, we feel this too!

MettleMaiden: Now, if I'm doing the math correctly, this is your second tour of America?

  • Jens: We played Prog Power twice and toured with Hammerfall, but this is our first real headlining experience of the States.

Judging by the photos from Burning Down The Opera - the last double live album digipack - I'm sure you'll have fun visiting all the attractions and amusement parks?

  • Jens: There is not so much spare time for that on this tour, unfortunately.

MettleAngel: Well, you definitely will make new fans on this tour with the resurgence of metal among our youth; and that will make your visit to America well worth it!

  • Jens: Definitely, we see this as more of a challenge playing to Americans. Here we can just be five guys on stage having a real good time.

MettleAngel: Yeah, you don't have to have all the props and elaborate stage set-up here.

  • Jens: Exactly! Nuclear Blast set up this tour to make it easier on us. It was the American office who organized the whole thing. They know how to run a tour in the US. Now that we all have working visas, we really hope to do another headling tour in the next year.

MettleAngel: I know touring America is quite different than Europe or South America, has everything been running smoothly?

  • Jens: For the most part yes. Although, we had to cancel the first show, since not all of our gear arrived on time.

MettleAngel: It seems like the airports are doing this to several bands lately. The same problem occured with Leaves' Eyes.

  • Jens: Yeah, otherwise, the tour has been real fun. New York was really impressive for us.

MettleAngel: Everyone seems to be enthusiastic, but Tobi always seems to be sleeping?

  • Jens: Well, four shows in four days will take it's toll; so the man needs his rest.

MettleAngel: I understand that, tell him "hello" from us all. Next time, I'll drill him on the next Avantasia concept. Jens, on behalf of two true fans - thank you so much for taking the time to indulge us.

  • Jens: No problem, thank you and enjoy the show!

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