» Jens Ludwig - Edguy
« back

Interview conducted October 18 2008
Interview published November 07 2008

Edguy, those edgy bastards have returned. These never out of vogue superheroes rock and ride back into the starlight, playing their ear shattering metal. This hellfire club, a ministry of insanely vain glorious advocates of savage poetry, reignite the hall of flames and the theatre of evaluation.

This is the second time I enjoyed sitting down with guitarist - Jens Ludwig, while Edguy briefly toured America this fall. We were able to discuss the new CD - Tinnitus Sanctus. Jens is very excited about his work on this groundbreaking new heavy mettle - shock you drama. Enjoy their pride of creation...

MettleAngel: Well Brother, indeed, it is always an honour to sit and speak with you. If you recall, just over a year ago, last September, we did an interview.

  • Jens: Ah, yes I remember you. You had an interesting manner about you, and the review you wrote for Rocket Ride was excellent.

MettleAngel: Thank you! We discussed your tour with Firewind, and the possibility of recording a new CD. Now, you have completed work on Tinnitus Sanctus, so let's discuss this. I'm a Latin scholar, but the translation seems a bit off, to me. Am I to assume you mean a "holy ear infection"?

  • Jens: Well, yes, that is close. Tinnitus is a medical condition of the ringing of the ear. You know like when you leave an extremely loud concert, and your ears are buzzing?

Oh, I get it. you mean like in the '90s when I witnessed Manowar without earplugs?

  • Jens: Yes, that loud vibration sticks with you, and it is painful (he holds his ear to demonstrate). If the ringing does not subside, one develops tinnitus. So the album is about "Holy Earbleeding Metal".

MettleAngel: I understand, a metal earache, so to speak. Metal definitely can cause this. All men play on ten. If it's too loud, you're too old. I've stood next to the amplifier at many a concert, without earplugs. Yes, it does hurt, but in a good way. Almost, like a reminder of the moment you just shared in metal bliss. The loudspeaker can create a deafening tone, but that is metal; and I celebrate the mighty decibel.

  • Jens: You get it! I honestly think it is the best title we could come up with for a metal album.

MettleAngel: Yes, definitely. It is so original, and most befitting the Edguy motif. After having watched you perform this evening, I see how the title underscores the band's stage antics. You only played a handful of hits, but you gave it your all. Toby has so much alacrity and energy in his stage persona. The five of you all exhibit such undying enthusiasm. I know you are having so much fun. It is entertaining to watch Toby emulate David Lee Roth's faded glory, with the karate kicks, and all that jumping around.

  • Jens: The fact is that we have so many songs which we love to play. On this small tour, we chose to condense the selection into tight numbers that could make our 50 minutes on stage an awesome experience. We always want to give it our very best. We decided carefully exactly what songs we would be playing on this tour. We were very meticulous with the set-list. We chose the songs which the fans would know, but also the ones which could make the most impact.

MettleAngel: Songs like 'Lavatory Love Machine', 'Tears of A Mandrake', 'Sacrifice', and 'King Of Fools', definitely get the crowd going. Once you return to the States next September, you will have the new album to support, and the video for 'Ministry Of Saints', and probably more. Your fans will be so pumped for a headlining show.

  • Jens: Yes, indeed! We strive to gain a loyal fan following, because quality of songwriting, production, and performance, will always make its way and triumph in the end. We are a good live band. We know what our fans expect, and we give them 100%.

MettleMaiden: With this new album, I have only heard one song, 'The Ministry Of Saints'. That song is great. I've heard that Tinnitus Sanctus is going to be dramatically different, and more dynamic than anything you have ever done. I intend to hear new nuances. I did not enjoy Rocket Ride, at first; but after repeated listens, it really grew on me. This is like the case with Lordi's new album Deadache. Now, I can state that Rocket Ride is my favorite CD. What can we expect to hear on the new album?

  • Jens: Many surprises, I guarantee you that!

MettleAngel: I really enjoyed the new direction and commercialism of Rocket Ride. From what I understand, though, Tinnitus is a radical departure from this sound.

  • Jens: Well, in a way, because Tinnitus has a much darker atmosphere than Rocket Ride. Our last CD had comical artwork, and a tongue in cheek quality. We have abandoned all this and gone with a more updated approach.

MettleAngel: Uh-oh! Don't tell me Edguy is going all modern!

  • Jens: Edguy will always be Edguy, but more matured, more experienced. The Edguy of 1999 is not who we are ten years later. This album has some of the heaviest riffs we've ever written. The songs won't be fast, but they will be very heavy.

MettleAngel: You mean Edguy has gone brutal, with clean vocals?

  • Jens: Not brutal, but heavy, dark, foreboding, hauntingly familiar.

MettleAngel: You know, once again you are going to piss off more Edguy fans, but more power to you. I champion a band who has the integrity to write what is true to their inner being.

  • Jens: The trademark Edguy elements are still there, and the basics are in tact. The thing is we write the music that pleases us, first and foremost. We don't care if the fans don't like it, or if the record company does not endorse it. We are true to ourselves.

MettleAngel: That is radical honesty. Some may call it arrogance, but I consider it to be noble and true.

  • Jens: I am so excited about what we have created. I'm really comfortable with this updated approach. The music just kicks ass, big time!

MettleAngel: I believe you, and I'm am so excited to hear it. This reminds me of my conversation with Toby earlier this year, when we discussed his Avantasia project. I admired his change in direction, and his remaining true to his inner calling. He writes and plays the music which most placates him, as a determined artist and musician. he is brutally honest with himself, and not concerned about pleasing others. This virtue of selfishness, is not ego driven; but soul enhanced.

  • Jens: The thing is that Edguy does not only surprise our fans, we surprise ourselves. When I entered into the studio, I had no idea what direction the music would take. Our producer Sascha Paeth, encouraged me to go with the flow, and abandon any expectation. This spirit sparked my passion, but I felt Toby would not agree with my heaviness. He actually embraced it, and allowed me to build on it. The band agreed this would be our new path, not necessarily better than before, just a different direction; which was inspired by like minded members working diligently to achieve our greatest art. We have known each other since we were young, and we have all matured on so many levels.

MettleAngel: Every album you create is a logical progression, and a sonic evolution. You never get caught up in sticking to one formula. You spontaneous creativity allows for fluidity and freedom. This artistic expression is one of the reason why I am such a loyal fan. I know and recognize that the essence of Edguy is always in the music.

  • Jens: Thank You! For us, the most important aspect is to be true to urselves. We have become known as a band who always does the unexpected. We are not rock stars. We don't have egos. We care deeply about our fans. We have to believe in the music we write, so our fans will, as well.

MettleAngel: With Edguy, you know how to have a good time. You may act crazy, but you take the music dead serious.

  • Jens: Silliness is never reduced to absurdity, we always give it our very best.

MettleAngel: Your lust for life is so admirable.

  • Jens: We will never pretend to be who we are not. We don't do it for the money either.

MettleAngel: Money, what money! Being into metal means being into service. Success is not about accumulation of wealth, but about experiencing joy in every moment of now.

  • Jens: If people don't like us, that is fine with us. We respect their decision, we see no need to pander to a wider audience to sell more albums. In the long run, this never works, and the band either breaks up, or they sell out.

MettleAngel: Like Martin Walkyier claims, "There are claws in the contracts we sign!" This explains why Edguy has held a consistent line-up for so long. The only dramatic change was when Toby gave up bass, and Felix joined as your drummer.

  • Jens: We have been the same members for over ten years now. This sense of self and brotherhood is made abundantly clear in our live performances.

MettleAngel: I agree. I met a fan this evening who came to see Kamelot, but did not know who this 'Edgy' band were. At first I was confused, thinking, "To which edgy band is she referring?" Then it dawned on me that she meant Edguy. Edguy is an edgy act, as you are always on the edge, and the cusp of doing something different. Your refusal to conform is what makes you true mettle; even if you are still the "Midgets Of Metal", well at least Tobi is.

  • Jens: I like that, yes we are a bit edgy, and daring. We are the edgy guys.

MettleAngel: The edgy guys who don't hide behind a disguise.

  • Jens: Yes, indeed. Kamelot have also been so supported of us. We have been friends with them for years. We were honoured when they invited us aboard this tour. We are all friends having a great time. Everything is going smoothly, and we are so grateful.

MettleAngel: Kamelot's Tour Manager - Taz, is a great guy. He has taken Edguy under his wing. I know you are now the band's acting Tour Manager, so how is this going for you?

  • Jens: Excellent! I love having the responsibility. It is my job to make sure everything is working for the band. I have taken on the leadership role. This keeps me reliable and loyal to the cause of the band. Honestly, everything is going so well. (Jens pats himself on the back) I'm very pleased how well things are working. We are half way through this US Tour, and it is our best experience here, so far.

MettleAngel: I am very grateful to hear this. I know how demanding it is to be a Tour Manager, as I am becoming one myself. You still have the music to concentrate on, but you have accepted the responsibilty of being in charge.

  • Jens: Yes, it feels nice, and it keeps me balanced, and in check. I can not go to far, and become lazy; otherwise the whole band will suffer.

MettleAngel: Your performance tonight in Illinois, is a sure sign, that all is in order. Jens, thanks you again for your time and wisdom. I plan to review Tinnitus Sanctus for BW&BK, so I'll contact you once I do.

  • Jens: Yes, we are all curious to hear your take on our latest effort. We know you really get what we are doing.

MettleAngel: I do, and I will remained open minded to the very end. If for some reason I dislike it, I won't hesitate to announce this. I will get it several spins before making a sound observation. I'm sure I'll champion it against much controversy.

  • Jens: I'm sure you will! Please keep in touch.

MettleAngel: We will see you next fall!

  • Jens: We'll be here!

Related links: