|Felix Bohnke – Edguy: Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Tazz Stander|
|Sunday, 04 April 2010 06:00|
Edguy started life as a neo-classical metal band from Germany ... well, we all have to start somewhere don't we. Over the last few years they have taken this sound and developed it into a much more streamlined and mature beast, building on their massive worldwide success and always returning to play the UK for what seems like an almost annual event.
We at Uber Rock felt it was about time to catch up with the guys face to face so to speak. So we asked Tazz Stander to pop along to a local London watering hole to meet Edguy drummer Felix Bohnke. As it happens this wasn't so much work for Tazz, as you'll find out, as it all turned out to be one laugh after another.
Hi Felix thanks for taking the time to talk with us at Uber Rock, I'll openly admit that Power Metal has never been where my musical tastes are at, but recently your sound has evolved - if evolved is even the right word? So before we get into Edguy, what genre do you classify yourselves as now in 2010?
Good question. I would say powerful metal, hard rock.
Yeah, Power Rock.
Musically, you have had an interesting change of sorts. If you go back to the roots of Edguy, it was very Power Metal but your last few albums have been hard rock.
I think power rock is a good description. It's pretty much metal but it has hard rock elements and it's not so fast any more.
My description of your style would be hard rock music with Power Metal vocals.
I think you are right with that description.
Your lyrics are often metaphorical and alluding to metaphysical or social themes. Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I don't write the lyrics so it's hard for me to say, so I have no idea but I know the bands that Toby [Tobias Sammet] likes, he likes the lyrics from AC/DC, and as far as I know, many of our songs have very funny lyrics. I don't think the Edguy lyrics are too serious most of the time. It's a mixture of serious themes and something completely stupid. I know sometimes we are the only ones that can laugh about what's been written.
The last time you were in London supporting Andre Matos, you had just brought out 'Tinnitus Sanctus'. When you release an album, is it even possible to comprehend the way people will interpret what you've done?
No, not at all. We always give our best and we only release stuff that we really like. We are also always confident that it is the best of what were doing at the time. Of course, you can never foresee how the fans or anybody will react to it or if they see it in a similar light to us. It can be quite a surprise (laughs) so there is always a lot of suspense on our side.
Your fans are one of a kind though. I've never ever seen fans so captivated by a band before. At the same show that I mentioned, 'Tinnitus Sanctus' had just come out and when you guys played 'Ministry of Saints', Toby forgot his words and the fans sang them back and got him back on track again. It was at that point that I realised that Edguy doesn't own their music any more, the fans do.
Yes. It's a great feeling for us, especially from the stage, when you experience something like that. We didn't expect something like that to happen.
You released 'Tinnitus Sanctus' in 2008, what still excites you about it when you listen back to it now?
I can only speak for myself but I think it's the most versatile album we ever did. I think 'Rocket Ride' was a little more in the hard rock direction as well but on 'Tinnitus Sanctus' there are even more different styles. As a whole, I think that all the songs really belong together. Even though the styles are so different, like '9-2-9' is so different to 'Sex, Fire, Religion', they both have a totally different feeling. 'Sex, Fire, Religion' is heavier and more groovy but still, they both belong on that album and you don't get distracted by the differences. That is what I love the most about it.
I realise that you've been touring for 18 months non-stop but are their any plans for another album any time soon?
Yes of course.
(Laughing) When we return from this tour, we will start on the new album pretty soon. Toby has already told us that he has a couple of ideas so we will meet up in the next 3 - 4 weeks and start working on new stuff. The very rough plan is that we will hit the studio this year but as yet, we don't know when the new album will be released but it might be early next year. It won't be too long and of course Toby is a little busy with Avantasia's album promotion.
I can't wait to hear both of his new albums - a double release, what more could we want?
They are great.
You drummed on them right?
I played on 8 tracks.
A star studded line up of various artists, I can't wait to hear it.
Going back to the style of lyrics, I like to think of Edguy as the thinking mans metal band. How do you feel about being viewed as an intellectual band?
We deserve it of course (laughs). This is the first time that someone has said this to me. I read an article in a German magazine called Die Spiel (The Mirror) and they said that heavy metal and hard rock have a more intelligent audience. So basically, stupid people don't go to metal concerts. They go see football (laughs). I'm kidding.
(Laughing) You're not kidding really.
(Laughing) Toby is a really huge football fan.
Is Toby going to talk a lot tonight?
Excitingly enough, your first official live DVD, 'Fucking With Fire' has now been released. I haven't seen it yet but tell me which shows appear and any other interesting things that fans can see in it.
We filmed the show in Sao Paulo when we were on the 'Rocket Ride Tour'. It's the whole show and we also have a band history movie in it where all of us talk about the beginning of the band.
Way back in 1992 .... (laughs)
(Laughing) In 1872, Toby was in a maths class ... (laughing). Edguy started as a school band but it was long before my time. There are some funny things in the DVD but you won't learn any great secrets about our personal lives.
On what basis did you decide that Sao Paulo would be the place to record your DVD?
We've been there so many times and the people there are absolutely crazy, in a good way. They're loud and crazy and you really have to watch out for yourself. We have massive security there all the time. It is one of the Countries where we have a huge audience. For us it was logical that we wanted to have Sao Paulo on a DVD.
If you compare your German fans to your Brazilian fans, where does your biggest audience come from?
I don't like to differentiate between them because every country is great but I would say our biggest fan base is in Germany and then South America and then probably Sweden.
You're probably going to battle with this question as it's about lyrics again but I'm sure between us, we can answer it! Lyrically, my favourite track is 'The Pride of Creation'. Tell me the inspiration and the tongue in cheek lyrics behind it.
Well, I think Toby was writing about himself. That is my personal opinion and I wish I could say he was thinking about me (laughing). He probably was but he will never admit it.
I'm just wondering if you hope it was you and you think he wrote about himself who has the 'Nose for Blow'?
[There is a dead silence]
There we go, you didn't think I would ask that did you?
And whose the 'Godfather'?
Um, not the bass player (laughing). I'm very sure about that one. I would say the tour manager but he's into adult movies.
(Laughing) Wolfgang is?
He stars in adult movies and has a stage name but I didn't tell you that.
Is that off the record?
No, no, he will never read this (laughs). This is promotion for him and I think you should ask him about it later.
Anyway, lets move on to our last question. If your life were a movie, what would it be?
Oh my God, it would have to be Star Wars I guess but I wouldn't be Luke Skywalker because he doesn't get any girls. Maybe Darth Vader or Han Solo.
(Laughing) He doesn't get any girls?
He doesn't, he falls in love with his own sister and he's probably gay so no, not him. Maybe I would just be my own character in Star Wars and then steal Princess Leia anyway.
You're all about the gold costume?
What else, I mean, no one was really looking at her hair were they? (laughing)
Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to us at Uber Rock Felix we wish you all the best with the UK dates and your upcoming German dates with the Scorpions.
Tazz, you are welcome.