In 1999 Tobias started his side project AVANTASIA. Tobias released "The Metal Opera" in 2001 and "The Metal Opera 2" in 2002. What was originally planned as a one-off studio affair, was revived in 2007. In 2008 "The Scarecrow" was released and was one of the 20 best selling albums all over Europe upon its release. Following the success of this album we saw "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon" released in 2010. Next up was "The Mystery Of Time" in 2013 and "Ghostlights" in 2016.
Tobias has worked with fellow musicians like Jorn Lande, Eric Singer (KISS), Rudolf Schenker (SCORPIONS), Bob Catley (MAGNUM), Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske both ex-HELLOWEEN), Alice Cooper and a lot of other musicians.
We got to speak to Tobias about his upcoming album Moonglow, his upcoming tour and more.
TM - What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
TS - Fans can expect the full deal. We are going to come with a full cast, we are going to have the same lineup that we have in Europe, We are going to do approximately a 3 hour show. Geoff Tate's formerly Queens writer, Eric Martin of Mr Big, John Lander Ronnie Atkins, Bob Catley and I will be there of course.
We will play old stuff and new stuff it will be dead full avantasia experience. If you told me 3 years ago that I was going to go to Australia I would have told you that you were insane. I am really really looking forward to bringing this juggernaut to Australia.
TM - How did you pick the setlist for this tour?
TS - Its the Moongloe world tour, so we will be playing a bunch of songs off our new album. That being said with a show that is approximately 3 hours long you really don't have to worry about having enough time for every era of the Bands.
It will be a best of show plus the addition of the new album and that will be a great thing of course. It is always difficult to pick the right songs because I believe that every song we have done is being worth played live. We will do all the stuff that people will want to hear, we will do the metal opera days and the ghost lights album, the wicked Symphony and the Scarecrow it'll be a long and epic show and we will cover all eras of the band.
TM - Will you be bringing your set with you?
TS - Yeah every time we go around the world we try to bring as much of our set as possible.
TM - What can fans expect from your new album Moonglow?
TS - It is a very embellished album and it has been put together with a lot of love and detail, there are a lot of fast songs and slow songs people can instantly recoganise that this is our music but at the same time it's not a copy of our other music. I never really do what comes out of me in the past, I do what comes naturally and record. I think it's an amazing album there is a lot of guest on the album and very diverse and I took a lot of time to write it.
TM - You entered in Michael sembello song manic on you are out and what inspired you to put this song on your album?
TS - Pure fun, I like the track. I have always liked the track and thought we should do a cover version of it. There was no time to put it on the record, it was just meant to be for my personal collection or at most a bonus track except then it turned out to be really really great. The album itself has so many long trucks we have track between 7 - 10 minutes on our album so I thought a 4 1/2 minute heavy rock track that everyone could sing along to before they heard our version for the first time. I thought that song would be a great opportunity to use it as a counterbalance to the more complicated material on the album.
I like the track I asked Eric martin if he wanted to do the track with me and he did it and he did a great job. We were like ok it doesn't really fit into the concept but it's a great track and that's what it's all about.
TM - You made an art book for your new album Moonglow, what inspired you to make a book and what's your favourite picture in the art book?
TS - l like them and there are a lot of great illustrations in there. I had to buy the rights for they are illustrations data over 100 years old by a Victorian painter called John Atkinson Grimshaw. They are really inspiring to me and inspire me when I write music. I have them in my study, I have one framed over my piano. He paints moonlit Street themes that is something I really like. They gave me the right mood for the album and I really wanted to include that.
I think you have to give people something that they can possess that they want to own and hold in their hands because music or getting a new piece of music. I am listening to it is not just an experience for your hearing. I remember when I was a teenager, the whole thing was a ritual, going to the store and buying the newest KISS record taking it home like a treasure hunter and looking at all the pictures in the booklet or the inner sleeve of the vinyl.
I wanted to share that experience with younger music fans and everyone complains about everyone downloading music and not paying for music anymore. I think you have to give people something they want to possess otherwise why would you want to buy it but that book is more then just John Atkinson Grimshaw is pictures from the production or process.
TM - What is your favorite picture in the book?
TS - There is a picture of you yarn wearing a motorcycle helmet, that is my favourite picture theres a bonus disc and a interview with me.
TM - You worked with Dee Snider on your song The Haunting what was it like working with him?
TS - I met Dee Snider, except not when he was recording. He did the recording by himself. I got in touch with him, to me Dee Snider was always the figure of rock and roll in a way because he was flamboyant and different and he didn't seem to give a s*** about conventions. As a kid he was every parents nightmare. Not my parents, they are very old and my mother is still alive but the snow that was so anti-establishment and immature and that what I really liked about Dee Snider. To me he is a really cool figure in rock and roll. I went on stage with him about 2 years ago and I didn't know until two minutes beforeI had to go on.
His tour manager came to me and said "Hey Toby, Dee Snider wants you to go on stage and sing I Wanna Rock with him" and i said "Ok, When is that going to happen?" and he said "2 minutes" and I said "Ok, that is a great idea Thank You very much" and I went out and sang I want to rock he is a nice guy has rock and roll.
TM - That is sweet that you got to perform with Dee Snider on stage, what a great opportunity.
TM - If you could have any bands play one of your songs which band would it be which song would it be and would it be in your style or their Style?
TS - I would prefer bands to play their stuff, that is why I am a fan of them but if they play my songs I don't have a problem. I want to play my songs myself I am a flight boy peacock get out of the way I want to sing it.
TM - Is there anything else you want to announce to your fans?
TS - I would like to Thank everyone for supporting me and I put a lot of work into Moonglow if you are into 80s hand made out of fashion metal music check out the album and if you want vans to come to Australia show your love and come to our show.