There is little doubt that one of the biggest musical events in the metal sphere this year is the touring cycle of Moonglow by Avantasia. The eighth full-length album by Tobias Sammet that features extensive collaborations with artists from Mr. Big, Helloween, Blind Guardian, and many other bands/projects, has created massive waves and generated copious amounts of interest. This magic is being captured in a live setting in part to the monstrous Moonglow world tour. Boasting a massive cast, and an impressive stage show, these shows are definitely once in a lifetime and are not to be missed. Ahead of Avantasia’s first-ever appearances in Australia this May as part of the world tour, Metal Wani’s Jake Patton had the opportunity to talk with one of the touring vocalists, the legendary Geoff Tate, to discuss the Moonglow tour, the expectations of the cast heading to Australia as part of this run, his relationship with Sammet, and much more.
Opening the conversation, Tate talks about his excitement in returning to Australia for the first time since 2006 stating “It’s a pleasure playing this music with these people night after night, and we’ve honestly been having a great time in Europe right now on tour as well and we’re looking forward to coming to Australia. I know I am personally because I haven’t been there, well since 2006 for my own show”, while also discussing in detail the sentiment amongst the other artists included as part of this mammoth spectacle.
These shows wouldn’t have the same level of magic were it not for the high calibre of its touring cast members. Being part of such a massive cast is something that isn’t lost on Tate, commenting “I guess I’m just used to all my life being the only singer in the band right, so this is a whole different thing. But it’s a great group of people who are very supportive of each other and we’ve developed sort of this teamwork that uhhh, we’re very supportive. We’re all watching each other, listening to each other perform and everybody is pushing each other to perform better and better and at a higher level” when asked about what it is like to be performing alongside some of the best in the business on these shows and how the group has come together.
As to be expected, the format of these shows aligns with the grandiosity of their soundscape providing a sensory overload for those that are lucky enough to attend. Describing the stage set-up for the tour, Tate likens the experience to walking directly into Tobias Sammet’s mind stating “You walk into the show and you walk into Tobi’s world that he has created, and it is definitely magical, mystical — you go on a trip you know, and as a lot of people say you don’t want the trip to end, you want it to keep going”.
When asked about his relationship with Sammet, and whether or not Tate believes that he has been given a great opportunity to dwell in the musical territory of others by lending his talents to Moonglow, Tate reflects on support slots as a whole, before remarking “It is a wonderful opportunity, it’s one that I’ve kind of I’ve experienced with various bands throughout my life that I’ve toured with. It’s actually quite a gesture of comradery, of respect for a band to have you open for them you know. Because they are giving you their audience really, and it’s the same thing here”, before adding “You know I’ve always appreciated that and not taken it for granted to be in that situation. And this situation with Avantasia is somewhat like that”
The conversation then shifts to some of Tate’s recent work, in the trio of albums he performed under the label Operation Mindcrime, as well as his upcoming collaboration with Simone Mularoni (DGM) entitled Sweet Oblivion, an offering that is sure to please many fans of his early work with Queensryche. When asked about how he got involved in the project Tate offers “Simone was a fan of old Queensryche and you know the music he presented me at first sounded very familiar to me and that was sort of a meeting ground for being able to work together and so we did get together and started working and came up with the album”. He then touches on his thoughts about whether this Sweet Oblivion project is a once off, or if more might be on the cards in the future.
Closing out the conversation Tate discusses his current relationship with the members of his former band Queensryche, before touching on whether or not he thinks it would be a cool idea to get involved in a project with former bandmate Chris DeGarmo.
Stream The Entire Interview Below:
AVANTASIA AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
May 12th – Sydney, Metro Theatre
May 14th – Melbourne, The Forum