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A bright and cheerful voice dances down the line – Dirk Sauer is a regular bouncing ball of high spirits, and the power rock guitarist has every reason to be.

Sauer is getting ready to celebrate his 25th anniversary. Over the years, there’s been love, laughs and tears, but it’s a milestone he’s been gearing up to for a while. Oh, we’re not talking a wedding anniversary! This year, Germany’s own Edguy celebrate a quarter of a century together as a pivotal band in the power rock genre. Having been together as a group since they were teenagers – high school sweethearts in a sense – Sauer laughs when it’s suggested that Edguy may as well be married to one another. “Yeah, in a way, it’s true,” he chuckles.

A silver anniversary demands a celebration and a big one at that. What better way to celebrate such a feat in music than with a tour – Edguy are setting off on their The Best Of The Best tour, naming a series of concerts as being proof of their highlights instead of the new release – the name of their double CD/DVD package has a far more fitting title: Monuments. A colossal version filling the best parts of Edguy’s history, Monuments takes the best of Edguy’s music and blankets it in a loving hug of memories, along with previously unseen materials spanning photos, videos, music, and much more. “I think we started thinking about this year two years ago because we always had in mind – 25 years, they are coming,” says Sauer. “And the 20th anniversary we didn’t celebrate for some reason.

“So, 25, shall we celebrate it? [we said together] Are we going to be old when we do it? 25 years is really a long time!” But then we said, ‘Hey, come on, we started when we were 14 and we’re still under 40, and that is pretty okay!’ [We have] a lot of years to come and it’s possible we do another 25 years. If we do it, we gonna do it right and we gotta somehow do a release where people can really take part in this 25 years and celebrate together.

“We started collecting photos which were really hard to do because this is like a memory book – there’s a lot of little stories. It’s a long 25 years, and we spent a lot of time together these years – it’s a long time; my whole life, way longer than I’ve been with my wife!”

Monumental, indeed: going on a best of tour and the release of the album is all credible to the music. But what about the band; them as people? A lifetime of experiences and memories, Sauer certainly has much to reflect upon. “We’ve done so many things together, spent so much time together, and there have been so many situations together, and it’s something you should be thankful for,” he muses.

Naturally, sitting around with the band to compile the photos and other memorabilia that will be featured in the 25th-anniversary package, certain memories jumped out for Edguy. Sauer’s smile is almost audible, “A lot of memories, of course, a lot of situations…

“For example, when we wanted to do the American style and rented a charter helicopter and fly to Wacken Open Air, or when Toby [frontman Tobias Sammet] fell off the stage at one show. [It was a] festival stage, and it was like, ‘Holy fuck, where has he gone?!’ And he just stepped in the black and fell over – he could have broken his neck! There were ten seconds of nobody knows what’s going on! I met him backstage, and he was like, ‘my nose is broken’. He was bleeding [laughs]; ‘everything hurts but we’re gonna finish the show!’ Turns out he was really lucky – he’s definitely a tough guy! So many laughable situations… 25 years, some parties happen as well, some alcohol here or there…

“To play the same lineup for 20 years, of course, we can’t have the same opinion on everything. But when it’s about, okay we have a band, a name, and our fans and we are proud of what we’ve done these years, there’s always the point where you stick together and say, ‘Okay, we gotta do this together’. Find a solution, and it works.”

 

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This partnership does have its moments where it feels like a family – but Sauer is, ultimately, a married man. “It is like a marriage!” he says with a serious laugh. “You have to always keep in mind what you have done together, and this is what brings you down to earth, keeps you calm. I am of the opinion that what goes on, as long as we talk things through, the relationship grows and so far we’ve managed that and it will continue, too.”

“We have to write a book, maybe when it is 50 years,” Sauer says. “Share it with the people, make them involved! That would certainly be something to look forward to, a great way to celebrate Edguy’s Golden Anniversary, something a band with this calibre of dedication will likely reach.

” We should maybe write it down now, because in 25 years we may not remember all that stuff!” Sauer continues, chuckling away to himself. “Not because of drinking but because of getting old! I have to write down everything on paper; everything is full of these little yellow papers on my desk – post-its! Yes, that’s it!”

For now, Sauer’s focus is on this silver year, and included in this compilation is a previously unreleased song, “Reborn In The Waste”, as well as five brand new tracks. “‘Reborn…’ is from ’95.” Sauer explains, “Written when we were in our late teens.” Known for their thematic narratives, historically, Edguy’s lyrics often have social tails to them but without the band leaning either direction – these new songs stick to that principle. “Toby was always writing songs in a very personal way and I think there’s always a chance to pull something out for yourself – it’s a timeless thing, writing lyrics.

“In ’95, we were 18 or 20 and now we’re close to 40. I’ve collected a lot of things going on in my life and have different views about different things, but in general, lyrics are always timeless.”

Indeed, without the new tracks and the extra special additions of video and photograph material, Monuments would have been a standard ‘Best Of…’, not something that particularly inspires Sauer. “We wanted to celebrate with our fans. I mean, of course, if you can gain new fans it’s perfect but also the old fans who stood beside us for many years, they should also be part of this.

“So we said, what can do what is really necessary for the fans to have – we said we’ve got to do pictures, video. It came a bit late to decide to include the new songs and it was not that easy because we were running out of time, [but] the turnout is pretty good!”

In sharing all these memories and materials with the fans, Sauer attests that it’s Edguy’s hope they will look at Edguy’s history in the same way the band have, with fond memories. “We’ve put out some ultra-real pictures – in the beginning, we were like, ‘Oh, no, we can’t show these’. We were kids; we don’t look like kids, we thought we were cool; starting to grow the hair and the first beard and all that stuff, but it’s so fun to watch it, see this development, how it turns out now.

“You can really be part of this history if you are watching and it’s fun, especially for fans! If you’ve been at a show back then, there’s always, like, if you meet fans on tour, they always have little stories to tell and I hope they can find stories in this new edition.

“I hope we can have a great tour now and we haven’t made any plans for Edguy but of course, we’re always collecting ideas, writing songs, I hope we can do it for another 25 years, and hopefully those years we can feel with eight or ten albums! There’s always inspiration in life.”

Written by Anna Rose

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Monuments is out on July 14th via Nuclear Blast Records

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