Call it Ernie but is Kiske

Tobias Sammet Avantasia Ernie KiskeI've found something strange checking magazines/reviews of Avantasia's Metal Opera part I era. I thought Kiske used 'Ernie' pseudonym because he was workin' in SupaRed album and being in Tobi's Metal Opera could confuse fans about what/how would sound the Supalbum. But 'Michael Kiske' name was also published in a lot of promotional stuff from that years like you can see in the attached image. Also Tobias during the interviews never hide Kiske collaboration, he used his real name.

So to understand this, it's neccesary to tell how it started everything. In 1998, Tobias has written a history and he was ready to start recording the albums with some of his heroes playing different characters and one important was Lugaid Vandroiy, the mentor of Tobi's character Gabriel. So he tried to get Kiske in the project. Tobias explained: "It was very difficult to get in contact with Michael Kiske. Since I'm really a big admirer of his voice. I tried to get in contact first with Basti of the Gamma Ray fanclub but this didn't work and I just phoned Roland Grapow and asked him for Michael's number. Then I send him the material and he first said that it is not really the stuff that he wanted to do."

And Kiske said: "One day Tobias called me about this project and he wanted to know if I wanted to contribute anything. I denied, and I explained him that I was not into that kind of thing anymore. I initially refused joking, I said: 'I agree, but only if you call me Ernie!' But Tobi kept calling me, asking me if I had changed my mind. After a while I gave in and listened to the music because he was talking so exciting and passionate about it. I told him that it wasn't my kind of music but it was at least honest. And I really liked the kid, so I agreed to do him a favor by doing some vocals. I was not sure if it would be good to use my name on it because it could confuse fans, they could believe I was going to make that kind of music in the future. Finally I did it and it was fun. I also wanted to show people that I was not refusing of my metal past."

So I thought 'Ernie' pseudonym was on Cd credits and in all the promotional stuff and nobody being said that 'Kiske' was there until the sequel Metal Opera Part II. But it seems his collaboration never was a 'secret' talking about the album promotion. In the last clipping (at bottom) you can see in the picture attached: "After first listening session of this album, it is very clear that 'Ernie' is Ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske." Also Michael commented: "When I used this 'Ernie' pseudonym, I didn't expect that people would recognize me immediately." But it's easy to recognize Kiske voice if during the promotion Kiske name is on the table.

Dani