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Interview conducted April 26 2012
Interview published May 05 2012

A few hours prior to Freedom Call's gig in Stockholm, Sweden, I was supposed to have a little chat with lead singer and guitarist Chris Bay. Before the interview he told me that guitarist Lars Rettkowitz would join us, which I was cool with, so imagine my surprise when I entered the room and drummer Klaus Sperling was there as well. I sat down unprepared with no questions to anyone but Mr. Bay, but eventually things worked out fine along the way.

Tobbe: Let's start with the new album. Feel free to speak.

  • Chris: I think it's a great album. (Lars): A really great album. (Chris): It's the first album we did with Klaus, so I think the biggest difference when comparing to our previous albums is that Daniel was not with us anymore and I used to write all the songs together with Daniel as a team. Now there was only one person left, so it felt a little bit strange and I felt a little bit lonesome in the first moment of song writing, but then it was running well and I think it's kind of a habit. On the other hand I got more support from the other bandmembers and we arranged more parts in the rehearsal room. I think it's a little more creative, because we have more teamwork than before. We are happy with the result and it sounds more alive. (Lars): also a little bit rougher than the last one.

Tobbe: You have gone back to your roots with choirs and also melody wise.

  • Chris: Yes, but we didn't do that on purpose. We didn't have a concept like "let's go back to the old times of Freedom Call". I think it's because this kind of music is our style and I think maybe one reason is that we played a lot of shows in 2010 and 2011. I was writing some songs in between tour legs, so I was inspired by our teamwork and by being on the road. The lyrics of Rockin' Radio or lyrics like Power & Glory, which is exactly about the situation we have here now; playing for the people, being on the road, and maybe it's the natural development for musicians who are touring a lot and at one moment they are writing all the lyrics about touring or being on the road and down the stream.

Tobbe: The album is pretty diverse. Was that your intention?

  • Chris: Yes, exactly. There are traditional parts of Freedom Call. We will never lose our source of Freedom Call, but we're getting new inspiration and new ideas. It makes it more colorful and I'm glad about that, especially when coming to a live situation. Could you imagine playing 90 minutes or more and only at 160 beats per minute. You would be bored. You will see this tonight.

Tobbe: The album has gotten pretty good reviews. Do you read them?

  • Chris: Yes, sometimes. (Klaus): Only the good ones.

Tobbe: What about the bad ones?

  • Klaus: I think in countries like Sweden, the reviews are better than in Germany. Maybe the Swedish press is more open minded than the German metal press. (Chris): I think some metal magazines don't respect Freedom Call as a metal band, and they are right, because I never said that we are a metal band. We play metal music or hard rock, but we are not limited to do only metal music. The press says we are a power metal band, but I don't see that. We are a metal oriented rock'n'roll happy metal band.

Tobbe: If you read a bad review. What do feel in your heart?

  • Klaus: Asshole. (Lars): Most reviews are really good and we are proud of that. If people write good stuff, it's really cool for us.

Tobbe: Do you have any favorite songs on the new album?

  • Chris: Killer Gear, because it's special. (Lars): I agree with Chris and I also like Eternity. I like the darker songs. (Klaus): Terra Liberty.

Tobbe: A question right out of the blue. Do you have any contact with former members?

  • Chris: With Ilker of course. He's playing bass tonight, so obviously we keep in touch.

Tobbe: Yes, I saw him downstairs.

  • Chris: Also with Cedric, who played the guitar before Lars. We meet him a lot on festivals when he's there with his new band, Downspirit. Also we have those special samplers on our new album. A bonus CD where some friends of us play with their bands and covering Freedom Call songs. Among others there were Ilker's band Powerworld and Cedric with Downspirit, so we never lost contact with former members.

Tobbe: What about touring for the new album? You're doing a European tour this spring and I saw like twenty gigs on your itinerary and a couple of festivals. Are you going overseas?

  • Klaus: In the autumn we are on tour again.

Tobbe: Somewhere outside of Europe?

  • Chris: Not yet. We are getting a lot of response from South America, Asia and also from the United States, because our album is released world wide. We're getting response, but it's hard to find promoters and we are not able to pay all this money in advance or rather by ourselves, it's not in advance. I think it's more important for us, at first, to become bigger in Europe.

Tobbe: I asked you last year about the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise. You were not there.

  • Chris: Maybe that could be a chance for us, but it depends on the promoter.

Tobbe: Yes, you told me last year that you've never played the States and you also said that it depends on if the promoters are willing to take the risk.

  • Chris: I think it depends on the promoter and if he likes Freedom Call or not. We will see.

Tobbe: What about Sweden Rock? There's one spot left.

  • Chris: Well, you can ask our people downstairs why Freedom Call does not play Sweden Rock Festival. If you release an album and you go out on tour, you have to make a decision; either you play a large festival exclusively or you tour. We decided to tour, but maybe next year we'll be on one of those metal cruises on the Baltic sea or on a festival.

Tobbe: Another question I asked you last year. I asked you which was the worst Freedom Call song and you said you needed a list, so here we go.

  • Chris: Oh God. There's so many.

Tobbe: Okay, let's give Chris a couple of seconds to go through that list. Klaus, do you think you're becoming a better drummer for every year that passes? Do you learn things continuously?

  • Klaus: Every year with Freedom Call, yes.

Tobbe: And what about you, Lars?

  • Lars: I'm getting more into it from year to year, so yes I'm growing all the time.

Tobbe: So when you look back at past recordings, what comes to your mind?

  • Klaus: I think you're growing with the years when playing a lot of shows or if you record albums and stuff.

Tobbe: Do you have any advices for young kids trying to start a band?

  • Lars: Just play a lot. Play live gigs, shows, play, play, play. (Klaus): I think if you want to do it not just for fun, it's important to play a lot, because it's not just a hobby. It's more than that, it's a lifestyle for me. (Lars): Some day you will come to this point where you have to decide in which direction you want to go. If you want to be a musician and make it, in a serious way, or maybe you decide you can do this, depending on your situation. You think about your money and everything, and maybe it's better to work and have music as a hobby. I think every musician comes to this point one day.

Tobbe: How do you take care of your voice, Chris?

  • Chris: By smoking, drinking and doing all things that's making me crazy. No, one thing I learned is to use a good technique. I have to get the high notes, the deep notes and I play shows almost every night, Driving also means less sleep, so you have to survive and I think it's important to have a good technique. The rest is a matter of taste.

Tobbe: How long will you continue with Freedom Call? Do you think there will be a day when you call it quits?

  • Lars: Until I die. (Klaus): I think there's no limit. (Chris): As long as we have fun when playing and writing songs, we will continue. You also can do this when you get older. Maybe we have to see if people want to listen to our music, but there's no limit. Maybe we will not write as fast songs for Klaus though. (Klaus): I think the band will quit on the 25th of November 2023.

Tobbe: Let's go back to the list, Chris.

  • Chris: One and the only song, it's not hate, but I think we could have done that better and it's Starchild from The Circle Of Life. I can remember that our intention with the song was different than the result. The idea was totally different. I had it in my mind, but we couldn't realize it, so that song is nothing special. (Lars): This is what happens when he works without Klaus and me.

Tobbe: Well, that's it. Thank you, guys.

See also: review of the album Land Of The Crimson Dawn

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