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.
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?
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
Tobbe: If you read a bad review. What do
feel in your heart?
Tobbe: Do you have any favorite songs on
the new album?
Tobbe: A question right out of the blue.
Do you have any contact with former members?
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
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?
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.
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.
Tobbe: What about Sweden Rock? There's one
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.
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?
Tobbe: And what about you, Lars?
Tobbe: So when you look back at past recordings,
what comes to your mind?
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: 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.
of the album Land Of The Crimson Dawn