Interview: Gordana B.
Freedom Call, the band founded as a ‘side project’ of Daniel Zmmermann who is the best known as the drummer of Gamma Ray and the singer Chris Bay. Their first album was released in 1999 and the current and in the same time 6th bands album is dedicated to King Ludwig II. About the album devotion and some other stuff we talked to Chris Bay shortly before the band has played in front of domestic audience.
VENIA: Your first time in Croatia…
CHRIS: …and it’s hot!
VENIA: How are you?
CHRIS: Great! We also played for the first time in Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and now Croatia. I’m very proud because I’m playing here. I was here on vacation while I was young, by bike. It makes me proud because I have opportunity to play in your country.
VENIA: Four years ago Freedom Call supposed to be here with Rage, but something happened.
CHRIS: Yes, I don’t know what happen! Show was on the schedule and then it was canceled during tour but I don’t know why.
VENIA: How the tour runs now?
CHRIS: Great! It’s fantastic! Especially so for Gamma Ray! There is a lot of people on concert. And also for Freedom Call, it’s very good possibility to play in countries like Croatia where we haven’t been before. So, we can show to people that Freedom Call is still on European metal scene. And maybe to convince some people if they have doubt that we are out of picture, up to positive attitude and show the people that we have come to their countries and give them a good time. That’s all! I don’t have any special message in music of Freedom Call. I don’t want to tell the people some political directions or something like that. Freedom Call is just giving the people good time in the life and that’s it! Very easy!
VENIA: Was it hot during the tour?
CHRIS: Yes, very! Very hot!
VENIA: Do you like this nomad way of living?
CHRIS: Oh, yeah! I think that is one part when you get it after hard work in the studio and then you have the possibility to travel around and play for the fans for whom I created the music, because I didn’t create it for myself. I like writing songs and songwriting process, arragements, but in the end I’m doing this for the people. They are listening my music and I like it. I like to visit the countries and play for the people. I love to see that in their eyes and I can, as a result of all the shows that we played, to see the happy faces and they gave me the impression that they had great time in their life. Maybe just for one hour on concert, but better then nothing.
VENIA: You released new album – Legend of the Shadowking. It is about the king – Ludwig II. Can you tell us something about it?
CHRIS: The king of Bavaria! Freedom Call is Bavarian band. It’s history about our hometown, mine and Daniel’s hometown, and we were looking for some stories, conceptions in the fantasy world or you can go back in the past, in the middle age. We found very interesting story, just around the corner, about king Ludwig II, maybe 200 km from our hometown. I grow up with that history. We’ve been learning about that in school. Just the main parts of the story. We’ve been searching some details and I think it’s a great story for heavy metal album. Because king Ludwig II was a crazy guy! He was leading the country but he wasn’t interested in politics, so maybe he was wrong in his business.
VENIA: He was building the castles?
CHRIS: Yes, and a lot of monumental buildings like Neuschwanstein Castle, world wide famous. And he had a nickname – Fairytale king, because he was so great, and there is lot of fantasies about that. And he liked music, he was Wagner’s good friend. All this circumstances made him an interesting person to write an album about, as the main topic of the album. You may compare or admire to the fantasy, maybe he was a rockenroller, 100-150 years ago!
VENIA: I have a ridiculous question.
CHRIS: Oh, one more?? (laugh)
VENIA: (laugh) What do you think, if he could hear the album, what he would say?
CHRIS: He would love it! He would fell in love with that and he would listen to that 24/7. I’m totally convince in that. And as a king he would probably say: “Listen and buy this album!”, people would listen to him and I would became rich and famous! (laugh)
VENIA:What can you say about differences between this album and previous?
CHRIS: Well, the previous work… It’s the first time that we have a concept about real person in history. We’ve never wrote about real person. We’ve had some main topics about fantasy world in first 3 albums. Than in Dimensions it’s about social, political things and “end of the world” problems, how to survive, and so on… But now when it’s about real person it’s different because we had to research for the story.
VENIA: Your research was mainly from the books or from the Internet too?
CHRIS: Yes, we were in libraries, we found some books. I think it’s the same. Today you can find everything on the Internet. That was more work of Daniel, because he’s more in to the lyrics, and I’m taking care about music, arragements, recording.Moon Doc, Lanzer – it’s interesting to know how you from today’s perspective you are looking on that phase in your musical career
CHRIS: Oh, Lanzer, it’s just a cover band! I cover songs from the Kiss, Manowar, Iron Maiden and all that stuff. We never did some original music. They recorded one album bit I wasn’t with them. Moon Doc – that was my first band. I did 2 albums, with original songs, with my own songs. With Moon Doc was good way for me to come in to the heavy metal scene.
VENIA: Why??? (laugh)
CHRIS: (laugh), Sorry, it happens! (laugh) I was young… And needed the money… (laugh) And then I couldn’t run away…
VENIA: What do you think, what is your greatest achievement?
CHRIS: That is hard to say. Last 10 years was full of great moments and, so maybe there were a couple of shows that were really special. It’s very impressive to play at Wacken for 45000 people who are freaking out and jumping and that was looking like waves.
But, I miss contact with the audience on that big festivals. You cannot see faces, you just play. I prefer when I can look in the eyes of people and see what happens, and when I can see if they like the music.
VENIA: Do you have any summer festivals in plan?
CHRIS:Yes! Fiesta Pagana Festival in Schmerikon, Switzerland and Saarbangersmetalfestival in Oberbexbach, Germany. But, hopefully, a lot of offers will come during this tour. And in England we play at the Bloodstock festival. It’s a great festival!
VENIA: Message to Croatian fans.
CHRIS:I’m proud that we can visit your country, we appreciate it. We’ll give very good performance of Freedom Call, all our energy, all our motivation, you will see that. We will confirm ourself with really good show! I hope that our Croatian fans will enjoy our show and we hope that Freedom Call will come again in Croatia and then we don’t cancel our show during the tour. I’m really looking forward to the show tonight. And there is connection because Croatia and Germany had bad fights in football, and that gives us a special connection, so… (laugh) We will see who will win tonight, audience or Freedom Call! The music is winning!
VENIA: Thank you so much!
Official web site: www.freedom-call.net