Last year bassist Ilker and drummer Rammi left from Freedom Call. Fortunatelly they have found new great members this year and at the end of August they released new great album M.E.T.A.L. The singer and guitarist Chris Bay spoke about the new members, album and other interesting things.
Hello Chris! I can remember, three years ago you have told me that the album “Master of Light” is definitely a logical continuation of “Beyond”. Is it so with your upcoming album M.E.T.A.L.?
Chris Bay: Hey Metalmania-Magazín! Of course, probably every album of Freedom Call is an logical continuation of the previous one.
We always trying to keep up the trademark of Freedom Calls music. The melodies and catchy chorus lines are in the focus, not the individual ability to perform our instruments of the band members.
There have been some personnel changes in Freedom Call. Has this fact somehow affected the process of composition? Have someone new contributed to this process?
Chris Bay: The new band members Francesco Ferraro and Timmi Breideband joined us shortly after we finished the recordings. But the change of the line up doesn’t affect the musical part of Freedom Call.
Either the leaving band members or the new band members have been part of the creative part of songwriting and production so far. But Francesco and Timmi were part of the choir sessions of M.E.T.A.L. And were supporting us mentally while mixing and mastering the album.
I think that your album M.E.T.A.L. is more original that previous one. But choirs are not as monumental as they used to be. Why haven’t your new bassist Francesco Ferraro sung at all?
Chris Bay: He, he…sounds funny to me…”more original” 😉 I can guarantee that all single notes also on our previous albums were absolutley original (kidding). But I take this as a compliment. We didn’t try to “simulate” the new album as one as could be from our early times.
That is in my eyes just is a sign, that we could keep up our style of music, our energy and creative side since more than 20 years…I’m calling it, authenticity. Francesco is still learning and he will make many experiences in the next time, also as part of our epic choir team.
According to my previous question – as I have noticed watching your live videos, he is singing less than Lars does. Why?
Chris Bay: He’s our bassplayer!… I’m the singer 😉 Francesco is firstly taking care of his bass performance which has absolute priority.
Could you tell us what circumstances did led Ilker and Rami to leave the band?
Chris Bay: There are some family, business and personal reasons. These have absolute priority. There are things in life, they are much more important as to play in a rock band!
How did you look for new members?
Chris Bay: We did not searching literally for new members. I felt it as gut feeling, that we’ll find the new persons and bandmates accidentally…I was right 😉
There are some rumors that you have considered even someone from Slovakia. Could you confirm it or could tell us more about it?
Chris Bay: O sorry, that is out of my knowledge…we got many requests from lots of countries, but there was no one in the closer selection.
We can notice Dan Zimmerman in the video for M.E.T.A.L. He was your first drummer and founding member. Did you consider his return to Freedom Call?
Chris Bay: Dan is still one of my best friends and he will be an “emotional” band member of Freedom Call forever. He immediately agreed when I asked him to be part the new album, because it’s our 20th Anniversary album.
As former member and my partner for more than 10 years it’s a “must be”. He’s living a happy and satiesfied life with his family. To know that a good friend is doing well is much more worth then having a band member.
What can you tell us about your upcoming tour? Where are you going to play your shows?
Chris Bay: That will probably become the biggest headliner tour of Freedom Call ever. We are bringing a great M.E.T.A.L. Stage to the venues and the tour will during away out in 2020. First we’re touring in Europe and then we’re already planning to play shows in Asia, South America and more.
At the first part of the tour we’re happy that our friends of “Visions of Atlantis” are joining us as special guest and the Danish power metal band “Seven Thorns”. We are already looking forward to come to play two shows in Slovakia, Kosice & Zvolen in October.
Could you tell us, which songs from your new album are you going to play live?
Chris Bay: Of course, we’ll put several songs of our new album M.E.T.A.L. in the setlist, but also many of our songs of the previous albums will be fit in. Definitely we won’t ignore our “hit singles” like “Land of Light”, “Metal is for Everyone” and so on… a big Happy Metal party will become celebrated and all metal heads are heartily welcome to be part of.
Chris Bay – past and future
What about your solo project? Do you plan something new?
Chris Bay: I was absolutely happy about the amazing reaction of the fans about my solo album.Well, it’s not pure metal music, but I’m an artist, not a “metal machine”. I will continue the work of my solo project and maybe I can find time to start the songwriting process after the first part of the Freedom Call tour in winter.
Can you tell us something about your beginnings with music, your previous bands and the birth of Freedom Call?
Chris Bay: 🙂 That would be an endless long story, but in short letters… I started to play guitar in the age of 7, learn to play piano around 10 and with 17 I made voice education.
With 13 I had my first show in school und since the age of 19 I jumped in a professional band called “China White” where I met Dan Zimmermann the first time. Dan joined Gamma Ray around 1996 and two years later we started with Freedom Call. So, that the story of my hard life as musician…but I’m still loving this life. 😉
Have you ever planned to release some videos of the albums’ recording process? I think that recording of choirs could be very interesting.
Chris Bay: Then I would disclose my secrets of production 😉 Maybe it’s a good idea, but it also could become very boring, because a lot of studio work is not as exciting. But for producing there are many good producers they are providing workshops.
You are composing your happy metal music for years. How do you maintain so much optimism in today’s world?
Chris Bay: It’s my attitude of life, why to waste time with suffering…life is short. But, of course, the sun is not always shining in my life. I also have moments that I’m bit out of balance. Music is my best friend, my passion. Maybe I can enjoy this Happy Metal as a self-therapy.
Thank you very much for this interview and for your time. And the very last thing – could you leave some message for your Slovak fans?
Chris Bay: I’m thanking you for your time and efforts, it was a nice talk. We always enjoyed our time in Slovakia very much. The Slovakian metal heads are one of the most enthusiastic fans in Europe.
We’re feeling appreciated about the great support of the Slovakian fans. So, we can’t wait to enter the stages in Kosice & Zvolen on October 4th & 5th. Don’t miss it
Poto Chris: Emeraldpics/Oliver Haremsa
Thanks for cooperation: Schnaps from ROCKER.sk 😉