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Chris Bay (Freedom Call)

Interview with Chris Bay from Freedom Call
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 January 2012, 11:28 PM

The new FREEDOM CALL album, “Land Of The Crimson Dawn”, is nearly out. Steinmetal had the opportunity to talk with the band’s long time vocalist / guitarist, Chris Bay, about the new album, the band’s musical progression, the band without its founder and about the future world

Hello Chris, it is great to have you for an interview for Metal Temple, what have you been up to?

We're feeling great! :) Everything is running well and we are very busy in practicing and preparations for the release and tour. We had a video shot two days ago and can't wait to introduce the new album to the fans!!

Before beginning I would like to express my personal congrats for FREEDOM CALL’s new album, “Land Of The Crimson Dawn”, which is a great addition to your discography. How do you feel about it?

Thanks a lot for your congrats!! I'm really happy about the result; finally the release of an album is the end of a period filled with hard work, sweat, heart & soul…all our passion…

“Land Of The Crimson Dawn” is the first FREEDOM CALL album without the band’s founder, Dan Zimmerman, which is also the drummer of GAMMA RAY, following his decision to step aside short time after your last album. I imagine that he went through a lot of pressure due to his commitment to GAMMA RAY before reaching the final decision of stepping out. Is his leaving the band final?

Dan’s schedule was growing and growing around 2007 and some shows and tour dates were colliding in between FREEDOM CALL and GAMMA RAY activities. So Dan decided, heavy-hearted, to work with GAMMA RAY. On the one hand I was disappointed about his decision, on the other hand we were able to prove that FREEDOM CALL never was a “project of GAMMA RAY’s drummer”!! It was a slow process, from 2007 till 2010…so the band could prepare well for the change on the drums.

Did you try to talk him out of it at the time? Do you still discuss the matter in the present?

Danand I are best friends and we're still spending good times together…so he didn't leave the band creating a mess!! I respect his decision and our friendship didn’t suffer…but… never say no :), but for the future, Dan will be concentrated in other projects!

Klaus Sperling, Ex-PRIMAL FEAR and now a member of NITROGODS, was chosen by you guys for “Land Of The Crimson Dawn”. Have you known him prior to your approach to him for the drummer role? Were there other drummers you auditioned before the final decision?

FREEDOM CALLwelcomes Klaus Sperling as the official new drummer of the band! He's member in the lineup since 2010 and he made his debut on the Live DVD “Live in Hellvetia”. Klaus is not only a brilliant drummer, he also brings into the band a fantastic mood and lots of fun…:) Great guy!! Still didn’t write songs for the new album, but he emphasized the compositions with his own individual style of drumming… Maybe it's his credit, that the new album “Land of the Crimson Dawn” is sounding more alive and human grooving' than some previous works. We didn't have any auditions for drummers. The first time that Klaus was in 2007, Klaus played for FREEDOM CALLas the stand-in drummer for Dan…The rest was a creeping process.

Well, let’s stir away from drummers and talk a bit more about the album.  “Land Of The Crimson Dawn”, unlike its previous, turned away from being a concept and more or less sounded to me like a multi themed old HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY album. Was there a reason for you not proceeding in the concept lain?

It's just like a concept album, but I don't like this term. It means that the lyrical concept has more worth than the music. The main topic of “Land of the Crimson Dawn” is the virtual world, a dimension in between bits and bytes. People are longing for to escape from reality; maybe they'll find their place in the digital Cyberworld, like World of Warcraft or in guilds of communities. There are a lot of different digital zones you can move to…closer to reality…find out by yourself! The story about the glorious Land of light, the 66 Warriors or the Age of the Phoenix will animate your individual power of imagination. You can built up an own creation of fantasy…built up your own private paradise… :)

Something else that I also noticed about your new album, and interested me quite a lot, was your musical direction that became even more assorted. Aside from the normal Euro Power Metal you also tread the fields of modern Metal and even something that sounded Thrashy. How do you think that nowadays modern direction integrated with your traditional approach?

I think, that is a very easy doing… :) Being honest to yourself!!  I do not calculate the music, I don't try to “simulate” the trademark of FREEDOM CALL’s style…music is pure emotion, and only emotions are leading the direction of my songwriting.
But I'm also influenced by the development of music and I don't defend myself against on situating modern elements in our music.

Was it your early intent to perform musical experimentations on this album?

The only thing I'm scared of is stagnation in life…and music. The intent is that FREEDOM CALLis constantly stepping forward. I try to build up a colorful collection of songs, which fit in the trademark of our music.

Let’s talk about your for a bit. What are your personal influences both as a singer and a guitarist?

There are so many fantastic singers and guitarists in this galaxy:). I prefer to follow my emotions…and life is my inspiration. I'm walking awake and open minded through my life; I'm interested in so many things. The experiences I make are influencing my creative working. I travel a lot, there I can meet lots of very interesting things and friendly people…every moment makes me inspired for writing music.

Please tell a bit about your upcoming tour “Journey To The Crimson Dawn”?

Being on the road with the band is for me like bringing in the harvest of all this hard work during song writing and producing in the studio. The upcoming tours in 2012 will last the entire year and we will travel at first all around Europe. Hopefully we also can come back to Greece … :) And we can't wait to do it!! FREEDOM CALLhasn't been out of Europe before, so we also hope to get the opportunity to play on different continents like North- and South America or Asia.

Chris I would like to thank you for the interview. I hope that Metalheads worldwide would appreciate your new release. I wish you luck!

I say thank you for these interesting questions and your time!! It was fun to answer… :) All the best and cheers to all Greek Metalheads!!


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Edited 06 February 2023

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