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A Silver Romance with Freedom Call

A Silver Romance with Freedom Call

Photo Credit: Patrick Eiserback

A Silver Romance with Freedom Call

German melodic power metal act Freedom Call has just released Silver Romance onto the world via Steamhammer/SPV – and it’s an epic of an album well worth seeking out.  Now celebrating their 25th Anniversary as a band, Freedom Call is at the very height of their creative energies.  The band is about to tour Europe on the Silver Romantic Metal Nightstour and then they just may have their sights set on touring North America for the very first time!  Highwire Daze recently interviewed vocalist Chris Bay to find out more about the artistry of Silver Romance and his thoughts on an absolutely brilliant career in music!  Read on…

We are here with Chris Bay from Freedom Call. let’s talk about the new album Silver Romance. Is there any overall story or concept behind the song and the title Silver Romance?
I generally do not like the name concept or the description of a concept album. Because to me it means that the concept, the story, the lyrics, and everything around that is more worth than the music itself. So, I’m a songwriter, not a concept writer. I think to have a little story around an album, or you have some topics to talk about like in our case, this time the silver meanings about the moon and the universe and things like this, I love it. But a concept album, no, I do not like to do it. It’s just writing nice songs which are touching the people’s hearts. That’s the only idea behind it.

Tell me about the actual song Silver Romance and the inspiration behind it.
Silver Romance, firstly we are celebrating our 25 years anniversary this year of Freedom Call and it’s a silver wedding. And to spend time with a band, with the band mates and with your friends and fans and traveling around the world is a little bit kind of like a romance. So, it’s like a marriage, you have good times, and you have bad times and yeah, I think there’s a connection. And additionally, there is a meaning behind the metal, silver at itself. So, it means silver is staying for freedom for clarity, its strength in yourself, confidence and your imagination fantasy, a lot of things like this. So, it’s fitting well together with the attitude of Freedom Call.

Congratulations on 25 years by the way. That is an awesome achievement.
Thank you very much. So now we are old.

Let’s talk about a few of the songs. Tell me about In Quest of Love.
We are mixing a little bit. Our lyrics are written in maybe some cosmic things in the universe and it’s beyond and the heavens and the rainbow and things like this. But we always have a side meaning. And In Quest of Love, it’s saying by the title – it’s saying that everyone of us is searching for something.  It’s searching maybe for success in your job or maybe it’s searching for getting a bigger car than the neighbor has, for example. And some are on the quest of love. So, In Quest of Love was sounding a little bit better in the phrase of our vocal line. But yeah, we all are in quest of something and that’s what the song is about

High Above. Tell me a little about that one.
The main idea was because of the state of the world right now. We have a lot of conflicts. People are unhappy and unsatisfied with the situation. We have a lot of refugees in the world, but it’s not a new situation. So, I do not want to go in the political part. But I think High Above is just if you would imagine that you would have the opportunity to stay at a planet far beyond our universe and you’re just watching the Earth, what strange things are happening on the Earth, what people are doing.  It was just the vision, how you could feel, what the hell are you doing? We are High Above, so we are beyond everything. It’s just like flying away, flying over some heights and over the hills and just let your spirit flow.

What is it like having Ramy Ali back in the band?
Ramy is back! So, it was more a break what he did.  It was not that he quit the band forever and ever, so he built up a family. Now he has 2 kids. He got married, he built a house, and I think that are good reasons to have a short break of playing in a metal band.  Now we are continuing to play together.  Do you have kids, Ken?

I do not have kids, no, but I can imagine having kids and being in a band is a little difficult.
Yeah, me too. I do not have kids, but I recognized it in many cases that something happens, and you can’t go to your wife and say, “Hey, honey. So have a good time. I’m going on rock and roll tour for 6 weeks. Have a nice time. Maybe I give you a call someday.” Yeah, and that was the reason for Ramy to have this break because he needs his time to build up his family and now, he’s ready to continue.

I interviewed  Sascha Gerstner of Helloween a few months who used to be in Freedom Call.  He had amazing things to say about being in Freedom Call. And I was wondering what the experience was like for you to have Sascha in the band?
Sascha, at this time he was I think 18 years old. And yeah, it was a very exciting time for us all because the first record deal, the first production, the first responsibilities to me as the leader of a band and things – and Sascha was at this time early in ’99. He was a very, very talented guitarist. And yeah, so we had a great time. We recorded 2 albums, the first 2 albums that we did Stairway To Fairyland and Crystal Empire. And we played an expanded tour with Hammerfall in 2001 over 8 weeks. And I recently met Sascha again. We played a show in Slovakia – a festival together with Helloween – and I had a very nice talk to Sascha at the airport and at the venue.

Photo Credit: Patrick Eiserback

Looking back on the solo album you did, what do you think of it now in retrospect and would you like to do another solo album?
Yeah, so my definite priority is Freedom Call of course.  I’m a constant songwriter. I’m collecting songs and I’m writing a lot. And there are some songs I like them very much but it’s not a topic for Freedom Call. So, I collected the songs and that was the reason to release a solo album. I’ve still collected some more songs, maybe another solo album will appear one day but there are no plans, no really detailed plans to do that. It’s just a project beside Freedom Call.

Would Freedom Call like to tour here in the States in support of Silver Romance?
We hope so. It’s not so easy to come over to the States because of visas and all these unromantic things to bring the Silver Romance. We already played the 70,000 Tons of Metal 3 times and we also have been at the Prog Power Festival in Atlanta.  Maybe the time has come for Freedom Call to play a tour in the US hopefully. But probably not before next year because our schedule is quite busy this year.

Ken: Yeah, definitely. You’ve got the Silver Romantic Metal Nights tour coming up.
Yes, isn’t it a nice name?

Yes. It’s a great name actually. So what are you looking forward to the most about this upcoming tour?
I think there are not really special and outstanding plans for this tour. We just built up a very nice set list for the shows and we can guarantee that all the people that come into our concerts, they will have an amazing time and maybe they can forget their private or personal problems for a while. So for 1 and a half hours or 2 hours, they can dive with us into this fantasy world of Silver Romance.

When you look back on that very first album Stairway To Fairyland, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
Stairway to Fairyland was our first vision. That was the idea. So Freedom Call was born. We created a new baby for us personally. That was our passion. The problem is not to create or to write or to release the first album. The harder times are to continue to write the second, to write the third and to continue with it. That is the challenge. The first album you’re full of motivation, you’re full of inspiration and you’re full of energy. The problem is to continue. That’s the challenge.

What was it like working with Herman Frank of Victory on Moon’Doc? And do you still keep in touch with him?
I’m still in contact with him. I had a call to him maybe 3 weeks ago. And I met him several times on festivals when he was on tour with Victory. And we are going to play a festival in France in Europe in mid-June and he’s going to play with Victory and I’m already looking forward to meet him again.  That was cool. He’s a very special person. I always had a good time with him and I learned a lot from him. He’s a very old school guy. I learned a lot from him and we’re still in contact. He’s born in the same town like me. And so, I think it’s the local connection which is keeping us together.

Do you have any messages for Freedom Call fans out here in the States who are reading this now?
Of course, I would have a lot of messages to the fans. First I would say I hope that you like our new masterpiece I would say to our 25 years anniversary, the Silver Romance album. We will give all our energy and all our possibilities to come over to tour the States the first time ever for Freedom Call! The time has come…

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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