Land Of The Crimson Dawn, the latest album from German Power Metal legends Freedom Call has certainly been well received here at Sea of Tranquility and finds the band in blistering form. Staff writer Dean Pedley caught up with Freedom Call guitarist Lars Rettkowitz to find out more about the new album and what else is planned for the rest of 2012 and beyond.
Hi there Lars and welcome to Sea of Tranquility, how are things with Freedom Call right now?
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 a few days ago and can't wait to introduce the new album to the fans!!
Firstly congratulations on an amazing new album...Aside from traditional Power Metal anthems the album heads off in a Hard Rock direction on some songs, was this a conscious decision to try some different styles?
Thanks a lot for your congrats!! We're really happy about the result!!
There was no conscious decision about special song styles...it happens during the song writing process and it belongs to your mood. Often your daily life affects your song writing. The only thing we "plan" or speak about is the main topic of the album. Its not correct to use the word "concept album" ...but, we try to create a main theme, which is reflected in the lyrics of the songs. In the case of the new album it's "the virtual reality". We do not leave the Power Metal range, but we are really open minded musicians and you can hear our different influences, that' s the reason for the various character of the songs.
Which songs are your own favourites from the album and why?
Ha ha...that's easy: "Age of the Phoenix" and "Terra liberty" ...the songs I wrote!!! ;)
But honestly, that question is hard to answer. Besides i have to mention that we're really proud of our new album and I think 100% of the songs are really kicking ass!!!!
Tendentially I more prefer the songs with the darker atmosphere, like "Eternity", "Killer gear" or "Crimson dawn" also I really like the song "Space legends" written by Samy. ...but as I mentioned, it's hard to choose the favourites, cause this album contains a lot of fast riffs, melodies and heavy grooving rhythms...for me, the entire album is like the "guitar players paradise"!!! :)
This is the first album without Daniel Zimmerman, why did Dan decide to leave?
And how is his replacement working out so far?
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 we were disappointed about his decision, on the other hand we can prove, that Freedom Call never was a "project of Gamma Rays drummer"!!It was a slow process, from 2007 til 2010...so the band could prepare well for the change on the drums.
Freedom Call welcomes Klaus Sperling (ex-Primal Fear & Sinner) as the official new drummer of Freedom Call! He's member in the line up since 2010 and 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!!
He 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 groovin' than some previous work.
We didn't have any auditions for drummers. The first time that Klaus was in 2007, Klaus played for Freedom Call as the stand-in drummer for Dan...the rest was a creeping process.
What can you tell us about touring plans for the rest of 2012 and beyond?
Freedom Calls European tour starts in march and we are still cooperating with some promoters to announce more tour dates soon. Also some festivals are confirmed for summer.
by the way...it would be awesome to play some shows in the USA...we'll see! :)
That will be good news for lots of our readers. So Lars what music does the band listen to on the tour bus...and how else do you keep each other entertained?
For me, only being on tour with a night liner is entertainment!! ...but seriously, from person to person it's different how someone spends his time in the bus. During a tour, some take their time to relax and to pace oneself, others prefer to party 24/7! both types you can find in Freedom Call...personally I favour to be in the second group! :)
On the tour bus we listen to most different music styles, often we watch old concert DVDs from Judas Priest or AC/DC...etc. Also the drivers, crews or support bands have some CDs with them, so we never have a shortage of music on the bus.
After a show do you take time to consider what went well and what changes you might like to make in the performance?
Yes, from show to show you get different impressions, as specially if you start with a new program. We always take our time to speak about the things which could be improved, like the set list, the sound on stage or the "entertainment factor". During the rehearsals, before going on tour, we try to fix specific sequences of our show, but if you're on stage, you often learn that some things are not predictable.
And how many of the new songs will feature in the set list...would you consider playing the entire album in order?
We'd spend some time in thinking of which songs would be perfect for the new set list. We also rehearsed some songs of our older records, to create a perfect mix of the new songs and the freedom call "evergreens". Here a little excerpt: Age of the phoenix, Eyes of the world, Tears of Babylon, Sun in the dark, Farewell, United Alliance, Rockstars ...and of course Warriors, Freedom call and Land of light + many more!! The feedback of our fans influences the set list a lot and so I guess, playing a entire album means always to leave out some songs the fans really expect to hear from Freedom Call.
Talking of the fans Freedom Call inspires a very devoted fan base...why do you think your fans are so dedicated and how important is to the band?
The fans are like the elixir of life for us!! It's really important to have such great supporters and devotion from fans all over the planet! It's always a great feeling, if the people appreciate our work, that makes us going on! Thanks to all "Callers" out there ...keep it up!!!
..Thanks for talking to us today Lars, look forward to seeing you on tour later in the year
I thank you for your time and the interesting questions, was fun to answer!!:)
thanks also for your support and I wish you a good time