Geesin caught up with Freedom Call's mainman Chris Bray to
ask about the album
Why a concept album and why about King Ludwig II?
Chris: That's a good question. Firstly I don't like the term
concept album. For me a concept album means that the words
are more important than the music, ok. For me the most
important thing is the music, and the lyrics being a
concept sounds as important, like a story, but the music
that's my passion. The words, it's just a combination
between, and the reason it's about King Ludwig II is that is
part of my history. Freedom Call is a Bavarian band, it's a
part of Germany in the south where the mountains are, and
King Ludwig II, he was the King of Bavaria in the nineteenth
century, and I grew up in school with stories about King
Ludwig, and also my parents, I think it's all a history of
Germany, an important part.
interesting that King Ludwig II, he was a rock'n'roller of
the nineteenth century. He was not interested in politics,
he was not in the reign of his country, it's his fucking job
as the king. But he was very interested to support the
Joe: And he loved music.
Chris: Yes, he loved Wagner, with whom he a very
Joe: Why did King Ludwig insist on so many private
concerts of Wagner's music?
Chris: Because he fell in love with his music, I
think because King Ludwig, he was not insane, but he was a
little bit crazy thinking, so he fell in love with the music
and, so he did everything because he was not a head
thinking. It was his emotional thinking.
Joe: He is referred to as both mad and eccentric.
Chris: He was just eccentric, he was not mad. But the people
around him, from the politics, they tried to say he's mad.
The wanted to get his forest, his kingdom.
wanted to make money, and Kink Ludwig, he was giving the
money to the culture, he was building some very eccentric
buildings, a lot of castles, and the government wanted to
make wars. He was not interested to make wars because he was
into the culture, that makes him very different.
Joe: Does any of his love of Wagner rub off on you?
Chris: Yes it does, on the band. Wagner is the heavy
metal composer of classical, unlike Bach or Mozart and
Beethoven. But Wagner had these bombastic things, that's
what I like, so close to the heavy metal music.
Joe: So would you ever do your own Ring Cycle?
Chris: Laughs. No. Ha Ha.
Joe: The Freedom Call trademark vocal harmonies
are even bigger here, almost operatic. Intentional?
Chris: Yes. Definitely, it is one part of
Freedom Call's music, the choirs, the vocal harmonies. It's
a really important part so we took great care to make sure
it sounded big, sounding very harmonical.
so don't always calculate it's bigger choir than before.
It's not just the choirs themselves, I think it's a
combination in between the choirs and the music that makes
it bigger, not only the vocals. The harmonies, they are
under the choir, supporting the choir.
Joe: Perfect Day, the last track, is quite different,
lyrically gives King Ludwig a different angle.
Chris: I don't agree. You see, Perfect Day and a
couple other songs are written out of the concept. For
example Merlin there is no comparison to Ludwig.
is I wrote some songs before we started the concept and as
we tried to change the lyrics to become in the concept, but
then the songs were sounding different. I was not really
satisfied with the word changes and so then we decided to
write a couple of songs out of the concept.
it's not a concept album it's just the main topic is Ludwig.
And Perfect Day I wrote around the time of Dimensions, our
last album, it is more of a punk song.
Joe: How do you think this album compares to previous
Chris: Oh I get asked this question a lot. It's a
serious question. I think I'm the wrong person to ask
because as an artist, as a musician, I can't see any
comparison to any previous work.
for me I spend so much time with writing songs, writing the
lyrics, arranging, producing, that I'm so into the album,
that it's one of its own kind, it's totally for itself. So
every album has its own stamp and I can't compare it. It's
better to let it for the fans, for the journalists, for
Joe: Would you play an album, this or any previous album,
in full beginning to end?
Chris: Yes, I have some ideas from years ago, that to
go up, because the songs from Stairway To Fairyland or
Crystal Empire, they are made for doing in a musical.
love to realise it, but to do it in a professional way, in a
way that I'm really satisfied with the work, you can't pay
for that, the stage arches and everything.
Joe: What can fans expect on the next Freedom Call album?
Chris: We are still touring this album, and it's not
ending until May, I think, next year. But I am already
writing songs, I have a collection of maybe 5 or 6 songs.
I've just started with arrangements so I think it will be a
typical Freedom Call album, like the others (laughs).