German power metal giants Freedom Call are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary with the release of their new album, Silver Romance, which arrived on May 10th via Steamhammer SPV. We caught up with vocalist Chris Bay to discuss the significance of the color silver, reflect on the band’s journey over the past twenty-five years, and more.

Can you elaborate on the meaning behind the title for the album, Silver Romance?

I think there are a lot of meanings. The main meaning is that we are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary this year. We are celebrating our Silver wedding. It’s kind of like a romance, you can compare spending time with your band buddies and mates. Maybe it’s a bit like marriage. There are hard times as well. And of course, there are a lot of meanings, concerning the metal, Silver. Silver says something about freedom and clarity. It strengthens your imagination, fantasy and there’s a connection to the moon. The moon has a lot of meanings and can influence people’s minds and your character and things like this. I love Silver. That’s the reason.

Okay. So because it’s your favorite color.

Not only the color, I love the color Silver, but it’s just the metal. It’s the feeling of this metal. I also wear rings made of Silver or my earrings Silver. And. Yeah, that’s my favorite.

What was the writing process like for the new album?

Well, this time it was a bit different to the regular writing process as we had on the previous albums because of the pandemic. Our previous tour got interrupted by the pandemic. So we played our last show, which was totally crazy. It was scary because less than half of the tickets sold came to the show and the atmosphere was weird. And, then some really interesting territories were left to play, like Southeast Asia, Tokyo, Bangkok, Pattaya, and things. We were really looking forward to traveling to these places, but it was not possible anymore. And. Yeah. And then it was. Yeah, it was a strange time, but for everyone of us. Maybe it takes time for a couple of weeks or months. But it wasn’t. And, Yeah, less motivation. And yeah, I personally really was suffering at this time because, yeah, there was nothing to do. I’m used to being on the road constantly. But anyways, then we pull ourselves together. Together, we started to record the drums. End of 2022 and beginning of 2023, we started to really concentrate on the new material and finally we got it. And at 23 we recorded the drums and unexpectedly, the production went very quick and now we are here.

Yes.The pandemic has definitely impacted every single one of us in one way or the next. Four years later, the pandemic continues to impact album releases, and the aftermath of it all lingers. You said something earlier about the moon, because I had a question about the songs “Supernova” and “Big Bang Universe.” They have cosmic and melancholic-driven themes which seem different from the album, can you talk more about these two songs?

I think there could be a reason why we have a lot of melancholic parts. Also, on the lyrical side, I think the reason is because of the pandemic, because a lot of songs, or the idea, the vision, was created in this time of the pandemic and I rearranged, I rewrote a lot of songs. I deleted a lot of my song material because it was bullshit. It was not fitting to Freedom Call. So it’s heavy metal and especially this song, “Big Bang Universe.” we reactivated a theme from a previous album, Beyond. And, we were talking about a dragon child which was born and grew up, and we brought it back, in the song “Big Bang Universe,” because the Dragon child learned to fly. So it’s the next generation of this story. And, yeah, there are a lot of melancholic parts and maybe a little bit more deeper lyrics because of all these ups and downs, we had during the pandemic because you’re starting one day highly motivated to write a song, and the next day, you’re thinking, oh, no, it’s not the right direction or it’s not the heavy metal thing and things like this. And I think that is the reason why in these songs there’s a little bit different meaning, more melancholic and deeper meaning in the lyrics. Then, a lot of people are expecting from a happy metal band when you say, come on, let’s jump.

I think “Blue Giant” is another sad song on the album.

Yeah, yeah, even musically a bit too, a lot darker.

So how did that song come together for you?

This song was not really planned to put it on the album. So it was, a so-called last minute, last minute song. yeah. Because we didn’t plan how many songs we will put on the new album. Firstly, it was eleven songs, then I got a new idea and said, come on, let’s put this song on the album as well. And then Lars (Rettkowitz), our guitar player and also songwriter and co-producer, came around with this song at the last minute and then we spontaneously decided, hey, come on, here’s the song. There’s no reason to store it in our archive or anything like this, let’s put it on the new album. And for me personally, it was a big challenge because the vocal line is quite different to our usual stuff. It’s a new color of Freedom Call’s music. So we never had a similar song to “Blue Giant” on our previous albums. It’s a new color for Freedom Call.

It seems like there may have been a number of challenges taking place for this particular album from processing the pandemic to getting back into the writing mode and getting things done, were there any other challenges you guys faced for this album?

We had a lot of experiences during the pandemic timeframe. We had streaming concerts, we had distant concerts. We had a lot of new things. Where, they never happened before. And, yeah, you’re always waiting for the regular time, for normality. And I think there was, I do not want to say there was a big change or a turning point in our lives or in our view and attitude. But something changed in ourselves, I think to everyone. So I think the social context changed. Relationships have changed and there are a lot of things that have changed. And also our attitude maybe, and our visions to produce music and, after all these sufferings. It’s a little bit overrated. I think we were looking much more forward to come back with a new album, to go on the stages to travel around again and so on to, yeah, to enjoy the regular life again.

Exactly, just to enjoy regular life again, as you said. I think you’re right how everybody has changed since the pandemic. Where, we may not be able to be the same as we were before the pandemic, but at least we’re bringing normalcy back as best as we can. And, speaking of through years and evolving as people and for you as an artist, how has Freedom Call evolved over the last twenty-five years?

We got older. Now we are old and wise, wise men. I think it’s hard to see the development over twenty-five years for an artist. Because for me personally, it doesn’t feel like it’s twenty-five years. So time is flying and I still can remember the first steps we did with Freedom Call, the first tours, the first rehearsals. And it doesn’t feel like twenty-five years. But, unfortunately, it’s a fact. On the other side, we can be proud of ourselves that we survived the twenty-five years we are still in the business. We are still releasing new albums, we are still songwriting and so on. We are still healthy, in good condition. We are in good shape going on stage. And I think that the biggest change is that you appreciate things being healthy, still being motivated, being hot on stage and longing to have the biggest success you have the most of the people in the venue. It’s a move of priorities.

You know, I have to say that you made a really good point, that the fact that you’re still here as a band, you still survived. Not all bands, not all artists, not everybody survived from the pandemic. A lot of lineups have changed. People left. Tons of bands have broken up over the last few years, feels like more so than before the pandemic. That is definitely something to stand tall about.

Yeah, I think to continue with a band which is not, earning millions of dollars in their career. There are a lot of reasons for band members to quit, because maybe it’s the family. They are getting kids. They settle down and it’s the job. There are a lot of reasons that could be the reason to quit a band because you’re starting when you’re sixteen, eighteen, or twenty, and say that, come on, we will enter the world. But, in most cases it’s not happening. And then you have to realize your position or your ranking in the music scene. And in the end, I think it’s just the passion which is leading you there in the right way. And when your passion is more in your family or you’re having a 9 to 5 job or you have your own company or things like this, I think then you have to move your priorities. And in my personal case, music is my life, music is my passion, and I can’t imagine living without it.

It goes from my side as well. It’s a passion, here to support you guys, the artists.

So we are in common. Yes.

Different levels of madness, but similar.

Common in madness. It’s a good song title.

There you go, write that down.

Common in madness. Wow. Okay. Already marked.

You also mentioned earlier about the song, I believe, “Big Bang Universe” is a continuation from The Beyond album. And the question I actually have is about this year being the tenth anniversary of that album. Do you have any fun memories from recording this record?

There are millions of memories. I’m getting questions like this a lot, so. Oh, Chris, you and we have a special story, about some very special happening or especially while touring. I think, the fact of touring or recording or producing or whatever an album, it’s an event for itself. So, it’s full of a lot of funny things. There are a lot of tears. There’s a lot of suffering. There’s a lot of laughing. There’s a lot of feelings, emotions and in both directions, it’s the positive or the negative things. So it’s hard to pick out the separate things to explain.

What plans do you have to celebrate both the new album and the band’s 25th anniversary this year?

We will celebrate twenty-five years of Freedom Call. And then the plan is to get rich and famous. Yeah, I know, we already announced several tour dates. We are starting in Germany because we are already quite close to festival season in the summer. So we just have a couple of weeks to play our headliner tour in Germany, then the festival season starts. We will travel around Europe to play several festivals, and we will restart the headliner tour in September or October, and there will be a lot of tour dates. They will be announced hopefully soon.

Is there anything else you want to say or add about the new album?

Firstly, I would like to say that, all the people will love it because there’s a lot of love, a lot of time, and a lot of effort into it. And, it’s really made by love. And by passion. And also we spent a lot of effort on the artwork, so to, to bring all these spacey things and the connection to our fantasy topic of Silver Romance.