It’s a well-known predicament that the Freedom Call founder and frontman shares with many other composers: occasionally, his wealth of inspiration goes beyond the stylistic and thematic scope of his own band. “I permanently write songs and am constantly working on ideas in the studio,” he explains. “That’s why I’ve collected a whole lot of tracks over the years that on the one hand don’t really suit Freedom Call and on the other are just too good to gather dust in my archive.” The solution to his “luxury” problem: 23 February 2018 will see the release of Chris Bay’s first solo album “Chasing The Sun“ on Steamhammer/SPV, committing himself in his very own, unmistakable way to the music that has inspired him since the very early days of his career. And although the songs on the album were created over a long period of time, Bay produced the whole material in spring 2017 at his own studio.
“Rolling Stones or Beatles, good or bad,” that was the big question at that time when Bay first started to play the guitar at the tender age of five. “Only a few years later I got the ‘Beatles Complete’ music book, which I played up and down for the next few months. Groups such as INXS, Spandau Ballet, Simple Minds, Ultravox and Saga also had a lasting effect on me. Their music has a unique atmosphere which has always inspired me.” With such renowned artists at the back of his mind, Chris Bay composed “Chasing The Sun” and recorded all eleven songs by himself. So what we have here is a solo effort in the true sense of the word, with one little exception: “Ramy Ali was in charge of the drums; he’s not only the drummer of Freedom Call but also one of my closest friends.” None less than Achim Köhler (Martin Kesici, The Hooters, among others) was in charge of mix and mastering, and all other instruments and of course all the vocal parts were performed by Bay himself.
Which must be one of the reasons why “Chasing The Sun” – despite the diversity of the individual tracks – sounds all of a piece. Alongside a number of rock songs in characteristic Chris Bay style, he has skilfully blended in modern sound elements on the opening track “Flying Hearts”, added Wurlitzer piano touches, which bring to mind the currently trendy 1970s, on “Hollywood Dancer” and risked a song with a slow shuffle groove, a consciously dark atmosphere and an avant-garde flair in “Where Waters Flow In Heaven” – a stark contrast to the first single release “Radio Starlight” with its obvious airplay potential. Release date for the single is December 1st, 2017.
In his lyrics, Bay has poured his soul into his writing, dealing with subjects which have always been close to his heart. He says: “It’s about love and experiences which give hope and can perhaps even help to solve the odd problem. After all, life consists not only of sunny but also of cloudy days.” Mind you, his optimistic nature always shines through, and sometimes even Bay’s sense of humour and his ironic take on certain illusions. “It’s a tongue-in-cheek lyric,” he explains the content of “Hollywood Dancer,” which examines the downside of success in a not altogether serious way. “The public eye is always directed at a star, so basically that person can’t really move freely at all. Naturally people envy stars their success, but at the same time for these – as I call them – extreme celebrities, popularity often goes hand in hand with great loneliness.”
Luckily, Chris Bay doesn’t count among this group of people, although thanks to Freedom Call’s success he enjoys great renown worldwide which has opened many doors for him and which “Chasing The Sun” will of course also benefit from. For example, the shoot for the first video clip (the song is still a well-guarded secret in order to heighten the anticipation) took place during a Freedom Call tour in the Far East, in the Land of the Rising Sun. How very apt in view of the album title!
But to pick up the thought from the beginning again: There’s one aspect in which Bay is different from many of his colleagues – he will present his solo album live on stage. Initially at the official release party in Nuremberg, and later, at least that’s his express wish, at additional concerts.
1. Flying Hearts 3:17
2. Light My Fire 3:42
3. Move On 4:07
4. Radio Starlight 3:50
5. Silent Cry 3:56
6. Hollywood Dancer 3:20
7. Keep Waiting 3:46
8. Misty Rain 3:59
9. Where Waters Flow In Heaven 4:20
10. Bad Boyz 3:20
11. Love Will Never Lie 3:52