Interview by Tarja Virmakari
“Changing Time”, the brand new album from German rockers WOLFEN RELOADED, is out now and available worldwide via Volcano Records and Nova MD Distribution. After several years of extensive tours and remarkable gigs at the side of Operation: Mindcrime, Thunder and Bonfire, WOLFEN RELOADED comes back to the scenes with a solid new chapter that mixes modern and classic rock influences looking at Queensryche, King`s X and Dokken, and shapes a personal and powerful impact characterized by strong guitars and hitting rhythm section that built a proper wall of sound to support the lead voice of an expert singer, Chris Freimoser.
Just recently Metal Shock Finland‘s Tarja Virmakari had a chance to interview WOLFEN RELOADED‘s frontman and singer Christian “Chris” Freimoser, talking about the band’s past, reunion and new album “Changing Time” and more. Chris also revealed that the band has already started to write new material. Please, join the chat below:
1. Hi Chris and WOLFEN RELOADED, welcome to Metal Shock Finland! How are you doing?
Hi Tarja, I´m doing great ! Thanks a lot for having us on Metal Shock Finland. I can say that also on behalf of my bandmates. I’m really really looking forward to this interview.
2. Let’s start from the past… the original WOLFEN was founded in the mid-eighties, and soon after you became one of the hottest liveacts in the southern bavarian area, until you decided to split up in 1996. What are the craziest memories of those years?
Well, in fact there would be a few stories to tell from those years ! But let me just tell you the most outstanding story. It is not a funny story but in the end it all turned out well so we can look back at it with a laugh. It was 1988 or 1989, just at the time when Wolfi and Tom joined the band. We had been searching a rehearsal room for quite a while and eventually made a found in an old sawmill. It was a perfect and big room. We had just furnished it that day and had rehearsed for the first time. Just the next morning at six o´clock my door bell rang and outside was our former drummer Pete screaming that the sawmill has burned down. So we jumped in the car and drove to the scenery where we found the fire expert doing his work.Everything was gone. So that was a shock but luckily the fire was not our fault. It had started with a short circuit in another room. But as this hasn´t been already enough, it turned out that when I called Tom to inform him about this shit he told me that he had a car accident with total loss right after he left from the rehearsal but also with huge luck. He crashed into the woods right between two trees without beeing hurt. Oh man, what a day. But now to come to an end, it all turned out well and the ensurance company paid for everything we lost.
3. In summer 2009, you Chris, Wolfi Forstner (Guitars) and Thomas Rackl (Bass) decided to restart the band under the name WOLFEN RELOADED PROJECT. Please tell me about this decision to come back with another monicker? Was it easy to come back and find your place again? Did you find the music business the same or totally changed?
You know the thing with the name has a special reason. During the time when we were on hiatus another band called Wolfen from the north of Germany appeared on the scene. They had put out records and stuff so we couldn´t use this name anymore. But coming back with a complete new name after this long period of time didn´t seem to be a good idea. So with the decision to add ” Reloaded” we thought we could still reach our old fans and avoid problems with the other band. According to how it was coming back I can say it was tough. After such a long time you have only very little network left especially when it comes to connections with other bands and promoters clubs etc. So you go very much back to the start. We had to learn that these days it is much harder to put up a show. On the one hand it is much more difficult to attract enough audience because of this countless events that are taking place and on the other hand there are much regulations which makes it much more complicated to organize a show. When I look back, it was so different. Without the internet (yes there was a time without the internet, lol) and the advertising possibilities through modern media we could put up shows with 300 to 500 people as an average only with a few posters. Today these numbers are fantasy. But thats how it is!
4. After some line-up changes, today the band members are: Christian Freimoser (Vocals), Wolfgang Forstner (Guitars), Thomas Rackl (Bass) and Manuel Wimmer (Drums). Please tell me about your band synergy.
We all have kind of the same taste in music. Even Manuel, although he is half the age than Tom, Wolfi and Me, listens also to stuff that we came from! Generally speaking, I guess we complement each other pretty good. Everyone has his part in the band and so far it worked out well to this day.
5. WOLFEN RELOADED stands for modern, slightly progressive rock. What else you can tell me about your music style?
You know we are coming from Bands like Queensryche, Dokken, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Kings X but we are also influenced by current bands like Alter Bridge, Winery Dogs. Our intention was to stick to our roots but in the same way evolve the songs to a modern sound. A lot of Bands from that era when they put out new music sound exactly the same as if it was 1985. That is ok but we didn´t want to sound the same as back in the days. At least we tried, and as far as I can say the feedback we got til this day it seems that we are on the right way.
6. Since your reunion, you have played at numerous events and festivals. What are the highlights, so far?
Yeah there were some really great support shows we had the privilege to play. As to mention the shows we did in 2015 with Geoff Tates’ Operation Mindcrime. We had the honor to open for one of my personal vocal heroes which was an absolute outstanding experience. In his band at that time, we got to know Simon Wright (DIO/ AC DC), Kelly Gray (Queensryche) and John Moyer from the mighty Disturbed. Another highlight was the support shows for the mighty “THUNDER” in 2016 and in 2017 where we got to play a sold out show in Munich. Awesome !!
7. And let’s now talk about the present. Your new album, “Changing Time” came out worldwide on June 22th, 2018 via Volcano Records. What can you tell me about its songwriting process?
Well, since it is a debut album we took what we thought would be the best 9 songs since the reunion and also one track from the early days, “Judgement Day”. Live this song always connected very good to the audience it we thought it had to be on the album. We made some changes in the arrangement and to the sound so it would fit to the other material.
8. The album title “Changing Time”, is not a track from the album, so why this choice? It seems to be like a prophecy…
The title has kind of two meanings. For us as a band it was a “changing time” when our former drummer left the band, an Manuel filled in. In adition to that somehow as an overall meaning it also stands for the time we are living in right now, where also a kind of change can be felt may it be politically or societywise.
9. Also the album cover art is significant, while speaking about a change. Please tell me the story behind it.
Well, since we wanted to have something that has to do with ”time” we came up with different ideas and honestly it took us a while. One day I found this incredible artwork from this spanish deviant artist in a forum that had done a pretty similar picture to what would become our actual cover. It was exactly what we were looking for. The problem was that she only occured under a pseudonym but somehow I managed to find out her real name and was able to contact her on fb. She was willing to recreate this picture for our needs and did an awesome job. We are more than happy with the cover.
10. How would you describe the album? Is there a concept behind it?
It is not what you would call a concept album but we had the intention to have a common theme with the order of the songs. The album opens with “Amzing” a very positve song then the songs are getting much darker lyrically until the last song which is “New horizon”. This track falls into line with the cover art where you can see this vast horizon in the back and lyricwise concludes with a positve message.
11. How have your fans and audience welcomed this new album?
So far we are very happy with the reactions we got from the fans! We also had a couple of very good album reviews, so we really appreciate that !!
12. Prior to the album release, you revealed two videos from the album: Frozen [music video] and Amazing [lyric video]. Why you chose these two songs?
“Amazing” is the song with the best audience reaction when we play live. So it was inevitable to take it. According to “Frozen”, we thought it would fit best for the official video. This song represents the kind of music we make very good. It has a big chorus and an killer solo with a progressive touch and furthermore the lyrics fitted perfectly to the videoconcept we had. So we are very happy with the outcome.
13. Now that “Changing Time” is out to the masses, how will you support it? a tour, shows, new videos?
With the new album coming out at the end of June it was already a bit late to get booked for shows 2018. But our focus lies on 2019. Hopefully the album does well so this would help.
14. Looking towards the future, do you have already some plans for it?
We already started to write new material. We have no explicit plans for the future. At the moment our goal is to get some cool gigs and have the opportunity to promote the album.
15. Thanking-you for this interview, now the word is yours: what would you like to say to your fans and Metal Shock Finland readers?
Yeah ,me and the guys would like thank you so much Tarja for having us on The Metal Shock Finland Webzine. It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about Wolfen Reloaded and our new album. And to all you Metal Shock Finland readers we hope you guys like our album. Check it out, it is available on all digital platforms or physically on eBay, Amazon… Hopefully we see you at one of our shows someday. ROCK ON !!! Cheers Chris
Check out the videos:
Frozen [MUSIC VIDEO]
Amazing [LYRIC VIDEO]