Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Interview with Simon Straumann, drummer of FreaKings

FreaKings is a thrash metal band that I just covered earlier in the month. Now it is my extreme pleasure to offer up this interview that I recently did with the band's drummer, Simon Straumann. Enjoy!

Andy-Welcome! Please come in and introduce yourselves for our readers. I apologize, but your rhythm section is a band of brothers correct?

Simin-We’re FREAKINGS, an old school thrash metal band from Switzerland. Yes, that’s right, Toby (bass) and me, Simon (drums), are brothers.

Andy-The Metal Archives suggests that you are all were in Lion Of Juda. Rock? Metal? 

Simon-Yes but that was about 20 years ago. The three of us were part of that band and our sound was something between rock, metal and punk.

Andy- I'm guessing it was the same message, but was it more obvious or less?

Simon-It was rather obvious back then, more than nowadays. It’s no secret we are Christians and that’s why our songs often contain Christian topics. On our latest album ("TOXIC END") we address the current situation of our world, war, terrorism or ecological calamities.

Andy-I understand where the message is coming from. You cite a lot of Christian influences, but (sound-wise) it's just Grade A thrash to these ears! Other than what's in the Dixie cups that you drink from on stage, FreaKings might as well be the next big thrash band on the block!! So, why is that you've (independently/sans record label) released three stone cold slamming LPs by yourself?

Simon-We just love making music! Our texts are only a part and as mentioned above, there’s not a lot of Christian influence on our latest album. We stick to our own schedule and with a small budget it’s very challenging to find a label. So that’s why we released the albums by ourselves.

Andy-I've heard the same thing from a lot of metal bands. For a lot of groups it is just easier to release their music by themselves. But anyways,  "Toxic End" reminds me of the eighties as much as it does the retro-scene that is everywhere these days! Did you (vibe-wise) have a goal in mind or was it more along the lines of "No Life Til Leather"? (

Simon-We never had an exact goal in mind. With "TOXIC END" we just created exactly what we wanted: simple but solid old school thrash!

Andy-That it is! You've got a couple of great guests on your new disc. How did that come about?

Simon-We’ve been knowing Damir (Gonoreas) for a long time and originally met him at a gig where we both played. He’s a great guy and and superb guitar player. We’ve been to several Dust Bolt concerts so I knew who Lenny was when I saw him in the audience at one of our concerts. We started talking and a bit later we asked him if he’d play on our album.

Andy-Cool. From what I've gathered, "Toxic End" is nothing but golden reviews (and well-deserved ones at that!). That's got to be a good feeling after all the years and wear and tear on your body! After all, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll...or is that "bang your head"? LOL

Simon-Thanks a lot, that indeed is a great feeling! It’s pretty cool that people we have never met write so many good things about our songs. There’s still a long way ahead of us but you never know what might come. It’s not up to us how far FREAKINGS can go, it’s mainly our fans who decide this.

Andy-Yeah, fans are so important to a metal band's ultimately success. Not just financially, but as a driving force and key source of support. I always like to say that being a metalhead is like being in a huge family where there is so much love and support. We all need that. Moving on, I have no doubt that you've played with some idols and some real up and comers. What's the best one (band or artist) of both as you see it?

Simon-Difficult question… We’ve seen so many awesome bands, it’s actually impossible to name a certain band !

Andy-Yes, that was a tough one. Where does the next leg of your journey take you?

Simon-We hope for a lot of gigs with our new album, a little tour would be cool! We definitely will do anything we can to spread the name of our band and our latest album!

Andy-Hopefully our site can help with that. Digitally at least, "Toxic End" can be picked up at the usual places. How about CDs?

Simon-At the moment, the easiest way is buying it at our concerts or in our online shop. We’re also in talks with a few potential distribution partners.

Andy-I'll try to provide some links for our readers. Thank you for your time and insights. I like to leave things off by having the band's have the last say. Is there anything we didn't touch on that needs addressed? Do you have words of advice for new bands, metal or not? Want to thank your loyal fans? Whatever "it" is, here's the mic and the stage is all yours!

Simon-We thank you, we really appreciate every kind of support. All you metalheads out there: try our new album and if you like it, buy it. Thanks to everyone who backs us. THRASH WILL NEVER DIE!

Andy-Amen to that! Thrash it up friends!!

For more information on this insane thrash act be sure to head over to the group's official site . Also, be sure to leave a like on their Facebook page. You can download "Toxic End" on iTunes and for the band's physical merchandise click here.

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