InterviewsJanuary 26, 20077,233 views

Freya interview

By Kirby Unrest
Freya singer Karl Buechner and Lambgoat's Kirby Unrest had a brief chat in January.

So, what's Freya been up to recently?

Let's see…well over the last couple years we've been working on a new record, "Lift The Curse." We've written a lot of songs, cherry picked what we thought were the better ones and then recorded them at Atomic! in Brooklyn last summer. We had Rat, an artist from Poland, do the front/back covers and the layout and the record will be coming out January 23rd of this year. It definitely has a theme, lyrically. There is a certain degree of continuity with the story the songs tell. Overall, it's a timeline from Eden to Armageddon. Musically, it's in the style we played on the Freya/Hoods split but the songs are somewhat rawer; it came out a lot harder.

I know you've had a few line up changes in the last few years, so who is currently playing in Freya and what are the past members up to now?

The original Freya line up was Darian, who was the other vocalist/guitarist in the band and he used to play football with Erick and I think they went to school together. We brought him in, myself on vocals, Erick on lead guitar, Bulldog on bass and then Corey from Santa Sangre was on drums. We put out our first record a few years back, "As The Last Light Drains" and then did the Freya/Hoods split and then called in Ethan who played bass while Bulldog switched up to guitar when Darian ended up leaving and moving to California. Then our friend Tony was on drums…

Tony (Tornabene) from Another Victim (who also played in The Funeral and Darker Day Tomorrow)?

Yeah, Tony from Another Victim. Now, the drumming duty is split up between Ethan and Dennis. Ethan is a really talented guy; he has a great voice, he can play guitar, bass, drums, a true composer and he brings a lot to the band. Depending on a few things, sometimes Ethan will play drums and on other occasions it's Dennis. Currently, our friend JD is playing bass for us. Then I'm on vocals. We've definitely had a few line up changes in our time but we've always been able to move forward.

Was Freya a band when EC was still around? I remember seeing the final EC show at Hellfest and you were wearing a Nemesis shirt, the former moniker for Freya (the band was also known as End Begins for a time.)

Yes, that's true but those were tentative titles. We started about six months before EC came to an end at Hellfest in Syracuse 2001. By the time, we got around to actually writing and recording, we decided we wanted to have something removed from EC for a name, and since Nemesis and End Begins were both EC songs, and as I am into Norse mythology, we found the name Freya and think it stands on it's own well. Freya is definitely one of the more fascinating characters from the Norse pantheon of gods, as she is the goddess of love, lust and war.

How did you become interested in that particular mythology?

I actually first was into Native American mythology and literature, then Roman and Persian ancient religions back when I was in 6th grade; my mom actually got me into all that. It's something I've continually been interested in since I was young.

What other periods of history are you into and if you could live in/visit a particular era in time, which one would it be?

That's a great question…awesome. Well, I'd have to say the turn of the century. I mean I think it would be a fascinating time, when people were still riding horses while others were in cars, I mean just the point where two different ways of life intersected completely. As for other periods of history, definitely Native American, European, feudal Japan are all really great to study.

I'm a pretty big history and mythology buff myself.

Yeah, it's really interesting. I remember my second year of college is when Earth Crisis got signed but at the time, I was strongly considering becoming a history teacher. Yet, things took off when we started touring and putting out records, so I just went with that.

Earlier you touched on the shift in sound between "As The Last Light Drains" and the split with Hoods, as well as noting that the new record "Lift The Curse" is heavier than the split. Did you intend to progress (or regress to some folks) that way or was it something that came about with member changes, etc.?

From the beginning, we've always written what we like. I mean my favorite records/bands are the first four from Metallica, the first five albums Slayer put out, At The Gates, Merauder, Skarhead, Carcass, Haunted, Madball. You're going to hear certain aspects of those bands in Freya but when we wrote "Last Light Drains" we had just come off 12 years of playing really heavy stuff with Earth Crisis so to keep things interesting for ourselves, we took on new challenges. For me, on Earth Crisis' "Slither" and "Last of The Sane" to "Last Light Drains" with Freya, the goal of having some melodic vocals or guitar work was to mix it up so when a breakdown hit, it would have more of an impact. With the Hoods split and our latest record "Lift the Curse," in some ways, we are returning to our roots but the song structures and the feel is a little more streamlined and also simpler to a certain degree.

With the Hoods split you did Black Flag's "Spray Paint the Walls" and now on "Lift the Curse" you are taking on "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. I was curious do you cover anything else live?

Yeah, we've covered Bad Brains, Black Sabbath, Frank Sinatra and with this upcoming tour with Since The Flood, we plan to do Gang Green's "Skate to Hell."

Last interview we did, I remember chatting with you about your son Charles and how you are getting him into skateboarding, building a ditch ramp and all that. He still into that and how is he doing these days?

We actually went snowboarding this week after finally getting some snow that was awesome. We've been playing a lot of parking lot hockey too. (laughs)

Anything else you wanted to add?

Thanks to everyone who has supported Freya and check out "Lift The Curse" on January 23rd, 2007.


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Akuma_ 1/27/2007 5:18:30 PM


the bear_ 6/15/2007 4:47:55 PM

"Overall, it's a timeline from Eden to Armageddon" aka "the bible"

b1g daddy J_ 8/14/2007 2:18:42 PM

i would be pissed scared to have karl as a father... piss him off and have him start screaming and yelling at you... threaten you with" a firestorm to purify"