The Band: Necronomicon
The Man: Freddy (guitars, vocals, founding member)
Interview by Vpower
Necronomicon was founded in 1983 by band leade "Freddy" Fredrich, Axel Strickstrock and Lars "Lala" Honeck. In 1985, the quartet signed their first record contract at Gama Records. The band released their debut album "Necronomicon"and they gained notoriety in the underground scene, the rest is history... Very alive in the new century, Necronomicon is back in the studio again with possibly their most complete album, a kick ass attack of Heavy Thrash Metal, leaded by Freddy on guitar, vocals and composition. No doubt, one the albums of the year, a must listen.
Congratulations for you fantastic new album!
Hi this is Freddy, the former of Necronomicon and Thanxx a lot, it´s an honour for me
Hi Freddy, it’s an honor to have this talk with you. There are almost 30 years between your debut album and “Pathfinder... Between Heaven and Hell”, but I think your music sounds so cool as ever
This is a really big compliment, absolutely.
Freddy: Everyone expects, indeed of a Thrash Metal Band like us , a continous fire of speed and attack...but if you followed the bands historie over the last years , you will see different path of songwriting like other Thrash Metal bands especillay in Germany . We have , I think so , found a very unique mix of Thrash and Heavy Metal ... just our way. It's just my interpretation of music that I like and prefer and Pathfinder linked thenceforth. Perhaps, the new album is a little more adventurous , even what regards the sound . We wanted to get back to the roots, almost like in the 80s
Discontinued these exaggerated modern sound, by now, all bands prefer. We deliberately let the guitar sound like an original Gibson Les Paul and we do not use drum samples. It sounds like a rehearsal session....pure, clear and honestly and just not distorted. This is the essential difference
Yes, I think you have summarized it perfectly, and if we think about the 80s and your sound now I think there is an evolution the loyal fan will appreciate...
Freddy: We wanted to got back to the roots; with new ideas but not the typical modern Thrash Metal sound like other bands. We had the claim that people are gonna talk about the sound. If they like it or not. So you got independence and we wanted to achieve.
How important has been the contribution of the new members to Necronomicon’s current sound?
Freddy: Very important. You know, I wrote all the songs for Necronomicon but the joint cooperation is crucial. Only in this combination you got honest over well in the recordings as a band.
In my opinion, “Pathfinder... Between Heaven and Hell” is you best work ever, it explores new fields and it goes far beyong the Thrash genre
Freddy: Thanxx. The new album is a so called „concept album“ , which is gonna to reflect the band's history ... the good and bad times and the not easy way the band and I trodden until today. I`ve thought a long time about how to tackle the new album, cause the „ Invictus“ album was very personal and also very stressful for me, because I really wanted to deliver a really good and outstanding album. So it was a big challenge how I should go about it...especially to unite the way and the history of the band with the songs and lyrics. I have to confess , I had to take this step with scareness, especially will it gonna be interpreted and understood by the fans on the right way. But I wanted to make sure , and I am fully convinced and happy about „ Pathfinder....“
“Pathfinder... ” seems a very complex album, but stills it keeps an order and a connection. For example, we find the same guitar melodies in the first and the last song of the album, like closing the circle...
Freddy: That´s right. Especially for me, songwriting is like watching a great movie. I love it, to create a story in every song. And I also earn a lot of ideas from film music/movies. That´s my inspiration.
I was totally astonished by the number of solos and riffs in each track, killer riffs. How much work is behind that?
Freddy: A lot. Because I´m also the singer and has to combine the hamonies together. That tooks a lot of time and experimentation and a lot of and persuasiveness because of the other members, hahahaha
Most of the songs are very long for the traditional composition. This together with the masive amount of tempo changes, guitar arrangements and so on, make it possible to perform this “Pathfinder...” in a live a show?
Freddy: We play many songs from the new album: The opener “Pathfinder…between heaven and hell”, “ Betrayed”, “Inside the fire”, “ Reborn”, “ Alone in the dark”, “ Farewell to a friend” and “ We are the league”. I love these songs so much. That´s the current state.
I think in the album we can find Thrash, Heavy Metal, doom passages and even some progressive elements in the structure of the songs, something amazing
Freddy: That's right. As already mentioned especially for me, music is like a movie. I think it would be boring if I would always look the same genre . So I´m gonna interpret our style, a unique style of Heavy Metal with the core " Thrash Metal "
Talking a little about the Necronomicon’s history, what memories do you keep from the very beginning, Freddy?
A wild and crazy time. We were Punk Rockers, rebells and wanted to do one thing: Hard fucking music. Wether Punk Rock or Thrash Metal; we wanted to rock. But unfortunately we were too naive and good trusting, too and believed each words of management, so we decided us of the wrong label .
Do you remember how your debut album was received in 1986?
Freddy: Phenomenal. The debut album struck so powerful, around the world and we had a damn good feeling that this band is gonna still write his own history. And with „ Pathfinder...“ the story is gonna rewritten.
Despite your quality, I think you have always been a step behind big Thrash German acts as Sodom, Destruction or Kreator in terms of popularity, that not of quality. Why do you think that happened?
Freddy:Unfortunately yes. We got no luck in a fair and serious label, mentioned like the named bands. We were tricked and crapped by the beginning. The song “ Betrayed” from the new album describes this situation with our first label “ Gama Records”. We just had bad luck.
The most important gig you have made, something you remember with especial excitement, was..?
In Budapest/ Hungary. A very big stadion with thousands of enthusiastic Necronomicon fans. It was 1990 during our tour through Czech, Hungary and Austria. Amazing!
Will this “Pathfinder... Between Heaven and Hell” make Necronomicon a band of masses?
Freddy : you can develop a new album only conditionally .... control in the one or other direction. Ultimately the fan is deciding if the album is gonna be successful or not . I hope we 've done our job well and the album has been well received . That's what counts
All the songs are incredible, but if I had to pick up one I think it would be “Farewell to a friend” for its incredible range of sounds and styles, although “Alone in the dark” also kills me. Which is your favorite and which one has been more difficult to finish?
Freddy: Puuh, it´s not easy. But if I had only one song I named for: Alone in the dark. Yes, that´s my favourite and the most complicated song for me. It was a lot of work to wrote this song… a lot of work, believe me.
I’m sure about it. Talking about “Alone in the dark”, I have a curiosity, there is a moment of the song, a phrase with a chord in fact, that you repeat several times and goes like “into the silence”, if I don’t remember bad, it sounds exactly as one of Savatage’s songs. Is some kind of tribute to that big band or yesterday I was drinking too much...?
Freddy: Your right my friend. I´m a big Jon Olivia fan and I like Savatage so much. Normally I don´t stealing any passages or copy other bands, really not, but that has so fucking good fit…I had to do it. I hope John forgive me….
Hahaha I guess Jon will be happy with it, it’s kind of a tribute to the big guys. I suppose you will tour around to promote your new album, right? Any dates in Spain?
Freddy: I really really hope we can play in Spain again. I love this guys there. So full of enthusiastic for Heavy Metal music and so kindful. Hey promoter from Spain: We are ready for a fucking Thrash Attack. So contact me, we´re ready for Spain.
It would be very easy to retire after publishing a jewell as “Pathfinder”, like the champion that returns from the battle field acclaimed by the fans, but I guess that is not your intention...
Freddy: Absolutely not!!! For me this is a new beginning. With the new album I have processed the past and made a fresh start. I have a new crew and I´m raring to rock the crowd
That’s the spirit! How do you see the Metal scene in your country?
Freddy: The scene and the music market has changed, all over the world. The buying behavior of people as well . Nowadays everything has become very fast lived and the platforms for bands seemingly boundless . That's for the fan and user not always easyly
In the past you went to your favourite CD dealer, listened to the news what´s gonna be released and bought it . Today things are different . Who would buy CD´s, ect. in the classic music store? The market is suffering, of course.
But, however, small bands who have no record deal or wouldn´t no longer be bound by a f.... label got new opportunities by internet plattforms or public networks. Luckily one thing unit us: the love to Heavy Metal
That’s for sure. Freddy, thank you very much for your time and hopefully we will meet on the stage
Freddy: You´re welcome my friend. I hope we gonna see us in Spain or everywhere else. It was an honour for me to do this interview, especially for the fans in Spain. Thanxx a lot for the support and the believe in us…we gonna see us guys. With Thrashy greetz…….Freddy