Freewill have just dropped their new track The Story from the Pedestrians EP which is due to be released by New Age Records on all digital platforms on 20th March. That’s right folks, it’s out tomorrow. And we’ve got the exclusive.
Freewill formed in 1987 when a bunch of friends came together to share their love for playing music. The band’s first show came opening for Agnostic Front, the Offspring & No for an Answer in 1988. A recording date was set and between numerous local shows, a demo tape was recorded. The band began traveling to Arizona with their friends in Instead as well as northern California shows with Uniform Choice. It was a round this time, the bands was approached by Wishingwell Records owner Pat Dubar about the band signing to the label.
The band had heard Dag Nasty’s Field Day record and loved the sound of the studio and booked recording time enlisting the services of engineer/producer Bill Krodel (Inside Out, Chain of Strength, Reason to Believe). Once the recording was finished the band turned in the master tapes to Dubar & partner Patrick Longre awaiting the release date of the album.
In 1989, after receiving test pressings for the record, from what was explained to the band in bits and pieces, Dubar and Longre got into an argument about something label related and ended up dissolving Wishingwell Records prior to the Freewill album being released. The band was under assumption that there were two other bands also in the “test pressing phase” whose records were also abandoned during the dissolving of the company as well as Bold leaving Wishingwell around that same time for Revelation.
Shortly after, the band parted ways with bass player Mike Hartsfield and changed their name to Stonetelling. The band rerecorded and remixed parts on the Freewill LP and released the record on Network Sound records. By the time of the release, the members were all involved in different music projects and going their own directions.
The original Freewill LP in the test pressing stage had been sitting for years until Dubar in the midst of a cash grab, took the original reels along with other Wishingwell alumni, sold off the rights to some of the labels releases to Lost & Found records in Europe. The record was then released on cd without the consent of the band containing a layout including images the band had never event seen before.
Fast forward to 2015. All 4 original members begin chatting and talking about the idea of playing again. Around that same time, the idea for finally having an authorized version of the original recording to see the light of day. The band, the now pretty spread out around southern and central California began practicing in Reseda CA regularly. The Freewill “Sun Return” LP was released on New Age Records in the Spring of 2016, 28 years after it was recorded. Around the same time, the original demo also recorded in 1988 was released as a self-titled 7” through Mankind Records.
Jon Bunch, a close friend of the band, passed away in early 2016 and the band played together for the first time in 27 years at a memorial show in his honour. Freewill began writing new material shortly after and 33 years after forming, Freewill will release split 7” on Goodwill Records toward the middle of this year and are releasing the Pedestrians digital EP Friday March 20th. Vocal duties have been taken over by guitarist Paul Cranston. Freewill is currently booking shows for 2020.