The Freezing Fog Interview
2nd July 2008
Manchester’s The Freezing Fog have been around since 2006 and over that time have pushed their infectious riffs and classic 70’s rock vibe gaining an enthusiastic following and positive reviews throughout the underground. With their latest release, a split 12″ with Cumbria’s Manatees just being released and the difficult 2nd album due to be unleashed towards the end of the year which will once again be produced/mixed by Kurt Ballou, I caught up with their guitarist Ed for some guidance through the mystical world of The Fog.
‘Ow do Ed, hope you and the rest of The Fog are doing well, firstly can you give us a history of the band, how you formed and your current members?
Hello Lee! The Freezing Fog was formed in February of 2006, after Liam, James and I had a vision of starting a band that, primarily, paid homage to the forefathers of metal, the classic British hard rock bands of years gone by. I’d been in a band with Dave previously and so we asked him to play bass, because he’s got serious slap-funk chops. We always liked Todd’s cantankerous nature – it makes him interesting to be around. Todd was playing drums in Skeleton Gun, Manchester’s premier grunge act, at the time, which is where we’d heard his work behind the kit. The rest, as they say, is history.
How would you describe the colossal riffage of The Freezing Fog?
Slick? Groovy? Crushing? Catchy? I don’t know, you tell me!?
Who would you describe as a major influence on your sound and what else other than music inspires The Freezing Fog?
Bands such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Stones, Early Metallica, some decent stoner stuff like Kyuss and QOTSA, Goatsnake, and also classic British 90’s indie, like Oasis! The first album was steeped in influence taken from ye olde tales of yore, English folk stories, legends and like, but we’ve calmed down with all that really, and lyrically the new record is a lot more sensible! It’s still dramatic, but in a more focussed way!
And can you give us an insight into what equipment you and the rest of The Freezing Fog use to achieve your sound/tone?
Big rock drum kit – 24/13/16, classic sizes. Todd has two choices, Tama or Premier. Birch snare. Paiste cymbals.
Matamp – British hand wired guitar amp, for warm, loud guitar sounds, but with immense clarity. The Classic Marshall amplification achieves those cutting lead tones. Trace Elliot, Warwick and Ampeg bass gear for a cream mixture of funk and downright offensive bottom end.
We use a variety of pedals, from wah to boost to echo to modulation and to delay.
I use a First Act LE Lola, which is a solid body guitar comparable to a Gibson Les Paul. Liam Uses a Gibson SG. David uses a Warwick Corvette.
James uses his vocal chords, and his vocal chords only.
Lyrics, who writes them and what subjects/theme’s do they cover?
On Solarperplexus I actually sang and wrote the words, and I’d written a couple of sets of lyrics that James carried over onto March Forth To Victory, but once he started singing he took over the lyric mantle right away. For the upcoming record he has written everything. We’ve had songs about mystical adventures, legendary beasts and magical plants, harvested by elves that protect forest campers during the dangerous hours of night, but the new stuff is slightly less whimsical. Although, you can still expect songs about eagles, witches, children of the light, gentle riding, sweet, sweet things and probably time-travel, too.
Your debut release was in the form of a 7″ entitled ‘Solarperplexus’ via the now defunct Calculated Risk Products so firstly, can you tell us how this releases came about and what the reviews/feedback have been like?
We’re friends with Martin, the dude that ran Calculated Risk, and he was cool to put it out. It was supposed to be a demo – we recorded it after four rehearsals! People seemed to think it was alright – the few reviews that it got were complimentary, if not overwhelmingly so!
The 7″ was followed by your debut full length album ‘March Forth To Victory’ which was recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge) at his infamous Godcity Studio in the US, so firstly how did you hook up with Kurt, how long did it take you to record and mix the tracks and are you happy with the overall outcome?
Again, Dave and I were already friends with Kurt and had worked extensively with him before, so that’s how we hooked up. We tracked and mixed in 5 days due to our limited budget, and yes, to this day I remain very happy with March Forth To Victory. I think in the circumstances it couldn’t really have come out any better. It captures the set of songs wonderfully, and although I feel that we’ve evolved massively since the writing and recording of March Forth, it remains a very decent piece of work.
And what have the reviews/feedback been like?
All the reviews were really good, people seem to think it’s a good album, and rightly so! It has certainly helped us to garner an, albeit it modest, following!
This was originally released in the UK by Roadkill Recordings, which is co-owed by your guitarist Liam, but is due for a European/US release via Sweden’s Dental Records, so can you tell us how this deal came about and does it offer better distribution on a worldwide scale than you previously had?
Yeah, it’s coming out worldwide through Dental, simply because he approached us with a worldwide offer and he could get it out to a wider audience than Liam is able to!
There’s also talk of you recording a 2nd full length album during the summer of 2008, will you be again recording it at Godcity, will Dental Records be releasing it and when is it likely to see the light of day?
We’re tracking it in Wales at the end of August at Foel Studios. Once it’s tracked we’re sending the gubbins over to Salem for Kurt to mix and produce, which he’ll do in the second week of September. It is going to be called, simply, THE FREEZING FOG. It actually looks like it’s going to be coming out on yet another label, a London-based outfit, but as it’s currently not public information, that’s about as much as I can say! Expect it to blow your head off before the end of the year. It is going to contain far and away the best music we have made to date.
Your also releasing a Split 12″ Double CD with fellow Cumbrian’s Manatees, firstly can you tell us how you were approached to do this release, who will be releasing it and when will it be available for your pilgrims to buy?
It’s out now! We were playing a gig with Manatees and our mutual appreciation was evident. We had a couple of tracks that we wanted to put out on a split EP and they had the same. Hey presto, an idea was born. It’s available now on sexy white 12″!
You’ve also had some excellent support slots over the last couple of years which includes the likes of Torche, Baroness, Boris, High On Fire & Orange Goblin so do you think these gigs helped spread the word of The Freezing Fog?
I’m not sure really, they were fun to play and all the aforementioned are bands that we respect and enjoy, so it was good from that perspective. I suppose they were our biggest audiences, and so inherently they were occasions that gave us the potential for a fan-base increase!
And how would you describe a typical The Freezing Fog gig?
Tight. This is the tightest live band I’ve been in, by some margin. Also, fun, we like to have a good time!
If you could chose any 3 bands from the past and/or present to go on tour with, who would they be and why?
Led Zep – The crowds would have been enormous and I think they’d have been up for the crack back in the day.
Pantera – They definitely were up for the crack, and they’re the last of the good heavy metal bands.
Radiohead – I saw them last night and they blew me away!
Apart from the 2nd Full length and Split 12″, what else does 2008 have in store for you?
Good fun times, and many a drunken story/spouting of garbled nonsense courtesy of my good friend and partner in Fog, Dave. We’ll be out and about playing gigs, so come down, rock out and say hi!
Thanks for the interview Ed and please use this space for any final words…
Thanks to you, and please, accept my apologies for the lateness of this response. I’m a liability…
Check out all the latest goings on with The Freezing Fog at: www.myspace.com/thefreezingfog
Interviewed by: Lee Edwards
Published on 2nd July 2008 at 8:46 am and has the following tags: