Sometimes shit happens and stuff fall between the seats, like this interview did in the chaos that is the Gmail inbox. But better late than never… here’s the FROZEN OCEAN interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Vaarwel: If only art has a certain purpose, it was to express ideas and emotions in music. Barely for the benefit, barely for the fame, barely for the history. I can state that now it is quite the same. But honestly there hardly is any purpose. People write music because they want and can do it, and I am no exception.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
V.: It’s quite hard to avoid any similarity, and I would say almost impossible. The main condition is entire comprehension what do you want to portray in music, how do you want to do it and where are your limits, whether technical or creative. If this condition is fulfilled, something certain and peculiar will definitely emerge.
Anything that could be useful, with no dependence on music style or time. If I see something that could fit Frozen Ocean’s music, I learn it, properly evolve it and integrate.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
V.: Depends on song, at first. One song can be written and put down within days, another one may long for months. Once I fully know what the song is intended to be, I immediately start recording.
Release wise, it was always a hard process, and it will be harder.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release songs too soon, before they are fully ready to be launched at an audience?
V.: I have no worries of that kind. There was three year gap between project foundation date in 2005 and first release in 2008 when I was convinced that Frozen Ocean tracks weren’t ready to be published (and they weren’t); as soon as I felt that they are prepared to be listened, first EP was released. It only depends on artist’s inner feeling, I guess. Speaking of production quality there are almost no limits of how you can polish the recording, but is it always necessary? Depends on particular listener, and one cannot satisfy everybody.
I for one feel that the change of how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for recorded music?
V.: People won’t stop writing and recording music, so it will be alive forever. Music “industry”, as we know it, will have to change drastically. Physical releases are becoming the lot of collectors and enthusiasts already. Digital music infrastructure sprouted like a weed, having lot of platforms and means for easing access to digital versions of songs omitting the stage of making release “solid”. Is it favourable? I don’t know. Is it inevitable? Yes. We will see what it will result in.
What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
V.: Generally benevolent feedback, not without exceptions, of course. Some people are constant listeners and welcome every single new release with joy despite it is expressed in different music style. I have nothing to complain here. The most noticed album was “The Dyson Swarm”, I guess, maybe due to conception behind it or experimental music nature.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
V.: The last interesting case was when I got an email from some man from Japan asking me for permission to possibly use my track “Aokigahara” (and artwork of this album) in some Japanese TV show devoted to Aokigahara itself (known also as suicide forest). That was really unexpected and pleasing event. I surely gave this permission, but unfortunately don’t know whether they made something solid finally or not.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community playing in a band?
V.: I play in other bands (Goatpsalm, Smothered Bowels), communicate with musicians and sometimes collaborate with them, so yes, I feel this way. This community is what used to be referred to as “scene”, I reckon. For some people this activity could be a path of escapism or a reason to be proud of themselves; for me it is just a life style.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
V.: Nothing special, honestly. I visit gigs mainly to support fellow musicians or organizers and see some groups that gather my interest. Not to listen since I don’t like live sound pretty much, and prefer to listen to records.
Indeed it does. Nevertheless, I don’t see Frozen Ocean’s music being played from stage – it doesn’t fit for it.
What plans do you have for the future?
V.: Unnecessary world domination and reluctant total genocide. Some new Frozen Ocean work will be released relatively soon, maybe even this year, so be ready.