I’m not gonna go on about how I don’t understand this or that whether it be post, fusion, prog or any other form. So I’ll just let Italy’s FROZEN SAND do all the thinking. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-Sure! We are five guys coming from the North-West of Italy, who have been sharing the passion for music for more than six years. Each of us has a marked different personalities, thus we identify ourselves with five names that reflect our being and our approach to music. Luca is the singer of the band, named “The Dreamer” due to his vast fantasy and his desire to write unique stories. Simone, the drummer, is the one who always finds a point of equilibrium out of any arguments among us: he is “The Mediator”. Bassist Tiziano is “The Enigmatic”, because that’s the way he is, and we believe it’s a side effect of his creativity. Guitarists Mattia and Federico are those who follow more the left-brain approach than the others, that’s why we call them respectively “The Skeptic” and “The Rational”. We think to ourselves as “Narrators” for the stories that our music carries on with it.
I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-Music has been a huge part of our lives since when we were kids. For sure we all started playing for the same reason as everyone starts; that is love for this magical set of sounds we call music. Individually, this happened in different moments of our lives. But as a band, and this is most important, singing and playing instruments together in a good way was definitely not a discover, but the result of years of hard work as a team.
When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun, instead of just putting out all the money?
-This is a nice question indeed, but before answering it needs a short clarification. Not to sound too materialistic, but making money is important for the simple reason that means making a living out of music. If you get paid for what you do, and it happens to be what you love, you keep doing it and (hopefully) you keep improving: it’s a virtuous circle. Too many people keep telling you to do it “ONLY for yourself and no one else”, and who makes money out of music is a sold-out person. Now, back to the question: it happened when we decided to make a full-length record, about 3 years ago and it was a natural consequence of what we were doing back then. We had 2 EPs released at the time and we felt like the new music we were writing was more mature, cohesive and interesting than ever, both musically and lyrically. Music that could be liked not only by ourselves, but also by other people around the world. Believing that, we put all of our efforts in writing and recording the debut album, clearly wishing for a good response.
When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-It rarely happens, for the most of the time we are enthusiast for what we do, especially in the recent past. With this whole thing of making a record we had to face a real challenge: writing the music and lyrics, making the demos, listening over and over, getting time and budget for the record etc… but in the end, the result is something we are very proud of! Moreover, we are not only musician who play together, we are friends since the high-school times. Every battle shared together was an occasion of growth, both individually and as a band, and we grew up in the past six years. So definitively, none of the moments spent for Frozen Sand has ever been a wasted time.
No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-When listening to a new song from a new band, both the critics and common listeners are used to make comparisons: “the singer reminds me that one, that solo has been clearly influenced by X, while that breakdown has been copied from Y”. That’s pretty common. Anyway, the most important thing for us has ever been to create something new, with a unique sound “Frozen Sand”. It would be fantastic if we will be remembered as what we really are.
Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-It all depends on how you move in the digital domain, and what are your strategies of promoting yourself. You can stimulate people’s curiosity by sharing small pieces of the whole picture at times, to keep the interest in what you are doing alive. There are many ways to do this on the social networks, it’s up to one’s creativity to find and exploit all of them. Facebook, twitter, etc… can be very powerful instruments for keeping the hype for the new record alive before the release.
How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
-It certainly has its importance, but this can be true in some genres more than others. For the genre of music we play, the most important thing is surely the quality of the music we play. Since we are in the progressive rock/metal scene, people of this field take care almost exclusively on the music. Image is powerful as a first-sight instrument: you need to capture the eye of the potential listener when he’s surfing the web for example. Then when he listens, your music must have high quality: your image won’t save you!
Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-The lyrics play a fundamental role in our songs. They always did, but now more than ever. In fact, our upcoming album “Fractals: A Shadow out of Lights” is just the first half of a long and complex saga that takes place in different places and historical periods through the deeds and emotions of 10 characters. It is a drama of parallel timelines, a journey through time and space, languages and cultures, music and art. The whole story rotates about three major concepts: (1) the relentless passing of time, (2) human ambition that leads people to damnation and sufferance, (3) the dualism of human nature. Everything is developed with an “opera structure”: this means that readable prosaic parts, narrated by an external storyteller (who is actually the entity “Frozen Sand”), are alternated with the direct speeches of the characters in the story. Such direct speeches are simply… our lyrics!!
Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-Our music is intended to be played live, we are not a studio project. We try to engage people in our performance, and that’s something you can hear in our music. One side of our music maintains some kind of “in-your-face” feel, which is the metal element of it. But then we leave also pauses for some more introspective and lyrical moments. In this way, we want to play shows that are well rounded, full of colors and emotion, because people come to shows first of all to enjoy themselves.
How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
-We never really had a touring experience in a strict sense, but we played many live shows all around the north of our country. We had many memorable nights, mostly from festival we were featured in, and many people from bands we played with. People we met in our live carrier really set the memorability of the specific night, and we met a ton of them such as beautiful people in Mirrormaze, Bejelit, Eternal Silence and many many others! The list will be waaaay to long!
What does the future hold?
-We have an album coming up and we can’t wait to be back live to play the new music for all our fans! The nearest event is the release party at “Esta Bì?! Music Pub” (Ornavasso, ITALY) on January 20th. We hope to heave there as many people as possible, to enjoy a wonderful night of progressive metal drama and have a good beer together!