"think Fields of the Nephilim had a love child with The Sisters of Mercy - and Rammstein was the crazy uncle" -Christopher Compton, Frostbite
e.V. For people who may not have heard your music or heard only a song or two, please describe your project and name 2 of your songs for people to listen to first, just to get an idea of where you are coming from as a musician. And tell us a bit about the genesis of Frostbite...
C.C. Frostbite is a project that's been brewing for quite some time. While I was living in Seattle, WA., the last band I started was firmly rooted in the "Gothic Rock" genre, for lack of a better term (think Fields of the Nephilim had a love child with The Sisters of Mercy and Rammstein was the crazy uncle). After that band split, I moved to Los Angeles for a few years. During my time in California, I worked for a company that produces guitar amplifiers and amp modeling software. I worked with several musicians and our company gatherings always turned into big jam sessions so, every few months, I was able to get on a stage and make some noise. When I left that company, and moved from LA, I no longer had that outlet and I began to miss it pretty quickly. I realized that I had all of these song ideas floating around in my head that had never been recorded or flushed out completely so, I started work on the song Valentine, which was a logical progression from what I had been doing in Seattle. Still very much a "Gothic Rock" sound, but heavier this time. I finished Valentine and just kept going. I wasn't planning on recording an entire album but, eventually, I had several songs that went together quite nicely. I decided to release what I had, just to see what might happen. The response has been very positive, a bit overwhelming and completely unexpected!
I suppose the best song to start with would be "Valentine" as it was the first and sums up the feel of the "Valentine and Other Stories of Hope" album pretty well. The second song I would suggest would be from the next album, "Everything That I Crave", the song is called "Everything I Crave" and I think it's a good representation of that album (to be released soon!).
C.C. Valentine and Other Stories of Hope was released in 2011 and was the culmination of several ideas I'd had over the years that finally came to fruition. Doing (almost) everything myself allowed me to create exactly what I had been hearing in my head for a long time! Valentine is a very personal album for me and the story it tells (minus the two bonus track) is mostly true. Of course it's not completely autobiographical. If that were the case it would have never been written and I wouldn't be here to answer your questions ;)
The Venus in Furs single came out in 2012. The song was originally done by The Velvet Underground and I've just loved it since the first time I heard it! I really enjoy taking songs that mean something to me, from outside my particular genre, and seeing what I can do with them or, more appropriately, how I can mess them up ;)
The sampler was not put out for general audiences. I had a few radio stations asking what was happening with the new album so, I put together a mix of a few of the songs I was working on as a sort of teaser. I also wanted them to know (yourself included) that I was, indeed, working on the follow-up to Valentine.
e.V. What are your favorite genres and what drew you to them? Do you have a genre you enjoy that might shock others given the genres you typically play?
C.C. When I was growing up, I was a complete metal head! As to what drew me to that, it's hard to say. Prepubescent angst?? Actually, I mostly listened to what would now be called Power Metal, I suppose, so I think it was the amazing vocalists and the crazy guitar playing that I really enjoyed. While I still loved my metal, everything changed when I heard the Sisters of Mercy for the first time. I had never heard anything like it and the sound really struck a chord with me. Something about the low vocal (which I wasn't used to at all) and the dark subject matter seemed to suit my personality and I started seeking out similar bands. I found The Fields of The Nephilim and I immediately connected with the sound. I can't explain what it is about them that I find so appealing. I only know that there are some bands that move a person and The Fields do that for me. Unfortunately, I didn't find these bands until either they weren't putting out music anymore or, they had broken up. Then there's Skinny Puppy!!! What can I say except BRILLIANT!!! One of the first Industrial (cont.)
I have no idea what genre these guys fell under but, I'm a HUGE Oingo Boingo fan!! Love just about everything they did! That one seems to surprise people ;)
e.V.. How long have you been playing and what instruments do you play? Do you have a favorite one? What instrument do you play that you wish you did and why?
C.C. First and foremost, I'm a vocalist. That's where I started(when I was 14) and that's what I focus on. I don't consider myself an instrumentalist at all! I can play just well enough to record and never have to worry about it again ;)
C.C. Hrrrmm. when exactly might be a bit difficult to pinpoint. I suppose it was when I found Heavy Metal music and was singing along with some
Mercyful Fate and realized "Hey, I can do that!!". Of course King Diamond, while he's incredibly unique, isn't technically the best singer out there ;) I started practicing to Judas Priest, Manowar, Iron Maiden, anything heavy and decided that this was what I wanted to do. The first band I was in was a cover-band in my hometown. I was 14 and hanging out at a record store that I spent most of my time(and money) at. The owner was a drummer. He was putting together a band and asked if I knew anyone who could sing. I said "Yeah, I can!". I got the job.
I honestly believe that a person just "knows" if this is something they want to pursue. Most of the people I've met in this business (musicians anyway) tell me the same thing. They just felt that this is what they needed to do. Sorry, no signs from Heaven (or Hell) telling me that this is what I was suppose to do ;)
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e.V.. What is most difficult about being a musician and songwriter today, in your opinion?
C.C. I'm relatively fortunate in the respect that this is not how I make my living! I've done that and it's not a great life. Don't get me wrong. It was a blast when I did this full-time but, it was hard. I don't suppose much has changed. Wondering how you're gonna pay rent, if you're going to eat this week, wondering why "they" got a break and you didn't, etc. These were all things that made it difficult when I was doing this full-time and, I have to guess, it's pretty much the same.
e.V.. Pretend your child (if you don't have one, your youngest brother, sister, niece, nephew or godchild) decides to become a musician - what would be your advice to them?
C.C. Enjoy the ride. Hire a good lawyer! ALWAYS be humble (no one likes that guitar player who plays REALLY well and doesn't have a problem telling you!). Be wary of (cont.)
C.C. Number one would, of course, be The Fields of the Nephilim (old or new stuff) The next two are not Gothic or Industrial in the least but, quite fantastic. There was a band in the late 80's, early 90's, called Last Crack. They put out an absolutely brilliant album in 1989, I believe, called "Burning Time". I try to get everyone I can to listen to that one :)
Another interesting band, that never seem to get the recognition they deserve is The Masters of Reality. It's Chris Goss' band when he's not producing bands that tend to get much more attention than he does.
As far as venues, I've played all over the states and I'm gonna bet that I've never played anywhere you've heard of. ;)
e.V. What are your 3 favorite albums and foods? Besides music what are you passionate about?
C.C. Albums in no particular order:
The Fields of the Nephilim: The Nephilim (love the songs and feel. wish the production was better).
The Cult: Beyond Good and Evil
Queensryche: Rage For Order (I don't know why but, I ALWAYS come back to that album)
The filet Mignon at a steakhouse here in Atlanta called Rathbun's. Absolutely AMAZING! ummm. Is there other food???? ;)
My passions (other than music) seem to be fleeting; for a while it might be reading, then for a while it's art, then it may change to video production. They seem to change weekly! ;)
e.V. Is there anything else you would like to share with fans and listeners/readers?
C.C. I took an extended break from music production and have been completely taken aback by the response to Frostbite's last album! I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome back. :)
e.V. Thanks, Chris for taking the time for the interview and sharing with me and the readers more about Frostbite!