Freezepop Interview


Candid questions

AM: Have any of you received marriage proposals since your fame?

Sean: She has.
Liz: I have actually, yeah.  I also got asked to a prom once, which was very sweet.
Sean: I’ve gotten a few marriage proposals as well, but  I think they’re all fake.

AM: How did you react to that?

Sean: She slapped him.
Liz: I dumped my drink over his head (laughs). I have gotten some email proposals, too.

Sean: (pretends to type on the table) “Liz, you are so hot.  I can’t spell any of this right. Will you marry me?  Love, Rudy.” That’s the kind of email she gets.  Twelve-year-old guys that can’t spell.
Liz: …named Rudy.
Sean: We’re actually writing a song about kids learning proper spelling and grammar before they email us.  Spell check.  Maybe have some people explain the definition of certain words.

AM: How many emails do you get a day?

Liz: (thinking) We get a couple each day.

AM: Do you actually answer them all?

Liz: I do answer them all… it takes me a while sometimes.  I do fall behind.
Duke:  It’s the stuff on MySpace that’s hard.
Liz: Yeah, I can’t keep up with MySpace. I have a disclaimer on our MySpace page that if you actually want a response then to email us.  But kids don’t actually read those things, and so….
Sean: Like when we get home from this tour we’ll get an email from somebody saying “Hey, come play in Seattle.” “We played in Seattle twelve days ago…” and then we never hear back from that person.  That’s the type of email we get.

AM: You actually have 1.7 Gigs of spam to send?

Duke: It’s all zipped up and ready to go… but my mail program won’t let me.

AM: Run your own mail server.  Run fiber.

Duke: That’s what I need to do.
Sean: I have a lot of fiber in my diet.

AM:  Uh…..

Sean looks at the list of questions I’ve printed out.

Sean: You’re skipping over some questions.

AM: Well some of these questions are stupid and I’m sure you’ve been asked them hundreds of times.

Duke: What’s a good one we get all the time?
Sean: (looks spaceily into the air) “So… how did you come up with the name ‘Freezepop'”?
Liz: (laughs)
Sean: Is that one on there?

AM: No.

Sean: Carry on.

AM: What would happen if your QY70 broke? It’s not like you can go out and buy another one.

Duke: Yeah you can.
Sean: I just bought one on ebay.
Duke: I’ll use it tonight.  I don’t use it on every song, but I use it on our really early songs sowhen we play Science Genius Girl or Plastic Stars I’ll use it.
Sean: Our first two records were all QY70.  For the last record we kinda decided that enough has been enough.

AM: How much of your live show is actually ‘live’?

Sean: We have our vocoders.  We all sing.  All the vocals on the vocoders are live.  We play all the lead lines on the synth live. Certain things like the bass parts and the drums… well we actually have someone who plays pads now. There is still an awful lot of programming, because it IS Freezepop and it would sound silly if you didn’t have all the little details. There is a lot of programming but compared to many others in the genre we play an awful lot.  I play guitar tonight too.
Duke: We mess up a lot, too.
Sean: You’ll be able to tell it’s live because it will be completely fucked about halfway through.
Duke: I do this thing on the QY where I “accidently” load a part from a different song just in the middle of the song…
Sean: That is terriffic.
Liz: That’s called a “remix”.

AM: Do you play Guitar Hero on stage?

Duke: We don’t do it very often.  When my friend Josh does live video for us, we’ll bring Amplitude and do Super Sprode live and get someone in the audience to play and we’ll just sing and play along with it.  Inevitably they’ll fail and we’ll have to start the song over.  We haven’t actually done GH or Rock Band live.

AM: You all play Guitar Hero or Rock Band?

Liz: I like WATCHING people play them.  I’m level zero.
Duke: I play on Expert level on guitar, and a medium to hard drummer, depending on the song.
Sean: Does that mean you can play drums for a Freezepop show?
Duke: Adequately.
Liz: Oh yeah, you played real drums once.

AM: Ever play anybody online?

Duke: I do… I have to as my job.
(all laugh)
Duke:  I mean I WANT to!

AM: What’s your favorite curse word?

Liz: Is Douchebag considered a curse word?
Duke: Douchebaggery.
Sean: Douchebaggery is nice.
AM: That’s a “Bush” word.
Sean: I like just “d-bag” because everyone knows what it is and you can still say it on TV. Is “crap” a curse?
Liz: Crap?  I like that one.
Duke: What about Chode-wrangler?
Sean: What about shit-smurf?
Sean: Tit-mangler?

Duke: That goes well with Chode-wrangler. There’s a lot of mangling/wrangling.
Sean: I think I’m rhyming with you sub-consciously.

AM: What’s your favorite shape?

Sean: Triangle.  I used to draw triangles as a child.  Nobody knows why.
Duke: I’m going to have to say…. Mobius Strip. It’s like a figure eight.
Liz: I guess maybe a circle, cuz that’s the basis of polka-dots.

AM: Pie or cake?

Duke: Definately Pie… minus the “e”.
Sean: Like the food?
Liz: Pie… the food.
AM: If it were a math question it would be “pi” or…
Duke: Phi.  I’d go with Phi.
Sean: Sometimes you have to make decisions that aren’t necessarially linear.  I could say “your camera” or “that soda”.  It’s all contextural.  Pie.  Cake.  I don’t know.  What’s the context? Cake… alright!
Liz: Creme Bruleé

AM: What is it about a Melonball that made you want to write about Sprite?

Liz: It’s actually a cover.  It is a Raymond Scott jingle from the 50s or 60s.
Sean: Late 50s I think.
Duke: I’m a huge Raymond Scott fan, so when I got his Manhattan Research Project double CD I wasgoing through it and there are a bunch of jingles for TV.  He even invented the first drum machine. He also was good friends with Robert Moog, and even invented the first analog sequencer.  So when I listened to that jingle I was like “Wow, this sounds identical to Freezepop but fifty years ago”. So that’s why I wanted to do a cover.
Liz: That was a hidden secret track, so we didn’t credit it properly.
Duke: But the drink “Melonball Bounce” is actually pretty good.
Liz: You’ve had it?
Duke: Yeah, you put Midori and a little bit of melon juice and scoop melon balls in it.
Liz: Tasty.
AM: …and sloe gin, too.
Liz: Oooh!  I like that!

AM: What are you guys doing on a typical day?

Duke: Literally laying around.
Sean: I’m literally making music all the time.  I make a lot of music.
Liz: (to Sean) Well, you have hobbies.  You play with Legos.
Sean: I don’t have any hobbies that take up any time, though if you think about it. Well I do go out drinking.
Liz: And you go to Target and look for Star Wars figures.
Liz: I take the dog to the park.

AM: Is that Swedie?

Liz: Well, that was the former dog.

AM: Oh, I’m sorry.

Liz: Oh, that’s ok.  He was very, very, very old.  Now I have Simon.
Sean shows me a picture of Simon on his iPhone.
Liz: It’s very hard going on tour and leaving little Simon behind.

AM: What are some of your other influences?

Duke: I read a lot of science fiction.
Liz: (almost shouting) Kasson’s very pretentious!
Duke: Yes.
Sean: Tell him what you’re reading… it’s like ‘Choose your own adventure’.
AM: Those are awesome!
Duke: I just read them straight through, it’s weird.
Sean: That’s a really good idea.
Duke: You remember that Freezepop email I sent out that was like a ‘Choose your own adventure’ email?  It was ages ago, but was like “Do you want to know where we’re playing?  Then scroll to this bullet point way way far in the email”.
Duke: So yeah I read alot of books.

AM: I guess that wraps it up.  Sean did you really want these questions?

Sean: Sure.
(I hand the list of interview questions to Sean).
Liz: This was a fun interview.
Sean: Here’s some other good questions.  Kinda geeky.  Some sequencing questions on here.  What instruments do you use?  Walk us through the song creation process: that would have taken us an hour.
AM: Well I figured you’ve been asked these a million times.
Duke: Actually, no.
Sean: I think actually literally, never.
AM: Well, I guess we’ll have to do another interview to followup on these.  Thank you for your time.

At this point the three members of Freezepop posed for pictures, which were used within this article.  I sincerely would like to thank Freezepop for their time.  They were very laid-back and very easy to speak with, very geeky, intellectual, artistic, and brilliant.

Download Freezepop Sampler

Download ‘Here Comes a Special Boy’ Sampler

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.