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"Gloomy dirty old men awake from a seven year long artistic slumber and return to their followers with new songs for rainy days and lonely drunken nights... So...hello Rob!"

Interview with Jack Frost.
"Gloomy dirty old men awake from a seven year long artistic slumber and return to their followers with new songs for rainy days and lonely drunken nights. Austrian Doom band Jack Frost, that rocked and rumbled in the late '90s and had a few really inspiring depressive hits in the '00s, had a big gap between their last album 'My Own Private Hell' and the new 'Blackest EP' which was released in May 2015... I wrote to Mournful Morales (indeed, his real name is Rob - but I didn’t tell you that, okay?), the band's guitar master, and he patiently has answered all of my questions. So...hello Rob!"

The band: Phred Phinster (Bass, Vocals), Mournful Morales (Guitar), Gary Gloom (Guitar), Collossos Rossos (Drums).

Hello Rob! I'm glad we have a chance to talk again. It seems that the last time we talked was right after the Moscow Doom Fest in 2010. What have you done since then?

We sort of split soon after the fest. At least we didn’t rehearse or even speak to each other for a long time. Some personal stuff between some of the members, such things happen if you work with each other for such a long time. After two years we got into touch again, started to write songs and recorded them over a period of one and a half years. As you see, things take a little bit longer if you get older…

Jack Frost have had the most constant line-up for a damned long time, how do you keep it? Is it still the same?

We are still the same line-up only because we don’t hang around together all of the time. We make records – sometimes. And we play concerts – sometimes. And in between there are long periods in which we don’t even meet. So it always feels like a new start in a way. But it is a new start of persons who know exactly in which way the other one is feeling musically. That’s what people call “spirit” I guess.

What drove you to return to the public after seven years of silence, with the 'Blackest EP' in May 2015?

As I mentioned we had started to write new songs in 2012 and were since then planning to do another album. There was no special drive, only the feel that we do have something to say in terms of music. And that working with each other is a deeply satisfying thing. And of course soon there was awareness that we would do the best Jack Frost album ever.

What makes you feel that it will be the best Jack Frost album? Do you have songs which are stronger than 'Cancer', 'Sink', 'Unseen Insane I', 'Dirty Old Man' and many others?

Well, without any doubt „Cancer“, „Sink“ and „Dirty Old Man“ are good songs - songs with hooklines and catchy melodies. They were outstanding on the album they were on. This time I think all of the songs are as catchy and written to the point like they were. Haters often charged us with being repetitive and kind of boring. The songs on our new album are completely different from each other, each of them stands alone and is in a very special individual vein. At that is what we feel. And there are no so-called fillers at all.

Jack Frost – You Are The Cancer:

I remember that you told about your previous album 'My Own Private Hell', that it was a total commercial disappointment, and that was a reason why Jack Frost didn’t hasten back to the studio. Did something change with the album’s sales in the last few years?

Forget about sales. Sales are a benchmark of the past and completely without relevance for today’s underground acts – and more and more for commercial bands as well. And since subsequent touring is not an option for people like us with jobs and families we have our own low-threshold benchmarks. Like playing rare but good shows from time to time. Or a decent tour every once in a while – like our European tour with Isole in May 2015. We do records for those freaks out there who still want them and are willing to pay for them. But sales are not what makes a difference in the way we feel about what we are doing.

How did this tour go? And did you sell all the copies of 'Blackest EP'?

Yeah, we sold all of the copies except those we put on the side for special friends of ours that could not come to the shows. The tour was very fine with some outstanding shows - Freiburg, Rotterdam, Vienna and Oberhausen to be mentioned first.

'My Own Private Hell' has a bunch of strong hits - sarcastic and selfabusing 'Dirty Old Man', a really killing doom track 'For Ages', calm and desperate 'In Misery' and that fast piece 'Days Never End'. Was it a problem that some listeners are waiting for 'Gloom Rock Asylum' #2?

The problem is that people don’t buy any records anymore. Well, and we didn’t promote the album much, nor did the label. I have to admit that I don’t even like the album a lot.

Did the official video 'Me And Dark And You' change any attitude to the band when you shot it? I mean the accusations of goth rock addiction. Did you care about it then and do you care about it now?

We really don’t give a shit about that.

Jack Frost – Me And Dark And You:

I guess that Jack Frost were really famous after the release of 'Gloom Rock Asylum'. How was it then? And what do you need to repeat such a result?

Haha, whatever „famous“ means in an Underground context… But you are right, our label - respectively the promo guy (who is at Nuclear Blast today) pushed the record a lot and we had huge feedback from the press and fans. And we sold an amount of copies of the album back then that would propel us right into the charts nowadays. However, we did not make a living out of that. I’m not sure if we can repeat that. The market has changed a lot and we are not sure if it pays to put any effort into it anymore.

I've listened to 'Blackest EP' and I absolutely dig it, and of course I see changes in Jack Frost's appearance. First of all, how did your philosophy change since 'My Own Private Hell'? Are those dirty old men still here?

Yeah, the dirty old men are still there! If you hint at the vein of the new material - I don’t consider it any less “dirty” than the previous record. I am convinced that we sort of improved our songwriting and arrangements a lot, which is also a result of the fact that we took all the time we needed. It took us almost 18 months to complete recordings - with some longer breaks in between - and we changed studios. That is much of a philosophy: to take the time. We do not owe anything to anyone and we release the album when we feel that it’s done. Actually, it is the first Jack Frost album I really like at the point when we release it and I’m convinced that those are the best songs we have ever recorded. By the way: Michelle Darkness from End of Green produced the album. He really digs our music and made the best out of it - not without contributing some backing vocals as you might have detected…

It seems that your inspiration changed a bit too, as if you turned to the romantic side of our bleak life. And well – Jack Frost were well known as quite unstoppable alcohol exterminators. What did inspire you when recording this EP?

I don’t know. We were always dealing with love issues in our songs and they always seemed less romantic than in some sarcastic way hopeless and forlorn. That has not changed on the EP. Half A Man is not a romantic song and nor is Loser In Your Eyes.

Some of us are still incurable alcohol exterminators – others have families and have developed into a more socially acceptable way. That’s how life goes. As for the EP: Well, we were invited to go on tour with Isole and the album was not finished – so we took some of the songs that seemed finished enough and put them on an EP. How did you get hold of a copy, by the way??

I’ve downloaded it somewhere. After doing reviews and interviews for about ten years I used to get CDs or digital promos from bands and labels, but I’m always ready to buy bands’ stuff at their gigs, but exchange rates of rubles to euro are damned terrible now, so it’s not an option to order anything from abroad . By the way, I bought a t-shirt and double CD with 'My Own Private Hell' at your gig in Moscow. I even have autographs from all of you except Phred who was already drunken at that moment. So… well… Don’t you listen music in digital format at all?

Of course we do but very rarely. But I think in times like these it is important to set statements by buying records - at least digitally. I do not download songs for free, I pay for them.

Where did you record the new songs (both for EP and LP) and how much time (and money) did this process take?

We started at Goon Studios in our hometown where we recorded all the drums, some of the guitars and the vocals of Half A Man. Then those guys became more and more unreliable and cancelled dates we had booked. So we changed to CCP studios where we had done almost all of our records. We re-recorded all of the guitars because they sounded a lot better at CCP’s. And all of the material was mixed at Darkland Recordings – the studio of End Of Green singer Michelle Darkness near Goeppingen, Germany.

You plan to release the new album in Autumn 2015. Do you already have a label for it? And do you have a date of release?

We will release it on our own label Gloom Rock Enterprises. We will fix the release date in the next days, depends a bit on the schedule of our promotion agency. We are planning to produce CDs and Vinyl as well.

And do you plan to do a brief tour in support of new album?

There is nothing on the schedule yet. We are now starting to plan everything.

Will you include songs from the EP in this release?

All songs of the EP are also on the album in re-mixed versions.

How tight was your gig schedule for the last few years? I see that you were on the Destroyer of Europe Tour 2015 with Isole. How did it go?

We have not played much in the recent years. So it was really good to tour with Isole. We played some great shows and had much fun on the road. Isole are an awesome band, we got along with each other quite well. However, we had some huge distances to go with the van (thanks to our tour manager José Sacristan who did it all alone!!) which was sometimes exhausting.

How has your perception of gigs, and touring in general, with Jack Frost changed for you after 22 years in the band?

I’m not sure how the other members think about it, but I really love to play live. However, I’m not keen on touring for weeks and weeks every year. It is quite hard today to do good shows on weekdays so either you tour with bands that really fill clubs or you focus on the weekends. As far as I’m concerned - it is also a question of life balance. I have to return to my job and my family after touring. And touring is no holiday at all.

Jack Frost - live:

And isn't it time to do a live album?

You don’t have a copy of our “Live in Novosibirsk” album??

Nope… And there’re only five of your songs. Come back to Russia and bring a few copies, will you?

Of course we would love to!! We are in frequent contact with the guys of Sepulture Union but they are for some reason hesitating to get us to Russia again.

Okay, Rob, I’ll try to put some pressure onto them! That’s all for today. I wish you more good gigs and more feedback from listeners. Do you have a few more words for our readers and your fans?

Our Moscow show was without any doubt the most overwhelming experience in our whole career. The dedication of the audience is like it was in our country some 20 years ago. It was awesome and fantastic. Playing Russia again would be the best thing to happen for Jack Frost. Just give us tickets for the flight and a room to sleep and we will be there.

Thank you for talking! All the best.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Jack Frost bandpage.

Interviewed on 2015-10-09 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
Aesthetic Death
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