Another Friday, another Frosty Q&A! I’m rather enjoying this, its a lot of fun and keeps me on focus! Mostly music-based questions this week, not so much silliness about selling children. Alright, lets go!
Paul N. asks, “When did you realize you were into metal?” It was around the time I was 10 or 11 years old. I was always into rock music growing up, but the first metal albums I bought (on the same day, no less) were Def Leppard’s Pyromania and Dio’s Sacred Heart. Def Leppard had a massive crossover hit with Photograph, but it was Rock of Ages that made me love them. I bought the album and played it non-stop. Sacred Heart was great too. I bought it without hearing it first. I had no idea who Ronnie James Dio was or what bands he had been with before, but I loved the cover art. I’d stare at the cover while listening to it and it was mesmerizing. Rock and Roll Children was just the bee’s knees to me. I had a friend who would come over and we would pretend to be in the bands, rocking out with fake guitars. I actually made one out of a plastic sword, a cardboard cutout, and a phone cord for a strap. So after that… I knew I was hooked on the metal and there was no turning back.
Also Ozzy ripped this song off so hard for A Shot in the Dark, bloody hell!
Listen for yourself.
Keith B. wonders,”How do you deal with writers block, when it comes to writing lyrics?” That’s something I’ve rarely encountered and what I have found helps when it does happen is to just step away and come back later. Forced lyrics often end up sounding, well, forced. I’d also add that in my experience, writing clean vocal breaks has made writer’s block even less frequent for me, because even if I am not using words, I can hum a melody. I can hear how I want the vocals to sound even if I don’t have the lyrics yet. If you’re doing mostly screams and growls, just work on where you want to put them, what the rhythm is going to be, how many syllables in each line, the type of growl or scream you want. You can do everything except writing the actual words first and I’ve found that over the course of doing that, words come to me and I’m able to write lyrics that way.
Here are a couple examples and they may seem ridiculous, but it illustrates what I’m talking about. You’ll laugh, but early stages of writing lyrics always sound brutally awful. It’s like forging a sword. A hunk of ore isn’t gonna look pretty or cut shit, but you keep bashing it, twisting it, heating it, quenching it, and repeating it until you can sharpen and polish it… and there you go.
The only time you’ll ever hear Hetfield sing “na na na na na”.
Yes, Dave actually sings “Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Puffs.”
Michael D. asks, “How many colors are there in your typical day?”
Michele demands of me, “List one of the songs that’s representative of a major moment in your life along with a story.” There are a lot of songs that mark milestones for me, if you will. Some of them mark positive and mind-expanding changes, like the time I first herd Ensiferum and I was just put on the floor, or that time in 1992 or 1993 when I first heard NOFX and I was like, this… this is the greatest thing ever. And I still blast Punk in Drublic to this day. Then there are other songs which are so goddamned painful to listen to and I can’t get through them without getting choked up. Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains, because I think of my best friend whom I lost 12 years ago to addiction, and knowing that Jerry Cantrell wrote that as a somber goodbye to Layne Staley. It’s beautiful and haunting. Then there are songs that make me cry because of love, and I think this is where I am going go with this.
I used to kind of scoff at Ben Folds as being one of those artists that upper-middle class college snoots liked. Never gave him a shot at all outside of one or two songs (and honestly, I could never hear Brick again and die happy- not because it’s a heavy tune but because it’s way overplayed). So, my now-husband and then-boyfriend took me to see Ben Folds in Hershey, PA, and I had a blast. It was just Ben and a piano and an audience. Occasionally he would be joined by his opener Kate Millier-Heidke, who was also amazing, but what he did at that show was captivate 2000 people with just one instrument and a voice. It was incredible.
And then, he played The Luckiest.
I lost it completely. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I looked at the man sitting next to me and said under my breath, you son of a bitch. You got me. You got me and I am all in. I realized in that moment, through the lyrics of that song, that I didn’t want to spend a single day without Chris by my side. In fact, I didn’t think I could spend another day apart from him. I smiled and just fell completely and utterly in love. Surrender has never felt so good. And here we are 8 or 9 years later, married for almost 6 of those, and I still feel the same way. I still get misty-eyed when I hear the song. It’s the absolute raw vulnerability it communicates. Embracing that was probably the biggest pivotal shift in my life that’s ever been marked by a song.
In fact, a few years ago I recorded a version of this song in my own style just for Chris for his birthday. For his ears only. I’ve played it for a few friends but I won’t release it.
Now that I’m all weepy, I think I’m gonna wrap this one up. Come back next week for my 4 week anniversary special where I will pretty much do the same thing. Send me questions if you like, I’ll answer anything. I’m cheap like that.
Contributing Writer Guy
Matti Frost is the singer/songwriter for Frost Giant. He is also a wizard. Okay, maybe not a wizard, but he did once have sex with a dude who kinda looked like Hagrid who might have said something about his wand and working magic.