Freezepop’s Popular Nerdom

Liz Enthusiasm, lead singer for Boston synthpoppers Freezepop, certainly lives up to her moniker… even when she’s talking about a lack of excitement.  “Musically, it’s actually been a pretty...

Liz Enthusiasm, lead singer for Boston synthpoppers Freezepop, certainly lives up to her moniker… even when she’s talking about a lack of excitement.  “Musically, it’s actually been a pretty quiet year for us.  We were taking a little well-deserved break.  It’s been kind of nice to take a little breather,” she tells me with jubilance.  I got a chance to chat with the singer while she was “wrapping up loose ends” for the band’s upcoming shows this weekend.  Freezepop’s fourth and last LP, Imaginary Friends, dropped at the tail end of 2010 and they spent the better part of last year touring behind that.  However, this year they have been notably less active, short of a handful of local Boston shows.  However, as of this week, they’re back in action.  This Tuesday, June 19th, they released a digital EP (via their own Archenemy Record Company), “Doppelganger,” comprised of remixes and new versions of Imaginary Friends tracks. To celebrate, they’re hitting the road, for a three-date mini-tour this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including a Saturday, June 23rd, appearance at Kung Fu Necktie.

Although Freezepop still seem relatively fresh to the scene, they’ve actually been at it since 1999 and have around a dozen proper releases.  At the core of their sound is a Yamaha QY70 MIDI sequencer, which was initially their only tool for composing music and still remains possibly the band’s most important member.  The band could be considered literal Math Rock (Not like that King Crimson crap), taking things like information technology and mathematics as their most prominent themes.  Not surprisingly, the band, whose music is often linked to the sounds of Nintendo, has found a prominent niche fanbase in the world of video games.  They’ve contributed songs to quite a number of them, including Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, Frequency, and Amplitude.  Although their roots are in conceptually lo-technology and synthetic minimalism, in recent years they’ve beefed their sound up a bit to appeal to geeks and non-geeks alike.  They’re currently sounding more like a Post-New-Wave dance party and have caught on with a lot of synth-craving portions of the youth population… they’re quite big among Boston college students (I want so badly to make a Spinal Tap reference… but I won’t.)  And apparently they’re pioneers of sorts in what they brought to the Boston scene.  “When we started, there was kind of nothing electronic,” Liz tells me, “There’s a lot more electronics happening now.”

As far as what fans in Brooklyn, Rochester, and your very own Philthy can expect, Liz tells me “We’ve actually started to mix up our setlist a little bit.”  She tells me it’s nice not having to worry about promoting a recently released album and the band feels a little more freedom explore their back catalogue: “We’re like, ‘This is a weird, random, old song we haven’t played in forever.’” After this short string of shows the band plans to conclude their break.  “I’m kind of looking forward to doing some writing and working on some new material,” Liz tells me.  Until then, I would highly recommend checking out one of the coolest video projects I’ve come across in a while.  To accompany the release of the “Doppelanger” EP, the band created two different music videos for the single, one for the Badd-bagg remix (in which they look along the lines of Ratt, circa 1985) and one for the Goodnice remix (in which they look more-or-less like the Cleavers).  If you go here, you can watch the videos playing, simultaneously, and control which you’re currently watching but clicking the “nice,” and “douchey,” buttons, respectively…


Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.