Modern Fix

d*frost – interview by mike bushman


D*Frost is the man. D*Frost is the band. One inspires the other until the end result is a soulful jam infused with elements of rock. Fronted by the man himself with the wicked keyboard workouts and lyrical flows that would shame many MC’s on the full rap attack. But this is very musical, held down by danceable rhythms and spiced up with DJ touches and guitar rock. It’s a tight blend of the good vibe party of Southern California, and clubbed up energy of a rock band that will move your ass. “Digital Dustbowl” is their latest exploration into the tricked out world of pop culture reflection and self-exploration through intoxication. Eclectic and blended well, a taste of the new school where genres are as blurry as their end of night bar tabs.

We shot the band for this cover of Modern Fix and bought many rolled tacos. They drank a bottle of Jack Daniels and killed a 12 pack during the photo shoot. One of them was smart enough to remember to pack one up to kill some time between photo set-ups. During the shoot, an Oi Punker walked by and called the band “N’Sync” and shouted various crusty punk type nonsense as he and his girl walked away. It was an interesting night at the SD convention center.

Sincere and driven, and usually buzzed. New friends for you all… D*Frost.

(Conversation outside Valentines Mexican restaurant. Market and 9th, San Diego)

Bushman: What fuels the D*Frost machine?
D*Frost: Alcohol, child oppression and rock n roll. Hedonism.

B: Where does the line blur from D*Frost the man, and D*Frost the band?
D*Frost: That’s a good question. D*Frost is the band, but god forbid, everyone would quit tomorrow, there would still be a D*Frost. Even though I know everyone is down as fuck. All our causes are the same. We will get there one way or another.
Christian: The unit would not be the same without fucking D. Everybody gels so well.
D*Frost: I’ve tried to start this up a couple of times. This lineup, I feel the most loyalty and commitment to the cause.
Christian : We all do a lot for each other.

What superhero needs to come save the world?
D*Frost: Green Lantern. ‘Cause its all about the rings man. You just point it and it does shit. You don’t even have to do anything.
Shen: The Punisher.
D*Frost: The Legion of Doom dude. Who were some favorites from that?
Shen: Solomon Grundy.

Bizzaro Superman
D*Frost: Mantis. I’m all about the evil superheroes. Even though I like that one wonder chick twin, she was hot. The female wonder twin.
Shen: ‘Jane’.
D*Frost: I know Christian was a big fan of the monkey.
Shen: “Gleek”
(many laughs)
D*Frost: Shen remembers the name!
Shen: I just remember “Gleek”, ‘cause like “Gleeking” in 6th grade (when you’d like sort of spit on the girl in front of you in class by pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth).

What does the world need to be saved from?
D*Frost: Itself. (And the D*Frost bar tab)

D*Frost the man is responsible for the lyrical flow. Are you the kind of guy with notebooks full of scribblings?
D*Frost: Yeah.

How do you filter out that mass of lyrics into something for a song?
D*Frost: Lots of “BC Bud”.

Which we all learned about on MSNBC.
D*Frost: My future involves moving there and starting grow houses. If I don’t find success in music, it will be all about grow houses.

How is the hard life of D*Frost reflected in the music, or does the music reflect a more fantasy based reflection of the world as D*Frost sees it?
D*Frost: On a serious tip, it started out as kind of Beck-esque fantasy lyrics. But as living situations have become more realistic, lyrics have become more about reality. Straight to the point and no sugar coated fucking around.

You pull a lot of pop culture references in your rhymes. Are you a pop culture junkie?
D*Frost: Definitely.

Overdose on Television?
D*Frost: From day one.

Spouting lines from movies as part of regular conversation?
D*Frost: Oh god. I can’t communicate normally. Every other thing is like movie reference.
Christian : It’s starting to happen more with the entire band.

What rock and roll album changed your life?
D*Frost: The first Doors album.
Shen: Metallica, “Master of Puppets”
TJ: Ozzy Osbourne, “Blizzard of Oz”
JFeather: Iron Maiden. Every album. Number of the beast. 666.
Christian : Nirvana, “Nevermind”

Do you perform better on drugs or off drugs?
Feather: Yes.
TJ: It feels better on drugs, but whether we play better on drugs, that’s a different story.

What about writing under the influences?
D*Frost: No, I write more sober. It’s a fine line. It’s a double edge sword. Spending so many years pretty much in obscurity and still finding a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a fine line between love and hate.

What’s the best thing to happen to you from being involved in D*Frost?
D*Frost: People that are committed to the goal. Loyal, dedicated and talented.
Christian : Having these guys and sharing the experiences with them.
D*Frost: It molds you.
Christian : There is nothing like playing a show, or writing music, or going into the studio. Those experiences cannot be found in any other medium in any other fashion. And to be able to share that with really good friends, it’s just something you can’t find in any other art form.
D*Frost: It’s so precious that little bit you get every time.
Christian : It’s so worth it.
JFeather: As Shen would say, “I’m about to fucking cry.”

House party or Venue?
All: House Party.

Venue or Del Mar Race Track?

(Laughs) – (inside joke, one of the bands firsts shows was a surreal gig at the horse race track).

Tell me a joke.
Shen: What’s the best thing about fucking a 10-year-old girl in the shower? Slicking her hair back and pretending she’s 8.

(ooooooooh ‘nasty’ sez everyone).

(In their best Jim Carey’s)

Shen: “I have exercised the Demons!”
D*Frost: “Can you feel that? Huh?!” Can you feel it?!”

Where the hell is this bands future?
D*Frost: Where’s that bottle of JD?

What about the compilation? “Free for All”
D*Frost: That’s put out by our bro’s Honeybucket’s label Safari Records. It features five of San Diego’s hottest bands. Mower, Mix Mob, Honeybucket, Saint Dog from Kottonmouth Kings and yours truly D*Frost.
Christian : And Soulcracker.
D*Frost: Oh yeah, they were a late addition.

Soul Cracker? From San Diego? Who are they? (joking – as the band is mutual friends of all and is just getting off their stint on the highly visible VH1’s “Bands on the Run” real-world “reality” fake out)
D*Frost: Actually they ’ve been really good to us.

What did you think about seeing your t-shirts on national TV?
D*Frost: Stoked.
Christian : Awesome.
D*Frost: Obscurity sucks.
JFeather . It’s my fault. I gave them the shirts.
D*Frost: But the plan for the summer is to press 7500 hundred copies of this compilation and they are all “Free For All”. We will be giving them away. We are already talking about a second pressing.

And injustices of the music industry you wish to expose?
D*Frost: Just the plastic sugar people. Any real musician already knows about.

What’s a reality that a non-musician might not see?
Shen: Believe it or not, somebody loads gear out of clubs at 2:30 in the morning.
TJ: You rarely get sleep.
D*Frost: You never get sleep and there is always more to load. You spend 5 minutes on stage, and 45 minutes loading gear.
Christian : You trade a lot of time in loading and rehearsals for time on stage.

‘Digital Dustbowl’ was released a few months back. Response?
Shen: Real good.
JFeather: We already did a re-pressing.
Shen: It felt good. People like it. We’re happy with it. Got great support from our label.
D*Frost: One Drop Entertainment – Crazy Mutherfunky Music. The OB Don.

How was the studio process for that album?
D*Frost: Started out smooth… and… how did it end up?


Christian : It took us a long time to get it out. Some road bumps along the way, but it was a learning process for us. We did it in San Diego, can’t imagine doing it anywhere else. We did all the tracks live in the studio. And did all the vocals in the little house up in the mountains.
D*Frost: The vocal process was one of the best fucking recording times I ever had.
Christian : And the single that got radio play, “Standing on the Edge of the Break of Dawn”. Tracy Brown was our producer. He was a great guy to have on board. He is Snoop Dogg’s engineer.
D*Frost: Because of Tracy, I got to smoke out with Snoop Dogg.

That’s a bragging right.
D*Frost: We were told he goes through an ounce a day. We got sponsored by Dean Markley guitar strings and there was an after party in LA. And we were all way high already, and Tracy rolls me up to Snoop’s house. There was a Fender Rhodes over in the corner, and I started rockin’ a little bit. Just playing my tingly shit. I don’t even see him behind me, but Snoop was checking me out over my shoulder. He comes up and taps me on the shoulder, and kind of cocks his head and says, “That shit gives me chills dog.” When you get called “Dog” by Snoop Dogg, for a white boy, that’s a pretty high compliment paid.

Always writing? Any touring?
D*Frost: July 13th we are playing the X-Fest. Sprung Monkey, Offspring. Del Mar Fair. There are going to be about 4 or 5 shows for the ‘Free For All’ compilation. The Canes show will be all ages so come on out y’all.

Who is the most notorious member of this unit? (Who is most likely to end up in jail tonight?)

(Laughs and all look at D*Frost)

D*Frost: Is there any question? Not by choice, but by destiny.

Does excess lead to insight?
D*Frost: Yes. As cliché as it sounds, fuck yes.

Is there a message in the music? Or is it more of a good time set to a rhythm?
D*Frost: At first glance, it’s a good time. At second glance, it’s like, “This guy has come through a bunch of shit. From thrown in treatment when he was 17 to kicked out of the Army when he was 20 to redeeming himself through rock n roll.” There is a message, and it’s both middle fingers stuck up straight at the world, but if you want to listen, then you are down with me. It’s not militant, but there is no compromise.

Who is a Saint?
D*Frost: Harvey Keitel.
TJ: Randy Rhodes.
Shen: Ozzy.

Who is a Sinner?
Shen: Anyone who power trips.
JFeather: The landlord dude at our old practice spot. That guy was an asshole.
D*Frost: Tweakers.
D*Frost: But at the same time, we all are sinners. I know I am.

What is the coolest?
Shen: Catching Marlin off shore.
JFeather: Burritos.
TJ: Riding Barrels. (Surfing)
D*Frost: Gunning your motorcycle through traffic during rush hour.

What is the lamest?
D*Frost: Getting hit by a car when they open their door when you are speeding through traffic.
TJ: Psycho ex-girlfriends.
D*Frost: The morning after without Advil.
JFeather: I hate it when people come up to me when I am spinning and they ask me to play something they can dance to. I still don’t know what that means. Of course TJ does that to me all the time. While he’s drinking my tab.
D*Frost: See, he thinks it’s his tab.
JFeather: Well, use is 95% of ownership.

Messages to the masses?
D*Frost: Drink on the beach, fuck the band, break stuff on stage.
Christian : Support all those that are trying to make an artistic expression.
TJ: Do you own thing and fuck what everyone else thinks.