– Hello, thanks for taking your time, how are you holding up during this pandemic, almost dystopian times? How’s everything going with the release of the new album?
I’m alright. I’ve been trying to keep busy with recording a lot of music. Not only for Ice War, but many other bands and projects. Boredom is a silent killer, so I try to keep occupied!
– ICE WAR was born after the dissolution of IRON DOGS. Why switch to the one-man army form?
The drummer was not interested in continuing so I thought I would just go solo. I can work at my own pace and be really productive that way.
– Anyway you are involved in several projects of different styles. For example last year you released the debut EP by EXPUNGED and the debut album by DEXEZON, as well as APHRODITE’s. What does ICE WAR provide you that your other projects don’t?
Yeah like I was saying I have many more projects on the go! I’ve got so many creative ideas and I don’t want to see them go to waste. I feel like the reaper is hovering above my shoulder waiting to take me away so I have to be as productive as possible. You know’ live life to the fullest! Leave my mark.
– You’re also very active with ICE WAR. And I’m specially curious about the “Canadian Classics” tape that you put out last year. What was the purpose behind that? Do you think you managed to draw some attention toward some of the more obscure Canadian bands?
I’m first and foremost a music fan. I’m not much of a musician as you can tell, lol. I play music that I would like to listen to. Covers are fun and a challenge. They teach me how to play because I never practice my instruments. Canada has so many classics that we all know and love but there’s some forgotten gems in there too that need attention!
– Before starting to dwell into your new record, what does the name of the band mean? Literally and not.
It’s cold up here most of the year. It’s a war with the elements. Man versus snow, ice and cold. I look out the window and I see cold darkness. The band is very North American themed.
– “Defender, Destroyer” is ICE WAR’s third album, which came out with Fighter Records. How did you end up with a small Spanish label?
I’m glad that you called it the third album because many have been refering to it as the fourth album since they count the «Canadian Classics» tape which was just a compilation really. I had worked with Fighter Records last year with the first Aphrodite album and they were really nice and professional and really promote their releases. They where interested in Ice War as well. I play in many projects and let me tell you that finding a label is the hardest part. I usually get rejected. I’m sitting on mountains of unreleased material!
– Here there’s less NWOBHM and more Speed, keeping what I could call a Punk approach, and it also has that unpolished ferocity, which on this faster album manages to shine through a little bit more. Were you listening to some specific bands/albums while writing this album?
I probably wasn’t listening to anything specific but it seems as I get older, I listen to faster, heavier music. More speed and black and death metal. Usually people go through opposite phases in their lives it seems.
– Vocally is also more aggressive. Did you approach your vocals differently?
Yes, they’re more shouted at the top of my lungs in the Motörhead style.
– So is this like a new phase for ICE WAR or do you just let things flow naturally? I guess a second album may be like a moment to further solidify your own sound, while the third is a good time to broaden that own sound and avoid self-repitition.
I didn’t want to make the same album again. I had actually recorded the album and scrapped the songs and rerecorded the album way faster!
– Lyrics wouldn’t feel out of place in a Punk band either. What are some of the themes on “Defender, Destroyer”? Where do you take inspiration from to write your lyrics?
“Defender, Destroyer», is about smashing through barriers that other put in front of you. It’s about overcoming obstacles and not caring what other people think.
– A recurring theme in your music is indigenous resistance. Do you think this is one of the most important struggles right now in our current times? Are we misinformed here or are we just turning a blind eye to said struggles?
It’s definitely a combination of being misinformed and turning a blind eye to it. Since birth, we have colonialist history shoved down our throats. In Canada people like to pat themselves on the back thinking they are so progressive yet we have systemic genocide and assimilation of indigenous peoples still going on.
– This gives to your music an underlying anti-repression message. How do you think this kind of ideas fit in the current Metal scene?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of macho posturing in metal and even ridiculous neo-nazi extremism . If we lived in a totalitarian regime like they wished we did let me tell you that metal music and freedom of artistic expression would be the first to be outlawed.
– What’s the link between the cover artwork and the album/title?
While the lyrics are rooted in reality, I like having some dark fantasy cover in the style of Vallejo or Frazetta. It represents the lone warrior ready to die for freedom.
– Your sound is varied yet always drawing from the 80’s. i think we all are already aware that Metal tends to be a quite nostalgic «community». When Simon Reynolds researched on the cult of retro on «Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past» he wondered if: “Is nostalgia stopping our culture’s ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward and so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?”. Applied to the Metal world, what’s your opinion? Do we use to look back because we feel there’s something missing on most of today’s music?
Personally, I just genuinely love the music of the 80’s. I think that recording techniques and technology hit their apex in those years so that’s why it produced some of the best music. Many bands can pay homage to the classics and put their own twist on it and its great. That being said , there’s always place for innovation.
– Before wrapping the interview up; how could you describe “Defender, Destroyer” in just 3 words?
Fast, loud, sexy
– And what are now your near-future plans? Will we ever see a live incarnation of ICE WAR?
I don’t think Ice War will play live. I would need a reliable backing band for this.
– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks to all of those who support Ice War by reppin’ the merch or buying music!