There’s little surprise that metal has a home in North Dakota. The harsh winters leave little option other than to hibernate, or if you are Frosthelm, incubate a blackened thrash sound and unleash it on the masses.
Last year marked a formidable step in the young band’s evolution with the release of their debut long-player, The Endless Winter. On the heels of a couple of acclaimed self-produced, self-released offerings, it elevated the band, and continued to capture the attention of listeners across the country. And rightfully so (read our review here). The album was recorded in Los Angeles, California, at Clear Lake Recording Studios with Eric Milos and Alec Schneider handling production and engineering. Mixing and mastering were in the hands of none other than Matt Hyde, who has worked with Slayer and Skeletonwitch, among others.
Frosthelm’s legacy will get a big push this week, when they kick off the Moonlover 2016 east coast tour with Ghost Bath and Numenorean. Jason Zins, our contributor and fellow North Dakotan, caught up with bassist Jimmy Cherry to discuss The Endless Winter, touring, and new music that is in the works.
It’s been a little over a year since the release of your debut full length album, The Endless Winter. How was it received over the past year?
The album has been received extremely well! The album has definitely exceeded what our expectations were for the record at the time. We ended up on several top 2016 album lists from some of the most respected music sites on the web, such as yourselves, Metal Sucks and others. So it has definitely been an honor to be mentioned in some top lists so far in our career. We also received a lot of Internet radio support and just overall positive support from everyone.
Any plans to enter the studio soon for a follow-up?
We have some demo material in the works for seven or eight tracks so far. Right now the task is to get around 20 tracks put together for future releases, like a full-length and maybe some splits or something. I just heard some tracks for the first time a few weeks ago, and I have to say Dakota (Irwin) has really stepped up his songwriting this go around. He’s a fucking satanic riff lord! Lots of filthy, evil, and catchy shit going on for sure. So we’ll most likely enter the studio beginning of next year if all goes as planned, which usually never does … haha.
You guys have an awesome tour coming up soon-tell me about it!
Yes we do! September 8th we kick off a tour supporting Ghost Bath and Numenorean on the MoonLover 2016 east coast tour, with a few dates in Canada as well. I’m still pretty floored that this opportunity has been presented to us, and am grateful we’ve been invited by Ghost Bath to help lay waste to the east coast and our northern neighbor Canada.
It’s awesome of Ghost Bath, who actually hail from the same hometown as you, to take you guys on tour with them. Have you worked together in the past?
Their vocalist was my neighbor in Minot for several years, so we’ve known each other for quite some time now. There was actually a point in time where he was gonna join Frosthelm as a second guitar player, but I think he was already fully immersed in what he’s doing now that nothing came of it, so that’s about as close as we’ve come to working together musically.
I’ve heard rumblings of some new material lately, any plans to play anything new on the tour?
No, not right now. All the new stuff is pretty much a work in progress.
You guys have such a unique sound. This must come from an eclectic blend of influences. Do all the guys in the band listen to different genres? If so, what’s on the current playlists for everyone?
Thanks! We like to utilize a wide range of influences, indeed. Our sound is influenced by anything from Dissection to Scorpions or Metallica to Immolation. My current playlist consists of some Denouncement Pyre, Beastcraft, Manowar, Inculter, and Sturgill Simpson, just to name a few of what I’ve been listening to a lot of lately.
I know it’s hard for a young metal band to “make it” this day and age, but coming from the state of North Dakota must present its own series of challenges. How are you overcoming these hurdles?
Just to get out and tour requires some extra travel. I think it’s around a six to seven hour drive to the nearest big city, so getting attention outside the state has proven to be a little difficult, but we aren’t complaining. We’ll take those and any other challenges and burn them to the fucking ground, because that’s what we do and how we’ve done it the whole way through. We take a lot of pride in being from North Dakota and overcoming extra shit only makes us stronger.
How is the scene in North Dakota right now, in your opinion?
I think the scene in North Dakota is always changing and evolving, for better at times and worse at most … haha.
I appreciate your time-any closing thoughts today? Plans for world domination for Frosthelm?
Just want to say thank you for everything man. It’s always a pleasure speaking with you. World domination? Yes! For The Endless Winter is upon us!
Buy The Endless Winter here, and catch Frosthelm on tour with Ghost Bath and Numenorean starting September 8 at Beat Kitchen in Chicago, Illinois. For tour dates and more, visit the official Frosthelm website here!