© Danny Muro
Interviewed by Robert Cavuoto (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Jack Frost of Seven Witches – Rock n’ roll is an escape from life!
American metal stalwarts Seven Witches are set to release their ninth studio album, Rebirth on July 16th. It’s a return to basics for the band highlighting guitarist, Jack Frost’s signature axe work.
Jack Frost first broke into the scene at the age of 19 during an audition with the metal legends Helix. After moving back to his home state of New Jersey, he formed his first band, Frostbite, in 1994 and eventually released three well-regarded power metal albums and toured with Overkill and Fates Warning. Seeking a harder-edged sound, he formed Seven Witches in 1998. Seven Witches has featured a literal who’s who of metal giants in its ranks, including Bobby Lucas, Wade Black (Crimson Glory), Alan Tecchio (Hades, Non-Fiction, Watchtower), James Rivera (Helstar), Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning), Kevin Bolembach (Non-Fiction) and Mike LePond (Symphony X).
I had the chance to chat with fellow New Jersey guy, Jack Frost, about his new release and the history of Jersey Metal!
Myglobalmind: Congrats on your 9th CD, Rebirth. Can you tell me how you feel this CD may differ or be similar to your previous CDs?
Jack Frost: Well, thank you so much. It really differs a lot. As with the title, Rebirth, while it’s a new CD it’s also like going back to a time when I dreamed of playing and making music. We are almost a new group. It’s like Seven Witches with a new heart metal.
Myglobalmind: How does this CD rate for you personally and which CDs are your top three Seven Witches CDs?
Jack Frost: This album rates very high because it encompasses all I’ve learned – good and bad, all of my mistakes and the glamour I dreamt of since day one.
Top 3 Seven Witches CDs? Well, Rebirth is my favorite. I know people always say that but it is where I am today and beyond. I put it on and say “wow, this is my blood!” Number 2 is Passage because it was a hard time in my life. I lost my brother of 53 to cancer two days before this CD was being recorded. I felt him there as I was holding it together to make it. It was the CD that fans have always thanked me for because it wasn’t just about the songs; it was about the meaning behind them. Third would be Second War because it was the start of my real career. I knew nothing and we went to Germany and made this in 3 week, it was like a racing car. I got a record deal and had 2 months to write then record. It’s a time I’ll always respect.
Myglobalmind: The band walks a fine line between metal and power metal, what’s your take on that?
Jack Frost: I think we have elements of metal and power metal but have also touch of ‘80 s hair metal because of the big hooks. I’m a Journey freak and love songs that have a hook that ropes you in. I just think we have a Witches sound and we can fit in anywhere.
Myglobalmind: How do you want the band to be categorized?
Jack Frost: A blue collar band that works hard. A lot of sweat and tears. We want to be fun not pissed. We want people to listen to the CD and see us live and leave with the feeling that they had fun and not wanna go kill someone but to smile and say “fuck yeah, that was a good time”. Rock n’ roll is an escape from life, so come on out and let’s hang.
Myglobalmind: I understand you produced the CD, what made you put on the producer hat?
Jack Frost: I’ve actually been producing for 10 plus years. I produce a lot if other bands, too. As a producer you have to step back and not be the songwriter. You have to ask what does this song need? As a guitar player, you would think guitars have to be up, but if you’re a real producer you have to make it sound like a unit. So guitars are always last. I want those drums to kill and I wanna feel the bass and to get the best out of the singer. When you produce yourself I think you are even harder on yourself because it’s your soul.
Myglobalmind: Tell me what gear you used on the CD?
Jack Frost: I used all Wizard amps and BC Rich and Music Man guitars to get my sound, which I feel is the best I’ve got on tape. We used HD pro tools and real drums for the first time in 10 years.
Myglobalmind: Without rock radio stations and video channels how important are social media sites to Seven Witches?
© Danny Muro
Jack Frost: They are so important because MTV is dead and opportunities at radio for a metal band are small. With social media you can reach a lot of people all over. It doesn’t matter if the outlet is small or big. If a website gets you one more fan it’s a victory.
Myglobalmind: What is the band’s tour plans?
Jack Frost: We will be touring mid-September through mid-October in the United States with Vicious Rumors for a killer metal tour then in November we are planning a European attack.
Myglobalmind: Are there any songs from the new CD that you look forward to playing live?
Jack Frost: “Claustrophobic (No Way Out)” because it’s fun to play and I love our new video. Also “Man In The Mirror” because it has a lot of crazy guitar riffs. It will be a lot of work for me to make this song live sound just like it does on the CD!
Myglobalmind: In your opinion, what person, band, place or thing best sums up the NJ/NYC metal scene—past and/or present?
Jack Frost: New York and New Jersey are really the metal capitols because even Metallica hung here in their early years with Anthrax and played all over. L’Amours was so important to the scene. I look back and I’m so glad to have been there, when hair metal ruled the scene not Los Angeles and Bon Jovi was mayor!
Myglobalmind: When you look back on your career from the early days, what the most important thing you have learned?
Jack Frost: Be grateful for where you came from and never ever be a dick to your fans. I love music and going to shows and being dissed by a band is sad. Fans are what it’s about not money or fame.