BAND: The Frozen Ocean | INTERVIEWER: Brian Morrissette | DATE: November 30th, 2010
(Brian) Hello, with whom do I have the honor of talking?
(Dave) My name is Dave Swanson; I'm the primary member and songwriter for the Frozen Ocean.
(Brian)So you pretty much play everything, right?
(Dave) On the recordings I play everything but drums. I'm very lucky to have several good friends who are also fantastic drummers.
(Brian)How did The Frozen Ocean get its start?
(Dave) I was on the road with my old band and started writing more ambient, experimental music to pass the time between shows. Ten-hour van rides can make you very introspective. I had no intention of actually forming a band, but when I came home after I was done touring, it just grew naturally from what I had started. I wrote more songs and eventually had enough material for a full-length, which became S/T.
(Brian)What is it like being on a label like Come&Live!?
(Dave) It's been a really great experience so far. I've known Chad for a number of years and have always admired his integrity and passion. I jumped at the chance to work with him again.
(Brian) Where did you come up with the name The Frozen Ocean?
(Dave) There are two stories I've told about the name that are both half true, so hopefully together they will make a complete explanation.
I had a dream about my wife before we got married where she and I were both asleep on a literal frozen ocean. It was kind of like the scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the two main characters are laying down on the frozen lake at night, looking up at the sky. I woke up and thought the words "frozen ocean" sounded cool and kind of epic, so I kept it in the back of my mind. The other story is that a great friend of mine named Jon played one of his songs for me, and one of the lines in the song was "walking beside the frozen ocean." I only heard the song once, and it was months before the name was attached to the band, but I think it always stayed in my subconscious.
(Brian)How would you describe the type of music you play?
(Dave) I would describe it as melodic, diverse and layered. The songs I write are diverse intentionally because I love a lot of different genres of music. I take a painfully long time to write songs because I never want to force inspiration, and since I'm the sole writer, I have to provide all the ideas rather than four or five different people.
(Brian) Your newest album is called In Exile; what does that name mean to you?
(Dave) The name comes from the story in the book of Genesis where Adam and Eve were cast out from the Garden of Eden. The Bible describes Eden as a place of perfect union with God, where sin and death had no presence. Ever since then humanity has been living with the repercussions of that event (sickness, toil, pain, death). So the songs on the EP deal mainly with the longing that we all have to be a part of something greater than ourselves to know that our lives have meaning and some kind of eternal purpose.
(Brian)How does the music differ on In Exile compared to your S/T debut record?
(Dave) The songs on S/T are more ideas to me than completed songs. They were written over almost a three-year period and document not only my first foray into solo songwriting but also engineering. So there is a lot of experimentation on that album. The songs on In Exile were written much more intentionally and with greater focus and knowledge of what I was doing. Each recording has been a huge learning process for me, and I look forward to the challenge each and every time.
(Brian)Are you playing any more shows this year?
(Dave) Probably not. I hope to play some shows starting in January and maybe hit a few festivals over the summer.
(Brian)Is there anything else you would like to say?
(Dave) Thanks so much for this opportunity and for everyone who took time to read the interview.
The songs on In Exile were written much more intentionally and with greater focus and knowledge of what I was doing. - Dave Swanson