North Dakota is not known for their metal scene but there is a group that is trying to change that perception. Frosthelm have one EP and one full length release under their belt and tour dates booked it seems like they may just start to accomplish this. Forsthelm‘s bassist, Jimmy Cherry, takes some time out of his day to talk with ThisIsNotAScene
Thank you for taking time to let us get to know Frosthelm. It is much appreciated. Tell us a bit about Frosthelm, and where did the name come from?
Frosthelm started in 2009. The way the name worked out is kind of a funny story. We wrote down a bunch of names, names that we thought would be alright, rolled the 12-sided die and eliminated names until that was the name left. The funny part of it is, it was the name we all hated the most, but got stuck with. So we stuck by the dice, and let fate decide it, and now it’s grown on us.
How does it feel to finally get your first full-length album , “The Endless Winter,” recorded and released?
It feels great, definitely a lot of work. We had multiple setbacks. We tried recording the album, and weren’t really happy with the results, so we scrapped everything and rewrote the album. We had some health issues with some guys, so it was definitely a very long process. I’m extremely happy it’s done.
So from your EP, ”The Northwinds Rend Flesh,” to the album, how long did that take?
The EP came out in November 2012, so about three years. We really didn’t take the whole band thing seriously until the EP came out, and that’s when we decided to knock off the bullshit, and really push this thing and see where we can take it.
Does the band have a main songwriter or is it a group effort?
It’s mostly our guitar player, Dakota Irwin. He writes about 95% percent of the stuff, but I get to sneak in riffs here and there. He’ll bring demos to us at practice, and then we’ll go over it, and give him our input. He’ll take it back, screw with it, bring it back, and we’ll iron it out until it’s good to go.
How does the music affect the lyrics and vice versa?
We’ll do two different techniques. Sometimes we’ll write the lyrics, and give them to Dakota, and he’ll write based on the feeling of those lyrics. Or a lot of the times, the riffs and the songs are already there, and he’ll have a tittle and an overall feel or theme for the song. All of us tend to write lyrics.
The artwork for the album really caught my eye. In my mind’s eye I imagine frost giants everywhere in North Dakota. Over here in Michigan it was cold this winter, but North Dakota is on a different level. Who did the artwork?
That was Raymond Swanland. I know he does some work for Magic: The Gathering, the most recent Suffocation album, he did Deeds of Flesh and he does a lot of fantasy/science fiction covers.
Who inspired you to pick up a bass guitar?
To be honest, I really hate the bass. I guess I should say I’ve grown to love it. I picked it up out of necessity. Well, obviously Dakota, our guitar player, was a hell of a lot better than me, so I switched over to bass to keep the flow of things going. I enjoy it. It’s fun.
I love it when I can hear the bass on an album. So many albums it seems like the bass is buried. I can definitely hear you on “The Endless Winter.”
We definitely try to make it a conscious effort to make sure the bass is heard on the record. Matt Hyde did a good job of bringing that out in the mix. I’m pretty happy with the way the bass comes out.
What or who inspired you to play thrash metal?
A lot of the old Metallica stuff, Slayer, Impaled Nazarene, they have that that thrashy black metal sound. Musically, one of our biggest influences would be Dissection.
What was your first concert and your favorite concert when you were younger?
My first concert I attended was Santana. I was about 10 years old, and it was a blast. I definitely got a contact high for the first time ever in my life at that concert. Favorite concert, it was more of a recent concert, I caught Morbid Angel on their 20th anniversary of the Covenant tour, where they played the whole album. Those guys were so tight. It was definitely inspiring seeing those guys how tight they played.
What is your dream gig if you could tour with two or three other bands (current or historical)?
Dissection, Immolation and we’ll put Slayer in there.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
I don’t have too many hobbies outside of music. I do recordings. I picked up an electronic drum kit just to fool around with. Now future hobbies, I just thought of this today, I want to become a falconer. Take up falconry. Hunt wolves with birds. Nothing’s more metal than that. I also like watching football. I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan. I did forget another hobby, I do shooting competitions. Long range with an old buffalo rifle 300 yards or longer. I do pretty well on that. I usually take first place at the places I’ve competed at.
Have you had a chance to play any of the songs off of “The Endless Winter” live yet, and do you have an upcoming tour?
In various forms, yes. Before the album was even out, we’ve been playing different versions of these songs. We write the new songs, take them out to a gig and use our gigs to measure where were at on the tracks. We play the songs, but it’s different versions and definitely not what you’ll hear on the CD. Some people might recognize maybe some riffs here and there. We won’t be playing this album until the middle of April. We’re playing a gig in North Dakota, and then planning to hit the road in May for a tour.
Again, thank you so much for taking time to this interview. In closing do you have any parting comments for the Frosthelm fans out there, and where on social media can we find you?
Check us out on Facebook. We will have Frosthelm.com up in the future. I’d just like to tell people to check out our album, come catch us on the road. We’ll have tons of cool merch. Hoodies, T-shirts, etc. Come out and hang out with us and party and maybe drink some beers with us.