Power Player #29: Frostbyte
Power Player #29: Frostbyte
Frostbyte, with the release of his long-awaited album, Codex, will be headlining the release webshow, here on noisechannel on Wednesday the 25th, starting 7.00pm EST. He’ll be joined by Cheapshot, VCMG, Roboctopus, boaconstructor and Electric Children. We get the skinny on the release.
Help me out Frostbyte, I seem not to know a lot about you. Who are you and where are you from?
Well! I’m Frostbyte, silly Haha nah, I’m just a 17 year old dude from the US in the lonely suburbs of NY. I pretend like I’m from the city because I love it, but I have to un-willingly admit that I only go there often, I don’t live there. In all honesty I’m just an abstract guy that likes to make and share music
I used to be involved in some other internet “scenes” that were quite interesting in their time…I used to be one of the biggest programmers for PSP flash games and HTML portals. It was fun while it lasted! My name was “nothing” back in the day haha. I remember posting on the forum we used to frequent and people would regard me as a god haha. It was a fun experience. After a few of the other programmers left the scene, I wound up getting out of it too because the forum we were based on got hit by spam bots and 5 year old kids asking “how make psp game”, so I quit and left it to die. I used to run a site too, but that went in the crapper since it was on a free Russian host site xD
Other than that, I’m your go-to LSDJ electro guy!
So, how long have you been writing chiptunes? What was the appeal?
I started writing them like…2 years ago? I don’t remember, I’m terrible with time. But I’ve been working on Codex since the start. My first LSDJ song was supposed to go on there, then I realized it sucked, so I did something else with it haha. You don’t wanna hear it. The appeal was that I just loved listening to what people could do with their gameboys! My first artist that I really really enjoyed was Saskrotch. I heard his EP and was blown away. Tried to write some chipbreak, then realized it was a total failure hahaha. Then I found Electric Children! Totally didn’t believe he was only gameboys! So I neeeeeeeded to figure that out and make those sounds.
That’s actually my weakness haha, I find an artist that makes music I really wish to write and then I just wanna sound like them haha. It took a long time to get an “original” sound outta me, which is basically just EC and TreyFrey having a kid. Oh! TreyFrey. I met him on CM.o actually. Funny story. He posted a thread asking for someone to master his song, Apex, and I was a total noob then, had no idea who he was. So me, with my crappy limited production experience thought I was pro enough to do it, so I told him I would. He sent me the song and my mind exploded! I’ve never been so amazed with skills like that…So, that was that. I can blame most of my sound design on him.
What are your internet stomping grounds for chiptune?
Well, I’m frequently unfortunately on chipmusic.org. The site is nice! Love the design and usability of the site, but that’s about it honestly. The people there are generally elitist groupies. I dunno, I mean, not all of them. But there’s quite a few that hold music made by their friends on pedestals and won’t open up to anyone else and they’re just rude to people that don’t agree with them. I get that they’re old-school and are a tightly-knit community but seriously, just don’t be rude about it. I don’t have to like your music. Other than that the website is a great resource.
I mainly chill on Facebook. You can find me there, my name’s Frostbyte Iamcloud (the second name is a non-chip sideproject) if you wanna talk I’m on quite frequently haha. I post lots of things there and I have The Vanguard’s Facebook page there too.
Other than that I come on Noichan every once in a while for my news and song updates, and sometimes I pop on ucollective
How do you prefer to get your tunes out?
Bandcamp! I post most of my albums on there, and sometimes songs on soundcloud.
Who would you say are your influences in the scene?
Influences? Totally Electric Children and TreyFrey. Recently a lot of Kedromelon, since we’ve been sharing songs and talking back and forth for a while Other than that I have a lot of influence from recent electro artists like Madeon, Zedd, (sorta) Skrillex, and Mord Fustang. But it’s hard to get those kind of sounds to come through in a gameboy since they do crazy sampling and stuff like that! Although I have perfected an LSDJ recreation of the Zedd bass. maybe I’ll post about that on The Vanguard
Have you a musical background?
Of course! My entire life has been music My father’s a composer and an arranger for drum corps and marching bands. I’ve been around them since before I was born. It’s always been a part of my life. I can’t really escape it either! haha, my dad gave me my first trumpet when I was about 5, I’ve been playing it since then, reading music and practicing forever. Although I’m really tired of the classical music and music theory stuff…I’m more concerned about the arts of it, and just getting into the music rather than making it a science and whatever. I realize that even if it’s just getting into it, it follows the rules of theory, but I don’t have to think about that, do I? Nah, I just make music.
Anyway, I plan to go to college for music, and I’m probably gonna wind up teaching it to high school students. It seems like the right course for my life, you know? I wanna share my philosophies with others.
How do you approach writing? When do you like to write the most?
I approach my writing in so many different ways! It’s a really hit or miss thing with me. I usually start making drums and other patches and whatever and trying to melodically string them together in a progression that sounds good to me. I pretty much always start with the drop because if I start with the intro, my drops are always weak as poop. I write a drop, and if it sounds full and good and makes me move around when I listen to it, it’s probably good. I found that the best indicator that I’ve written a good drop is when I catch myself running my fingers through my hair when I’m working on it haha. If I do that, it’s a keeper. Then I generally break it down to its minimal aspects of it and construct an intro and build up to it. Then I go for a little breakdown after it sans percussion to kinda build energy for the second drop haha. Which is usually a cut and paste and add variation to it. I like to write at night mostly…I can’t seem to write during the day. There’s nothing like waking up to hear a piece you don’t quite remember writing and being surprised by it haha.
Codex has been a working process for so long. Why deny the fans for such a big stretch of time? What was the holdup?
I needed to make it perfect! It’s my full length…Probably my only one that I’ll do at that. It’s my magnum opus. You know? I want people to be like “Oh have you heard of Frostbyte? Go listen to Codex”. It’s the starting point for people to listen to my material. I needed to make it perfecto
You’ve performed some shows without a cam. Secretive? Or do you just need to pick one up so far? Can we expect to see your face on the webstream this week?
Haha, well, sorta. I have to be secretive, parent’s aren’t big on me getting my real name and whatever out there, but I don’t really care haha. They’re starting to care less too. I didn’t use my webcam basically because I don’t have a webcam! I’m too lazy to pick one up. I’ll have one soon though, but don’t expect to see me this week haha. I’m on vacation, can’t really get one now! Oh well. Just imagine some gameboys.
Describe your perfect day.
I’d wake up to Call Me Maybe, sung by Carly Rae right in front of me instead of an alarm, and I’d go downstairs to get some breakfast from my chef, Gordon Ramsay. Then I’d work on some beats with Snoop and Kanye, and then grab some coffee with the guys (Mord Fustang, Skrillex, Madeon, Derek Jeter, Obama, Treyfrey, you know the rest). I’d come back home, produce some sick electro beats with Madeon and Zedd and go to sleep with a crown on in my bed of money next to my lovely girlfriend.