Whoever told you creating a band was easy was lying to you. Just ask FREEZ.
Michele Bellinaso (guitar/vocals), Nicolò Bressan (drum/ vocals) and Stefano Bassan (guitar) started FREEZ as teens. Though it was much more work than they imagined, they’ve grown with their music. Now, having matured through life experiences like exploring their sexuality, dealing with heartbreak and appreciating their solitude, they’ve bloomed into the gritty and melodic surf garage you hear today.
Their debut full-length Always Friends finally came out earlier this month (Oct. 4) on Wild Honey Records. With catchy melodies paired with fuzzed-out riffs and relatable lyrics about loneliness and romance, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this album.
FREEZ’s release show is in Italy on Oct. 26, but they plan on working on an international tour as soon as they can. They’re constantly working on new music, but while we wait, listen to Always Friends below and read the entire interview with FREEZ.
BTRtoday (BTR): So you guys started FREEZ while you were all still pretty young. What was it like for you guys getting to where you are now?
Michele Bellinaso (MB): True. We sincerely feel lucky for the cities we’ve visited and the people we’ve met on tour during the last year and a half. Right now, let’s just say, we’re trying to do our best for the future—new record, new videos, new merchandise, blah blah blah. Damn, having a band, it’s not as easy as we imagined.
Nicolò Bressan (NB): When I started all this I never thought I’d see so many places, meet all these great people we’ve met—all this is hard work, but it pays off. We put a lot of effort into everything—doing as much as we can to spread what we like. We really hope you all like the new record and everything that comes with it.
BTR: Although you guys are from Italy, you chose to sing in English—why is that?
MB: It was a natural thing to me, I think It’s just because of the stuff we were listening when we met at school.
BTR: Would you ever consider translating any of your songs to Italian?
MB: I don’t think so. I found out that when I try to sing some Italian songs, and I know this sounds crazy, but I tend to pronounce words with a weird accent making it sound dumb.
BTR: Has FREEZ made your taste in music and personal sound evolve?
NB: Yes, actually. Meeting new people from different places and bands has led me to so many different sounds and genres. There are bands I personally caught a few years back that I only appreciate now. With FREEZ, we all have different tastes, so everyone helps others to grow and listen to new stuff.
MB: Stefano and Nicolò introduced me to the “music scene” that I’m currently listening to. So yeah FREEZ literally made any taste in music that I have.
BTR: Tell me about this upcoming debut LP Always Friends. Why did you name it that?
MB: I’m glad you asked, because there’s more than one meaning. I think it’s a sort of an oxymoron. Like, it’s a lie in a way. But it’s mainly because of the lyrics I wrote for this record. Lots of them are about friends or ex-girlfriends. It’s like saying, “hey, we’ll be friends forever, I love you,” but obviously that shit doesn’t work like that.
NB: Yes, Michele came up with the name some months before during our tour in Sardegna while we were chilling on the beach at sunset. I took my medium format camera and told Stefano to stand still in front of the seaside with his new guitar. And that’s what the album cover is now. Even though it’s called Always Friends there’s only one person in the frame. So, it has different meanings—one of those [meanings] is that even after everything, he’s still alone doing his own thing.
BTR: Did any challenges come up that were particularly memorable when working on this album?
NB: While we were at the studio, the owner of the place passed out while he was pissing—that was pretty shocking. We were chilling in the studio and Jancy [his wife] came to us like, “hey, I don’t why, but Andrea just passed out, I think you should go back to the apartment.” After recording I made a photo zine that summed up what happened during that week of work—it’s small and cute and we have like 25 copies that we’re going to sell at the next few gigs. It’s called Scandito. I don’t really know how to say it in English, “scandito” means like a crisp sound. I called it that because Michele was obsessed with that word during the recording, he was always saying, “make the snare more scandito” or stuff like that, all the time.
BTR: If this album has a catchphrase or motto what would it be?
MB: There’s a part in Always Friends that I really like, it goes, “So you got my nose/ broke all my gay thoughts/ so I can start to breathe again.” That came from one summer where I was constantly thinking if I was gay or not. I think it’s funny now, but I was actually really confused and afraid at the time. It’s fine now, I know what I like. But, yeah, most of Always Friends’ lyrics are based on paranoid thoughts of mine like that one, so the catchphrase would be something like that.
BTR: What else should we be keeping an eye out for in the future of FREEZ?
SB: Everything we do is really spontaneous, it happens just like that—maybe a tour, maybe America. I always think it will be a fun thing to experiment with the band and start playing cumbia or something. Plus, we’re always working on new stuff—Michele tries to write as many songs as he can. Stefano and I are a little busier with work and stuff, but every time we can we play together and try to bring to life whatever Michele writes down.