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Jack Frost – Guitars for Seven Witches

Date: 6/29/11
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. While the new Seven Witches album, "Call Upon The Wicked", has all the elements the band is known for there are a few new ideas going on in the arrangements. Tell us about them.

JACK: I think what it was it took us a long time to make this record, we went back to basics because we got some harsh comments over the last few years and couple records that we were more modern, more American, and that really wasn’t the idea. When I write I just sit down and write, and when I started working on this album I went back to where I started with the band, and with James (Rivera – vocals) back I wanted to get back to our more classic sound. And with this album we had years to make it, before we were always on a schedule doing record then a tour. So with this album I wanted to make something that took some of the elements of old and mix them with new ideas. With this record I went back and re wrote stuff and had a chance to live with the songs, even right up to the last minute and mixing. That’s a big change in what we did. The music is a little more epic, not progressive because that’s not Witches, we’re a blue collar metal band (like Blitz from Overkill calls us). I think I wanted to capture more of a Maiden vibe, where you think part of a song is gonna drive out and then we throw in a cool riff or something. Like what we were doing with "Passage To The Other Side" but to the next level.

2. On ‘End Of Days’, aside from opening with the acoustic guitars there are some female vocals. Were you a little apprehensive since that’s been done so much in recent years?

JACK: Nah, you know what, everyone else in the band fought me on it tooth and nail (no Dokken pun intended – haha), bottom line is I like female singers and unfortunately I’ve never had the chance to make a record with one. I always wanted to try it and I’m so happy I did because everyone is really diggin it. As I’m told sometimes I’m a dick to work with it seems this time it worked out for the best. And we only did it on one song to make it something special.

3. The booklet artwork is rather dark and a bit grotesque. Is there a concept or theme to the album?

JACK: The whole concept is how guys think with the wrong head, haha, and if you look back in history to Helen of Troy, Adam and Eve, every demise of anything is because of a vagina. Look I don’t hate women, but most of the concept of this record is how they can wrap men around their fingers, we love pussy so much we’ll do anything for it. Look at Helen of Troy, a whole decline of an empire because of one female. (laughing) I may never get laid again after saying this… but men unfortunately get led, its like putting a Twinkie in front of a guy that likes sugar. You get so wrapped up into that girl and that’s what this record’s about, how Lilith would steal souls in the middle of the night. Sorry if I sound like a douche, haha, but that’s what this album’s about.

4. So why the title "Call Upon The Wicked"?

JACK: Because women are wicked, and men call upon them. Think about it…when we are horny we go out and get some, there’s something about the scent of a woman. I’m gonna get shot, hahaha. Look, I don’t want to go to jail and toss salads for the rest of my life so I said let’s make a record and I could say what I feel, hahaha.

5. Why did you cover ‘White Room’?

JACK: That was James idea. He wanted to do something special and everyone had something to say on this album, this is a four piece, no sorry.. five piece because Joey Vera (bass for Armored Saint) is and always will be a member of Seven Witches.

6. Mike LePond (bass- Symphony X) gets songwriting credit on five songs, correct?

JACK: Yeah, he wrote two musically and wrote a lot of lyrics. He’s a great songwriter and I don’t think he gets to show that off in the other bands he plays in. Mike’s way is very mythical and I was so glad when he came to the table. I’m an ok lyricist, I’m a good hook guy but not too good with words.

7. Did Taz (drums) get involved in any of the writing?

JACK: He was there for a lot of the stuff, some harmonies, he was a part of it from morning noon and night. I think for a drummer they don’t get involved all that much but he was around for everything. More than any other drummer in this band has done before.

8. Is "Call Upon The Wicked" coming out in America on Massacre Records also?

JACK: Massacre in Europe and in America its e1/Frost Byte Music. Funny thing is Frost Byte Music has nothing to do with me, its spelled differently, the guy Dominic who use to run e1 music in New York, started this label.

9. Any touring plans?

JACK: Yeah we are looking at stuff as soon as possible. We are trying to find the right window and tour since Helstar and Symphony X are also goin on tour. We’ve toured before with Symphony X in the past but that’s a lot for LePond, or James to do, play two sets a night. We want the record to get out there a little bit too.

10. Working on another solo album?

JACK: I will be, right now I’m in the midst of working with a young female artists, its like Alanis Morissette meets Stevie Nicks but I can’t say anymore than that. I have a lot written for my solo record.

11. Thoughts on your time with Savatage?

JACK: The greatest times of my life, the fans, the time working with Chris Caffery, him working before me with Criss Oliva, I got so much input from Caffery that it made me such a better player today. Working with Jon Oliva. And I would love to work with those guys again. We toured for two years without a break and it was so memorable. I have a special place in my heart for that band and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

12. Do you think the band could, and should, still be active today regardless of the Trans Siberian Orchestras success?

JACK: You know what dude, TSO is such an epic production with Jon Oliva, Johnny (Lee Middleton – bass), Chris (Caffery – guitar), Jeff (Plate – drums), Al (Pitrelli – guitar), they are so busy with that, to take away from that machine right now is probably impossible. Do I think it would be great if Savatage could still tour – sure, I mean the fans love that music, and I think its really cool that TSO are doing a few Savatage tunes in their set. But its nothing like having the mountain king (Jon Oliva) in front of the stage singing, he’s a legend. The fans deserve to see those guys together again as Savatage, with or without me. I’ve spent many amazing nights with Jon Oliva and those guys, he’s a brother no matter what negativity went down in the past I still love those guys.

13. If you could assemble your dream band, they could be alive or dead, who would you include?

JACK: Could I be in the band? I mean I really don’t deserve to play with these guys but yeah forget that…drummer…Cozy Powell. Vocals – Tony Martin or Ray Gillen. Guitarist...Neal Schon and John Sykes. I would have said Doug Aldrich too. On bass…Neil Murray. So basically I want to join Black Sabbath without Tony Iommi, hahaha, the greatest Sabbath records of all times are the ones with Tony Martin. I know people are gonna be like "what an asshole", but those records…"Eternal idol", "Headless Cross", "TYR" are great.

14. What new metal music are you listening to?

JACK: You know I use to a lot in the past, I like the new Disturbed, but lately I’ve been listening to new music from old bands like Whitesnake and Journey. O, I really like Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle and their new album, its like Rainbow meets Whitesnake. I really like that band, and those guys…Alex, Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner), I would love to do some shows with them here in America.

15. What kind of guitars are you using?

JACK: They are Mc Naguhts, some Tom Andersons, old Jacksons and BC Richs.

Official website: http://www.myspace.com/jackfrostsevenwitches


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