Interview with Brothers In Arms Founder Jack Frost (Savatage, Seven Witches, Lizzy Borden)

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Jack! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

Jack Frost: Hey man, how are you? I’m very happy to be talking to you about this awesome record, and having the chance to tell people about it, so thank you as well for taking the time to speak with me today.

CV: Is Brothers in Arms your direct response to the "Rock is dead" sentiment that many critics and fans now claim is the current state of music?
JF: That’s a pretty easy answer LOL...100% yes! I was just so over hearing in the media, and from other musicians and fans that ‘rock is dead’ or that ‘rock can never be what it used to be,’ & things like that. It really bothered me & it got to the point where it was really starting to wear on me and my own outlook on music. Like it was getting into my head space, and I felt as if it was actually interfering with my creativity and writing processes. So I took a step back and decided that I had to snap out of this, and became set on figuring out how I could make a difference.  I needed to do something to show not only the critics and fans, but also myself, that quality rock music could still be made, and that it never had to die...rock is in the heart and soul, and as long as we love it, we can still play and produce it.  And from this place, came Brothers in Arms, and all the great guys who joined with me to make it a reality. I’m very proud of it, and I feel that it turned out even better than I had imagined. Bottom line I guess is that Brothers was born to scream “ROCK IS BACK!” in the faces of those who think that ‘rock is dead’….

CV: Can it be that Rock has just evolved, thus, its definition and depiction in modern times just differs greatly from what it was back in the day? Could such perspectives actually be the culprit causing the debate over whether Rock is dead or not…maybe just a generational misunderstanding?
JF: That could be part of it, sure. First, let me clarify that rock itself isn’t dead, and it’s never gone away, but like you said, it has definitely evolved & changed a lot over the years. And there’s nothing wrong with that, cuz modern rock certainly has its place and its share of great bands out there right now. But on the other hand, this music is also the culprit causing the ‘rock is dead’ attitude, cuz it has all but squeezed out the classic sound of that back in the day rock we lived and experienced in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. Today we have so many genres & categories of rock music, but when people say ‘rock is dead’ it’s really meant to reference the era when it was all rock concerts and venues, band posters and epic guitar solos, long hairs and even groupies LOL. But true rock is underground & rebellious; it always was and always will be.  It will be around ‘til the end of time, kinda like cockroaches & twinkies LOL…you can’t kill something that’s just not gonna die, or at least go down without the fight of its life.

CV: What's it like working with a pool of incredibly talented artists? Is the sky the limit in terms of writing and where the creativity can go?
JF: There’s no words to express what it was like working with this extraordinary group of guys...they are not just professionals and extremely talented, but I consider them to be like true brothers. I can’t say enough good things about them all.  I think of myself as very lucky to know & to work with such stellar musicians. I’m just one cog in the wheel of the Brothers machine, so without the rest of them, it would never have been what it is. They all brought SO much to the table here, and each of their approaches added something special & unique to the songs on the album. If I didn’t know it or think it beforehand, then I know now that yes, the sky’s the limit & beyond regarding where the writing, creativity, and playing can go. I’m very excited to see both this record and the band itself take off, and to see where it goes....

CV: Jack, do you consider Brothers in Arms a super group of sorts considering the host of names associated with the project?
JF: To me, the artists I reached out to and played with on this record are the cream of the crop in my eyes.... Not only are they established and great musicians, but I’ve also been a fan of them & their bodies of work for years.  They all made names for themselves, and I’m honored to call them my friends as well as band mates.

CV: Do you see more records coming from the group in the future? And if so, would the line up remain the same or do you see Brothers in Arms more as a revolving door of extraordinary artists and musicians?
JF: I see the future being very bright for Brothers in Arms and I honestly love the cast of characters involved with the band so far. I’ve had the best time working with them, and yes, I definitely plan on working with most, if not all, of them again on other Brothers’ albums. But what’s awesome about this band is that in addition to these amazing guys that were on this record, I know that I’ll get to work with other great artists as well on future ones. See, I didn’t want Brothers to necessarily be ‘pigeon holed’ into anything set in stone, meaning that I’ve left it open as far as both the creativity behind the music, and the ability to have various takes on the songs from different types of vocalists & players. I really liked the idea of having the freedom to picture who the ideal vocalist or musician would be for the songs I write, whether it be someone who’s already been on the record or someone new. I want to be able to have the liberty to then call that artist and say, ‘Hey brother, I wrote this killer track, and I think it would be perfect for you to sing (or play) on, what do you say?” 

CV: With so much happening in the world, COVID, restrictions, political and social upheaval coupled with fear, it seems almost impossible to escape the madness. How have you coped with everything over the last 18 months?
JF: I know this might sound weird, and I don’t want to come across in any type of bad way since the last 18 months or so have been ridiculously tough for the whole world, but I have actually cherished these months. What I mean is that I have pushed myself to stay as positive as possible, genuinely using this time to stay creative and to stay busy. I can say with 110% honesty that I have truly developed a new love for my guitar. The last 18 months have been filled with stressful situations that have been very challenging for everyone, and I won’t even try to downplay that at all. My heart goes out to anyone who’s been affected negatively. But for myself personally, I turned these things into inspiration that I filtered into my writing and playing. I feel like after all these years, I now have finally found out who I truly am as a musician, and how truly passionate I am about how & what I play. The time I’ve had this past year gave me time to grow and experiment with my music, & I believe that’s what caused this Brothers record to possibly be the best work I’ve done to date. Not to say that I think any less of what I’ve done in the past, but this definitely is up there as one of my favorites for sure.

CV: Jack, what do you consider music's greatest attribute for saving a world that appears to be spiraling out of control?
JF: The one single greatest attribute? That’s tough LOL. There are so many great things about music and it means so many different things to different people. But I’d have to say that I think the best thing about music is that it’s a release, somewhere to escape to when the real world sucks. No matter what music you listen to, it calms the soul for a little while, cuz it’s like your safe place…or your happy place. Brothers in Arms might actually be my new happy place LOL, cuz it makes me think back to some of the best times in my life. I think it will also give other people something to smile about, too. For 45 minutes or so, you can tune out the insanity of the world, and go to that fun place, where you remember seeing your first rock show, or the time you traveled hours just to go see your favorite band play, or those crazy rock nights you spent at places like L’Amours or the Whiskey, etc...

CV: Speaking personally, what has the events of the past year and a half taught you about life and how to live it?
JF: Cherish every day, brother, cuz with the unpredictability of it all, you never know what tomorrow might bring. You need to hang on to every moment, & be proud of what you have in your life. Always remember the people in your life who are most important to you, and be with them as much as you can. Don’t spend your days being pissed off, or regretful, or unforgiving, and never go to bed mad if you can help it. Do what you love, & don’t be afraid to take risks if there’s even a chance that you could accomplish your dreams or goals. Life is too short to not grab it by the balls and live in the moment.  Have fun, but not too much LOL. I’m a pretty healthy guy- I work out almost every day and eat right, but I know too many people who don’t, and now is not the time to take your health for granted. Take care of yourself the best you can, while you can. Maybe be nicer to people in general, or at least try to be more patient, cuz you have no clue what they’ve been through. And please don’t forget to tell your family and even the dear friends in your life that you consider family, that you love them as often as you can...don’t wait for a reason.  Just tell them. 

CV: Can we expect to see Brothers in Arms hit the road later this year or in early 2022 in support of the album?

JF: For sure and when we do it will be epic! We are looking into dates probably for next year right now, cuz we don’t want to start booking anything ‘til we get a better handle on the whole COVID situation, but yes, it’s definitely in the works. We want to make our shows not just about supporting the album itself, but about the guys in the band, and our history & love of rock music.  This band belongs to us all, so my goal is to involve as many of the brothers as possible on whatever tours or runs we do. This way we can play around the country…and at some point, abroad too, with an array of various artists, allowing us to change up the sets to include their Brothers’ contributions, as well as their own past music tunes. Ok, so I may have written the music, but the guys all had a hand in it…some maybe more than others, but still…, they all played on it, they all support it, and every one of them deserves to be a part of the live shows, too. Personally, I can’t wait to lock in some dates, hit the road, and share the stage with these true rock brothers!  

CV: In addition to the Brothers in Arms’ album's release in September, what more can we expect to see coming from you?
JF: Like I had said about these past months, I very much turned that time into dedicated writing & playing, & just being very productive. On top of the Brothers record, I had the pleasure of playing lead guitars on Ronny Munroe’s new album, titled “Between Worlds,” that also drops this month as a matter of fact. I also played on Rev Jones’ newly released solo album, “In The Key of Z,” that actually is out now for sale, and is a killer record featuring many other known artists, as well. I’m currently in the finishing stages of the new Seven Witches record, “Back From the Other Side,” which is due to come out sometime in early 2022. I don’t want to say too much about this record quite yet LOL, but I will say that I think that true Witches fans will be very pleasantly surprised with both the band line-up and the musical direction we decided to take it in. More later on this, just not now! But it’s something to look forward to, even for us.

So yeah, I’ve been keeping very busy lately, but to be honest, I love it. Playing has new meaning for me again at this stage of the game, and I hope to do even more of it as the year progresses.  I just pray that COVID can at least be kept at bay, and maybe even start to look up, so we can actually get out there and play...I miss the stage and the touring part of music, and especially the interaction with the fans. We have all somehow kept the music playing during the worst of times, & that was awesome, but it will be such a blessing when things get better and we can get back a sense of normality again...whatever that is now LOL.

CV: Thank you again Jack for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
JF: Of course, brother, and thanks again to you for your time and interest in us, and for believing in Brothers in Arms. It truly was a pleasure to make this record, and I hope that you and everyone else enjoys it as much as I did writing and playing on it with the other guys.  Take care man, and stay safe & healthy out there!

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The Cosmick Voice
Music, Talk & Nothing But Business

My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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