Editor’s Note: This past spring, The Octopus released their full-length record entitled “Supernatural Alliance”, which was a fun listen for fans of multiple genres of rock including NWOBHM, blues rock, with touches of fuzz rock and some psychedelic elements thrown into the melting pot. There were two things that immediately impressed on me with this band, the wide range vocals and the amazing guitar playing. In this, J Frezzato speaks with Madness To Creation about the album along with a few extra nuggets thrown in there. Fans can find The Octopus on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Octopus888official
Madness To Creation: Frezzato, how has your guitar playing evolved from your time in Electric Six to now?
Frezzato: The funny thing is, Octopus has been on my mind since I started playing guitar. I was making Octopus demos when they asked me to join Electric Six, which was originally called The Wildbunch. E6 was a particular animal with its own agenda, completely different, but I got it and I was kinda flattered that somebody else wanted me to help them. But somebody else was writing the songs. I only wrote one tune there, so I wasn’t gonna be like, okay, now I’m gonna force my agenda onto this somebody else’s thing. I figured, I’ve got my thing and I can do that, but now I’m over here and I’m gonna do this other thing. I took it real seriously to serve that agenda as well as I could.
Long story short, my approach to Octopus hasn’t changed at all. I’ve always had a clear idea what it is, and you just stay true to the idea and let it happen. Octopus is what happens when you stick me in a room with a guitar. It always has been. It was never really gonna be a band, but then I met Masha, and it was, like, wait a minute. Maybe this is supposed to be more than just me making demos.
I don’t even know if my playing is different between the two. But that was one thing and this is another thing. You do the thing, whatever it is, and you try to do it as well as you can.
Madness To Creation: (For anyone in the band), tell us about how the vision of this album conceptualized? Frezzato: What, like a concept album or something? No conscious concept. We like to be surprised. You get some ideas and then other ideas come to it. You keep what feels right, and you try to be ruthless about that. You fight to serve the original idea, and you keep going until it feels complete. I mean, that’s it. Later on, maybe you go, Holy shit, this album is about this thing, or whatever. Or other people do. I have my own read on the record and what it’s about, but it’s my fucking read. It might not be yours. It’s a record. It’s not an essay. Your read is your read on it. You tell me what it’s about.
Madness To Creation: How has the response been to Supernatural Alliance?
Frezzato: Really great! What I’ve seen has been really good. It’s a nice bonus. I’ve worked on other stuff in the past, where I was like, We blew it. And if you feel like you blew it, it doesn’t matter who likes it or who doesn’t like it, because you know it’s bad. With this record, when we finished it, I felt pretty goddamn good about it. We did what we set out to do and we stayed true to it. It’s a good bonus that other people like it. But nobody else is gonna come along and change my opinion on it. I’m not dependent on anybody else’s feelings. That would be a miserable fucking way to live.
Madness To Creation: How has it been working with Rise Above Records, what have you learned from that label?
Frezzato: They’ve been great. Being a part of that roster is awesome. And they’re all cool, great, badass folks. We’re really happy to be working with them.
Madness To Creation: Tell us about the rock scene in Detroit.
Frezzato: Detroit is changing. Lots of money pumping in. I’m not used to it. It used to be this eerie, beautiful, empty wasteland. You live in that for a while and you develop certain adaptations to survive. Now there’s like rental bikes and people walking around freely. It’s disorienting. There’s a comic book store downtown, so that’s good. I like that.
Madness To Creation: One local band from Detroit area you want to plug.
Frezzato: The DeCamp Sisters. That’s more of a duo, though. And I think they broke up.
Madness To Creation: You all recently released the VHS alternate video to Supernatural Alliance, take us into that video and song.
Frezzato: We shot that with Lucky Airlines, a production company out of Los Angeles and Detroit. And then we gave it to a post-production house who was gonna edit it. And they just didn’t get it, or something. I don’t know what the problem was, but I we missed the release deadline and I was like, fuck this. We were gonna shelve the thing. And then Adam Cox, Octopus’ synth player, who also owns and runs the studio where we practice and record, he was, like, I don’t think we should shelve this. So I asked him, Who’s gonna edit it? He was, like, Well, maybe I’ll try. And I was like, okay, man, sure. Good luck. He had never cut anything before. Ever. So he downloaded Final Cut and holed up for a couple days, and when he showed it to us my jaw just fucking dropped. He knocked it outta the fucking park. Saved it. Unbelievable. So, apparently, Adam can do anything.
Fans can check out the video to “Supernatural Alliance” here.
Madness To Creation: You have a song titled Fleetwood Mac that seems to draw some influence from that legendary group, take us into that song and your three favorite Fleetwood Mac songs
Frezzato: I don’t know that Fleetwood Mac had any influence on that song at all.
Masha(vocalist): “Future Games”
Frezzato: “Hypnotized” Matt O’Brien says he likes the bass playing on all the Mac stuff, but only the bass playing.
Madness To Creation: What are the plans for the rest of the year for Octopus?
Frezzato: We’re getting our machine together. We talked to Rise Above last year and then when we were supposed to be getting ready we had some other shit to deal with, unrelated to all that, so when the record came out we found ourselves behind the 8 ball. So we’re playing some catch-up, figuring out the tour thing, and working on the next record.
Madness To Creation: Thank you for your time to interview with me for Madness To Creation.
Frezzato: Cheers, yo. Thank you!
And there you have it!
Check out the video to “Strike(While The Iron Is Hot)” here.