Trapped Under Ice Interview

Trapped Under Ice are a five piece band from Baltimore, Maryland. In my opinion their new record is one of the best out so far this year. After they played here on June 1st, Vik (SITC Crew) did an interview with them about how shit’s been goin’ lately. They talk about naked chicks and dogs more than your average hardcore interview. Photos by “Paparazzi” Pat Moore.

SITC: First off: Who are you, what do you do and why do you do it?

Ben: I play drums. I’m Ben.
Justice: I’m Justice and I sing because I’ve got somethin’ to say. Nah…

SITC: Stay Cold, a month later, is being repressed, did you think it was going to be that succesful?

Justice: I was so surprised by the success of the record. I mean… I did think it would get a repressing but it was sold out before the street date and I had no idea that was gonna happen. It’s kind of a cool thing but it’s kind of a bummer because we’ve done a lot of shows without any records, for the last maybe month, where we could’ve had records with us. But we have a second pressing that’ll be out in, I think, two weeks and we have a cd version coming out with, that includes the demo and some live tracks…bonus tracks… shit like that.
SITC: Got a DVD with that?
Justice: Nah, that’d be awesome but nah… we’ve got a music video some place on the internet.
SITC: Yeah I saw that… with the naked chick right?
Justice: What’d you think?
SITC: She was alright.
Justice: Not the naked chick man! I’m talkin about the video!
SITC: Oh the video!
Justice: The naked chick’s alright!
SITC: As a semi-married guy… it was nice. You don’t see that many tits and ass in hardcore videos that often. But yo it was cool. I thought it was cool. I liked the whole black and white thing. The reactions were… Do you get reactions like this everywhere?
Justice: Uh… it depends. I mean, those scenes in the video were shot in our hometown and… you know, different Baltimore venues and kids are just really supportive of us and every show’s pretty crazy to me. (to Ben) How do you feel?
SITC: Do you get this reaction… First of all what’d you think of the reaction tonight?
Ben: Great. Canada’s been really good to us.

SITC: So what, third show in Canada?

Ben: Third, yeah.
Justice: We played Quebec City and that was fuckin phenomenal. I never thought that I would play a city where lots of dudes are singin’ a long to lyrics I sing where at the same time there were dudes singing along in not english.
SITC: They have no idea… Honestly, there’s maybe 20% that know exactly what you’re sayin’.
Justice: It’s not even that they were speaking French but they were speaking the noises that I make and that was so cool cause they were anunciating the words. That’s cool as shit that our music has reached people on that level. And we played Montreal yesterday and it was phenomenal. The scene there is just incredible. People were so good to us. We partied. We had a good time. The show was just such a positive vibe. Everybody’s havin’ a good time gettin’ involved. Nobody got hurt. No attitudes. They took good care of us. Dan Edge put this thing together and just took really good care of us.
SITC: Safe to say you’ll be back?
Ben: Absolutely.
Justice: We’ll be back very soon. Lookin’ at September/August we’ll be back.

SITC: Well back to the record, when you set out to write the record, did you want it to be different compared to the demo or was it just trying to add on to it or were you going in a different direction or something like that. How does it compare to the demo?

Justice: Some of the songs were written at the time of the demo. Like the song Street Lights we wrote, maybe, a week or two after we finished writing other songs for the demo. That was in work when the demo came out. I feel like it’s a continuation cause we never really stopped writing. We never really stopped writing but at the same time our sound did evolve so… I’d say it’s a continuation of the demo but with new influences and maybe a little more of a different vibe, more of that on “STAY COLD” . But I feel like it definitely entails what makes us Trapped Under Ice. It has our distinctive sound to it.

SITC: So where do your lyrics come from?

Justice: Well, do you mean situations or do you mean really sitting down with a pen and a paper and trying to put my thoughts on a paper. I don’t really listen to another band or any kind of writer and say “I wanna sound like that writing-wise, I wanna write lyrics like that.” I try to be as honest as I can and put my feelings on paper. There is bands, obviously, that do influence you to some degree whether it’s conscious thought or not. I would say maybe one of those bands is Swans. Really dark lyrics that put me in a good mood for writing music.

SITC: Who’s Evelyn?

Justice: Evelyn… (Justice and Ben laugh) Evelyn is representative of a lot of girls but “Evelyn” is actually our… at the time it was our 15 year old friend, it was his 14 year old girlfriend. She broke up with him and he was all heartbroke. He’s a good little buddy of ours and we turned it into a little joke in the recording studio and threw it in there. So Evelyn is a 14 year old girl.
SITC: From Baltimore?
Justice: South of Baltimore.
Ben: Burnsville.

SITC: So what’s the scene like in Baltimore?

Ben: It’s everywhere…uhhhh… I dunno.
Justice: You can take a second to think.
Ben: Uh, I dunno.
SITC: Lotta new bands right now, or?
Justice: Lotta new bands poppin’ up. And it’s a lot of classic bands. It’s cool. There’s Stout, you know, who are a historic Baltimore band. They’ve been doin’ their thing for awhile now. They’re incredible. Their still doin’ their thing, they’re playing a good amount. They just put out a new record called “Sleep Bitch” and their material, I feel, is up to date while at the same time maintaining the sound they’ve had for so long. As far as the kids, to start off, other bands we’ve got, we’ve got a new band just started called Brick. A good friend of mine, James, he’s singin’ in that band. It’s incredible. It’s kind of got, maybe a little bit of Cro-Mags vibe to it. At the same I’d say Next Step Up, old Baltimore band Next Step Up. Other new bands we got…uh… what other new bands we got?
Klipa: Bad Habit.
Ben: Blind the Thief.
Justice: There’s a band called Blind the Thief. Those are really good kids. They’re always supporting, doin shows. Bad Habit. Another young band doin’ a faster, thrasier sound. Um… New bands you can think of?
Ben: Of course you mentioned Brick right?
Klipa: Neck Deep. Neck Deep. Did you mention Neck Deep man?
Justice: As far as the kids… As far as the kids involved with Baltimore City, it’s cool cause there’s a lot of… all the old dudes who have put their time in and done their thing are still comin’ around. Dudes from Next Step Up… Next Step Up hasn’t been a band in years but those dudes still come out, support us, support Baltimore City hardcore. Like Stout dudes. Fuckin’ (inaudible) random dudes from Gut Instinct. Dom, who’s a Canada dude. He’s from Toronto correct?
SITC: Dom…
Ben: Pulling Teeth.
SITC: Oh Dom. He’s from just around the corner. I wanna say he’s from Brampton.
Justice: Yeah. His band’s doing a lot of things. He’s actually my next door neighbour and he’s been so supportive of us and just been really, really good to us. He was maybe one of their first people to ever say that he had any kind of faith in our band and really go out… and put his hand out to help us. It’s a very supportive scene and… I mean I couldn’t be happier. Every show we play, every show I go to it’s a lot of kids havin’ fun, everybody’s real intense and every show is aggressive. Sometimes I would say maybe a little…
Ben: Too aggressive. Sometimes.
Justice: A little violent sometimes, maybe. But at the same time everybody has a mutual respect for everybody. I think it’s a real good think we’ve got goin on. I feel like if you haven’t been to Baltimore you should check it out.
SITC: The venue’s Ottobar right?
Justice: Yeah, Ottobar.

SITC: Alright so what’s the plan for the LP or what’s next?

Justice: We have a lot of tour coming up. We’re goin’ to Europe. Two weeks. We’re goin’ with a band called Lion of Judah from Maryland and Dirty Money from London. We come back from that. Oh, we’re playin’ Pressure Fest in Germany. A lot of really good shows we’re doin’. We come back from that and we’re goin’ on two months of tour. Not all the dates are confirmed yet but it’s with Terror, Death Before Dishonor, Warriors, CDC. After that we’re lookin’ to write a full length. But we’ve been workin’ on a full length. We’ve got some songs right now bein worked on. When we get back we’re gonna start solidifying some songs and puttin’em down in studio maybe in January.

SITC: Back again to the EP, sorry. But uh, what’s the story behind the… actually nevermind, this is a demo question. What’s the story behind the demo cover?

Justice: I mean, I think that says a lot about us as people. It says a lot about our roots as far as we’re a 90s influenced hardcore band. And I would picture an old New York hardcore demo or an old Baltimore hardcore demo… We just wanted to do something fun and different from what a lot of people are doing right now. We had a lot of fun with it. We went to different little ghetto neighborhoods and shit like that in Baltimore just takin’ pictures in front of basketball courts with dogs and random sketchy shit, you know.
Klipa: And sittin’ on a stoop.
Justice: Yeah sometimes you just gotta take your shirt off and just sit on a stoop you know. I mean that’s how I look typically when I’m on my porch. When people walk by my porch they might see some hard ass dude lookin’ like that. But, we just decided to take a picture of it and put it on a record.
SITC: So you’re a dog guy?
Justice: Oh my god am I a dog guy. I love dogs.
SITC: What kind of dogs do you have? Do you have dogs?
Justice: Yeah I have two dogs. I have an English Bull Terrier, his name’s Spike and I have a Pitbull mix… her name’s Rocky. It’s actually my girlfriend’s dog. She was rescued. I love’em. I actually try and…Whenever we stay with somebody on tour, the first question is “Do you guys got dogs?” I think they think I’m fuckin’ retarded.
SITC: Yeah that sucks. Right now… a lot of places here in Toronto you can’t bring dogs into apartments, especially in the downtown. I wouldn’t want to bring a big dog into a small apartment… Well actually. If you guys were here next weekend, it’s like… we have this huge festival called Woofstock where they shut down all the streets around here and it’s just a big dog festival.
Justice: One time we were in Philly and I saw this dude walking his dog down the street and I always stop everybody to pet their dog. They wouldn’t stop the car. And I was yelling at them “Yo! I like your dog!”. Then he got all offend and he thought I was gonna murder him or some shit and was like “Fuck you asshole!” I just like to stop everybody to pet their dog and they thinks it weird I guess but whatever. Fuck it. I just wanna pet your dog alright. Get over it.

SITC: Alright… Um, alright…just a couple, last couple questions. What do you mean by “Stay Cold”?

Justice: Um, Stay Cold, I mean… the lyrics of the song kind of touch on getting your heart broken and being hurt and staying cold is kind of like… maybe a message to the person I was when I wrote the demo of it. (Something interrupts). I look at it as kind of a message to myself when I wrote the demo you know….
(Dudes were interrupted by a homeless guy trying to sell them a bicycle and laugh and joke about it)
SITC: Fifteen bucks for a bike, you can’t go wrong with that.
Justice: But… Stay Cold is like a message to myself when I wrote the demo. The demo was like… maybe I was a little more vulnerable of a person as to where I feel like I’ve kind of grown up a little bit since then and learned to harden myself to the ways of the world… as corny as that sounds… but you have to stay cold to not let everybody in and be vulnerable to everybody to hurt you. You know? Basically, it’s my advice is to stay cold, be strong, don’t let nobody hurt you, don’t let people walk on you. Whether it’s mind abuse or you know, somebody wants to push you around physically, you gotta stand up for yourself.

SITC: Finally, what are your thoughts on the internet?

Ben: On the internet? I love it. Good and bad. It definitely put us out… you know it helped us out a little bit… you know, it helps every band out but at the same time… a lot of shit… a lot of shit… and ridiculous shit.
Justice: The internet’s done a lot of good things for us. It’s done a lot of good things for a lot of bands. But, at the same time, the internet can take a fake and make’em a hardcore kid. On the internet, any fuckin’ little nerd sittin’ in his house can get on there and talk shit about you know, “Trapped Under Ice say they’re insincere,” or they could say that “Trapped Under Ice…” is fuckin… fuckin… I dunno like “perverts” or I dunno whatever. You know what I mean. But the truth is we’re people that put our asses on the line. I put my life into this and we all do, you know? The internet can say… can make some fuckin’ nerd chillin’ in his mom’s basement a fuckin Krishna hardcore legend. I just think it’s up to people to fuckin’ filter out the real from the unreal and go out… go to hardcore shows, go meet that person. Don’t buy everything you hear… don’t buy everything you read anyway. Go to talk to that person. Find out if they’re true. Don’t be so quick to buy everything you read on the internet. Stay Cold. Stay strong, you know what I mean? Mentally.
Ben: We’re great guys. Come and hangout with us.

SITC: So final shoutouts, thank yous, anything?

Klipa: We love weed.
(Not sure): Dan Edge. Great time in Montreal. Hugo, Tremblay and Lifers.
Justice: Lifers yeah. Patrick Kitzul. Fuckin’ great label and best friend to our band. He’s been phenomenal to us. Obviously, Dom and Pulling Teeth. Everybody check out Brick and Curtains, who is on tour with us right now. Uh…
Ben: Trash Talk. New record.
Justice: Pick up the Trash Talk. Everybody check out Reign Supreme. Friends Mongoloids and Kids Like Us who we just did some shows with.
Sam (?): Surroundings from Baltimore.
Justice: Steel Nation. Somebody sing for that band… if you wanna fuckin’ be… in a hard ass band. Who else we got here.
Ben: Bitter End.
Justice: Oh, everybody check out Bitter End. Definitely, easily, my favourite hardcore band right now.

Trapped Under Ice will be back August 29th with Terror, Death Before Dishonor and a couple other bands that I don’t like at the Reverb. If you’re into Trapped Under Ice, be sure to check out the classics like Breakdown, Crown of Thornz and Stout… at least. Want more recommendations? Just ask.

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1 Response to “Trapped Under Ice Interview”



  1. 1 Vik in the City « Stuck In The City Trackback on June 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm

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