10 Quick Ones with THE OCTOPUS – February 2018

According to a recent press release: “Something is stirring in the lysergic spectral swamps of supernatural Detroit. That legendary city’s significance in the evolution of wild and heavy music through the ages is beyond dispute, but there is always room for another revolution. Purveyors of a uniquely vibrant strain of balls-out psychedelic turbo-rock, Octopus are about to blow open the doors of perception and invite everyone in for a party. Formed in 2008 by guitarist J Frezzato (ex-Electric Six) and vocalist Masha Marjieh, this ten-legged groove machine began as the channeling of a nocturnal hallucination…” We get guitarist J Frezzato (along with contributions from other members of the band) to discuss new music, influences, and more in our 10 Quick Ones…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

J FREZZATO: This is our first release on Rise Above Records, and we’re really excited about it. It’s our first full length LP. As far as what’s on there or what it is, or anything like that, I reckon that’s a matter for the people listening to it. We felt like it was a complete piece of work, so we’re gonna try and let the album speak for itself.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

J FREZZATO: I’ve always liked music. My parents said when I was one and half, they would take me out in the car, and my mom would stand me up on her legs while they were driving. They had this tape of Boots Randolph—you know, the Benny Hill music—and it was pretty uptempo shit and I would pound my feet on their legs, over and over, til they had big bruises on their legs. So I guess that’s the first historical instance of me being into music. I also apparently would sing along to the theme songs for the Marvel Comics cartoons. Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man. Thor was apparently my favorite. “You’ll behold with breathless wonder | The God of Thunder” etc etc. A little later I remember recording the James Bond theme off the TV, and I would play that back on my tape recorder over and over. So repetition was a thing right from the get-go, too.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

J FREZZATO: Movies, Books, Paintings, Sex, and Music

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

J FREZZATO: If I have a riff or an idea, I usually call Masha. She’s who I really like to work with. Which works out because we’re in the same band, so we get to collaborate on all kinds of stuff. We collaborated on this record, in fact.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

J FREZZATO: It’s loud, I guess. If you come see us live, I’m told it’s fairly loud. I’m going deaf pretty quickly, so it’s loud.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

J FREZZATO: Buying gear is great. I’m a gear nut. We’re all pretty gear obsessed. Adam runs a studio so he buys the most gear. Matt says he had 30 basses at one point, mostly 60’s Fenders. 30 basses! I counted my guitars the other day and it’s quite a few guitars. I should probably sell a few. I like amps, too. I have a few amps. It’s great. I love gear.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

ADAM COX: We practice at my studio and my house is upstairs. Sometimes I’ll make coffee.

MASHA: I’ve made coffee, too.

J FREZZATO: They’ve both made coffee at various times. We’re too cynical for a sing-along. Our hearts are closed-up and dark. No sing-alongs. Adam will sometimes pick up an acoustic guitar but it’s usually just to figure out something he’s writing. If I’m ever, like, “That’s cool, we should use it,” he usually says, like, “No, that’s something I’m working on.” So those are off-limits.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

J FREZZATO: I’ve always wanted to be a Detective. I looked into it once, and they were, like, you have to be a cop first. I was, like, Oh, well, that’s not going to happen.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

ADAM COX: YOLO! No regrets!


10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

J FREZZATO: I would like to travel back in time to the recording sessions for this record, and I would heckle me. I think that would be good. “Come on, man! We’re trying to make a record!” “Ahhh, shaddap! You don’t know what you’re doing!”



10 Quick Ones with THE OCTOPUS - February 2018

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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