Ice Cream: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Post-Rocky Road, Mint Chocolate Hot Chip
File next to: Young Marble Giants, Bush Tetras, The Flying Lizards
Playing: WL 621 / Red Bull Sound Select presents: Toronto w/ Titus Andronicus & Programm – Thursday (Oct. 9) at The Garrison

It’s been barely a year since Ice Cream dropped “Science” — yeah, I went there — on their Soundcloud page, and since then the Toronto duo of Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist has become the hottest/coolest thing in the Toronto underground scene. Gritty post-punk bass muscles up against coolly disaffected synth, beats and vocals; nice and claustrophobic like a dance party in a Cold War fallout shelter. Jonny Dovercourt got overly excited about the physics references on Ice Cream’s debut track and sent them some unabashedly nerdy questions.

Hello, Ice Cream! I see you have songs that includes lyrics about “substrata.” I’m surprised more bands don’t write songs about science. The only ones I can think of are also female-led Toronto bands like Laura Barrett and Pyramid Culture. How come you guys are the only band cool enough to totally nerd out nowadays?

Well Wavelength, the funny thing about the song “Science” is that it’s not actually about science. It’s more about wanting to become cold and emotionless, or machine-like, like a pile of particles instead of a full, thinking human being. It’s about finding power in not feeling anything. But yes, I do use the word “substrata,” because it fit into the themes of the song and is sort of a rhythmic, pretty word to me.

The subject matter of our songs is really varied. We have a song about being in love with a mannequin, a song about Bob Mackie, and a song about partying and hating it. So I guess we’re like, weird cool nerd freaks or something?

What is the substratum of Ice Cream? In other words, what foundation was the band formed upon?

I would say its the Moog Rogue/bass combo, and a really good creative dynamic. We are true partners in crime.

So, far only three tracks of Ice Cream have been (ahem) scooped out online to the overheated public over the past year. Are there plans for more material to be unveiled, and in any kind of physical format?

Yes, we have a lot of secret material to be revealed. A new song and video is coming out soon, and we’re filming another one in about a week that we are VERY EXCITED ABOUT. And in February we’ll have an EP in a real life physical format! m/ m/

Do you guys prefer playing live or making up tracks at home/in the studio? What are the highlights and lowlights of each so far?

I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. Playing live and writing are two very different experiences, but they inform each other. I think we play live better when we have new material we’re excited about, and I think playing songs live can really change and reveal things about them, which informs your writing. You understand them better when a crowd of people are involved. A really peak-experience show is a singular feeling, but then so is writing, so is recording, so is making videos, etc. etc. etc.

What are the best and worst things about playing music in Toronto right now?

Toronto has a very supportive, inclusive scene, and there are a lot of talented people who are eager to make things happen, and that’s great. Some aspects of the scene feel stale, but I think that’s changing. I dunno, that’s a hard question to answer. Amanda and I grew up here so I think we have a kind of deep yet unexciting relationship with the city. Almost like a marriage. Ice Cream and Toronto are an old married couple. We bicker but we love each other.

And: who’s got the best ice cream in town? (besides you guys, of course!)

I don’t eat ice cream, but Amanda says “anywhere that serves it with pie or cake”.

Bonus Nerd Questions:

What’s your favourite episode of Cosmos, and why?
Despite what you might think I’m not that familiar with either. But I liked the first episode of the new Cosmos where NDT was flying through space in that crazy space pod.

Neil deGrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan?
Carl Sagan. He’s got that crazy voice.

What’s cooler, plate tectonics or hydrothermal vents?
Hydrothermal vents.

Is there life under Europa’s sub-surface ocean, and if so, does it want us to discover it?
I say “substrata” in a song and now I’m a goddamn scientist? I had to Google what the fuck that was!

Who’s more dangerous, Homo Sapiens or Mother Nature?
Obviously Homo Sapiens. We are so, so terrible.