On the eve of our Best of the City celebration, we asked Akron's Freez-R-Burn a little about the band, how the city has influenced them and what we should expect this Saturday.
Tell us a little bit about the band and how you first got started.
It started out from family jam sessions in the early ‘90s, sitting around with guitars and singing. We thought it would be fun to try it out in front of other people at bars and parties. And it was.
How did you come up with the band name?
For about ten years, we got together every week in a barn out in Lodi. We built a dedicated practice room and everything. There was no heat or air conditioning except for some portable devices that we brought in during the most extreme temperatures. Freezing or burning. Songs are often filled with dichotomies and double entendres, so why not the band name too!
What do you love most about the city of Akron?
It’s city-living, without being overwhelming. You can be anywhere in town within ten or fifteen minutes, and you’re likely to see someone you know, anywhere you go.
What else has the band been up to lately?
Like most bands, we’re not “in the business.” It’s what we do for fun. So we’re most often busy with our jobs and families. We’re fortunate to play about a dozen shows per year. We are so grateful to our families, friends and fans for making it possible. This year we also produced a new 6-song CD, titled “Abandon Groove.” Those songs, along with other new originals and newly-learned cover songs, make up a lot of our live shows right now.
Describe a Freez-R-Burn live performance.
Sharing the vocal duties among four members, it’s mostly about the voices. We have three instruments – guitar, bass and drum. So the songs are filled out with lots of vocal harmony and additional percussion, which we try to do with a lot of energy. It’s usually not “heavy” music, but fairly loud rock with multiple voices.
How has Akron influenced the band?
With such a variety of venues for local and touring performers, you could literally take in an interesting music show any day of the year in Akron. There are so many talented people of all ages noodling away out there, and it’s a great way to meet interesting people and hear different music styles. Akron’s music scene is a wide-ranging blend of original music and cover bands, and Freez-R-Burn is part both. It’s also cool that Akron has launched some incredible artists in the professional world of rock. It’s been great to watch the Black Keys climb from local aspiring professionals to top of the world.
What can attendees expect from the show this Saturday?
It will be different from usual. We were asked to play more like an “unplugged” show, which takes us back to the early days of sitting around the kitchen with acoustic guitars, figuring out how to play and sing Beatles and Stones songs.