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Catching Up with Nordista Freeze in Advance of Extra Chill Fest 2023: Interview

Anyone who has witnessed Nordista Freeze live is unlikely to have forgotten the experience. The Nashville, TN-based band, fronted by Freeze himself, brings a vibrancy that transforms a show to something fully immersive, almost psychoactive, forging a community from strangers in the crowd.

In honor of Nordista Freeze’s upcoming headlining appearance at our very own Extra Chill Fest on August 19th, his second time performing at an Extra Chill event, we decided to catch up with Freeze to learn a little bit more about his point of view on the touring experience, what’s inspiring him lately, and the source of his energy: (spoiler alert: he was just born that way).

Freeze is an icon in the DIY scene, with a prolific touring schedule that has made him a memorable fixture at house shows and DIY gigs up and down the southeast for many years. 

“For me, DIY was not just an ethos, but a necessity,” said Freeze. “It was the only way I felt like I could get my music out there when I wanted to start touring.” 

Nordista Freeze wasn’t able to move through the usual industry channels when they first started playing. 

“All the venues are booked up and all the avenues that people use to promote your music feel booked up and you really have to forge your own path,” he said. 

Getting in touch with people in similar music cultures allowed the band to form connections with like-minded artists and listeners in various cities, creating a sort of rebel network that thrived on homemade shows and word of mouth publicity. Freeze still values that multi-faceted, ever-changing community for its ability to help bands share their craft when they have little pull at bigger venues. 

“If DIY stopped existing now, maybe I’m at the position where I can keep riding the wave, but just getting started in music, it’s so important to have show venues and communities and ways that people can freely express their music…without a lot of regulations or expectations of the industry,” said Freeze. “It’s helped me and now I see how it has to be introduced to help other people.”

An indicator that Nordista Freeze’s influence has expanded past the DIY community to a broader audience was the band’s recent performance at Bonnaroo, something that Freeze said has been one of his bucket list items for years.

“When we walked on stage I saw the DIY of so many cities coordinating,” he said. “The crowd was extremely affirming and loud. There were people that were crying, and they’re saying, ‘It’s just so crazy because I saw you play in my hometown, or I saw you playing at this party in 2017.’”

Nordista Freeze shared an emotional video from the performance on the band’s Instagram page, where Freeze has a tearful moment.

“I think everyone was feeling emotional. I will never forget that,” he said.

Being emotive onstage is part of Freeze’s nature. One thing that’s unmissable at a Nordista Freeze show is the sheer energetic force of his stage presence, a vigor that often manifests in physical stunts like scaling from stage rafters or jumping into the crowd. 

“That’s something that happens for me pretty organically. I love performance, and I have a deep sincerity and passion for what I do,” he said. 

“As a band we work really hard to meet, to practice…and we all kind of feel like when we go on stage, we’re entering a spontaneous moment. It’s not something I think about, and I don’t plan for. It’s something I feel on a spiritual level. I think the energy comes from a really deep place,” he said.

Known for a genre-bending, hard-to-pin-down indie sound, Nordista Freeze has been heavily into musical experimentation lately.

“I genuinely feel like I’m falling more in love with music than I have been in years,” Freeze said.

Spending more time at home lately has been a catalyst for a renewed focus on writing. The band has been recording at different studios, playing both with new material and reworking and releasing older songs. This musical exploration is set to result in a highly unique show at Extra Chill Fest.

“We’ve already loaded some cool stuff together,” he said.  “We couldn’t be more excited for it. And we are preparing a really special set for it.”

It will be Nordista Freeze’s first time playing at the Charleston Pour House, an experience that, to Freeze, represents a beautiful moment in his history of playing in Charleston, which started small.

“No one knew who I was. And I had no following,” he said of Nordista Freeze’s first few times in the holy city. 

“I played so many house shows in Charleston. That’s why Charleston became one of my favorite cities to play,” Freeze said.  “For years because we kind of organically built it together, playing so many parties and meeting some new people.”

We’re looking forward to an exhilarating experience with Nordista Freeze on August 19th. 

“We’ve played almost 706 shows, and I have more energy than I used to,” Freeze said. “I have what’s called a lust for life.”

Get your tickets to Extra Chill Fest 2023 here.