interview with halovox

What's the name of your band? The name of the band is halovox. An earlier name considered was Vox Populi (voice of the people) at the suggestion of a friend. I really liked it, but I didn’t think I was the “voice of the people”, so I wasn’t comfortable using it. I did however really like the sound of the word “vox” (as in Ultravox) and starting adding words before and after it to see if something stood out. I eventually chose halo (after the Depeche Mode song on “Violator”) and the name “halovox” was created.

Where are all bandmembers from? Who does what in the band? halovox is comprised of one member and that’s me, Frank J. Freda. I was born in New York and currently live on Long Island. I handle all aspects of the band, from the songs to the web site and everything inbetween.

How was the band formed? halovox was formed in 2003 after I left my previous band Brand New Idol following a very successful 3-year collaboration.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? I wanted to express my ideas and sing my own lyrics. I wanted to create the kind of music I would like to hear on the radio or in concert. I wanted to release my own albums and play them live. I think most of all, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it all on my own.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? I used to describe it as Synthpop and then Electronic, but now I think of it more as Alternative because it draws from such a wide variety of styles and genres. Fans of Depeche Mode, Camouflage, Wolfsheim and De/Vision will probably enjoy halovox.

Where was your first gig?

The first halovox gig was at Subculture on April 24, 2004. The set list was:

01. Make Me Yours

02. Retrospect

03. Once In A Lifetime (Wolfsheim cover)

04. Just Like Me

05. Insecurity

06. Deception

07. Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode cover)

08. Save Yourself

Where was the latest gig? The most recent halovox gig was at Berlin/Defcon on January 30, 2015. The set list was:

01. trospect

02. iGod

03. Deception

04. Stalker

05. Everybody Lies

06. Nemesis


07. It's Not Me It's You

Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics? I write all of the music and lyrics for the songs.

What are your songs about? My early songs were mostly about relationships and many were often semi-autobiographical. I have been trying to be more creative and write about other topics and I feel have been improving and diversifying the subject matter I write about. “iGod” talks about how social media appears to have us more connected, but I think in many ways we’re more disconnected from each other. “Bowman’s Odyssey” is about the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” from the perspective of Dr. Dave Bowman. “We Are Alone” is about questioning whether or not there is a higher power out there.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers?

I write my own material, but I included a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Fly On The Windscreen” on my first album and I occasionally perform different cover songs as part of my live set. Past covers have included:

Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode)

Once In A Lifetime (Wolfsheim)

Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode)

Images Of Heaven (Peter Godwin)

That Smiling Face (Camouflage)

The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)

True Faith (New Order)

Military Fashion Show (And One)

Warm Leatherette (The Normal)

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?

I have released three albums:

halovox (2004)

Everybody Lies (2012)

Retrospect (2013)

I am working on a new album for release in 2016. I also contributed a song to a Camouflage tribute album, "The Great Compliment", which was just released on December 1, 2015. The album is available for free download here halovox covered "Together" from Camouflage's 2003 album "Sensor".

Do you have any clips on YouTube? Yes, there are several videos of live performances and you can also listen to all halovox songs on YouTube.

How old are you?/What got you started in music? I’m turning 45 on January 28th. I have always loved music and it has always been a huge part of my life. My parents bought me my first Casio keyboard when I was about 15 years old and I just started teaching myself to play melodies of songs I liked. Eventually, I started writing my own songs.

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? For my first ever live performance I was in a band called “Stripped” (yes, another Depeche Mode song) and I was about 22 years old. I was 33 for the first halovox gig.

What places will you be playing in in the immediate future? I do not have anything scheduled at the moment, but my next show will most likely be somewhere in New York City.

Where have you played from then till now? I have played mostly in New York and New Jersey. A full list of shows and their set lists is available on on the Live Events page.

Is it always the same songs live? No, I like to mix up my live set. There are some favorites that I play almost every show, but I’m looking forward to debuting a lot of new material at my next show.

How big crowds do you usually play for? They’re usually anywhere from 30 people to a few hundred depending on the venue and event.

What are the plans for the rest of the year? In 2016 I would like to complete the new album, shoot a proper music video and reach some new fans.

What are your sources of inspiration? I’m inspired by everything I see and hear around me. Events in my life, society, movies, a particular instrument sound - it can come from anywhere.

What's the first step when making a new song? Usually, the first step of a new song is that I just start playing some music and see how it evolves. A lot of ideas don’t go anywhere, but once in a while I find something I like and I get highly motivated to see it to completion.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? When I grew up I used to walk to my local record store and buy singles and albums, so I’m very nostalgic about that. I remember having to replace the needle on my record players many times over the years. I liked having the physical album and reading the liner notes, hoping that the lyrics were included. A trip to the record store was always special for me and I miss that.

What would be your dreams for the band? My ultimate dream is to be able to make a living just from my music, to tour the world and meet people from all over the planet.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? I like a wide variety of music, everything from classical to metal. There are too many to list all of them, but some favorites are: A Modern Effigy, And One, Billy Squier, Camouflage, The Cult, The Cure, De/Vision, Dead Can Dance, Depeche Mode, The Doors, The Dossier, Enya, Erasure, Erotic Elk, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, Genesis, I, Synthesist, Interface, INXS, Iris, Kevin Lux, Kraftwerk, Led Zeppelin, Maxx Klaxon, Ministry, Morrissey, The Mystic Underground, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, The Police, Pretorium, Psychedelic Furs, Recoil, Simulator,  Skinny Puppy, The Smiths, St. Vincent, Synthetic FM, Tears For Fears, The The, Vaylon, VNV Nation, Whitesnake, Wolfsheim, Yaz

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? I’m always nervous that I will sing poorly or forget the lyrics. I’ve had both things happen, but the key is to just keep going as if nothing went wrong.

Have you been part of any other projects? I performed guest vocals on Simulator’s 2002 album “Enter The Unknown”. I’ve also produced several remixes for bands such as The Echoing Green, Provision and Vaylon.

Have you been in any other bands? I was in Brand New Idol from 1999 - 2002 and we released one album called “Still Beautiful Falling Apart” in 2001.

What would you do if there was no music? That is too terrible a thought to even imagine.

How important are your fans? They are extremely important to me and I love hearing from them and interacting with them as much as I can. They encourage me to keep going.

Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? Two of my favorites are new ones for the new album. They are called “Nemesis” and “Clever Thief”. “Nemesis” is about a very intense psychological battle within. “Clever Thief” is about a very painful personal loss.

What do you feel is the best live band you've seen? That is extremely difficult for me to answer as I have been fortunate enough to see many great bands and concerts. Take a look here

Do you have any webpages?

Yes, you can connect with halovox in many places:

What is best/worst with playing the clubs? The best part of playing clubs is the intimate nature and the opportunity to socialize with people before and after the show. I also love hanging around after my set to dance. The worst part is if you have to go on too early and the crowd is much smaller.

What’s your pre-show ritual? I usually listen to the set list on my way to the show. Once I’m at the venue I like to see any other bands that are playing and mingle with the crowd.

Do you have anything to add? Thank you very much for helping to spread the word about halovox!

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