Frozen Poet:
unusual perspectives
December 1994

Frozen Poet, according to lead singer Angela Ezell, is as comfortable playing big stages and dance venues as it is in cozier cafes and pubs.

"Our music is very danceable," Ezell said. "Some people have told me that watching Frozen Poet is kind of like going to the theater. A lot of people sit back and just take in. It's not obvious music that you have to run out to the dance floor, but you definitely can dance to it."

The Reading-based alternative band, which has already begun to make a splash at several Lancaster, Pa., clubs, will bring its sound to the Chameleon Club tonight.

Ezell, who joined the two-year-old band about 18 months ago, has settled in as lyricist and melody writer. Her songs are often about ordinary things, but are sometimes written from an unusual perspective.

"I have a song called 'Cat Talk,' where I'm looking at the world from a cat's point of view," she said. "I have a song called 'Sister's Advice,' where I'm giving advice to people who still live at home with their parents. I write about troubles I had in high school, I write about things I see, things I feel. I write about a lot of different things."

Her vocal influences include Tori Amos, Maria McKee and Janis Joplin. She even picks up some style hints from Stevie Nicks, although her bandmates hate when she admits that in public. She is often compared vocally to Kate Bush, although she balks at that comparison.

She also has a hard time really defining the band's sound.

"It's really hard to step outside," she said. "I ask people to describe it, and I've never gotten an answer from anyone. People just can't put their finger on it. I would say it's mainstream melodic alternative music. But that's pretty broad."

The band is wrapping up production on an 11-track CD called Milkweed, which they put together at Reading band 78 West's residential studio. Release is due sometime early next year.

Although production has kept Frozen Poet off stage and in the studio, Ezell said they're trying to get back into the swing -- and Lancaster, she said, should expect to hear a lot from them soon.

"We definitely want to target Lancaster," she said. "Lancaster is an up-and-coming city for music."

Frozen Poet was created by core members Mike Clipman and Chris Layser. Since then, it has gone through several personnel changes. Ezell is the band's second singer.

Right now, they are feeling a pinch as percussionist Matt Cullen prepares to bow out after tonight's performance. "So now we're looking for a professional drummer," Ezell said. "We really need to find one."

She's not really sure what the band's name means, she admitted.

"Our guitar player (Clipman) once wrote a song called "Frozen Poet,"' she said. "Don't ask me what it means. It's sort of about someone who has something to say but can't."

interview by
Tom Knapp

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