Nick: I have noticed that your name is Nick Pollard. Why did you decide to have a stage name and why did you choose Cam Frost?
Cam: I was only a college student at the time. I spent four years, 2006-2010 studying BTEC Music Technology and HND Music Performance at South Downs College in Portsmouth. This music was the product of my big end of year project on intelligent dance music (or IDM) and learning how to use Reason and Cubase. Being the amateur that I was, and it just not being very good as a result, I was just too shy to actually go by my real name. Two syllables, with the surname functioning of a common noun is pretty standard. It worked for Dave Spoon* (now best known as Shadow Child) who was one of my lecturers at the time, so I followed the same model. ‘Frost’ seemed atmosphere, as was some of the ambient music that I was writing. As for ‘Cam’, I was such a recluse that I wasn’t even comfortable enough to make my gender obvious, so that was just a random syllable. No one ever question, so it worked. The fact that my one hypothetical press photo was an image of me in a balaclava might have helped too.
(*Fun fact: I’m actually typing this post on his old laptop, which I bought from him a few years ago.)
Nick: That, or no one cared.
Nick: So. You constructed an EP, entitled Smile. Tell me a little about that.
Cam: I wrote a twelve-minute ambient piece that had five movements, funnily enough entitled ‘Smile’, which lent its title to the thirty-two minute EP. ‘SMILE I’, ‘SMILE III’ and later interlude track ‘Staphylococci’ can actually be heard online on Soundcloud. I removed other bits due to just how terrible they were. I recycled ‘SMILE II’ for a video game soundtrack project, and amidst its gloominess, put what was intended to be creepy groans in the background. It instead sounds like a seriously constipated gargoyle. Sadly, it’s the only version that I can find, so I’ll keep that one to myself. There was also a piece on it called ‘On Your Own’ which was my attempt at creating something similar to Aphex Twin’s ‘Equation’. Basically chaos was voices on it, sampled from 90s video games. It was so called because the beat was very similar to a piece of the same name from my old drum exams. Looking back at it, the pained groans that appear throughout, matched with the title ‘On Your Own’, it’s a little more sexually suggestive than I had considered at the time.
Nick: You decided also to make album art for it. What was that about?
Cam: I designed the artwork on Paint. It’s a real sign of the times really, as I deleted everything from the keys on a keyboard, and replaced them with ‘CAMFROST’, ‘SMILE’ and a ‘ : ) ‘. Still the age of MSN Messenger, the ‘colon-close bracket’ was a mainstay of a happy day online. I’ve just realised how gross a ‘colon-close bracket’ sounds. Can you image if that’s what we called smiles?
Nick: I’d rather not.
Cam: And that would make a sad emoticon a ‘colon-open bracket’ wouldn’t it? That really would be a reason for a sad face. Unless that’s your thing…
Nick: Oh god. Please stop. Are you done yet?
Cam: Yeah, I’m done.
Nick: Alright. You even made a Digipak case for your EP. It must have been hard work.
Cam: It was. Well, for my Mum anyway. We don’t have any left-handed scissors, so it was down to her. Thanks Mum. I’m not that much of an opportunist though. I did do all the gluing myself. Pritt Sticks are a godsend.
Nick: Why did you go through so much effort?
Cam: It was one of those circumstances where you put in far more effort than required having been sucked so much into the project and being such a completist. They didn’t ask me to do it. I just did it. I got a triple distinction for it in the end, so I must have done something right. That said, it could also have been down to being so bored that I extended into doing something else. Lying to myself into thinking that I was doing work, but really wasn’t. Like that time you recorded your own version of Alvin Lucier’s I am sitting in a room when writing your dissertation on experimental music, when all you had to do was write a single sentence on the guy.
Nick: I guess.
Cam: And that time you wrote an interview with yourself.
Nick: *sigh*. Yeah, this got old pretty quickly, didn’t it?
Nick: Oh shit.
Cam: Don’t fret. It’s not like anyone is going to read this far anyway.
Nick: Some friends might.
Cam: Yeah, right. I bet you’ll post this on Facebook in hope that your friends will click on the link. Right?
Nick: I…. I guess. Thanks for your time suppose.
Cam: No problem. I’ll always be with you.