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Opinion

Twin Cities band, Ice Land, begins to break out

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February 1, 2007

There is a little part in all of us that dreams of becoming a rock star. Every time your roommate plugs a small red guitar into a PlayStation for a round of Guitar Hero or a drunken girl ill advisedly takes the mic at karaoke, they can pretend for a few minutes to rock out in front of a roaring crowd. 

Few of us ever get to experience these dreams in reality, but Ice Land, a new band breaking out in the Twin Cities is combining their knowledge of electronics and music to bring a new sound to the stage. 

I got to sit down with the band after their first show at the Fine Line in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Jan. 23 to discuss their sound and what it takes to start up a new band.
Ice Land took the stage that night after another first time performer, the Jeff Wenberg Band, and a set by veteran performer Ryan Lee.
 
Although it was the first time for the guys in Ice Land to perform outside an apartment/studio, they had been playing as individuals or in other groups for many years. 
Daniel Lee Cornforth, the band’s lead singer and acoustic guitar player explained to me how he got the ideas for this group. 

“I started writing this project three years ago, but I didn’t do anything with it,” Cornforth said. 

He met the other two members, Lucas Price and Shon Troth, at the bars in Uptown and a connection was easily formed between the eclectic musicians. 

When asked if they had any advice for bands that are coming together from different, but equally experienced backgrounds.

“Just bring anything together that you know, no matter how weird, and it’ll work,” Troth said when asked if they had any advice for bands that are coming together from different, but equally experienced backgrounds.

For example, Price belonged to a metal band in Milwaukee before he moved to Minneapolis.  Now, he uses a mini keyboard and Macintosh computer to add electronic depth to the band’s sound.  Price is quiet and contemplative.

“Don’t limit yourself,” Price said.

Electronic and ambient music is gaining popularity in the rock community, and it is important for bands like Ice Land to use computer software like Pro Tools to create a unique and captivating sound. 

The band agrees that these programs help musicians to be creative without being restricted to a typical studio. 

“They allow musicians with no budget to release an album,” Price said, which is exactly what Ice Land has been working on. 

The band has three EPs (Extended Play) on the schedule, with the first already being recorded in Cornforth’s apartment. 

But like all emerging groups, the guys understand that their experiences will continually shape and change their style. 

“We haven’t really formed our sound yet, and we need to experiment more,” Cornforth said.

Although Ice Land has only had one gig at the Fine Line so far, I would not underestimate the talent and potential of the band. 

Their sound projects a quiet madness that can hush the whole room. 

In plain musical six degrees, Ice Land captures the instrumental mood of Radioed and the introspective lyrics of Kind of Like Spitting. 

This is an amazing feat for a band that only uses an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Mac computer, keyboard and lap steal guitar for instruments. 

Joseph Hughes of Ryan Lee sat in for a couple of songs during Ice Land’s set, but currently they have no regular drummer. 

The band plans to schedule more shows in the area but until then, I would highly recommend checking them out on Myspace, at http://www.myspace.com/icelandband.

Jenna Lee is a student at UW-River Falls.