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Picture of Frodus in Sweden whilst on tour with Refused in 1998 by Pat Graham.
|Origin||Washington, D.C., US|
|Genres||Post-hardcore, art rock, experimental rock|
|Years active||1993–1999, 2009|
Frodus (a.k.a. Frodus Conglomerate International, Frodus Sound Laboratories, FCI, Frodus Escape Plan, Frodus Deposit Insurance Corporation) was a Washington, D.C.-based post-hardcore band, they are described by critics as one of the most influential post-hardcore bands of the 1990s. Their mixture of math rock, hardcore punk plus there lyrical themes being frequently dark and dissonant has been seen as esoteric for it's time proved to be influential to bands such as Thrice and Rosetta. Frodus was founded in 1993 by vocalist/guitarist Shelby Cinca and drummer Jason Hamacher. The band went through numerous bassists over the course of their career.
Frodus' first releases were self-distributed cassettes and 7 inches, such as "Babe", "Tzo-Boy", and "Molotov Cocktail Party". Two other releases ("Fireflies" and "F-Letter"), on now defunct indies, followed. Frodus later signed with Tooth and Nail Records, an independent label out of Seattle, with which they released Conglomerate International in 1998. Most of Frodus' recognition was due to their epic swan song, the 1999 recorded and 2001 released LP on Fueled by Ramen entitled And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea, considered by band members their best recorded work.
On Wednesday October 8, 2008, Gilead Media formally announced that they would be re-releasing Frodus' 1998 album "Conglomerate International" on a 2xLP package with full gatefold artwork and an exclusive, unreleased bonus track titled "Attention:Remove." The LP was finally released in February 2009.
The name Frodus came from the last episode of TV series The Monkees called Mijacogeo (aka The Frodis Caper).
- Jim Cooper - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1993–1995)
- Kyle Bacon - Bass Guitar (1993–1994, 6 shows)
- Ted Magsig - Bass Guitar (1994, 4 shows)
- Dana Wachs - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1994, 4 shows)
- Andy Duncan - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1995)
- Howard Pyle - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1995–1997)
- Mason - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1997)
- Nathan Burke - Bass Guitar, Vocals (1997–1999)
- Saadat Awan - Bass Guitar for impromptu live performance at the Swedish Embassy, WDC (2008)
- Liam Wilson - Bass Guitar (2009)
- Jake Brown - Bass Guitar, Vocals (2009)
The Frodus Head
The Frodus "Head" was co-opted from obscure marketing materials of the mid-20th century mentalist–magician Joseph Dunninger, a man who maintained an enigmatic image all of his life. Publicly, he stayed away from magicians and seemed apart from their interests; personally, he loved magic tricks and to root around in magic shops.
This initial allure of mystery and mental manipulation was a theme that spoke to the band and was adopted on flyers as early as 1993 and later resurfaced in 1997 as an official Frodus icon upon the debut of their musical ode to corporate America, entitled Conglomerate International (Tooth & Nail Records). It is to be noted a link to mentalism and mass manipulation is referenced upon the compact disc itself of said release with the words "mind-control disc" subtly placed under band and album name. Numerous t-shirts containing the "head" logo and phrases were also printed during this time. Such phrases included: "Control is always automatic", "Suspicion breeds confidence" (a reference to the film Brazil), and "Success in paranoia". Coincidentally, Tooth & Nail itself also took a turn to corporation-parody with its website and advertising designs at this time. The label's fourth music video compilation, The T&N Files, included a short film after the credits featuring members of the band wandering Seattle with a megaphone, pretending to be representatives of the Conglomerate checking on the activities of their unknowing pawns.
After Frodus broke up in 1999 it took two years to find a label to release their final album. The first label, MIA Records, shut down due to the owner (also a Texas oil-tycoon) having to settle a long-standing lawsuit. Afterwards, long-time Frodus friend, Tony Weinbender, then of Fueled by Ramen Records offered to release Frodus' final opus thus saving the album from obscurity.
The members of Frodus went separate ways and partially converged again for a short time. Shelby Cinca briefly joined the band Bluebird as a second guitarist following the breakup of Frodus, but left before recording any material with them. In 2000 Nathan went on to form The Out Circuit and Night Is Invisible (both of which released records on Lujo Records) and Jason went on to drum for Combat Wounded Veteran. In 2003 the founding members Shelby Cinca and Jason Hamacher along with bassist Joe Lally of Fugazi joined to form The Black Sea. They later changed their name to Decahedron. Lally left shortly after the completion of their debut album and was replaced by Jonathan Ford (Unwed Sailor, Roadside Monument). Continually plagued by bassist fluctuation anomalies Jonathan quit in 2004 and was later replaced by Jake Brown (Moments In Grace). In 2005 they suspended operations after the release of their EP entitled "2005." Shelby Cinca then focused on his Swedish project Frantic Mantis with Håkan Johansson and Per Stålberg of Division Of Laura Lee and completed the 3rd album by The Cassettes (Buddyhead Records 2006). In 2006, Jason Hamacher started a project with Mike Schliebaum of Darkest Hour called Zealot and Shelby began releasing IDM Music made on a Game Boy (Game Boy music) with the Nanoloop software under his own name.
2006 also saw the relaunch of the Frodus web-presence and consolidation of its MySpace entities with the help of two Canadian fans/supporters, Stu Hood of SHZINE and Jason Nicholas, who both wear the mark of the Frodus "head" tattooed on their upper arms. The new focus being an organized ongoing project of archiving all known interviews, previous website designs, press clippings, and digital transfers for new media content. Founder Shelby Cinca also began remastering out-of-print releases and adding them into the iTunes library and other digital music services through his partnership with Carcrash Records.
In 2008 melodic hardcore group Thrice released a Frodus cover track on their new album The Alchemy Index IV: Earth. The track "The Earth Isn't Humming" was originally released on And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea.
2009 saw Frodus resurface as the Frodus Escape Plan/Frodus Conglomerate International/FDIC (Frodus Despotic (or Deposit) Insurance Corporation) with Liam Wilson from Dillinger Escape Plan on bass and Jake Brown from Moments in Grace also on bass for select appearances in commemoration of the re-release of the Conglomerate International double-vinyl LP on Gilead Media and as a statement in response to the bank-bailouts and the uncovering of corporate corruption in the financial sector.
- Left for Dead in Halmstad! (Live In Sweden, April 14, 1998) iTunes Only (2006 Carcrash Records) / Mastered Soundboard Tape
- Live at Black Cat 1999 iTunes Only (2005 Lovitt Records) / Engineer: Juan Carerra
- Radio-Activity (Live Radio Recordings @ WMUC, WHFS, KXLU) (2002 Magic Bullet Records) / Engineers: Mike Davis, Harry Evans
- And We Washed Our Weapons in the Sea (2001 Fueled by Ramen) / Produced by: Brian McTernan
- Conglomerate International (1998 Tooth and Nail) / Producer: Jonathan Kreinik, Engineer: Bruce Kane
- 22-D10 (Live @ WMUC Radio + Formula 7" Sessions) (1997 No Looking Back) Mixing Engineer: Mike Davis
- F-Letter (1996 Double Deuce / 2003 Magic Bullet Records) / Producer/Engineer: Brian McTernan
- Fireflies (1995 Level/2006 Carcrash Records iTunes) / Engineers: Don Zientara, Ken Olden
- Molotov Cocktail Party (1994 Gnome/2006 Carcrash Records iTunes) / Producer/Engineer: Don Zientara
- Soundlab 1 (2010 Lovitt Records)
- Suspicion Breeds Confidence (Jason Vocals) b/w G. Gordon Liddy Show Call (2006 Carcrash Records iTunes Only)
- Frodus/Atomic Fireball split (1999 Lovitt / Japan: Flatree Records) / Engineer: Jonathan Kreinik
- Muddle Magazine Promo Flexi (1997 Tooth and Nail / Muddle) / Engineer: Jonathan Kreinik
- Roadside Monument / Frodus Split EP (1997 Tooth and Nail) / Engineer: Jonathan Kreinik
- Explosions (1997 Day After Records) / Engineer: Jonathan Kreinik
- Frodus/Trans-Megetti split (1996 Art Monk Construction) / Engineer: Don Zientara
- Formula (1996 Lovitt / Shute) / Engineer: Ken Olden
- Treasure Chest (1994 Gnome / Level) / Engineer: Ken Olden, Don Zientara
- Tzo Boy (1993 Gnome) / Engineer: Charles Bennington
- Babe (1993 Gnome) / Engineer: Charles Bennington
- Torch Benefit (2001 Under Radar) - Track: Suspicion Breeds Confidence (Jason Vocal Take)
- It Goes Without Saying (1999 Sign Language) - Track: Dec. 21, 2012
- Absolut... (1999 B-Core) - Track: There Will Be No More Scum (demo)
- Can't Stop This Train (1999 Team Player) - Track: Extinguished
- Songs From the Penalty Box 3 (1999 Tooth and Nail) - Track: There WIll Be No More Scum (demo)
- Songs From the Penalty Box 2 (1998 Tooth and Nail) - Track: Conditioned
- Tooth and Nail 4th Anniversary Box Set (1997 Tooth and Nail) - Track: Lights On For Safety
- The Tie That Binds (1996 Nevermore) - Track: Factory 6 (Formula 7" Sessions Take)
- The Lovitt Empire (1996 Lovitt) - Track: Cha-Chi (English version)
- Give Me The Cure (1995 Radiopaque) - Track: Killing An Arab (Cover of The Cure's song)
- The Art of Rocketry (1995 Supernova) - Track: Malcontent (alt. mix)
- Squirrel (1995 Level) - Track: 22-d10
- Frodus.com Official website
- Interview with Shelby from 2011 about post-Frodus life
- Interview with Jason from 2011 about post-Frodus life
- Frodus interview with Shelby Cinca at Aural States (May 2009)
- Video of impromptu Frodus appearance at a Division of Laura Lee show at the Swedish embassy.