INTERVIEW: LINDSAY MANFREDI (COLD)

If you know me at all, then you know that COLD have been on my “TOP 5 BANDS” list for over two decades. Most people in my circle don’t understand that at all, considering that I’m primarily an advocate for Swedish melodic death metal, and Finnish symphonic metal. However, COLD’s particular blend of nu metal, post grunge, and dark rock just speaks to me in a way I wasn’t prepared for as a teen. Now, I’m 37, and just as excited to see this band live in Rochester, NY on May 14, 2022 as I was back in 2001 when I saw them for the very first time at LaSalle Park in Buffalo, NY. If memory serves, the 2001 show was an “EdgeFest”, if anyone from WNY remembers those things. However, as the years have gone by, and this band has aged like a fine wine to me, I’d have to say the most magical live COLD experience I had was on the “Broken Human Tour” in 2019, when I caught their back-to-back live shows at Viper Room in West Hollywood, CA. Not only was I completely spellbound by finally hearing songs from 2019’s The Things We Can’t Stop in a live setting – an album that completely destroyed me upon first listen (in the best way possible), but little did I know that it would be one of my last Viper Room experiences, as the venue has since been repurposed.

I have so many fond memories involving the music of COLD spanning the majority of my life, so when the opportunity arose to interview Lindsay Manfredi just one month prior to COLD’s impending visit to Rochester, I needed to act. This was a great experience that satiated many of my burning curiosities about this band and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. Thanks, Lindsay.

1. I guess the most obvious first question is, how did you first come to join the band? I read that you replaced Jeremy back in 2014, but I’m fuzzy on who approached who and how it all came about.

I’ve been a Cold fan since the late ‘90s. I had the spider tattooed on my arm as soon as 13 Ways to Bleed On Stage came out. And I was actually one of the fans who made the inside liner of Year of the Spider. That said, I was playing bass in a band that was supporting Saving Abel. A Cold fan saw me on one of those tours and snapped a photo and sent it to Scoot. They were looking for a new bassist at the time, so Scooter started researching me, then hit me up on social media. It was a hard, immediate yes. The rest is history.

2. Do you have any favorite Cold albums or songs that were released prior to your joining? As a follow-up, what are some of your favorite songs on THE THINGS WE CAN’T STOP?

I love every single Cold album. The Things We Can’t Stop was such a special, surreal event in my life, working alongside one of my musical heroes. As far as favorite songs, every single song on that album is incredible to me. That album takes you on a special journey and is completely different from any other Cold album. It’s a beautiful thing.

3. I typically feature bassists and drummers in my monthly zine, and I normally include a “gear talk” section. When it comes to your bass guitar, amp, and electronics arsenals, what are some brands/makes/models you swear by?

I’ve been playing Ashdown Amps for ten years and finally was able to convince them to endorse me this year. (laughs) I’ve used used their ABM500 in past bands. The last tour, I used the Geezer Butler HOD. For this tour, I had some issues with it, so they sent me the SHAVO head. That being said, my main tone comes from my Dark Glass Electronics Alpha Omega preamp. I play my signature series Maverick by Diamond. They made 13 and just sold the last one yesterday. I use Ernie Ball Slinky strings.

4. Following Cold’s social media presence off and on, it seems you guys really have some of the greatest fans out there. I love seeing the personal exchanges you guys do with fans when they reach out. I guess with this in mind, what are some of the ways you guys coped with the Covid shutdown? How did you guys stay connected to the fans, and what special things did you guys do online (and off) since you had to stay off stage for awhile?

We do indeed have THE best fans who have always been here throughout the years. Scooter is such an incredible songwriter. We didn’t do much during the pandemic. Scooter and Nick did some writing that we’ll be visiting when we get a chance. I released a book, made lots of candles. Nick. Johnny and I did a pandemic cover of “Take A Picture” by Filter with Brian Quinn (Candlebox), Chad Szeliga (ex-Breaking Benjamin), Aaron Fink (Lifer) and Geno Lenardo (ex-Filter). That was fun. It’s up on YouTube.

5. Now that you’ve been in the band for 8 years and toured extensively, what are some of your favorite venues you’ve played? I recently heard about the happenings at Viper Room and saw that your next West Hollywood performance will be across the street at Whisky. The last time I saw you guys, it was when you did back-to-back nights at Viper Room in November 2019. Will this be one of the places you’ll dearly miss?

I love the Viper Room and living in Hollywood from 2021-2022, it’s definitely a place I’ll miss. It’s a staple. I’m excited to play the Whisky again though. I haven’t been on that stage since 2016.

6. Have you been working on any particular techniques or new approaches to challenge your bass playing as of late? What are some of your independent practice routines, if any?

I’ve been doing more finger work and scale work over the last couple of years. I’ve always had an issue with getting my middle finger to work. (laughs) Silly, I know, but I play differently than most bassists because of that.

7. Do you find Cold to be more of a collaborative experience in the writing room, or do you tend to find yourself learning material after it has been finalized?

Scooter is the main songwriter of course. He gives us all the freedom to come up with our parts but ultimately, he is the final decision maker.

8. What was your first Cold live experience prior to having joined the band? (if any)

My first live Cold experience was in 1998 when I was doing merch for Sprung Monkey. They opened up for Kid Rock and Cold at the Metro in Chicago. I fell in love with them. When I moved to Tampa in 1999, I would see them regularly at the Masquerade in Ybor City and would always blast them at the Tattoo Shop I worked at.

9. Are you looking forward to connecting with anyone in particular on the road ahead with the Black Sunday tour? I guess I’m asking if the band has made any unique and special ties in certain cities.

One of the reasons the road is so special is because we have friends all over the country. I can’t wait to get back to California. Hollywood will be like a hometown show for me along with Indianapolis. We are in Texas right now and we have so many friends here. And we can never get enough of Kevin and Johanna at The Machine Shop in Flint.

10. The Black Sunday tour hits near my hometown on May 14th. I’ll be seeing you in Rochester at Montage Music Hall. Without spoiling the setlist, how much ground would you say is being covered across the Cold discography?

We are covering songs from every album on this tour!

Lindsay Manfredi:

New book, UNFUCKWITHABLE: A Guide to Inspired Badassery available NOW!

bassist for COLD, lover, rocker, speaker, author, road warrior

website: lindsaymanfredi.com

band: coldarmy.com

ig: lindsaymanfredi

ig: coldmusic

facebook: COLD

*Taken from our May 2022 issue: “One Cold Spring in Buffalo”

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