“Quagmire: I’m eager to hear how you began working with Michael Jackson and how he contacted you.
Dr. Freeze: I knew his manager, John McClain, and I was working on an album with my partners, Spydermann. After completing the album, it did not go as planned and we had to cancel the project. I was very upset. And then John McClain said, “Do not worry Freeze. I have another project for you. You’ll be in business with Michael.” I said: “Michael … who?” And he said: “Michael Jackson!” I did not believe it at first and I thought it was crazy. And then one day I was on the phone with my father and someone called me on the other line…And it was Michael! That’s how it all began. I had some songs that I made for Michael. He adored them! Because Michael and I, we have a knack for melody. So every time I proposed something, it was easy for him to study the song because it was as if he already knew. I gave him some songs that he adored. He cherished them. That’s how we met.
Q: Speaking of ‘Break Of Dawn,’ which is a great song. I think that’s one of the most sensual songs he has ever made and that’s what I wanted to hear from Michael. I do not know if you knew, this is the first time he talks about making love in a song. I do not know if you had addressed this very issue with him?
F: (laughs) Yeah, thank you. It was his favorite song. That was his baby!
Q: Do you remember the exact number of songs that you have presented?
F: I introduced him to many songs. The main songs on which we worked are ‘Break Of Dawn,’ ‘A Place With No Name,’ and ‘Blue Gangsta.’ These three songs were our priorities. ‘Break Of Dawn,’ is one of the songs that have been finalized. Others have been released later. They are kept in reserve.
Q: So you suggest songs hmm…No doubt Michael adores most of his work.
As I understand, he loved every bit of ‘Break Of Dawn,’ and from there he decided to focus on this particular song. What happened next?
F: We were recording, went studio hopping, re-registered, and recorded more songs. You know, ‘A Place With No Name,’ and ‘Gangsta Blue,’ were recorded at the same time. There are also some others I cannot speak of now. But other songs were recorded. We saved a lot but these three songs were our three main objectives.
Q: What was your mindset in the first day in the studio with him? How did you feel?
F: It was pretty scary for me! I felt like I was back in primary school and not knowing anything about the production! With Michael I relearned everything. The other producers and I were as students facing a teacher. With Michael, it was as if we knew nothing more to the
business: we had to start over and relearn everything. He taught us to do everything the best way possible: Michael was a perfectionist and we had to start from scratch to produce the music the best possible way. I was very nervous, very nervous but very honored! Anyway, Michael was more nervous with me than I were with him. He was simply the most wonderful person with whom you could never dream of working with. It was great! He knew all about the music industry, everything about everything, nothing was foreign to him, and he taught me a lot.
Finally, he was very humble and creative. It was really great to work with him.
Q: You have therefore proposed his ‘Break Of Dawn,’ and then you had to redo the song in full by following his advice?
F: No, he just had to record vocals…and add his magic! It was like flowers and trees grew in the song! He touched her and it became magical! I was shocked!
Q: So all the musical parts and the lyrics were made in advance?
F: Yes, he loved the song! He wanted to leave it as is! All of it was me on this piece; no one had the right to change anything. Because it sounded like he had heard it for the first time we had a dream, a vision, and he wanted to recreate this dream in song to the last detail. He did not want to change anything; he wanted to keep the magic of the song absolutely intact. What you hear on Invincible is exactly the version I’ve given him before he raises his voice there.
Q: How long did it take him to record the song?
F: It took him time because he wanted a lot of momentum in the voice, especially the harmony you hear in the chorus. It took time. The process was in the studio as long as if we were filming a movie!
Q: At that time, he also worked on other songs for ‘Invincible?’
Q: So he was taken to record his voice, listen to it, arrange it, working on other songs, then he returned a few days later to make additional catches…right?
F: Yes, it was incremental work. Sometimes he recorded the lead vocals, sometimes it was just the chorus or ad-lib…He also listened to the different mixes and changed some details around here or there. He was in full creative control. We wanted the song to be perfect, and to return to my analogy about film, it was a bit like a director looking to improve his film by changing the script or changing players. This is the type of process that was used to create this song, and overall, the album Invincible.
Q: So basically, he changed a verse, started work on another song, and a few days later, he came to you to change the song again?
F: Yes. When he returned, changes were made and ideas were proposed, he listened attentively. It also arose at times to arrange two or three things. Ultimately, all decisions were his. He was the boss. He was open to any criticism or suggestions beneficial to the song, as the tune kept its effectiveness. All that interested him , was to have number one hits.
Q: Whose idea was it to take, ‘A Horse With No Name,’ from ‘America,’
unto a whole new level?
F: That’s me. Again, I did all the music, and he only had to learn the lyrics. It was at the same time as ‘Break Of Dawn,’ but it was not extended and we continued to work on it later. It has improved gradually.
Q: Was it planned for the album, ‘Invincible,’ or another project?
F: Initially it was planned for ‘Invincible,’ yes. It is not out on this album and was therefore kept in reserve as was ‘Blue Gangsta.’
Q: Compared to the extract leak on the Internet, can we expect different mixing?
F: Yes, what you heard was an old mix. One you’ll soon hear is completely new.
Q: You said “soon”? I am willing to learn more!
F: ‘A Place With No Name”,’ and ‘Blue Gangsta,’ will both be on the next post-humorous album of Michael Jackson. ‘A Place With No Name,’
will be different from the leak on the internet, it will be updated.
For ‘Blue Gangsta,’ I’ve rerecorded the instrumental. So expect changes to that as well.
Q: Did you complete this song with Michael when he was alive?