Fridtjof Tischendorf, AKA Fridge, can best be described as a wildcard on a snowboard as he freestyles down the mountain like a jazz solo. While creativity and his mysterious backpack are what he’s best known for, what you might not have known is what he’s listening to that fuels him and his snowboarding. We recently interrupted Fridge as he winds down a yoga session with a sandwich and suds on a five-star vacation in Austria. Learn about the Icelandic metal, his childhood phases, and the mellow music Fridge prefers, all in his On Rotation interview below.
What’s up, Fridge? How’s Austria treating you?
My friend and his family have this five-star hotel, so just been living it up in a really nice hotel with a spa just came back from yoga. Treating my body like a temple.
Sounds like heaven, man. Are you sure you’re even snowboarding out there?
No, full vacation mode.
Not a bad way to be living right now.
No, it’s amazing. I’m going to be honest with you, I have one bite left of my sandwich that I’m going to eat, so I have some more energy.
Take your time, and we’ll crank through this, so I’m not taking up too much of your vacation time.
Not a problem at all. One little sip of beer here and..ah.
To get you warmed up, what would you say is your favorite type of music?
I think in general, it’s probably rock music like older types of rock, classical rock.
When you say rock music, what bands or artists are you talking about?
Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra is pretty dope. I listen to some Black Sabbath, but I would probably say more of The Clash category type. I do like hard rock and metal-type rock as well. I listen to that but for going to the gym and getting angry at the weights. I have a totally different playlist for that, and it’s like, punk rock, hard rock, Icelandic rock. That’s its own category.
When you listen to rock, is it mainly in English or in Norwegian?
No, if it’s super hard rock, then it’s probably not English. Either Swedish, Norwegian, or Icelandic. It’s super grunge; you don’t even understand what they’re saying. I don’t think people that are from that country actually understand the words. (laughs) I’m pretty sure they’re not actually saying anything. I think they’re just screaming. I sometimes listen to Norwegian punk, where I do understand what they’re saying. There’s a band called Honningbarna that I used to listen to a lot that is pretty dope.
Who are some other Norwegian bands that you are into?
Kvelertak is a Norwegian hard rock band that’s really sick. They have a bunch of good music. I can send you others, but the Icelandic bands are so weird I can even pronounce them.
Shoot them over, and we’ll get people hyped on Icelandic rock. How did you get into that type of music?
It’s actually pretty funny. I’m not sure who got me into it, but I remember my punk rock phase when I was five years old. I took my mom’s sweat pants and cut them into strips and made her paint my hair black and red with watercolor and had a mohawk and bought these black goth straps that go around your neck with the pointy things sticking out. I had that phase, and the first CD I bought with my own money was this insane screamo type of shit. The cover was just this pale white dude with long black hair and water running down his face like the most insane depressing thing you’ve ever seen. I remember that’s the first-ever CD I bought.
That’s funny, as a six-year-old, that’s the first CD that you bought.
Yeah, but lately, Halldór Helgason has some really good Icelandic tunes when it comes to hardcore music, and you just pick it up a little bit here and there. I have some friends in Norway who play in a punk rock band that’s really sick. They got a Norwegian prize for Best Rock Song, so I get to hear some new music when I’m with them.
So you just picked up the rock genre as a young kid. What was the next phase?
I went through many phases as a kid. My next phase was definitely a Rasta phase. I got dreadlocks a little bit later when I was like 12. I think the dreadlocks were mostly a little bit posing, and I just didn’t want to wash my hair or go to the haircutter. It was an easy hairstyle that I didn’t have to do anything about for at least three years. I don’t know if I want to call it a phase, but after I cut my dreads off, I had this super straight phase like buying clean shirts and tight pants. Just Looking completely average, probably listening to super average music like the number one pop songs.
Do you mean like a clean-cut type look?
Yeah, and I knew all of the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s song You Belong With Me. If it plays, I can probably sing most of the song.
What do you listen to while snowboarding? Is it heavy rock music to stay amped up?
I can’t listen to heavy rock music when I’m snowboarding or skateboarding. I got to slow it down. It’s actually really weird. I get too pumped up if I’m listening to really hardcore music when I’m snowboarding. I feel like I end up taking the worst slams if I try to snowboard with that type of music like I lose focus and get angry. I can’t really snowboard to like heavy metal. When I’m snowboarding, I usually mellow it down a lot. I feel like Fleetwood Mac is a nice type of music, or it totally depends on the mood that I’m in. Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, that whole album is probably one of my favorite albums. That’s the kind of vibe I would be down for to snowboard or a super nice guitar solo. For a whole year, my contest song when I was riding in competitions, I would always listen to Europa by Santana just pure guitars solo. That was the only song I could listen to when I was doing my heaviest runs.
Is that because it just became a routine for you and to get you in the right mindset?
Yeah, I used to have this routine of songs that I would listen to before dropping in. Like when you’re standing on top, getting ready, getting in the right mindset. Now I play some really slow, really mellow like Norwegian love songs. I don’t need to get that pulse any higher. Just try to calm yourself down. Think of people you love, only happy thoughts, and then when it’s my turn to drop in, I put on Europa by Santana. I go full guitar solo and just like freestyle jam because you got to be in the moment and ready to see where the course takes you. Sometimes you don’t end up doing the tricks you plan to do, and then it turns into a jazz kind of snowboarding. That’s what works for me. I know some friends that are completely different, like Mons Roisland. When he’s riding, he’s going full pump like he listening to the exact opposite of what I’m listening to, like full-on bass and heavy lyrics. It’s like being stuck in a room with a strobe light pointing at you. It’s intense. But it works for him, and he’s a machine, so everyone has their own style.
If you were at a competition today, what would be your current song of choice?
It kind of changes like last year or two I haven’t really had a competition song. So it’s hard to say, but I’ll probably listen to a playlist that I like at the moment and see what song I like riding to, then go with that when I’m competing. But right now, I don’t have that competition song in my head. I feel like when it comes to a song to listen to for competitions, it sounds really weird, but I feel like it’s not me that finds the song. It’s more of the song that finds me.
Any snowboard movies you remember growing up that were your favorite and influenced you because of the music?
Wow, that is a really great question, and the answer is yes. (laughs) The first thing that pops into my head, and I feel like it’s impossible not to mention, is The Art of Flight when they use M83 like that type of music with the most amazing shots ever. There aren’t really parts in that movie, but I feel like that’s one of the sickest snowboard movies that ever came out. I remember one of Halldór Helgason’s first parts in They Came From [Factory Film, 2009], and he used some Icelandic song. I remember that, and I would listen to that a lot after watching it. I remember Shaun White in The White Album had Crazy On You by Heart. That was a sick song as well. I feel like there are so many good songs used for snowboarding. Especially when you watch a snowboard movie, it doesn’t matter if the song isn’t really good, but if the snowboarding is really good, it will emphasize the whole song. The combination of picking a song for your movie and getting a good song and a good part really makes the song slap.
You teed me up for my next question. If you could pick any song for a video part all rights free, what would you pick?
I feel like the all rights free part makes it harder to pick because then you could pick something super legendary like The Final Countdown. (laughs) It’s tough. Good question. I think right now, I feel like I would want to use this song no matter if I have the rights or not. But I think if I had a really good part that I was stoked on, I would use a song called Star Rider from the band Hällas. I would call that type of music adventure rock. I have to think a bit, because even though you could choose from any song, it’s not really cool to choose a song someone has already used before. If I can pick a couple of songs, I would probably use Careless Whisper by George Michael because that song is amazing. That Hällas song and I was thinking about Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, maybe not for a part, but it is a nice song, though. That’s a really tough question. I’m definitely going to be beating my head to what I would have used if I could use anything with all rights.
We’ll end this on an easy question. Are you a fan of karaoke? What would be your go-to song to sing?
Yeah, I think karaoke is fun. I’ve been to it a couple of times, but my voice really sucks. It works fairly decent with rock music where you can scream like I’m really good at screaming loud. I think the best song to pick for karaoke is I Will Fix You by Coldplay. I feel like pretty much everyone knows this song, and you can just scream your heart out to “when you try your best, but you don’t succeed,” and everyone is just going to cry and scream at the same time. You have to get the crowd with you at karaoke. I feel like a sing along is better than me singing alone.