Interview with FRANKIE

Frankie answers all of WQAQ’s questions.

1. What inspired and pushed you to become a musician?

Honestly i’m not good at anything else haha. I’ve grown up singing my whole life, teaching myself instruments and writing songs. At first I thought it was just a way to express myself and help me get through the teen years but when I went to college I realized it was my only passion. I tried a psych degree, theatre degree, and finally took a music class and realized that it was the only path for me and have never looked back!

2. How did you feel when Problems Problems reached over 200,000  plays on spotify?

Ya that was crazy haha…when Problems was put on New Music Tuesday Spotify Playlist that was so flattering and really took the song to a new level. It had been doing really well on soundcloud, hype machine, and other blogs but seeing all those plays on spotify was so rewarding and unexpected in the best way. Still shocked!

3. Who would you say are your biggest role models?

I am absolutely obsessed with Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac and have been my entire life. My mom was obsessed with her and it definitely moved on to me as well. I love the singer songwriters of the 70’s…mainly women too. I love Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, Carol King, etc because they said what was on their mind and were 100% themselves in a time when men controlled a lot which I admire so much. I also am really inspired by the Spice Girls for their girl power and what they represent. They are a group of women that every girl on the planet wanted to hang with and I think there is something really powerful to have that sort of charisma and charm thats addicting.

4. Have you considered going away from your indie pop sound or having any collaborations with any other artists?

I would love to collaborate! I love working with other artists especially songwriters so i’m really down to pair up with whoever and see what sort of creation comes out. For this upcoming EP, I teamed up with my 3 best friends who are also my bandmates and I feel like we created this really unique quirky pop sound that i’m definitely going to stick to and explore for a while!

5. Are you working on any new projects we might be able to know about? Also are you excited about the upcoming tour?

I have finished my EP, Dreamstate, which is coming out April 14th and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been locked away with my producer, Petros, in his bedroom studio for the past 6 months creating this sound and the response so far has been so overwhelming and so sweet that i’m excited for people to hear the rest of the project! Also really stoked to tour the EP and introduce the music to new people around the country…definitely a huge goal of mine for the upcoming year!

6. What would you say is your favorite time to right new songs? Do you have any sort of ritual for this?

For this EP each song came about in a different way. Half of the EP was written with my friends in a house by the beach away on a writing retreat and the other half came to me (full melody + lyrics) in that moment when you’re about to fall asleep. It was the craziest thing…I would grab my phone immediately as I was sort of waking up and record it immediately to make sure I didn’t forget anything before the morning came. That was definitely an unexpected new way of writing! It happens differently every time so its hard to say.

7. What are your favorite activities apart from singing and songwriting?

I love being outside soaking up the LA sun as well as binge watching my favorite TV shows…but to be completely honest music is my life and is seriously all I do haha

8. Do you have a favorite venue and what would be your dream venue to play in?

I’m from Oakland so it would be a dream to play at the Oakland Coliseum. That would be wild.

9. What are you listening the most recently? Any thoughts on how the music industry is doing?

I’ve been listening to the radio recently funny enough. I normally don’t for whatever reason but i’ve been enjoying studying up on current indie/pop music and seeing whats out there. I feel like pop music is getting more and more experimental and wider with genres so that to me is really exciting. People’s ears seem to be expanding and a lot of cross overs are happening which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. 

10. What would you say is your spirit animal?

hmmmm… a hummingbird ;)

Royal Tongues Interview

JG: Justin Gammella
AB: Aaron Bonus

Royal Tongues|Facebook

Royal Tongues|Facebook

1) I’m sure you get this all the time but where did your name come from?
Honestly, we had making up band names and don’t think they matter too too much. At the time we were thinking of names “Royals” and “tongues” were pretty big on alternative radio so that’s how it became.

2) How did you two meet?
JG: Around two years ago, Aaron’s manager at the time hit me up to see if I’d be interested in writing a song with Aaron for his project. We met and wrote and finished a song in the 6 hour session we had; we knew right away we had chemistry. We didn’t start working together much more in-depth until he got back from tour a few months later.

3) What is your least favorite question to be asked?
To be honest… how did you get your band name, because it’s not a cool story.

4) What is a question you wish you were asked more and what is the answer?
JG: I’m a producer/gear guy first so I always love when people ask about how the EP was recorded or what effects we used for certain parts etc. The EP was mostly recorded in my home studio in Buffalo, NY. Parts of “Rollin’ On” were recorded in LA. Our studio is very minimal which actually really inspired us to think outside the box sometimes or forced us to try different methods of recording or producing because we had limitations with what we could and could not do. I think a big part of our sound came from those limitations and us just figuring things out as we went.

5) What did your parents play for you when you were younger?
JG: My dad is from Italy and came here when he was around 20 years old. He would play music that Europeans liked; ABBA, Alan Parsons Project etc. I definitely had to rely on friends to get my musical taste, even though I do love ABBA.
AB: My dad introduced me to the Jackson 5,the Beatles, queen, and all things classic rock. My mother showed me rod Stewart and the bee gee’s.

6) What were you into when you were teenagers?
JG: As a teenager I was definitely outwardly into the whole me/punk scene. I was a huge fan of Brand New and Taking BackSunday, that whole teen-angsty scene, ha.
AB: I would say dredge,the killers,jimmy eat world, and the postal service.

7) What is the music scene in Buffalo like and has it influenced you?
JG: To be honest, we are sort of the out band out in Buffalo. It is slowly forming an alternative scene but Buffalo’s main musical exports have been hardcore and pop punk music. Most of the local bands here fit into those two genres.

8) If you were to blow up overnight what would you do with your success?
JG: Personally, I’m a workaholic and I love doing this (producing, songwriting). I would want to build up my studio significantly more and just write, write, write. Aaron and I both are interested in developing other acts as well and that’s one of the first things we’d do too.
AB: Not to sound cheesy but I would be a voice for those who don’t have one. Things I believe need to be addressed in the world.

9) I saw that you listed Smallpools and Passion Pit as some of your influences is there any influences people wouldn’t expect?
JG: I’m a HUG fan of The Beatles, you’d know that right away if you ever walked into my studio. But I also am a sucker for pop music. I consider Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Dr. Luke etc. to be some of my biggest influences, especially in production.
AB: I love nickel creek, they have a more county vibe but I dare anyone to listen to “why should the fire die” in entirety and not become a fan.

10) What do you do to wind down?
JG: Honestly? Just veg-out on the couch with my girlfriend and watch Netflix or something. I don’t think people realize that even though I’m not killing my body by being in a studio or playing a show it is pretty mentally exhausting doing it for 8-12 hours a day and I just need to zone out and not think about anything.
AB: I am sure by listening to The balance lyrics you can take a guess lol.

11) What are you working on now? Touring? EP? LP?
JG: We are working on exactly that. We are releasing our debut EP on March 10th independently and are currently working on a full length with no set release date at the moment.

Diana Krall – Wallflower

When I was given the opportunity to review Diana Krall’s latest album, Wallflower, I already had an idea of what I was getting into. Other than knowing that she is married to rock legend Elvis Costello, I remembered that she played piano accompaniment on my hero Paul McCartney’s mostly standards album, Kisses on the Bottom. Sure enough, that was exactly the tone that Wallflower had, consisting entirely of jazz twists on classic pop songs such as “Superstar” by the Carpenters and the titular “Wallflower” by Bob Dylan, and that was also its greatest downfall. At least McCartney’s album featured two lukewarm McCartney originals to break through the clutter, and even though he recorded the album at age 69, he sounded nowhere near as bad as Krall does on this album. Try to imagine Norah Jones with a perpetual cold and a limited vocal range; that’s what Diana Krall sounds like. Not even vocal cameos by Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams could save this clunker of an album. The only song that could be considered a standout track, and I say this only because I am an ardent fan of the original version, is her cover of “I Can’t Tell You Why” by the Eagles. Other than this, I would not recommend this album to anybody with taste. Listen to Norah Jones instead; at least she writes some of her own stuff. 3 out of 10 stars.

–Jacob Wiseman

Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues

Punch Brothers new album The Phosphorescent Blues was absolutely fantastic. The Punch Brothers a five-piece bluegrass acoustic band featuring Chris Thile, a Macarthur Fellow who received the grant of $500 thousand just to continue playing the mandolin. The album opens with “Familiarity,” a ten-minute tour de force showing off Thile’s absolute mastery of his instrument. The rest of the album does not lack anything as well. On “Passepied,” there are no lyrics, which really highlights Thile’s amazing ability to compose for a more classical pallet as well. With “Boll Weevil,” the mood switches to a more bluegrass almost country feel, where most of the lyrics are harmonized and there is a lot of interplay with the instruments. Overall I think anyone with ears should check out the Punch Brothers, especially this album, The Phosphorescent Blues.

WQAQ Production Manual

WQAQ Production Manual