Drum machine to the rescue

Akai iMPC Drum Machine

Akai iMPC Drum Machine on iPad

I recently had back surgery (a right L4-L5 microdiscectomy to be exact). I won’t go into all the details, but surgery was my best option given my situation. Because of this, I haven’t been able to play my drums for more than 2 months. The surgery has forced me to slow down, and has given me a lot of time to relax and think.

At our last frank rehearsal before my surgery, Seth handed me an iPad mini, loaded with a number of synths and other digital music programs. “Thought you might want something to play around with while you are recovering.” Seth is the man.

I played around with the iPad for a few days, and learned how to use some of the apps he had (like tabletop, arturi mini moog, and iMPC drum machine with some help from youtube). I had a lot of free time while I was home recovering, and this was a perfect way to spend it.

Now I can use the iPad at frank rehearsal, and I’m able to play along using my fingers. I can play “live,” or I can create loops that we can improvise on top of. It’s not the same as playing real drums, but it’s certainly better than not playing.

I tend to be an all or nothing person. I thought I would have to wait until I was fully recovered to start playing with the band again. Luckily Seth had this technology, was thoughtful enough to let me borrow it. Needless to say I’m extremely thankful for the loan. But more importantly it’s made me realize that sometimes you just need to see things slightly differently. Who knows, maybe the next frank record will be all drum machines…

I’m looking forward to getting back behind the kit. But in the meantime, I’m just happy to be making music with my friends.


These Songs Will Save Your Life

I often try to find words, or references, as a way to explain how I feel about music, or a particular song. Music communicates so much without words, and I think that’s why I like it so much. I thought I’d share a few songs I am in love with – these songs make me feel alive. I did my best to find words, but your best bet is to just listen to the songs yourself.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings – Father John Misty

I am in love with this entire album, and I can’t stop playing this song.  It’s a winter song.  The riff and the drums make me want to walk around the world and talk to everyone.  It makes me laugh and want to go out and get shit done, to call my friends, to play music and to write my own songs that sound like this.   I can picture the cemetery he’s singing about, and although I don’t understand his lyrics exactly, I like how he is able to talk about death openly and without too much sentimentality.  J. Tilman AKA Father John Misty (former drummer for Fleet Foxes) has his own way of weaving words together, and his voice perfect: rough and crackly, but strong and authentic.

Matterhorn – Jason Lytle

I will never forget the first time I heard Jason Lytle.  It was as though I finally was hearing music made for me.  His songs help me make sense of the world.  I love his voice and the way he builds songs.  He carefully layers his production and makes simple ideas sound perfect.  In this tune, the classical acoustic sits on top of synths and the simple drums drive everything.  The song is constantly ascending and soaring, and I almost wonder if that is on purpose – the song is called “Matterhorn,”  a mountain in Europe.

I am the Cosmos – Chris Bell

This song is honest and beautiful.  It’s about being alone, but the lyrics are swimming in of a big lush ballad that keeps you company.  I have a theory that once you write something down – lyrics or a melody, it’s instantly less bad than it felt when it was tucked inside you.  And this song feels like that to me.  The recording and musicians are great, and the song has a desperation that is released by the playing of the song.  The dynamics give it a grandiose, celebratory feel, even though the song is about how terrible loneliness can feel.

“Here Together” Now Available for Purchase!

Our long-awaited third record, “Here Together” will be available on January 31st at the following outlets:

Digital Download:
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

CD Purchase:
Buy at CDBaby

Check out some reviews:

“This new record is a complete reflection of what Frank is all about which is one tight-knit group of guys who make top-quality recordings. The band chemistry can be heard almost instantaneously as soon as you hit play.” 4.5 out of 5 – Skope Magazine

“There is not a band that has came out with a title this year that comes forth in such a unique way as Frank…Frank’s Here Together will have listeners singing along before their third or fourth listen.” 8.1 out of 10 – Neufutur Magazine

“On its latest release, HERE TOGETHER, the band evokes just as much of the no-frills essence of 1970s hard rock as it does the coffee-amped college radio rock scene of the 1990s. However, Frank is a band that can only exist in the 21st century, having absorbed both eras with intense reverence while avoiding sounding dated.” – Music Emissions

“This band gets stuck in the listener’s head…killer tunes” Grade: A – Suite 101

scott, billy, seth, and christian