MUSIC After winning a series of competitions including NXg Rockstar, Chennai-based Franks Got the Funk is all set to release its first album. SAROOP OOMMEN
Winners at MCC, Technofest, CMC Vellore in 2010 with individual prizes; Saraang 2011 finalists; champions of the All State ‘NXg Rockstar’ 2011; Last month, headline act at PIMS, Pondicherry… Franks got the Funk is Bjorn Surrao (Vox/guitars), Sajith Satya (Bass), Shashank Vijay (Drums) Vikram Ashok (Keyboards), Rajan Chelliah (Guitars) and are releasing their debut CD tomorrow! NXg caught up with front-man Bjorn Surrao, to whip the flakes off Frank!
What’s the story behind the name?
There are lots of versions about the name; the one that Vikram confirms is that one day was just chillin’, playing with Shashank’s dog, and discussing band names. Suddenly, I apparently blurted out, “How about ‘Franks got the Funk’?” Honestly, I don’t know where that came from, coz’ I usually don’t say things like that!!
So, Franks the name of the dog?
Nope! Frank is the alter ego of the band, kind’ve the person behind the music! Later, my childhood friend, Hari Kumar drew this super cool cartoon of a magician, with a rabbit popping out of his hat! That is our logo now, and Frank the magician is kind’ve the whole background behind the band.
How long has the band been around?
Since 2009. It went through lots of line up changes. From November 2010 it’s been this fixed lineup and it’s the best. The band is mainly about the love for the same genre of music. We DO NOT like to play the same old stuff; it will always be fresh stuff.
How did you guys meet up?
Chennai is a pretty small town when it comes to music. Everyone knows everyone. Also, Shashank and I go to Loyola together. Now Sajith has joined college too.
How does the song writing take form?
I write the lyrics and come up with most of the riffs. Then the band gets together and we make it better and it becomes a song.
How long have you been writing songs?
I’ve always loved music and I’ve been writing songs since I was 14. I picked up the guitar watching my cousin and friends. I haven’t learnt anywhere formally, more of a self- taught kind of journey. Dave Matthews is possibly my biggest inspiration.
So, this debut CD, what’s it like?
It’s called Next Level and has got five songs. Each song has a lot to offer. We took about two months as all of us have college and other schedules.
Most of the themes are real random; like ‘Old Man’ is about some rubber skeleton?
Yeah! Old Man ’skully is about a toy skeleton that resides in my cupboard. ‘op Chase’ is about rebellion as most youngsters are in trouble with the cops, so it’s about Frank, escaping from the cops. ‘Fast song’ is about this adrenaline rush with Frank hallucinating.
So, it’s mostly about Frank tripping? Is this some kind of psychedelic-trip band?
This trip has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. We are not that kind of band. In fact, most of our fans are really young, and that’s why we are not having the album launch show in a pub or someplace. We want everyone to come.
Why are the lyrics so indefinite?
It’s Frank. He likes to be kind of mysterious and doesn’t give out everything. Frank wants the people to think about the meaning a little more.
Where will you be selling the album?
At the show, you get a free album with the Rs.150 ticket. Then it will be sold at all our future shows and placed at venues like the Unwind.
We just headlined at PIMS, Pondicherry and, in October, we hit another college fest in Bangalore; happening! Looking forward to killing it!
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