The Frank and Walters have been regulars on the Irish music scene since their formation in 1990. In a career comprising six studio albums, two compilation records and at least twenty-one singles, the Frank and Walters are also known for their habit of lengthy and extensive tours around The UK and Europe. Catch them live in Whelan’s this Saturday (7th May). Tickets available from Ticketmaster from €20. Over 18’s only.
In the past you’ve taken a lengthy leave of absence citing ‘fear of music’ as the reason. Is that similar to stage fright, or is it something else entirely?
It’s a bit different to stage fright, it was really the volume of music related work that we did overwhelmed us. You end up taking a break and then being nervous about going back to it because you didn’t want to end up back in the mayhem. It’s awful being scared of something you essentially love doing.
What extinct animal would you bring back from the dead?
It would have to be the Mammoth, the woolly one. I’d say they were great crack, some of the non-woolly ones I could take or leave.
What do you think of the Irish music scene at the moment? How different is it from the nineties?
I think it’s in a really good place at the moment. There are bands making a living from music again which hasn’t happened in a while. In the nineties there wasn’t really a scene as such, just pockets of activity, there’s a genuine scene and industry now. A gig circuit and loads of summer festivals. It’s thriving.
The days of music labels are dying out. Is this a good or a bad thing for music and music makers?
Well they’re certainly becoming less relevant, especially the majors. But a lot of indie labels are starting up and I think this will increase. I actually think you need a balance, musicians by their nature can be disorganised, you need labels or at least good managers to do the legwork and get the little things done. I think the late 80’s early 90’s was a great time for music as you had indie labels passing out the majors. It didn’t last as that’s the nature of the beast but I think we’re coming into a new golden era where the balance that’s been struck is the right one.
My favourite song of yours is ‘How Can I Exist?’ Does it ever surprise you what songs become popular? Are there songs of yours you wish got more love?
Totally. With this album we had our own favourites and it was totally at odds with the feedback we’re getting from the public. There’s a few songs on our 4th album Glass that I wish got a bit more attention but what you gonna do?
What are your favourite festivals to play at? Are there any you prefer to attend as a punter?
I like the Electric Picnic and Indiependence in Ireland, in the UK the indie all dayers are great, we did Butlins last year and it was amazing. Some of the smaller Spanish festivals are great too. Lemon Pop in ‘Murcia is a great one in particular. I haven’t been to a festival as a punter in years, probably Longitude? I don’t remember much about it, I enjoy it more when I’m playing.
What is the song or album that made you want to make music?
‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths made me want to be a drummer. I think I always knew I was going to be in a band. I don’t know why or how I knew, I just knew.
A lot of bands have their own particular ethos in making music, be it style over sincerity, lyrics over music, etc. Do you have your own?
I wish we had one, a good catchy sound bite can be very handy. We’ll have to come up with one, for the moment can we go with…Saving ourselves one song at a time!
There is very little music on telly these days. What is/was your favourite music programmes?
Top of the Pops, it started it all for us of a certain age.
Alive or dead, which artist(s) would you most like to share a stage with?
It’d have to be Elvis.
Noel Gallagher used to be your guitar roadie. You’ve got to have some stories there.
Well in wars the history is written by the victor, and in music its written by the mega platinum selling artist, so now he wasn’t our roadie, he wasn’t delighted to have his picture taken with us when he first met us and he didn’t find our songs inspirational.
Catch THE FRANK & WALTERS Live at Whelans, Saturday 7th May. Tickets: €20 includes booking fee (Doors: 8pm.) This show is over 18’s, I.D is required