Nov 12, 2013 – For T-Mak World, last month’s Indie Week generated two great discoveries, and both are from Calgary. These two bands stood out in a festival of punk/grunge on one side and alt-folk-country pop on the other. Straight down the middle were a pair of real rockers playing wicked heavy blues rock with a modern sound. When we find such bands, we always approach them to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band called Frankie McQueen. We’ll talk to the other, Frankie McQueen’s good friends, Open Air, soon. These two bands, and of course One Bad Son, and many others, give one great optimism that this country’s ability to crank out killer rock bands continues undiminished.
All bands we talk to are asked similar introductory questions so we can get to know them better. The description on the band’s website reads:
Frankie McQueen’s blues-heavy rock n’ roll will bring you back to the roots of hard rock while seamlessly blending contemporary styles. The band hasn’t been afraid of taking risks and is constantly evolving and tweaking their sound in a great way. Their hard-hitting sounds and soulful melodies will get any audience moving.
The rock trio from Calgary, Alberta originally formed after they discovered their singer during a performance of the musical “Grease”. In summer of 2009, Frankie McQueen turned a lot of heads when they won the New Cap Radio Rock Star Competition along with a $250,000 cash prize. This was a huge boost that opened a lot of doors for the band. They began writing new material and have been able to share a stage with bands like Sam Roberts Band, Flash Lightning, and Daniel Wesley.
Since the release of their self-titled EP in 2012, Frankie has filmed their first music video for the track “Drown The Sound” and has been putting their focus on spreading their music across Canada. The band has spent the last summer playing shows across the country and will spend this winter writing songs for the release of their second album.
Here’s what they had to say to us:
Hey Frankie McQueen, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
FMQ: Our lead singer and guitar player is Scotty Charles. Our bass and background vocals is Corey Adams. And our drummer is Connor Muth.
How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
FMQ: Frankie was formed around 2007. We were friends in high school and were originally a 4-piece band with a second guitar player. We’ve had a couple lineup changes over the years but have found the 3 of us to be the best fit. It’s a lot more raw sounding and we all have a great connection together.
Who are some of your musical influences?
FMQ: The 3 of us listen to different styles of music, I think that’s a great component of our writing. But for the most part we all draw from Zeppelin, Graveyard, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Steppenwolf, and a bunch of others.
So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
FMQ: We really love rock and roll and we try to incorporate a lot of heavy blues with it. Some of it would sound like a riff out of the 70’s but we also throw in whatever the hell we want. It’s usually a goal to play anything that comes out when we jam and not toss something that doesn’t sound like “Frankie McQueen”.
Why do you believe that a music fan should come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
FMQ: We want our live show to be as fun for our audience as it is for us. We have a blast when we’re up there and getting the crowd to move around and party with us is standard. People enjoy our music but we’re most well known for our live shows.
What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
FMQ: Lyrically one of our favourites is a new song called Father. It’s about the influence a man has on his children and how it affects what we become. It’s a decision to make different choices in our own lives. It’s difficult to state one lyric that’s been taken out of context but the song itself speaks a lot for us.
What does the rest of 2013 and 2014 hold for you?
FMQ: We’re taking a break from touring to get some song writing in. We want to put out a new album this winter and are shopping around a few recording studios. We have really high expectations for the new recording and are hoping to release early 2014. The spring/summer will most likely be spent touring the album.
Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
FMQ: I’d say we would all love to play with Graveyard. We’ve gone to certain lengths so see their shows. If you haven’t heard them, check them out.
What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
FMQ: Seriously, that’s quite a loaded question. I can’t predict 10 yrs from now but I would assume everything will be solely digital. With the exception of vinyl, I don’t think people will ever stop buying vinyl. As far as the economics of new artists, I think most current bands are attempting to make a profit from other means like touring and publishing deals.
At the end of 2012 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2012. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it?
FMQ: Jack White’s solo album is one of my favourite albums of all time. So yeah, it’s on there. Also Babel by Mumford and Sons. I don’t think the other guys enjoy it like me (Adams) but I think it’s beautiful and poetic writing. It’s very powerful.
Any closing remarks for our readers?
FMQ: Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening and supporting our music. Stay posted for our new music and hopefully a show in your hometown. Take care!
Thanks so much to Frankie McQueen. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing in Calgary at The Gateway on November 30th.
The band’s website is fmqmusic.com. Go to their website right now and listen to Fire Woman and the other great songs there, you won’t regret it (seriously, you’ll thank me). Well I guess if you do regret it then somehow you’ve found the wrong website because these guys got it exactly right. They’re definitely one of the best bands we’ve found in a long time. You can follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fmqmusic and Facebook facebook.com/fmqmusic. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.
Interview and photos by Steve Mallinson