Frank & Walters ::: Interview

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask Franks keyboard go to guy Cian Corbett a few questions about the band and music in general….

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions Cian. First off, its been a hectic twelve months for the Franks. Whats been your personal highlight?

Hi Niall, cheers for getting in touch. The past 12 months with the Franks have probably been my favourite of my eight years with the band. There were a lot of important stand out moments: we released our new album Greenwich Mean Time which was very warmly received. We were on the Late Late Show which no matter how long you’re in the game is an honour for any band. And we did a 20th Anniversary tour of the debut Frank’s album “Trains Boats and Planes” which was incredible. If I was forced to pick one I’d have to say the stand out moment was gigging in Tokyo in September. We played a 20th Anniversary T,B&P gig and a Greenwich Mean Time show and it was just an incredible experience. The guys have always had a solid fan base in Japan and when we got there the welcome we got was unbelievable. It actually felt like they’d been waiting 20 years to see a Frank and Walters gig! I didn’t even get sick of the “Big in Japan” jokes which must have been mentioned a thousand times J

  Love the new(ish) album, plenty of melodic goodness on show. Have ye been happy with how its been recieved?

Yeah we’ve been very happy with how the new album has been received. It was very encouraging to hear long term fans who hold songs like “After All” and “Fashion Crisis” so close to their hearts say that the new album is some of the best Franks material they’ve heard. And then to hear a DJ like Paul McLoone say that “Indie Love Song” has the greatest guitar solo of the year was just amazing. So to have fans and critics say that they like the album is a nice achievement.

 Caught the live show in the Savoy over Chrimbo. Lovely hurling. Is it unusual for ye as a band to be playing in front of the hometown crowd? Is it more relaxed or is there a bigger level of expectation?

Playing the Christmas hometown gig is always an exciting and emotional affair and December’s gig in the Savoy was no different. I guess you’re right that there is a big expectation in that we spent weeks touring abroad, had a new album and a few radio hits so maybe there is more anticipation ahead of your usual gigs. And of course we had amazing support bands on the night which raised the bar even higher: Jim Bob from Carter, The Power of Dreams and our FIFA label mates The Hard Ground. I wouldn’t say we were overly nervous because we were so well rehearsed after weeks of touring that we knew we were tight. That said our mums were in the audience and I don’t think the urge to make your mum proud ever goes away so maybe there were a few additional nerves that night!

 The obligitory what does the rest of the year hold in store for the F&W?

The rest of the year has a few nice things coming up. I’m currently writing this in the lounge of Edinburgh airport after a hugely enjoyable gig in Glasgow last night. It was the second last 20th Anniversary TB&P gig, the next is in Paris in April which should be fun. Other than that we’re in the rehearsal room jamming out a few new songs as we’d love to release a new album next in 2014.

Last but not least. What have been the last 3 albums you’ve bought and what didja think?

The albums question is a little tricky as I’ve become a huge fan of Spotify. I’ve signed up to the premium subscription which means I can listen to whole albums on that while still contributing to royalties. I’d gamble to say that most musicians aren’t hugely comfortable with downloading music illegally. So the last three albums that I’ve streamed in full are:

Villagers: Awayland

Villagers are easily one of the best Irish bands ever and this album solidifies Conor O’Brien’s place as one of the great Irish songwriters, in my opinion. I think there’s something for everyone on this album: it’s got the catchy singable choruses, an array of instrumentation which ranges from simple acoustic guitar to dramatic synths and string sections and at the heart of it are great story-telling lyrics.  I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Conor while we were playing in Cathy Davey’s backing band in 2007 and I’m delighted to say he’s an incredibly nice fella to match his massive talent.

Mumford and Sons: Babel

I couldn’t ignore the hype around these guys any more so I had to get this album. For me it was a funny one as on the first few listens I liked it but after a while I felt it got a bit samey. A lot of acoustic guitars and banjos and lyrics about “having heart” and I got a bit bored of it. I found myself wanting an electric guitar to come in to break it up but that’s obviously a reflection of my own tastes and not the album as a piece of work. And I’ve never seen them live either which I would think would also change my mind about an album. Nothing like a gig to make you fall in love with a band!

Muse: The 2nd Law

It felt like Muse were everywhere for a while there, whether they were at the Olympics or winning awards somewhere so I thought I’d give their new album a listen. If you’re a fan of showy performances and full wall-of-sound production (which I am) I think you’ll like this. Strangely, for some songs the wannabe hipster in me is embarrassed to like them because they’re so synthy and poppy and flamboyant. Tune’s like “Madness” are obvious homages to Queen which earned them a bit of a slagging but I really like it.

Many, many thanks to Cian, the Franks new album is available from I-Tunes and all good stockists. If you havnt had the pleasure of seeing the boys live I suggest you do so at once…

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