„It’s not as if the four of us don’t appreciate all these new developments in rock music. All these different variations of rock, punk and post-rock, sometimes with, sometimes without electro: that’s all exciting and thrilling and sometimes we put ourselves in one of those many niches. But with Straight Frank we want to give something back to rock, what it has lost in the first decade of the new millennium - authenticity.” Says lead singer Tobias Gustavsson explaining the musical approach of Straight Frank. “I hope that people listen to our album with one basic principle. That nothing is watered down from the first song idea to the finished album production, not to dazzle and most importantly not to do anything to deflect from the character of a good song.”
He knows what he is talking about. Not only Tobias Gustavsson, but also his band mates, drummer Kasper Lindgren, guitar player Coma and bass player Henrik Edenhed, have all collected a bag of experience as producers and songwriters for other artists and bands.
“We created Straight Frank because we felt the desire to play real rock ‘n’ roll. It wasn’t just about fulfilling our own creative needs but also to show people that you don’t need more than really good songs to impress.”
Said and done.
The guys from Stockholm present their second and self titled album and their debut for Sony Music Germany. An album which proves with ten, incredibly well produced and sophisticatedly composed songs, what Tobias mentioned in the beginning, that good old fashioned rock, is working. And that it’s as agile as ever before.
"Sure, when you work as consistently as we do, you cant define rock music in a new way but this was never our approach." says Gustavsson. "You are welcome to notice our influences - as long as the listener get the impression, he is listening to a independent and distinctive band."
It's a a fine line that the four rock guys are walking, but with great success. The album really does have an edge. Bringing together experienced songwriting from four outstanding musicians, a lot of production experience and a unmistakable leading voice. Above all, you can hear the influences that Tobias mentions, without it distracting you from the message and in this combination rock music is rare and unique.
"Of course we are kids of the grunge-era" he explains. "We love everything coming from that time - starting with early Pearl Jam until the late Audioslave. At the same time we have a great respect for hard rock of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Bands like Kiss or Whitesnake are among our favourites. Also early psychedelic rock plays some influence." A point that has already been reflected in the band’s tour with Deep Purple. But also touring as the support of Alice Cooper, Straight Frank are able to demonstrate, just how versatile the band really is.
The current album compresses their work, which began in 2008. To keep their standard up with the most possible sincerity, they recorded the album live and also produced it themselves. „The approach was, to produce an album that is as close as possible to our live shows.“ tells Tobias. „It should bring out the ideal symbiosis of powerful vintage-gear and modern studio technics, as straight as possible onto the record.“ The result very much agrees. “Straight Frank” gets straight to the point and convinces us about what defines rock music: big songs with an edge, clever arrangements and an amazing production. Just like rock music used to be – and so it finally does again, with Straight Frank.
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