What are your names?
Jen, Fanny, Zoë & Lexi
How did you come up with the band’s name?
We’re generally quite frank, so it was a no-brainer!
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you as individuals and a band
‘Are You Listening?’ The Franklys demand an answer, scrawling it across the cover of their debut album – a title that seizes you immediately. Think frenetic garage rock meets grunge. Add into the mix a love for screaming guitars, in your face bass, hard hitting drums and raw vocals then you get something that resembles: The Franklys.
Inspired by the indie rock scene in the UK, Swedish Jennifer Ahlkvist and Fanny Broberg moved to London to embark on something compelling and new. The girls crossed paths with East Anglian bassist Zoë Biggs and adding drummer Lexi Clark, they bonded over their love of rock music, coffee and second-hand clothes – The Franklys were formed.
Wasting no time, they threw themselves into relentlessly touring across the UK, Europe and America, including a recent support tour with Airbourne and festival slots at Isle of Wight 2015 and Download Festival 2016.
Building a reputation for themselves as one of the most exciting live bands on the London circuit and beyond, they have transferred the unique Franklys sound to their debut album; truly showing their diversity as a band. An album with immense energy throughout, a melting pot stirred with garage, heavy rock, undertones of post-punk, whilst keeping a lively pop funk undercurrent, keeps you wondering what these ladies will pull out of their hat next. Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music describes the first single taken from the album, ‘Castaway’, as the “Best thing they’ve done to date!”, and, judging by this, you should be listening.
You are set to release your debut album ‘ Are You Listening?’, tell us more about it.
Where to begin? We are so happy with this album, it’s a culmination of a lot of years of hard work and to have it all finally put down and recorded, sounding just how we always wanted it to – it’s such a good feeling! The title started off as an inside joke, as Fanny likes to go off on a lot of tangents when she talks and I think Lexi’s eyes were starting to glaze over, and when Fanny realised this, she looked her dead in the eye and exclaimed ‘Are you listening?!?’, so that just grew from there! In terms of artwork, our good friend Cal Sino came on board to do all the art that you see on the album, he’s crazy talented. Jen put together a little surprise that you’ll find in the middle of the artwork booklet, and everything just came together so well. We couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out!
Describe each track in 3 words.
1. Castaway – punch-in-face
2. Weasel – quirky, colourful, dancy
3. Puppet – our popiest song
4. Keeper – happy, sad, mysterious
5. You Go, I Leave – favourite to play
6. Don’t Kill Your Friends – fuck air strikes
7. Too Tall – rock lobster-ish
8. Imaginarium – old time fave
9. Comedown – hangover
10. Bad News – 3-in-1
What was the writing process like for the album?
We write about experiences, people, and just stuff that comes about in life. We write all the music together, and spend a lot of time getting every detail right, and same applied for the album. We wanted a colourful album that brought together all the elements of our creative catalogue.
What was the recording process like for the album?
We recorded at a couple of studios – Fish Factory, Orgone and Juno Studios with Sean Douglas, who had recorded and produced our first ever EP, and also with Jimmy & Mikey of The Graveltones. We had the best time together, there was a really good vibe and we were on a roll in the week we spent at Fish Factory laying down the base of all the songs. Then at Orgone and Juno Studios we layered lots and lots guitars, effects, vocals. We spent a lot of time getting everything right, but not too right if you get what I mean. The last thing we’d want is an overproduced album!
Are you a signed?
You are also heading out on tour, what can we expect?
Sweat, hair and the best dance moves in town! Zoe’s got some new great ones.
Where will you be heading?
10th The Old Blue Last London
19th Esquires Bedford
24th Full Moon Cardiff
25th Cavern Club Exeter
26th Voodoo Lounge Stamford
27th The Doghouse Nottingham
28th The Golden Fleece Chelmsford
31st Crauford Arms Milton Keynes
1st Underground Bradford
2nd Star Inn Guilford
3rd Camden Rocks London
7th Firebug Leicester
8th Lending Room Leeds
9th Fibbers York
10th Jumpin’ Jacks Newcastle
8th Tannerfest Festival
5th Verve Bar Leeds
6th Rebellion Festival
Who is supporting you on tour?
There’s a variety of people depending on the location!
Who are your influences?
The Hives, Mando Diao, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Blondie, Le Tigre, Metric, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
More gigs, more songs, more tours!
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
We all have full time jobs outside of the band, but outside of them a lot of the things we do are music centric anyway – going to a lot of gigs, rehearsing, writing etc.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown, where you have yet to play?
Koko in Camden definitely. We’ve seen so many bands that we love play there, and it’s such a beautiful venue. Also Roundhouse is a fave, the layout is amazing.
Would you be up for collaborating with an unsigned artist or band? If so how can they contact you?
Absolutely, they just need to pop us a message on our Facebook.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
It’s hard to pin down just one song, but various ones from the bands and artists that have influenced us always pushed us to work harder.
Where is your dream festival to perform at what you haven’t played yet?
Oh there’s so many! Reading & Leeds would be amazing, as would Glastonbury! And Roskilde in Denmark is also up there on the list.
What made you go in to music?
Rock music of course. Learning to play an instrument is something everyone should do at some point in their life, it’s amazing what your limbs can create just but pressing a few strings or bashing a couple of tubs.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not just about the industry also just as an artist/band?
If you’re in it just for the money, fame and glory- forget it. To be a musician you’re gonna have to love, and I mean LOVE, what you’re doing to be able to put up with the struggle. People often forget how much fun it is being in the band.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s very applicable in every day life, and even more so in the music industry. Of course it’s great to look at other artists and see what they’re doing and aspire to reach those levels too, but if you are constantly comparing yourself to someone else you lose sight of all the good things you have going for yourself.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
– nice/not so nice sound engineer
– good/ not so good sound
– atmosphere of the crowd
– how good/bad the loos are
– the smell
You come off Tour
1/ Where is the first place you go? To bed!
2/Who is the first person you see? Our partners
3/What is the first thing you eat. Anything that isn’t greasy takeaway food or food from service stations.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?