Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 10:01AM by Matthew Wilkening
The Frankie Rose-penned song 'Where Do You Run To?' was called one of the best singles of 2008. Rose is also known among indie-rock followers as the founding member, songwriter, singer and drummer of Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. She's almost as well-known for leaving those bands, which brings us to her new outfit and first group as frontwoman, Frankie and the Outs. If you haven't heard much from them yet, there's a good reason. "I just put this band together maybe six months ago," Rose explains. "The record is coming out in maybe five months, so we're still a baby band." We spoke to Rose as she prepared for her band's debut at SXSW from her New York rehearsal space.
Describe your sound in your own words.
We're basically just a garage pop band. There are elements that are more similar than my past bands, but it's a lot more ethereal than anything I've done before; a lot less pop-y.
How did the band form?
I chose this band based on how much I like them as people, as opposed to skill level, and that's the truth. I worked with them all at a coffee shop for years. And after Vivian Girls, I decided that I would only work with people that I loved to death, regardless of their knowledge of instruments. I thought that we would all grow together.
So are you happy with how it's going so far?
It's a little bit difficult; there's instant pressure on me to produce something that's awesome right off the bat. I've got girls that have never played instruments in front of other people before, including myself. I've never played guitar in front of a live crowd before, and our very first shows, we played to sold out shows -- in big places too. We're a little tentative at this point, but I think we deserve a break for a second to get a little bit more time behind us playing live. I'm willing to do that, and I know the record will speak for itself. That's such a different thing than the live show. It's taken a leap of faith on my part, and it continues to be a leap of faith, but I really think that we can do it.
What are your musical influences?
Bo Diddley, for sure, and I love girl groups, like the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes. Also, the Velvet Underground, Phil Spector, Joe Meek, and Brian Wilson. I think about producers sometimes more than the artist themselves. Anything Phil touched, like that George Harrison record he did, is amazing.
How did you come up with the band name?
That's a funny one. I think band names are hard to come by; hey are often so offensive to me, or just dumb. So "The Outs" just sounded like a simple garage-y type name, and it has kind of a double meaning, because I'm a little bit famous for quitting bands. All of the time, I seem to be leaving bands. Of course, I can't really leave this band, it's mine.
What's your biggest vice?
I'm a compulsive buyer of stuff. It doesn't have to be clothes; it can be anything. Paper towels. Whatever it is, I'll buy it.
Do you go to a lot of festivals? What's In your festival survival kit?
Not for fun, no. It's fun to play at one. Usually, if I go to one it's because my band is playing. I'm a booker at a club, so my job is to listen to bands all the time, so sometimes I need a break. When I do go to a festival, I usually run around in my PJs as long as I can, until I have to get ready to get on stage. I've got a pillow; I'm kind of like a baby backstage. You need headphones, good sound-cutting ones, too. It's so overwhelming. I feel you have to make a certain headspace for yourself. I'm going to be doing double-duty this year at SXSW, both with my band and drumming for the Dum Dum Girls.
Up until now, you're best known as a drummer. Who's your favorite drummer?
I'd have to say the most influential to me was probably Palmolive from the Raincoats. I like untrained drummers, people that have taught themselves. She played so strangely; it made me feel like I could do anything.
So you're self-taught? What do you think of all the criticism someone like Meg White gets?
Yeah, I still don't know how to play. That Meg stuff is ridiculous -- who cares? Simple drums are great; wonky drums are great, too. Sport drumming is the least most interesting thing in the world to me. I like people that play strangely.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Tom Petty. He's a celebrity, right? Probably from MTV. I must have been 11.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Beatles or Stones?
The Stones. That's the hardest question in the world. The Beatles were such amazing pop song writers, but the Stones were much more edgy. They had more double meanings going on; they're a little less obvious. Actually, "both'" is probably my real answer.
What's the craziest thing you've seen on tour?
One of the coolest things recently was seeing My Bloody Valentine from backstage, basically onstage with them, as close as could be. It was at a festival in France. At the end, they just played 20 minutes of noise. It was insane.
Matthew Wilkening is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.