Friday, January 09, 2009

Interview: Franco Near Death

Self-described shoe-gazey garage rockers Franco Near Death are playing at The Scene tonight out in Glendale with The Transmissions, The New Room, and Lost Libraries, so we thought we'd check in with them.

Hey, Jared. Thanks for taking the time. How you doing today?

Hey Joe, I'm doing great today, but I'm not sure why. I didn't get a parking ticket this morning, so maybe that's it. ha ha

So, how long have you guys been together? How did you meet?

I joined up with Sunil about two years ago (Jesus!) after hearing his demo of Morning Panic, finding myself sort of enchanted by it. I remember showing up to his practice, possibly uninvited, after a pretty solid day of drinkin'. Those were the days! Since then we've lost the old rhythm section and replaced them with my brother Calvin and my friend Sam, who had just moved here from Chicago, most likely fleeing the mob. That line up change occurred over the summer and we started playing shows last autumn. Calvin's first performance of any kind was with us at Que Sera!

What's are some influences you all share or don't?

I feel like none of us recognizes anything in the other guys' record collections! I showed Sunil a Slowdive song he'd never heard the other day, for goodness sakes. I was giving Sam a bunch of shit for having a Weezer sticker on his guitar. But I think as people we're all pretty similar, so we tend to appreciate the same elements of what we're hearing.

What's the best thing about being a band in LA?

The best thing about being a band in LA is that there are a ton of amazing bands to inspire you, or challenge you I guess. Just living in LA is amazing if you ask me! I still can't get over this place, and it's been more than three years! You know what's not the best part of it? LA girls are just not impressed by musicians. In other towns you could just be like "Yeah, so I'm in a band..." Or at least that's the way it seemed before I moved out here and joined one.

You've got a show on Friday at The Scene with The New Room, The Transmissions, and Lost Libraries. That's a good line-up. How did that come together?

That's a great line-up, and it's just pure luck! We played with The New Room the last time we played at The Scene, and I felt like we destroyed it. So maybe we impressed them or the booker. I hope that's what it is. I hope my mom isn't bribing people again.

What's the band's name from?

Sunil came up with that name after reading about Generalissimo Francisco Franco, who took a really goddam long time to die.

What have you been working on most lately? Writing, recording, playing out?

We're preparing to record sometime this winter. We've been playing quite a bit, and we've been working out some covers, including OMD's The Native Daughters of The Golden West, Killing Joke's Love Like Blood and Ladytron's Destroy Everything You Touch which we debuted in Venice to a predictably clueless audience last week.

You were interviewed on ISGOODMUSIC earlier this week. How did that go?

It was great! John is such a cool guy, really the first person to take an interest in us. We were nervous as hell, but he made us feel really comfortable after about a minute of shakey voices. As an added comfort we brought a 30 pack of Cerveza Cauguama, and he shared it with us. Afterwards, he sent us mp3's of our performance and he even edited out my mistakes! Magically, I assume, because they were huge mistakes! It feels really good to be part of the IsGood community.

What's next for you guys?

We're playing tonight at The Scene, then we're going to teach Sam and Calvin some of the older material. I'm really trying to change my style, and I'm trying to screen print some shirts! I'm ruining about five per day as of now. That will put us on the map!

Last question: What are you listening to right now?

VOICEsVOICEs! Have you heard them? It's unbelievable to me. That's actually the best part about being in LA: having bands like them or Blackblack or Eskimohunter as our peers. Or The Warlocks, for godssakes!

- Morning Panic MP3


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