Interview: Frankie Rose
After playing supporting roles in Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, Brooklyn’s Frankie Rose decided to take the lead in 2010, releasing debut album Frankie Rose and The Outs. Two years on, “The Outs” are out, and Frankie’s preparing to impress listeners once more with the panoramic dream-pop on Interstellar.
We had a quick catch-up with the singer-songwriter to find out all about her sophomore effort. Check out the full interview below.
Your last album was released under the pseudonym Frankie Rose and The Outs: why did you decide to drop “The Outs”? And how do you feel you’ve progressed as an artist since that record?
The Outs were my touring band for my first record and while two of them did play on some of the record , it was recorded in a very similar fashion to Interstellar, having many different musicians come into the studio and play the parts until I got exactly the sounds I needed. To perform this album live I needed a different line-up of musicians; for example, a drummer that can also play synths. There was no way getting around having to switch up the band. As for the name change, it's shorter and more to the point.
I have grown so much from my first to my second record. The first record was totally self-produced. It was an example of me doing the best I could without any real outside input. After listening to my first record so many times, when I began the second I knew exactly what I would do differently and better.
What were the key inspirations behind the album thematically and sonically?
I knew I wanted a cinematic-sounding record that felt huge. My last record was very much about being in a wash of reverb where I wanted people to feel enveloped by the sound. On Interstellar I wanted every song to sound big and clear and massive!
How long did Interstellar take to write and record and was it a fun experience?
It took about sixty-five days to record over about a four month period. I'm great friends with Le Chev, who helped produce the record, so it was one of the most fun recording experiences I’ve have ever had. We laughed a lot!
It’s such an expansive sound for a solo record: are you responsible for everything we hear on the album?
I played a bit of everything, Le Chev played a bit of everything, and we brought in musicians to get exactly what we wanted for each track.
What attracted you to work with Le Chev and what do you feel he brought to the record?
He’s a dance music producer. I knew I needed to work with someone with a serious understanding of sampled drums and synths. He did an amazing remix for my last record and I thought it would be an odd match but would work for what I wanted to achieve. What I ended up with was a much bigger record then I had dreamed of having.
If you had to pick out one track you’re most proud of on Interstellar, which would it be and why?
‘Know Me’ because I really thought it was destined for the garbage can when I wrote it.
We think there’s a lovely, nostalgic, Spector-esque quality to your records, which would imply you take your musical reference points from the past. Is that true?
People seem to be really focused on where my inspiration comes from. Most musicians I know are inspired by music from the past: Elvis, The Rolling Stones etc. Entire musical movements are started because of borrowing from the past. I think it's important not to be too reference-heavy, it would be nice to have a sound that is completely my own.
You started out playing in lots of different bands: which was the most fun to be part of and why?
My first band. I didn't know how to play anything, therefore it was for fun and for free and I had nothing to lose.
Do you still feel part of the musical community in Brooklyn? And can you tip off any good bands we might not have heard of yet?
What initially prompted you to go solo, and is it a permanent move for you?
I am bossy. No one can deny I always know what I want. It made sense for me to have complete control over my recording. I doubt I will ever go back to a collaborative situation but I'm not totally ruling it out!
What are the worst and best things about being a solo artist so far?
Being solely responsible for the outcome is a heavy burden. I think it was more difficult with the first record because I did not know efficient ways to do things. This time around it is much easier and I have some help!
Where do you to hope to be in 12 months’ time and what would you like to achieve ultimately in your career?
I hope to be finishing my third record by then! I would really like someone to ask me to score their high budget movie! I have always been interested in soundtracking.