that this is your first Australian interview (I presume), could you please
introduce the band. Say, you have a paragraph to write about A FRAMES.
Give it your best try!
You can get this basic info from our website (www.dragnetrecords.com) - under the history section. I'd have to look there myself to get dates etc. We've been at it about 4-5 yrs. I play guitar and sing, Min is our bass player, and Lars drums. Lars also plays guitar and sings in the NTELLIGENCE. 2 LPs, 3 singles - 2 more coming out soon. Various labels.
is that you guys are not happy with the recording of your third album and
it'll be recorded again in its entirety. What went wrong and when can we
expect the new album?
albums were engineered and co-produced by Chris Woodhouse from the FM Knives.
How did you make that choice? Was he a friend? What do you think of the
FM Knives? I believe you've played some gigs with them as well.
We met Chris through a mutual friend at KDVS in Davis CA. - Chris was in a band called KARATE PARTY
then and our friend (Sakura Saunders of S-S Records) thought we would like each others music and that there were similarities. We heard KARATE PARTY and were completely blown away. That stuff will be re-released soon on S-S and everyone should buy it because it's better than any other neo whateverthefuck bullshit punk out there right now. Anyway - it turned out Chris was also an engineer - we all hit it off right away and on one of our West Coast tours we arranged to record with Chris. That session was the original
"Plastica" 7" session. He recorded us on his 4 track and made it sound awesome - he's by far the coolest and best sound guy around, as well as our good friend, which makes the whole thing a lot more fun than
recording can be at times.
a recording process for A FRAMES involve? How easy it is? When you look
back, would you change anything with the recording of first two albums?
Once it's on vinyl I won't second guess what we've done. We're picky on the front end and discard or
re-do anything we don't like. Our recording process is this - Chris and Scott Soriano (S-S Records also)
drive from Sacramento to Seattle with Chris's recording gear, we lay down basic tracks at our rehearsal space, then do overdubs/vocals/whatever at my house in West Seattle. We also mix at my house. We
view recording as a way to do something different than the live thing - and we like to experiment and add to the songs as well as have friends participate. The idea has been to do the whole thing in 3 days. We're
adding a day for mixing this time and will also have tracks from our fall session to work with so it'll be
slightly different than before - but more or less the same deal.
point of view, the first album is more raw/garagey than the second one.
"2" has more complex songs, while the stuff one the first one is stripped
to the bare bone. Was that transition (if you agree with it, of course)
intentional or is it a result of playing a lot/whatever?
For some bands it makes sense to stick to a specific style and not vary at all, we're not one of those bands. We have garage influences but also many others which gives our sound more flexibility. At the same time we are just guitar bass and drums so it's a fairly small set structure to work in. We are a rock band at the end of the day. The evolution of our sound has come naturally and wasn't pre-conceived at all, it just has happened as we
the webzines I had a chance checking out are full of praise of A FRAMES,
FM Knives, and some other recent US bands. It seems as if they are looking
for a new "scene". Did good reviews in blankgeneration.com, Pitchfork Media
and alike help the band in any way? Are there many newer
American bands you listen to/enjoy to play with?
Living here in the US I don't really know how we are perceived anywhere else. There are lots of great
interesting bands out there besides us and the FM KNIVES so i can't view it like that. I suppose the
press has helped us get new fans, book our tours and meet people. People like Joe at Blank Generation, Mitch Cardwell, Filthy Rich, Todd at Horizontal Action, and lots of others - have really been super cool to us and we're glad they like our music and have become our friends, as well as introduced us to lots of other
people. In Seattle we play with bands like the Popular Shapes, the Spits, the Country Teasers when they come through town, that kind of stuff. Other current bands we like - there's a few but we listen to a lot of older music or more experimental stuff than us. A few of my favorites right now are Les Georges Leningrad, Wolf Eyes, Pyramids. Min is the real obsessive music geek in the band so he's always digging up cool new stuff that then influences my song writing. He could give you a huge list i'm sure...
good review putting you guys under a pressure to come up with the goods
the next time? What are your expectations of the new album?
I suppose there is some pressure, but that's good. If it works like it should the next record will continue the evolution from the first two, bringing in elements of each but also adding something new.
ever been approached by any bigger label?
Yes, slightly bigger.
have often been compared to Gang of Four and Wire. Do you agree with those
comparisons? If not, does it annoy you or do you think it doesn't help
the band in the long run?
Obviously there are similarities between us and those bands, and they are great bands so there's no
reason to be annoyed, we're flattered. But I do think we have carved out our own unique sound that does
other things neither of those bands did. Not better or worse, just different. A lot of reviewers like to
pride themselves in who they can compare a band to rather than trying to describe the feel or sound of
the band themselves, which can be annoying. But that just shows the underlying lack of creativity in their
thinking and writing, so we don't take it personally.
a bit about Dragnet Records. It seems like a
releasing the bands you like. Do you run a loss? How
difficult is to juggle
the band and a label (and a life as well) at the
Dragnet was created to put out the first A FRAMES single and the first INTELLIGENCE single. We didn't want to send out demos, the Seattle labels never really understood us, and we believed in what we were doing - so we took things into our own hands. The only other stuff that has come out on Dragnet is friends or something we really love that will never see the light of day if we dont help it (VULVETTES). We really don't make any money and are very happy if we break even. We are also NOT looking for bands to put out so please do not send us demos. It's all a pretty half assed affair honestly, but that's now we like it.
The vinyl versions of your first two albums sold out quickly. Will the
any plans of compiling your singles and rare
trax on a CD?
you interests apart from music? What was the
last good book
Film? Art? What do you do for fun?
At the moment I'm reading "Brave New World" and before that I had been reading everything by
Steinbeck. I like the simplicity and allegory of his stories, it's something I try to capture in my lyrics
at times. I do some photography and drawing, but I have a full time job so most of my free time I spend
working on songs for A FRAMES. That's what I do for fun.
some of the most memorable shows you played?
Any plans of touring
of the world?
Local shows are always fun. Last tour I think our favorite was when we hit Chicago a second time
(after playing the Blackout - which was pretty fucking fun too) on our way back from the East Coast. We had played 15 nights in a row and were in that place a band can only get on tour. Chicago is like a second
home to us in this weird way and we're friends with bands there like the White-Outs and Tyrades, as well
as the Horizontal Action guys so it's always a blast. We may try to go to Europe in spring 2005, we'll see.
I hope you
enjoyed answering these questions! I certainly
had fun thinking
about what to
ask you. I'm sure I'll think of at least
another five questions
once this has been published, but now it's time
for me to make
dinner, so I'll
leave you in peace. Please feel free to
say whatever you
like to bring
this interview to the end.
One other comment - we love Australian bands - so thank you for having them. obviously early X stuff
is a huge influence, the Vicitims, Beasts of Bourbon, early Llubricated Goat, that kind of thing. I also see
similarities between the evolution of the Scientists and our own. I'm one of those weirdos who likes "Human
Jukebox" the best out of their stuff... they were really amazing as were the first few Kim Salmon and the
Surrealists records. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff and Min will point them out if he reads this but had to
mention it anyway.
Thanks for your interest in A FRAMES, and enjoy your dinner.