By Alexandra Zawada-- I Assistant Regional Head, Midwest
This is definitely a band that not only can you rock out to, but have a ton of laughs and enjoy a whole bundle of sarcasm with. The Frantic is slowing the pace down a little bit this year, but expect a great record from them soon and touring right after that. They just finished their Hot Topic Maul Tour, which let them build their fan base and let fans get closer to the band then ever before. We were able to catch up with Brett and Kyle from The Frantic after their their great performance at the House of Blues in Chicago.
Alex: First of all, introduce yourselves and what you do in the band.
Kyle: I'm Brett and I play drums in The Frantic.
Brett: My name is Tojo and I play the guitar and sing.
Alex: How did you guys come up with your band name?
Kyle: Why does everybody ask us that today? I usually tell people that it's from the Metallica song because it's way cooler than the real reason. Um, so, before we started this band, I spent my whole life coming up with cool band names and I had like this list on a sheet of paper with like, I don't know, a hundred cool band names on it. So when we started the band, I was like 'Okay, we need a band name..'. So, I showed up to practice with this list and we just picked the name and, uh, it's a pretty bad ass name.
Alex: Oh yeah, definitely.
Kyle: First, we were the 'Agitators' for like two weeks and then there was some other band called the 'Agitators'-
Brett: In like Berlin
Kyle: - And everyone called us the 'Alligators' so we were like let's change our name and we went with 'The Frantic'. And it's weird, I've always wondered like what would it be like if we had a different name, because it's something you just- it's like having your own name. You know? I mean, what if your name wasn't Alex, it'd be a different person.
-Meanwhile, Brett was pushing back a few boxes and they all looked like they were about to fall-
Alex: What if that all fell..
Brett: Then I'm blaming it on you!
Kyle: In the middle of the interview all you hear is-
Brett: BOOM! Alex what did you do!
Alex: Oh; thanks, thanks.
Kyle: Will you let them do the interview, man?
Alex: How did you guys start the band?
Kyle: Well I knew Ian and Chris, the other guys in the band, my whole life. We were always playing music as friends together, but we never had a drummer. So then- me, Ian, and Chris used to play at our friends birthday parties, and we went to one of my friends birthday parties and Brett was there and he was like 'Hey, I play the drums' so we kind of just jammed along together and were like let's start a band, and now-
Brett: 'Cause we were good-
Kyle: Everyone at the party didn't pay attention to us, they were like whatever-
Brett: No, they did! They went nuts! He's lying to you. They were throwing cake and forks.
Kyle: Yeah, but they didn't realize we were gonna start a band and stuff.
Brett: We made them go crazy though.
Kyle: We didn't know each other, but like the next day we ended up hanging out together. He's like, "Hey you wanna come over and play some music?", and I was like, "Yeah".
Brett: We've been playing with each other for the past like 5 or 6 years straight since that party.
Alex: That's a long time..
Brett: Yeah, I know.
Alex: Do you guys get into fights at all?
Kyle: Not us dude, we're cool. Aww.
Brett: I love you, Tojo!
Kyle: We don't fight. We fight about stupid stuff like when we are driving or touring, we'll fight about what we're listening to.
Brett: I get pissed off at Chris 'cause he rides people's asses, like if someone drives weird he'll be like 'What the!?' and he'll be like 'I know how to drive!' and we're like, "No you don't! Shut up!".
Kyle: When he comes down to like us playing, we're usually pretty close together.
Brett: The music, man. It like holds it together. It's like glue.
Alex: How would you guys describe 'The Frantic' to someone that doesn't know the band?
Brett: It's like jazz, uh jazz music with a little electro pop with a little side of death metal.
Kyle: Some of the songs are death metal, but some of them are really jazz inspired.
Kyle: No, 'The Frantic' is..
Brett: Listen to the band name, 'The Frantic', it's like chaos, like..
Kyle: Energetic, rock and roll, about having good times. Kind of like Poison, like we try to have as much of a good time as Poison, but we don't sound like Poison. But we have a good time. Does that make sense?
Brett: It doesn't even matter about the music.
Kyle: We totally switched up that question.
Brett: We should do that to each question.
Kyle: Like not even answer the question.
Brett: 'How do you guys feel about the current economic situation?', well the other day I was in the bathroom and there was a spider up there. I really don't care about the economy.
Alex: Are there any bands you guys look up to and hope to follow in their footsteps? |
Kyle: Well, my favorite band is Green Day, when I was really little I was always playing them, and Nirvana, but Nirvana is dead.
Brett: I don't listen to music.
Alex: Really? Not even what you record?
Brett: No. I've never listened to our record, I feel like it'd curse it.
Kyle: I'd dream to some day play or tour with Green Day or like the Foo Fighters. You know, I'm shootin' for the stars with that, but that'd be sweet.
Alex: You guys basically answered my next question then, who would you tour with if you could pick anyone?
Kyle: I think the ultimate tour would be, I don't know.
Brett: I mean, there are so many bands. There is this awesome band from Chicago called 'The American Taxi' - like if we could put like a tour package together of like 18 bands, I think we could probably answer your question.
Kyle: I think Green Day and the Foo Fighters and, what else would be sweet? Because I listen to a lot of stuff that don't sound like us, but it'd be cool to tour with bands that are kind of similar to our sound.
Brett: Like for the crowds sake. Like if we toured with, um, what's something that sucks-
Kyle: For instance, the Lovehammers, we don't sound like-
Brett: They don't suck though-
Kyle: I'm not saying they suck
Brett: Like, what's something that's crazy different? Like if we toured with uh..
Alex: The Jonas Brothers?
Kyle: I like the Jonas Brothers. We're talking like uh,
Brett: Taylor Swift. We wouldn't fit in with that crowd. Even though Taylor Swift is cool, they'd be like what is this punk rock group doing on stage right now?
Justyna: I'd go!
Kyle: You'd go?
Brett: I'd go. I mean it'd be sweet, Taylor Swift isn't bad.
Kyle: She's hott.
Brett: And if we were on tour with her..
Alex: Oh God, I don't even wanna know.
Brett: Maybe I can snag a smooch! I'm not gunna elaborate but my smooch I mean..
Kyle: I think Taylor Swift is really like against the whole sex thing.
Brett: I doubt it.
Kyle: No, I mean like publicly. She doesn't talk about it.
Brett: She has to.
Kyle: She probably lets the cat out of the bag... Like I don't believe the whole Jonas Brothers purity rings thing
Kyle: I think that they..
Brett: Swimming in booty!
Kyle: Look at them!
Brett: Adorable! You wouldn't wanna go with one of the Jonas Brothers? If Nick Jonas came to your door - I don't know what the difference is, I just know one of their names -
Kyle: Nick's the man, dude.
Brett: Okay, Nick was like knocking on your door, "Let's fucken bang, bro!", then you'd do it! I'd do it!
Kyle: You could cut that out of the interview..
Brett: Don't cut that out.
Kyle: We just totally took your question and ran with it.
Alex: It's okay
Kyle: Okay, good.
Brett: I'm all amped up, dude! I was up there playing and stuff and now I'm done here doing absolutely nothing and now I'm talking to you guys, so thank God we have something to do now. Now I'm all amped up and I'm bringing the edge.
Kyle: Sh, let them ask another question.
Alex: What should fans look forward to for the rest of 2009?
Kyle: Um, we've been taking a lot of time off to do new songs.
Brett: New record probably
Kyle: We are hoping to get it done as soon as possible, probably by the end of 2009.
Brett: No, doubt it.
Kyle: We're going to play a few shows here and there, record the new record, and once it releases we'll be touring again. I don't know the deadline for the record.
Brett: It's GOING to happen.
Kyle: Those are the future plans; to put out a new record, a good one that we like.
Alex: Where do you look for inspiration when writing songs?
Brett: It's tough to try to write a new record when there is nothing really going on in your life.
Kyle: You don't really have much to write about, because like now I don't have a girlfriend, I don't have anything like that. Like, I know Brett doesn't like listening to music-
Brett: I listen to music!
Kyle: I listen to music that I wouldn't normally listen to and just kind of like, I don't know, get more inspiration from that. Cause like our last record was all about what we went through in high school like high school parties, girlfriends, and we aren't doing that anymore but we still want to be the same band too.
Brett: Right. I can't write about doing absolutely nothing, you know?
Kyle: You can but, it wouldn't be good..
Alex: That'd be a seller!
Brett: I know right! It'd be like I don't know what to write. I can't write songs if I sit in my fucken room all day.
Alex: Are you guys done writing for your new CD?
Kyle: We got a buttload of songs, but some of them we aren't happy with all the way. We just want to make sure we like every song.
Brett: We want to put out an awesome record.
Alex: What can fans expect from your next record?
Kyle: Well, like I was saying, we aren't going through what we were going through before, so we don't want to change our sound but at the same time we have to write about what's going on now.
Brett: And I mean at the same time, the music is a touch more mature, but it's as mature as you can get with punk rock music. Because we recorded that record when we were like 16 years old. We've been playing as a band for like five years. So now, we're better players and we know a little bit more about music in general, so it's going to be a little bit more mature.|
Kyle: When we record, I like to experiment with different stuff, maybe like a few different instruments, but not too far off though.
Alex: What's your favorite song to play live?
Brett: All the new stuff.
Kyle: Yeah, we've been trying out the new songs, like tonight we played a few new ones, but at the same time no one knows the words so they don't sing along, but it's cool to see how people like them.
Brett: Do you guys like the new songs?
Alex: Yeah, definitely.
Kyle: We do a cover of 'Build Me Up Buttercup', which is usually cool, because everyone-
Brett: It's boring to play
Kyle: Yeah, it kind of is boring to play
Brett: I mean, we've been playing it for so long and all the other stuff - it's not boring, we've just been doing it for a while. I still love the songs-
Kyle: No, I love the songs; but when you play a new song there is like that rush like this is new and different.
Brett: Right, it's awesome.
Kyle: It's like a little bit more of a challenge.
Alex: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would you change?
Brett: I would go back ten-
Kyle: Five years.
Brett: Yeah, even five years. I'd go back.
Kyle: The music industry makes me pretty sick now a days. I stay up all night just bumming about everything that is going on. I already do. I'm up until seven in the morning, I swear to God. And it's like, all the myspace stuff - like myspace can go either way; it can go like it's a great tool to talk to your fans, promote, and stuff.
Brett: But anybody with a macbook and a myspace can put any garbage up-
Kyle: It seems like ever since myspace came out with the music thing there is just millions and millions more bands and like some of them are cool-
Brett: It used to be cool to be in a band, now everybody is like "Oh, you're one of those band guys".
Kyle: Do you guys agree?
Brett: You know what I mean? Everybody and their dog has a band now. And they aren't even that good. I'm probably calling most of the bands out there these days, you suck. I'm sorry.
Kyle: It's the fact that like music isn't bought anymore. It's all iTunes, which is fine.
Alex: But it's just not the same.
Kyle: It was just different ten years ago.
Brett: I just like the way things were when I was like, I remember buying records when I was like seven years old and it was just- there is like this mysterious thing about playing music, but now everybody's in a God damn band, so it doesn't make a difference.
Kyle: We just give our CD's out because it's all digital now anyways. People just download it, which is fine but we just want people to have the CD.
Alex: Would you encourage someone to create a band?
Kyle: Oh yeah, absolutely. It's not that we think that people shouldn't be in bands-
Alex: No, but like the process of it all.
Brett: It's- oh yeah, on another note there is also, since there are so many bands there are also opportunities flying out for good bands. Really talented, cool people have a great opportunity, but at the same time there is a lot of- well, I'm not saying everyone is bad.
Kyle: I'd encourage people to start a band, but it's tough like touring is one thing that is tough for some people. Like I love it, I hate being home, but for some people that need to be home, they're
away from home for like a month or so.
Brett: I love it, we are like, all four of us love nothing more than to be in that van for the rest of our lives like we could play a show in a new city everyday and just do that forever- I'd be set.
Kyle: Me too.
Brett: I started watching my mouth, because I realized I was cursing.
Alex: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Kyle: Shit happens, man.
Brett: Biggest challenge..
Kyle: What's been a big challenge for us? Everyday I wake up and just looking for the next step.
Brett: I've always wanted to do more. To like help out other bands and stuff and I just never know what to do. I get so overwhelmed by thinking what should I do and what can I do, and then I don't do anything because I'm too busy worrying. I think that's the biggest challenge, because I feel like we need to do more but what can you do?
Kyle: Writing this second record has been a total challenge.
Brett: Because we've never wrote a record just to write a record, we've just written songs because we were in a band.
Kyle: Everyone is waiting to see what we have up next and it's just frustrating-
Brett: And stressful. Do you guys like orange juice?
Alex: What's the ultimate direction for your band?
Brett: Take over the world.
Kyle: That is such a typical answer.
Brett: I wanna take over the fucken world!
Kyle: I would like to- I don't know. Direction for the band, I don't know- I think we're going to do it forever whether we suck or-
Brett: Yeah, whether people want us to or not we are going to keep going.
Kyle: I think we're going to keep going higher than where we are now. But if we go downhill and start playing in like our basements, I don't care.
Brett: We won't do that.
Kyle: A direction would be to go all the way.
Kyle: Number one goal. Being number one on the Billboard charts would be pretty cool.
Brett: Yeah, I wanna go number one on the Billboard charts. Apparently taking over the world is too fucken outlandish. I a lot of people say shit that they don't do, I'm going to do it.
Alex: We'll see. (Brett gives me like a death stare) I believe you!
Brett: It's going to happen.
Kyle: I'd just like to, I don't know- it's really cool to hear someone say that you've inspired them.
Brett: That is cool.
Kyle: So the more people we reach out to, the better.
Alex: You just finished the Hot Topic Maul Tour, how did that go?
Brett: It was awesome! We got to meet a bunch of cool people and we got to hand out a bunch of CD's.
Alex: Yeah, I love how you guys are selling the CD's tonight and yet you were handing them out before.
Brett: That's cause we aren't on the Maul Tour anymore.
Kyle: We usually give them out, but House of Blues makes us sell them. The Maul Tour was cool because it was all acoustic, when we are usually an all around energetic, live band.
Brett: It was really great for my hair, because I didn't sweat.
Kyle: We got to sit down and meet all of our fans and talk to them. We played like right in their face and tell them all about the songs.
Brett: What was awesome is the kids that were at the Hot Topic show that have never seen us play like a really loud, live, plugged in set- they saw us today and were like "Dude, I saw you on the Maul Tour.." and I was like this is a little different and they were like "Yeaaah" and I was like well did you like it and they were like "Dude, it was awesome". It just helped out to meet new people and bring them into our band and then they come and see what we really do, which is on stage rockin' out. We definitely made a lot more friends and fans from that tour.
Alex: Do you guys have another tour or anything coming up?
Brett: Right now it's all about the record. We got a lot of summer stuff coming up, like Summerfest and Beat Kitchen.
Kyle: I wish we could go on tour, but we're going to make sure to take the time off to do the record.
Alex: Since this whole interview has been a mess of random things, say something random about yourselves or the band.
Brett: Absolutely not!
Alex: Well, you are going to have to.
Kyle: I am deathly allergic to peanuts.
Brett: You guys want to know why I call him Tojou? Because he's the emperor of fucken China. Look it up.
Kyle: And right now, I'm sitting in a booster chair. That's kind of random.
Brett: Yeah, you'll never know why I call him Tojou. That's his name too. You'll see him on the street, "Hey Tojou!".
Kyle: I'll be like "Hey Brett!".
Alex: Anything else?
Brett: Yeah dude, I'm the best drummer in the world. I am really good at the drums. I'm really good. Did you see that up there on stage? I was up there and I was playing drums real good.
Alex: You kind of suck.
Alex: You're the best!
Brett: This interview is over! (Gets up) Alex! Why did you knock that over?! Alex did it!