Sweden has a lot of bands to offer, but Frankley Everlong is one of those few bands who don´t sound like that, their sound rather appears pretty American. And to your surprise this threesome hails from a small Swedish town, not one of those big “usual suspects”. One thing is for sure, their singer and mastermind Tommy has got the style, the attitude and the talent to create something new, and this is why he introduces Frankley Everlong to us.
Hey Tommy, could you first of all introduce Frankley Everlong ! Who are you and what kind of music are you doing?
Frankley Everlong is a three-member band from Kalmar/Karlskrona, formed in 2009, and we play a mixture of punk/rock/disco and pop. The band consists of me, Tommy (vocals, guitar and keyboard), Olof (drums) and our newest recruit Nicklas (bass)
I heard, the idea for the name Frankley Everlong came to you during a bus ride. Why a band name like this?
Yes it did, and I actually do not have a clue where the idea for the name came from, everybody who knows me knows that stuff constantly pops up in my head. But I just thought “If I ever gonna start a punk band, it´s gonna be called Frankley Everlong”. It just sounded cool. There is no deeper meaning either to the name, but it sounds totally right for the sound that we have.
With Pop/Disco/Punk you do quite unusual music for Sweden, how did the idea come up to play music like this?
Well, I listened to a lot of punk bands when we started Frankley and the first songs I wrote were plain punk songs. But I grew tired really fast of writing typical punk songs, and one day I heard the sound of a Moog synthesizer and then our sound took a big turn. I wrote “Lost in a heartbeat” which is a pop song with a catchy keyboard melody, but we play the guitar riffs and drums with a punk attitude. Later I wrote “Sweet Sour Valentine” which absolutely is a disco punk song including disco drumbeat and distorted disco baselines, but this song is also played with a punk attitude. And from thereon our sound grew to what it is today. I just did exactly what I felt like and wanted to so it became an experimental form of punk.
In 2012 you released a record you did yourself, called “Looking Good” which you now removed from Spotify again, what was the reason for that?
The reason for the removal of “Looking Good” from Spotify is that the songs on that album are demo songs that I recorded at home. But we felt that the sound quality was good enough to put them online. So I re-recorded some of the bass and guitars and we recorded the vocals at Stefan´s place (if I remember it correctly) so the songs could have a similar sound to it and then we just threw them together on what later became the “Looking Good” album.
You are working on a new record now, which will be released at your own record label, is that right? Will this then be your official debut record with some of the songs of “Looking Good” or is still “Looking Good” the debut?
Yes, that is correct. All of the song from the “Looking Good” has been totally re-arranged and re-recorded over a period of 22 months and I will release it on my own record label. We rehearsed the song for about 2 years before the recording session so a lot of things changed over time. And we will call our upcoming album, our debut album because this will be an official release, not a burnt cd.
The new record does not have a title or a cover artwork yet, but you hope to be able to release it in September, what do you have to do to get it finished?
The thing is that we could release it digitally worldwide tomorrow if we wanted to, but I really want to do a physical cd of the album. First of all, because I think people appreciate music more if you have a physical album than just checking it out on the internet. Second, I want to do a digipack cd, because it just looks awesome. And third, I want to have a cd that I can send it to arrangers so we could play more gigs. So the music is finished, but the the title and the artwork isn´t done. And I hope that it will be done before September.
I read that you have your own record label, is that right? Do you just release your own band over it or also other bands? Did you form the label because you couldn’t find one so far to release Frankley Everlong’s records?
I am only days away from getting all the papers done, so I can run my own record label. So the first release will be the Frankley Everlong album and I have no plans right now to work with other bands. I had some email exchange with some smaller labels about releasing the Frankley album, but then I just felt “If they can do it, so can I”. There was no reason to ask people to do things for me or sign a contract will a small label if I could do it myself.
Is it hard to find a record deal in Sweden? What do you think is the reason for it? And is it nowadays still necessary to have a label?
I have never really tried or put a lot of effort in getting signed with any of my former bands or Frankley Everlong to a record label. The most relevant advice I have ever heard is that if you give a company a product that is completely done and ready to hit the market tomorrow, then you´ll have a big shot. And why not do it on your own then? But I think you have easier to get gigs and stuff if a label backs you up.
You just produced a video for the song “Sweet Sour Valentine” – why did you choose this song for a video and not one of the new ones?
I had a lot of ideas for videos to other songs we have but we though that a video for “Sweet Sour Valentine” would be the easiest to do. And I think that it´s one of our best songs. And the newer songs on the “Animatronic” EP are demo songs and will be re-recorded for the next Frankley album, so that´s the reason for why we didn´t use any of those songs.
Whom is it dedicated too? Sounds like a desperate love story.
It´s not dedicated to a specific person but more of a question mark to why people often are so god damn mean to one another and extremely self-absorbed and self-centered. It seems like a lot of people have lost or never had the ability to do something constructive or feel empathy to their fellow beings. I think that the miserable love theme fits the song “Sweet sour valentine” music, it has that feeling to it.
I guess you shoot the video yourself? How many people were involved and where did you shoot it?
Yes, we shoot the hole thing ourselves, its just easier because then we could do it exactly like we wanted to and not have to to involve other people. Things have a tendency to be done faster if you are a just a few people working together.
You write all the songs yourself, is that right? Can you maybe explain us how the songwriting/producing process works in your band from the idea to the finished song?
Yes, I write everything myself. I just take my guitar and fire up the computer and write the song haha. If I get my hands on a guitar then I can write a song on spot. But usually I write the main chorus first then keep building the song, and then I add the extra keyboards and samples If I want to. Then I do a fast mix of the song and send it to Olof and Nicklas, then we meet at the rehearsing place and nine out of ten times we nail the song at the first try. I am very happy to have Olof and Nicklas in Frankley Everlong, because they are awesome musicians and they always know the song before we rehearse it for the first time. Then we rehearse it for a couple of weeks and get the feel for it and change the stuff that isn´t awesome to something totally awesome.
You’re looks tell me that styling on stage is very important to you. You’re trademark is definitely the very long “beard”. How long did it take to grow it? And how much time do you need in the bathroom to keep it in shape and put all these hair ties on?
My beard or attribute as I call it, took me about ten years to grow and I will keep growing my beard until I can step on it haha. I wash it with shampoo and use conditioner and then I dry it then brush it carefully and then use a straightener, then I put all the ties on HAHA. It takes me about half an hour maybe to get it looking awesome. I have even tried a hair mask on it. But that was totally overkill……. 😉
How long is your beard?
What about the clothes you mostly wear, some kind of let’s call it “casual business look” or maybe “mother in law’s dream clothes”: is it important for a band to have an outfit on stage that fits their music and also fits with the other members, or is this just the style you usually dress like?
I always wear the business looking clothes, but in a “punkish” kind of way, but it fits perfectly with our music. I just like that type of clothes and I have a big interest in clothes and fashion. And I think it´s really important that bands dress in a special kind of way that fits the type of music they play or have some type of image. A perfect example of this is Marilyn Manson, his look is totally one with his music. If you play black metal, use the corpspaint and so on.
Sweden is full of band and it is very hard to stick out of the masses, what makes Frankley Everlong unique?
That we´re awesome? haha. But I think that we make music that works in a lot of different situations. We have something for the punk dude and the 80´s pop girl.
You are hailing from Kalmar, tell us your Top 5 Places in and around the city you would recommend to people, if they want to see the city from the viewpoint of a local.
Oh my God, I´ve lived in Kalmar for about 4 years and I only know the way to Olof´s place, the school where I teach, the grocery store and the liquor store haha. But the most important place you have to visit is the airport. David Hasselhoff recorded a scene for a movie in 1987 so the airport is magical HAHA!
What are your goals for the next few months?
Get my company running, release the album and get more gigs, and hopefully start recording our next album.
You also play in a band called Swärdh. what is going on there, any news?
My focus is only on Frankley Everlong at this moment.
Ok last but not least tell us something that most people don’t know about you…
I´m an absolute dinosaur freak haha