The Frantics Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and The Frantics lyrics)
The Frantics Biography
Is it too soon to be nostalgic for New Wave and Power Pop? Not if you take the word of The Frantics. Within seconds of hearing Meet The Frantics, the band's dynamic debut on Organic Records, you are instantly transported to a time when groups such as The Cars and The Knack ruled the airwaves and being labeled a pop band wasn't an insult.
The Frantics project a ragged charm often missing from much of today's slick, corporate pop. Drummer Derek Sorrells confirms that The Frantics' flashback vibe is completely spontaneous. "We'd like to tell you that this style was planned, but it was pretty much an accident. The more we practiced together and kicked ideas around, the more we realized that we had something totally retro." Chris adds, "The Frantics doesn't sound like anything we discussed. It totally came from us combining different styles. Derek is like a musical encyclopedia. He even likes AM Gold. John loves '80s glam rock. Matthew is real up on modern stuff. And I like classic hard rock, like Led Zeppelin."
The Frantics are one of a new generation of "post-modern" bands that have been equally influenced by a number of pioneering Christian music artists. "Stryper was it for me," Derek proclaims. "John was influenced by Bride, Matt is more into Plankeye and Sometime Sunday, and Chris leans toward groups such as 77s, Adam Again, The Choir and Daniel Amos."
The band's love for "classic" contemporary Christian music should also not be surprising, since all four members of The Frantics were raised in church. In fact, Matthew and John's stories are remarkably similar -- both had fathers whom were music ministers.
Although the band has only been known as The Frantics for about a year, the individual members have been friends for quite some time. Matt, John and Derek (who are all from Madisonville, Ky.) played together in a band for about two years. After that group broke up, John and Derek became members of Miss Angie's backing band. They quickly befriended Chris (who hails from Bloomington Ill.) who had moved to Springfield, Mo. (Angie's hometown), to attend Bible college. Through mutual friends, Chris became part of Angie's group, where the three remained for about a year and a half. "We got tired of backing her up and wanted to do our own thing," explains Chris. "But we actually went our separate ways for a while, and played in some other bands that didn't work out."
But the seeds of interest that would grow to become The Frantics had already been planted. "When we were with Angie," recalls Chris, "Guardian and Believable Picnic were on a tour with us. Tony [Palacios of Guardian] was very encouraging to us, but we were never able to hook up beyond that. So on a whim, we called Jade [Hansen, leader of Believable Picnic] and he seemed very interested in working with us."Hansen says it was the band's enthusiasm for live performance that sold him on The Frantics. "They sent me this tape with three songs on it. And I couldn't understand a word they were saying! But just hearing them and watching them, I knew these guys were good. And I'd seen them backing Angie, so I knew I liked the excitement they had on stage."
Not long after hooking up with Hansen, The Frantics had cut a demo and begun negotiations with Organic Records. "It's been a miracle how this band has gotten this far," Derek marvels. "With other groups, we had worked so hard and tried so hard to get signed. But with The Frantics, we had a meeting with Organic's A&R people before we had ever played a live concert under that name! God's hand has totally been on this from the beginning."
In keeping with the off-the-cuff nature of many vintage Power Pop and New Wave recordings, The Frantics' Meet The Frantics was tracked "live" in the famous "Big Boy" studio, at Franklin, Tenn.'s Sound Kitchen complex. Consequently the album packs quite a sonic wallop. Chris, who is the main lyricist, says the songs spring directly from his relationship with Christ. But he says that doesn't necessarily mean The Frantics' music is targeted to a Christian audience. "We don't want to pigeonhole ourselves. We don't think in terms of music for Christians and music for non-Christians. There's music that's good and decent and there's music that's bad and harmful. We just want to be good music for the people."
"To put it another way," Derek adds, "we want to be the band you love the most. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be successful-it's good to have goals. For instance, we want to be in your CD player! Right now, we're on a rollercoaster ride that we can't control. But that's O.K, because God is in control."
"We're not ashamed to say that we're Christians and our faith is very real," Chris continues. "We're all Christians and we want to express that in our lives and music. But our lyrics are mostly about every day life and the things that everyone goes through. A lot of Meet The Frantics is just about how our lives have changed this past year, putting the band together, getting signed, and how that's affected our relationships with each other and our families and friends. We write lyrics that we'd like to think any one could relate to, Christian or not. But they're experiences that are seen through 'faith goggles.'"