Imagine yourself a metallic chain necklace with four crystals – powerful voice (sometimes accompanied by guitar riffs), energy and drive, warm and a bit childish smile – Cristian, an astounding and peculiar bass sound, beautiful smile, slight shyness but ability to open yourself when needed – Andre, a complete reserve and concentration flowing out into a loud mighty guitar solos and riffs warmed up by a reserved but nevertheless cheering smile – Sam – all three are connected by bonds of hot-boiling Latin blood and, finally, a deafening smashing drumbeat intertwined with never ending positive vibrations from KD. All four crystals are connected by strong unbreakable chain of friendship and never ending will to create music. Here they are – Frankenstein and the Guitar Factory.
How it all started
It is important to mention that Frankies weren’t always the same team as they are now, when I first met them about 2 years ago they had a bit different team. At that time they were just a cover band. The drummer place used to be taken by Faly (ex The Hendrix, currently Hybrid) and they had also an impressive keyboard player Ryan (also ex The Hendrix, currently Hybrid), the sound used to be different too. But as the time goes by changes are inevitable, people come and go, therefore today we see Frankies the way they are now walking their path of the development in musical field, career and studies.
The gig of Frankies as we see them now happened on 9th January, 2016 after that guys started to realize that they found exactly what they needed.
Andre: “We finally found the good chemistry. Even though in the beginning everyone had different views and opinions, in the end we managed to build one original band with its own peculiar sound and energy”.
KD: “When I joined the band, at the beginning it was a bit of pressure because guys were the band for a while and were on the same wave, while I still needed to catch up so that we all could tune in and sound as one band, not just random musicians put together”.
For KD it was the hardest as he joined the last and needed to find his way into the band, it was a big challenge – different views and opinions plus language barrier, cause Cristian, Sam and Andre never miss their chance to speak Spanish if they cannot reach understanding in English. But after 2-3 weeks practicing in Huashi he finally realized everyone’s weak and strong sides and started getting into the things.
Later in March guys finally shaped themselves as “The Band” and made the first show as one united band at PaoPao Bar at Lumo road. The show had 3 sets, guys were wearing business suits which they changed on t-shirts with the band prints. But the most important thing about that show is that they played their first original called “Funkenstein”. The PaoPao show was followed by jump of the band – a marvelous Vox Lifehouse show , where the band performed three originals – “Funkenstein”, “Jellyfish”, “Alone in the city”. Also they played best of their covers, on one of the covers – “Si senor” where Andy from Travellers band joined them and played saxophone.
From this day, guys started developing as one band.
When we see Frankenstein and the Guitar Factory on the stage, smoothly cooperating as one band, smiling, laughing, communicating and drinking during the breaks for a moment we might think that this is the most united band you could ever see in Wuhan, however, it wasn’t always like that the band a lot of experiences in their life there were even the moments when some of the members thought “ok, this is probably the end”.
The band have been through a lot and had a lot of challenges in the life but in the end guys managed to keep it not just a band but a family, through hard work in the hard times by communicating on all the levels – talking and listening to each other, sharing ideas and opinions paying attention to each and everyone’s views.
The atmosphere in the band is friendly-sarcastic but still family-like, first of all, guys are guys, they never miss a chance to tease each other this or that way. For example taking “sleeping selfies” of each other during long-distance trips.
Besides that the band has a lot of funny moments in the life. For example during their performance on Toucanstock the band was drunk and tried to play Led Zeppelin song but the song didn’t go well so they switched to “Born to be Wild”.
Cristian is very active on the stage – he’s moving and jumping a lot so often happens that he crashes something, disconnects the equipment and so on.
There is a constant fight between the guys on who is picking up the speaker and taking it for another show because the speaker is huge and heavy so it leads to the struggle.
Sam has a tendency to come late because he’s a busy man so it often happens that guys have to start their show much later than they planned.
When guys are tuning, KD usually doesn’t have much to do because the drum stand doesn’t require a lot of handling, so while guys are tuning, KD is sitting and “knitting a sweater” with his drumsticks. Also he often says how he loves the band. Despite the misunderstandings and language barrier he always remains the heart of the band, and guys do not want any other drummer.
Andre has a tendency to complain about everything: no, we have to do this,no we have to do something else.
However, each of them understands the importance of keeping things adult way and talking things out when the band is striving through hard times. Each hard day is sorted out in the evening with a glass of beer in the bar. That’s how they managed to keep the band till now.
Relationships with fans
As any other band Frankies have their own crowd that companies them to every show. The crowd consists from many countries and you can see them on almost every show.
As the band, guys treat their crowd in a very friendly way – Cristian as a leader often communicates with the crowd during the shows, talking to them and cheering them up, joking: “ok,now we gonna play Labamba”, therefore creating a very warm atmosphere in the place.
The band is also very generous to their fans, you can often hear Cristian asking the crowd: “Who wants tequila?” and during the shows in Vox and Toucanstock the band was throwing the merchandise to their fans from the stage.
As for many bands Frankies use the music as a way to express themselves and share their experiences with the crowd.
Cristian: «First of all, we are the rock band, rock music is not for everyone, especially not for everyone in China, so as a rock band we stand alone. However, this is what we are, this is what we chose to play. We will keep on playing it and we will never change. We will explore and experiment but eventually will stay what we are.Also it is difficult for us to replace our musicians because not all the musicians in Wuhan can play in our style, so whenever we have a gig and someone cannot make it for some reason– we simply have to cancel the show, we also don’t play the shows when someone of us is not in the city, exactly for the same reason. »
Sam: “Our music is the way to express ourselves, to tell our stories, to create and to develop. That’s the reason I came to the band. Collect the material and make a diamond out of it. Our purpose is to constantly improve – in music, in life, in career, everywhere”.
“Funkenstein”- the first original written by Frankenstein and the Guitar Factory. It is the anthem of the band. The bass line there by Andre represents the main line of the song. Cristian and Andre came up with the lyrics and showed it to Sam, he wasn’t satisfied with it at first so he took it home and applied some guitar riffs. The peculiar thing about this song is that it is fully instrumental and they didn’t use any computer effects on it during the recording, guys wanted the sound to be more alive and original at the stage. After they finished they work on it, they considered the song to be a real hit and started experimenting and jamming even more.
“Jellyfish” – was born during the band’s jam in Chengdu, a very powerful song with amazing musical arrangements and is about rock music and nightlife.
“Blues para un tigre viejo” came out when Cristian went to circus and observed tigers and lions performing there and felt sad about their in captivity the feelings and experience gave birth to the lyrics and the song came out very soon. It is a blues song with soft start and strong ending.
“Alone in the city” – the favorite song of the band, a roar against the society when everyone is against you and there is no one beside you who would help. Sam has a leading position in this song.
“Involution” – the song that took a lot of time and the best of the band, it displays feelings, moments, sounds, talks about the world and how you always have to fit in and how your life experiences lead you to the right path. Came out during the band’s jam sessions.
Relationships with musicians of Wuhan
Wuhan is considered to be a city of musicians, as I’ve never seen so many musicians in other cities than here, especially foreign musicians. All the musicians in Wuhan represent a corner in the society and all connected between each other and know each other this or that way. Which, I believe, is amazing.
The relationship of Frankies with other musicians are different and usually have not only musical but also cultural and mentality grounds. Therefore some of the relationships were good, some were bad. There were conflicts, there were everything. However on their way in their music path the band learned several important things.
Cristian: “First of all, a healthy competition in any field will eventually lead to your own development – this or that way. Secondly, every musician is a teacher and a source of inspiration, we try to learn something from every musician we meet. We are the rock band, we never change, but we never miss an opportunity to explore. Also, despite all of the conflicts and misunderstandings we see each band as friends. In the end all the fights are always against ourselves, we respect all the musicians and get inspiration from them ”.
As a band, Frankies have their own places where they play regularly or at least from time to time, or simply open the place. Such places are:
Jenn Lounge (opened, appear on regular basis )
Eagle bar (opened with Wuhan Social)
Champ’s (FGF Birthday)
A+ on Han Street (Wuhan Social event)
New Vibes (opened)
And as our journey comes to an end, the band sends you and all of their fans: “Cheers,guys, see you very soon!”