BTD Radio Interviews, Frank Yes
BTD Radio Interviews, Frank Yes
BTD Radio presents…. Frank Yes! Welcome to the studio!
Howdy! Welcome to the studio. I was reading all about you and I am excited to get to know more about you and your music, so let’s get started. Where are you from?
Frank Yes: Hi! First off, I’m really happy to be here! It’s really cool of you to have me, thank you!
I was born in France, but since my twenties I’ve lived in many different parts of the world…. Stephanie is from the Detroit area in Michigan, USA. She has also lived all around. The two of us met last year in Goa, India.
So Frank, I see you have a song called, “There Beyond Words” What is that song all about? I also see that is the title of your album loaded with ten very cool songs. Could you tell us about this album and how it came about?
Frank Yes: This album is my first one as a singer/songwriter and is a result of a big change and metamorphose in my life. Years back I used to play bass in a French alternative rock band, but it was a totally different world at the time and our music was more in line with Grunge and The Stooges.
I’ve been out of the music scene for many years. As the rock n’ roll life style was ruining my life, I decided to change my life completely! I am so happy to be where I am now. I feel really good and wish to share the outcome of my positive experience. The first thing to save my life, as it did for Iggy Pop, and many… was Tai Chi. It really cleansed and empowered me. Then, meditation, awareness and understanding brought me to a place where I found that there are really no answers for this material world. However, there is a space, where we can withdraw from the movie, from the actors… where we can feel really at home, really good. This is a peaceful place open to all of us, which does not depend on outer circumstances of life, ups and downs, rights or wrongs, good or bad…
This is where the album is coming from!
What made you decide to make and album over an EP?
Frank Yes: I did not even think about an EP. I just felt like doing an album, like telling a story. If you listen to the album, you can feel a theme. And it seems that people really do feel uplifted when they listen and are able let go…
Your music is so upbeat, it makes me happy like “Sunshine Inside.” Hey… I think that is also a song title of yours? Does your music reveal how you are in life or is it the opposite? Some write to escape, others write to share… how to you find yourself writing? Could you tell us about your song, “Sun Inside? I know… there are a lot of questions but inquiring minds want to know. LOL
Frank Yes: The song “Sun Inside” I wrote on the beach in India when due to travel plans, Stephanie and I had to spend a week apart after having just spent our first few weeks together. This song tells a story. It was quite dark one evening on the beach after Stephanie had left. With the separation and darkness, it really felt like all the joy and “sun” had gone. But looking deeper I could realise that the real sun is inside all of us. If we always depend on the experiences we have outside, then we inevitably suffer. But once we can find our own selves, or the “sun inside”, then we can share more light with others. This understanding has really brightened the relationship Stephanie and I have. Instead of our happiness depending on the other, we practice being more detached and sharing our suns. This is one way to dance life!
That said, I think that the upbeat music on the album reveals how I am in life, and that what I wish to share!
Let’s say this punk rocker has approached you and asked about what kind of music you make, what would you tell him? How would you sway him to listen to your music?
Frank Yes: Well, I think there could be some songs he may even like musically. And myself, as an ex-punk rocker, could share my experience with him. His receptiveness would all depend on how open he is! If the door is closed, no one can enter! But if he can dig a bit, he might find that there is some good stuff there…
You invite me to spend the day with you in the studio. What would I see this day? Is it quite? Is it loud? What would we be doing?
Frank Yes: Do you mean in the recording studio? It is fun! And so amazing the creativity at work within the team and musicians. I really enjoyed the three recording weeks at the studio. It was neither loud nor quiet, mostly enthusiastic and passionate!
We recorded in Bali after having met the right people at the right time. The musicians we worked with are all such wonderful people. They were able to pick up on the essence of my songs quite easily, and collaborate with some of their musical ideas as well. Although I came with my songs arranged and their themes strongly in mind, I wanted to keep the opportunity open for spontaneity. Flexibility is important during the creative process, and it was awesome to include those unexpected surprises on the album!
Stephanie was slowly investing more time and interest into the album initiative. She ended up attending all of the recording sessions! Her soft, feminine presence was welcome amongst the male dominant atmosphere. Not only did she brew up some beautiful voice and keyboard, but she was also great to have around to bounce off ideas, to coach me through my pronunciation, and to give her honest opinion as to how the songs were shaping out.
Both Stephanie and I tried to keep things light and fun in the studio. You could often find us all laughing and sometimes getting quite goofy.
Who are your musical influences? Have you ever met any of them? Who are your family influences?
Frank Yes: I had many influences: my first ones were AC/DC and other similar bands as a teenager. Then mainly Rock based bands, and finally The Stooges and the later Grunge wave.
Then I studied Indian music, vocal and harmonium after I left my first band. I discovered some really good artists emerging from Coke Studio Pakistan, like the excellent Sanam Marvi. The producer is really a genius, putting together a very creative blend of music. Then, I discovered some positive songwriters ranging from Eddie Vedder to Jem. But of course feel in spirit very close to the three songwriting Beatles; Lennon, Harrison and McCartney…and some touch of Lenny Kravitz and Manu Chao.
You already sound like you are a relaxed kind of guy but I would like to ask you … what do you like to do to relax outside of music?
Frank Yes: Oh, I like to sing! Haha! I still do some yoga, tai chi and meditation, but I also love nature! I’ve been travelling quite a lot and the world has so many incredible places to offer. Steph and I just road tripped around the States this past summer. How cool! The country has amazing nature, landscapes, and so much open space!
True and honest connections with people is also something that is important to me. They really make me feel good and happy when I find and feel them!
Are there other band members with you or are you a solo artist?
Frank Yes: There are two of us, me and Steph! I had started to write songs in summer of 2013 and we met early that December. She loved my music and eventually joined in, with keyboard and vocal. But some other musicians joined in for the studio recording in Bali.
What do you think about the digital music world? Personally I miss albums. I always loved just sitting down and reading all about the artist and looking at the pictures. I would do this for hours. What are your thoughts about all this?
Frank Yes: Yes, I totally get you! I just visited the singer from my first band who now owns a vinyl shop and the production company, Beast Records in France. He knows a lot on the subject and vinyl seems to be getting more and more popular! I rediscovered the pleasure recently as well. The sound is definitively warmer and more full. The experience of enjoying the album pocket is also a great thing. Perhaps that is why I recorded a full album without even considering an EP. Although each song can be appreciated individually, I just love how magically all the songs come together and seem to create a full-color experience for the listener.
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist? Did it start at a young age? Do you remember the first song you wrote? Do you still have it?
Frank Yes: I started electric guitar when I was a teenager. Then I would compose and contribute as bassist later on in my first band. Now, lyrics and innovated rhythms are what most inspire me. The lyrics from track 7 on the album, “Love and All Is Well”, were some of my earlier ones. Sometimes the lyrics come first then the music, other time vice versa. However, music and my own inner song have been playing inside for a long time! It just feels great to finally share!
Speaking of songs, do you have a lot of songs still in the works? I know when I write songs.. some I start and I don’t finish… then look at them later and create a new song. How about you? Does this happen to you?
Frank Yes: I have number of songs in the works, and that’s the part I enjoy the most! Some are nearly finished, waiting to be recorded. Others are still rough and need some arrangement. I try to use any material I have. Every song is a story in itself with its own strong theme, so I can never forget them!
Well we have racked your brain enough, it has been a pleasure to get to know you more. We would love for you to tell our listeners where they can find your music? If you have any special shout-outs, projects, please feel free to do them now.
Frank Yes: Yes! Please visit our website, frankyes.com where they can find all music, videos, lyrics and more. It would be awesome for new fans to like us on Facebook and/or sign up for our newsletters (we promise, we will not flood your inbox!).
They can also check out any of the links below for Frank Yes on iTunes, YouTube, MySpace, Spotify, etc…
Thank you so much and looking forward to chatting with you again!!