Interview with FRANSIS
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My dad was a musician and a big music lover so that gave me my start really, I got a lot of my early music tastes from him, i still carry with me now, his taste was so eclectic from electro proggy quite bizarre sounding bands, to Kate Bush to Nirvana, so I got exposed to a lot of really interesting, cool music from a young age, so I learned what i liked early on, which was usually was the more dramatic sounding stuff or artists that pushed the boundaries. If i wasn’t doing music i’d definitely be doing something creative, maybe design or advertising, coming up with hooks etc. its quite similar to songwriting I guess!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like walking, as boring as it seems I find it so therapeutic, it clears my head of the fuzz that’s blocking my clarify and my creativity always flows better when I feel free-er. I like to try and enjoy the simple things, cooking, yoga, time to myself.
How long has your band been around?
A couple of years with a few line up changes, it’s pretty much me and I get musicians in, I work with guitarist Alex Scott who is a constant in the line up we’ve worked together for years and there is an awesome synergy when we create together.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
London, its really fast-paced in comparison to where I’m from (Birmingham, U.K.) So the difference is more noticeable and that definitely goes into the songs i write. There’s always a social element to my songs and i think that’s always directly impacted by what’s going on around you, which in London is often something crazy or exciting or both!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Francis is the name of my two great grandmothers, I changed the spelling to FRANSIS as a statement of sis, for sisters, as I believe women should be more recognized and equaled in the music industry, and there should be more of throughout.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We just played an EP launch show at the water rats which happened Friday 1st July and that was super fun, the audience we’re great, getting involved and vibing and that always makes a show immense. It’s always awesome when you see people singing along to the songs you’ve written I get distracted by it, its a real ‘wow’ moment.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Hammersmith Apollo would be awesome, i’ve seen so man bands there and i just love the aesthetic, the sound is always so good there too!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Sam Fender, Wolf Alice or Idles
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Actually listen and be able to take on healthy feedback and never let your ego be the driving force of musical decisions. Remember why you started playing and always do what you enjoy, don’t apologize too much.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Get out of your own way
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Pin Me Down as its by far the most personal and raw
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Favourite to play is probably Long Old Road, because its ballsy, fiery and I’s the most versatile in a performance sense, I can really have fun with it. Requested at the moment its probably Honeymoon
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually write all the songs at home on an acoustic guitar, i’ll then take it Alex and we’ll develop the direction together and then i’ll take it to the wider band. Inspiration can really come from anywhere, anything i’m passionate about whether it be positive or a message of protest against something i disagree with, but i’m most creative in the mornings so thats when things usually come together and make some sort of sense.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I always like there to be an undertone of empowerment, i like people to feel safe and strong when listening to anything I write. So no matter what i’m talking about, there’s always a silver lining, because i think thats a good way to look at life, and music is art imitating life so it makes sense to make as real as possible to the way you think.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Fire them…only joking. I’m always quite straight down the line but fair I always try to understand all angles of something before i make any decisions on direction, but disagreements happen, passions run high but I try and keep a level head as best i can. Anyone who knows me, knows i always just want the best for everyone, and i always try and encourage and help fellow musicians in any way i can, its a tough old industry.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
More music, I feel like this EP is setting the precedent for some great things to come, it’s the beginning of something quite exciting! Nothing i can discuss at the moment, but watch this space, things are cooking