Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Interview with Bad Frankenhausen's Tom Goldman

How's this for perfect timing? Just this past Monday I reviewed Bad Frakenhausen's new album "Eins" and here it is Wednesday(!) and I am now proud to present an interview that I conducted with this London band's guitarist/vocalist, Tom Goldman. I want to thank Tom for taking time out of his schedule to chat with us about his band and Bad Frakenhausen's (highly-recommended!) debut album. If you haven't read my review of "Eins" yet then be sure to check it out by heading here. Meanwhile you can find "Eins" online by following this link.

Andy (A)-For our readers who might not be familiar with your band could you give us a brief rundown on who's who in Bad Frankenhausen and what you...or rather your all about?

Tom Goldman (T)-We’re Bad Frankenhausen, a three piece Hard Rock/Metal band from London England. We follow the traditional ‘Power Trio’ formation of me (Tom) on guitar and vocals, Rob on Drums and Paul on Bass. The general idea behind the band is to have a Classic Rock/Metal vibe with some modern influences as well, with a focus on big, memorable riffs!

A-I'd say you succeeded with that game plan Tom! How and when did your band form and how did you decide on your unique moniker?

T-Although Bad Frankenhausen was formed officially in mid 2014, it’s existed quite a bit longer in different forms. Rob, Paul and Myself have played together since 2009, with various vocalists, but nothing really led to anything. In late 2013 after a bit of a break we got together as a three piece and I took over the vocal duties. From there we rewrote or started afresh with the material we had previously written and soon after we launched as Bad Frankenhausen.The name comes from a town in Germany. We all liked the sound of it and it’s quite different from many of the ‘typical’ metal band names. It also continues a proud tradition of rock bands named after places!

A-That's so very true LOL! Who is the primary songwriter in the band? Lyrically-speaking there seems to be a great deal of fantasy going on. Not that I'm complaining any since I totally dig the material that you guys have put out!

T-I think it's pretty mixed. We all contribute quite a lot to the music side. Occasionally I will bring something complete to the band, but even then we will work on it together and swap stuff out or improve on riffs. It's become a really collaborative process. Sometimes it might be a starting point of a simple riff or idea, or maybe we jam something. It's different every time, but the collaboration is key.The lyrics on "Eins" are done in much the same way, in that we have all pitched in ideas at various points. In some cases there has been a general idea, in others its more specific. We've tried to keep sense of humor about things too. There's quite a strong 'tongue in cheek' element to what we write too. I think "Eins" as a whole lyrically deals with the idea of desperate or deluded characters, it's a theme that we come back to quite a lot.

A-On your full-length debut I can hear traces of Black Sabbath and Motörhead. What are some of the bands that influenced you?

T-Well, as you mentioned Sabbath are a huge influence on us. As well as other classic rock bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. We certainly use their bluesy approach to riffing quite a lot in our songs. You’re quite correct in saying that Motörhead are important too, particularly vocally. Definitely some Priest and Megadeth there too!There’s some other stuff in there as well. Paul and I listen to a lot of Black and Death Metal, and although it may be subtle, there are some references to that in our songs, particularly in the guitar work – Although you may have to look for them! Also there’s quite a substantial Prog influence too in places.I would also say there’s particular influence from a lot of Doom and Stoner bands too. Bands like Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin, and also many bands from The USA, particularly Southern Metal and Desert Rock groups. Pantera, Down. Basically anything with great riffs and a strong groove!

A-Coolness! Not counting your odds and ends collection entitled "Vol 1",  "Live" was your first full-length release. What made you decided to go that route?

T-We'd written a lot of material and we just wanted to get it recorded. We've been lucky in that we're quite prolific in that respect. It just seemed logical to us to do a full length, to get definitive versions of our music on record, rather than doing a few separate EPs.

A-Well, it worked for the band MC5 so why not you guys! LOL! We briefly touched on it, but talk to us about your new album. How did it all come about and how have fans and critics reacted to it?

T-It's been a long time in the making! We recorded it and mixed it in June/July last year. The artwork was done over the Summer and Mastering was completed in October. We've been sitting on if for a few months, so it's good to have it out. Reactions have been great. Considering we have not had an "official" release for it yet, it's been a pleasant surprise to find that people have discovered it. Hopefully more people will get to hear it and enjoy it soon; we plan on sending out copies to a range of people/place. It will be "interesting" to see what the reaction will be!

A-In a very good way "Eins" has an almost live feel to it. Was that purposeful?

T-Absolutely. We are big fans of the natural live sound of music and want to give people the impression that they are in the studio with us playing when they listen, rather than have something over produced and artificial. It just seems to fit in with our style.

A-In our email exchange you mentioned "Eins" getting a physical release. When can fans expect that?

T-We are hoping that we will have the first physical copies early March, with an aim to have them for sale later that month or early April.

A-Awesome! Who are some of the bands that you've played with so far?

T-We've played with quite a lot of excellent bands on the London scene. Last week we played with Overthrow and in the last year we've been lucky enough to play with the likes of Empire Warning, Possessor, Suffer No Fools, Morag Tong, Unheard Before the Wake, Slave Steel and so many more - apologies to those who I've missed! We've been very lucky with who we have got to play with.

A-As a follow-up to that question who would you like to play with if given the chance?

T-In the immediate future, would love to play with some of the other local bands we haven't had the chance to like Wretched Toad, Wychhound, DBM, Khadian, Jackknife Seizure... But in the future who knows? There are obvious big name choices... But we've a while to go till we are there yet.

A-Since we're kind of on the subject already Tom what is your local scene like?

T-It's really good and getting better. I keep seeing new bands who are really impressive, whilst those who are have been on the scene for a while are progressing so much. The only thing that is a pain is that every month another venue seems to close, restricting where we can play. That being said, there's a dedicated group of promoters and venues who put in a huge amount of effort to support the scene. It's a really cool time to be involved in it.

A- Are there any other local bands that you'd like to suggest for our readers?

T-There are so many! Overthrow UK, Wretched Toad and Empire Warning are good places to start.

A-Thanks Tom. I'll have to check those bands out. Let's get back to your group though. What are some of your favorite moments so far with Bad Frakenhausen?

T-Definitely the live shows. They've gotten to be so much fun for us. It's great to see people's responses to new material, as well as seeing the same faces in the crowd!

A-To that end, what's the one thing that your band always has to have with them when you hit the road?

T-Either beer or guitar tuners.

A-Both of those are essential items that's for sure! Does Bad Frakenhausen rock out any cover songs live?

T-We do a pretty tasty version of "Tales of Brave Ulysses" by Cream...

A-Sweet! I'd love to hear your take on it. Alright, it's either or time. Black Sabbath with Ozzy or Dio?

T-Love Dio, but Ozzy.

A-I'm more of a Dio man myself, but it's all good. How about Metallica or Megadeth?

T-Megadeth - Love that guitar work.

A-Dave is one hell of a guitarist. An underrated one, but one of the greats all the same. OK, how about this one. Electric Wizard or Orange Goblin?

T-Electric Wizard.

A-Judas Priest or Iron Maiden?

T-Priest. I think most people in the UK would go for Maiden, but there's just a consistency with Priest I love.

A-I can't argue with that. So, what does the rest of 2016 have in store for you guys?

T-We've got a few more shows lined up (check the Facebook), then we intend to hit the studio again - We have a bunch of new material that we need to get down, so look out for another release later in the year! After that more live shows and hopefully we can expand out of the London scene, and journey to the rest of the UK and beyond.

A-I'll be sure to keep an eye out for your new material as I suddenly find myself hooked on your sound! Now I always let artists have the last word so go ahead Tom. The mic is all yours so feel free to share your words of wisdom. Or if you'd rather not go that route then you can feel free to share your favorite cocktail recipe! Whatever it is you want to lay down then have it!

T-We really want to thank you Andy for covering us. It does mean a lot. We would love if some of your readers would check out "Eins" on our bandcamp page, or even some of other, free releases. We want as many people as possible to hear our music, and we'd love to know what you all think.

A-The pleasure was all mine!

As a word of closing I am going to second Tom's suggestion my friends. For all of our readers out there (and yes, I'm especially talking to all of you who are fans of  raw/real metal and hard & heavy rock n' roll!) be sure to check out Bad Frankenhausen's "Eins". This power trio's riff-heavy & barroom-approved debut album has so much to offer and the more times that I listen to "Eins" the more I find myself wanting to wave the banner that is Bad Frankenhausen! Every-bit as loud & proud as they come, Bad Frankenhausen is one band that I not only plan to follow, but share with all of my metal brothers and sisters! And of course if you live in London and/or any of the surrounding areas be sure to check Bad Frankenhausen live. Having heard this band's live material (thanks to their bandcamp page) I can tell you that this type of heavy rock/hard & heavy metal simply SLAYS on the live stage! If you get a shot at seeing Bad Frankenhausen live then do it! God knows I would if I only lived across the pond! 

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