Get “High On Yourself” with Frankie + The Studs
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen for
Best Unsigned Rock And Roll Bands in America
Raised in a rock n’ roll household by Gilby and Daniella Clarke, Frankie first knew she wanted to be a “rock star” when her dad took her on the road and she saw how “fun and exciting tour life can be.” She always sang around the house and first picked up the guitar when she was ten years old. Frankie + The Studs have amazing style, a killer 70’s glam vibe, and have built quite a following in the Hollywood area. In less than a year they have released a debut EP “High On Yourself,” put out a video for the song of the same name, and even made it all the way to Chicago to play this year’s Lollapalooza. Great things are in the works for Frankie + The Studs and I am happy I had the chance to talk to Frankie and learn a little bit more about the band and where they came from.
METAL BABE MAYHEM: Congratulations on being featured as one of the Best Unsigned Rock And Roll Bands in America! Let’s start out by talking about Lollapalooza. What was the experience like?
FRANKIE CLARKE: Playing Lollapalooza was a whirlwind. It was my first time playing outside of our Hollywood bubble, so I really didn’t know what to expect. We’ve only been together for less than a year, so playing a huge festival like Lollapalooza was mind-blowing for us.
MBM: I can only imagine! How did the feeling compare to playing local club shows?
FC: I was nervous that we were going to be playing to no one! We have our Hollywood crowd, so to play a show to a completely new audience was nerve-racking, but also so rewarding! As we walked onto stage, it started to rain, but once we started playing, people started to walk over and we had a crowd! It was a great feeling.
MBM: I am so glad to hear that. What are some of your favorite parts of playing a large festival in comparison to an intimate club show?
FC: This was my first time playing a festival, but I’d say my favorite part was just being able to go to the festival, hang out, and meet other bands backstage after we played. I’ve only ever been to music festivals as a fan, I’d never been as an artist. It was unreal, but so much fun.
MBM: I bet. What was it like growing up in a household with Gilby Clarke? Were you always around music?
FC: Always! Our house is the noisiest house ever, but I love it. So many cool people come in and out of the studio. If my dad’s not recording or practicing his guitar, then The Studs and I are in the studio making noise.
MBM: That’s so awesome. When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
FC: I think an eye opening experience for me was when I went on tour with my dad when he played in Heart. I used to take off time from school to go on tour with my dad. That tour just introduced me to how fun and exciting tour life can be, and everything continued to inspire me. Especially, when I saw Kiss play. That blew my mind, and from then on I wanted to be a rock star.
MBM: Very cool. When did you first start singing and playing guitar, and when was the first time you performed onstage?
FC: I started playing guitar when I was 10 year’s old, and I’ve always been singing around the house. I’ve never thought of myself as a singer, but I’ve always loved singing. I started an all girl rock band when I first started playing guitar and our first show was playing in my front yard for my Birthday party. I only knew how to play “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” but I loved being on stage. Despite always being really shy, music is my way of expressing myself.
MBM: What was it like taking the stage with Frankie + The Studs for the first time?
FC: I’ve played with many bands, but Frankie + The Studs is my first real band. Our first show ever together, I was really nervous. I’m not used to being a lead singer in a band, and I didn’t know how it was going to go over. Luckily as soon as we hit the stage, it just felt right. I love playing with The Studs.
MBM: Speaking of Frankie + The Studs, who is in the band and how did you come together?
FC: The Studs are Ronnie Simmons on lead guitar, Johnny Martin on bass, and Matt Lucich on drums. I had released a solo video of myself covering Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City” and wanted to put a band together. I asked my dad about a guitar player, Ronnie, who I remembered him working with, and Matt had recorded drums on the cover I did. Ronnie brought in Johnny because they had toured together, and it all just worked. For something that was put together on the fly, I think we were really lucky that we all gel so well together. We all love hanging out with each other too.
MBM: That makes all the difference in the world, and it’s obvious when people see you play live together. How do you like to describe your musical style, and who are your biggest influences?
FC: I don’t like to make comparisons, but we are inspired by 70’s glam rock and punk rock. Obviously, I idolize Joan Jett and Suzi Quatro, but I’m a huge T. Rex fan and I love The Strokes.
MBM: Is your first EP available yet? Last I saw, you were still in the recording process.
FC: We just released our first EP! It’s now available on iTunes and Spotify. I hope that this EP introduces fans to who we are. I think there’s a little bit of something for everyone. This is just a taste, we have a lot more songs in the can and we never stop writing.
MBM: Nice. Congratulations on having your first single/video “High on Yourself” listed as one of the top three videos for Japanese-based site Robot55. What can you tell us about the video?
FC: “High on Yourself “was the first song we played as Frankie + The Studs. I wrote the song a long time ago, but when I started working with The Studs, the song evolved so much. The video was supposed to be an introduction to The Studs! You get to see a little of our personalities and hear what we’re all about. We already have a second video in the works!
MBM: Definitely. Great on the second video too! You have amazing style and fashion sense. How do you describe your style, and what is it like having Frankie B Jeans named after you (and your grandfather Barry)?
FC: My mom sold Frankie B. five years ago, but it was always funny seeing my name on people’s butts. I love fashion just as much as I love music. I’ve always felt like the two go hand in hand, especially in glam rock.
MBM: That is funny. I agree 110% on the two going hand in hand as well. That’s why I started Metal Babe Mayhem! On last question… What would you like to say to your fans?
FC: This is only the beginning, we can’t wait to meet more of you around the world and keep playing!
MBM: Sounds great to me! I love what I have heard so far and am happy to help spread the word about Frankie + The Studs.