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Stop Calling Me Frank Premier

"Gimme Life"

Rum Bar Records

We'll Play Pool but Stop Calling Us Frank
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Just the name stops you short: Stop Calling Me Frank. You have To, or want to, make a snappy comeback when you hear it. Their music, their career, the whole package tells you theyíre not your average Joes.
Now, during their second career and the premier of their first single from new recordings, we talk to Dan Casparriello from the band with some add ons from Eddie Barese and Lennie Donohoe.

BGN - What was the heyday of the original band (years)?

Frank formed in 1983. We always played because we love playing. It was an excuse to do something productive while drinking lots of beer. We never really had a "heyday" , as in headlining larger venues and selling out the Rat or anything like that, however we did headline and fill some of the even divier dives between 1983-1993. Chetís Last Call a second floor shithole bar across the street from the Boston Garden, was our home base and we had many drunken nights there playing with the Queers, the Dogmatics and so many other great bands.

At Chet's Last Call
At Chet's Last Call

BGN - How would you describe the way you were received then and now?

Weíve been fortunate to be a part of such a great scene, a circle of friends and fellow rockers. They really are like an extended family, so we still have this built in fan-base that weíve grown up with over the years who still come out to see us and ask us to open for them (Love John Felice for that). We also try to play with newer, younger guys to mix it up. I think we are received very much the same way as weíve always been, maybe a little better now as our priorities have shifted slightly from beer , fun, music to music, fun, beer. Weíre a lot tighter now (but not TOO tight).

BGN - You give thanks to John Felice. What did he do? Pass the word or get you gigs?

My personal connection to John Felice is a great story. When I was 15 years old and just getting into music my older sisterís boyfriend (now husband of 40 years), also a music fan, took notice of my good taste: Kiss, Alice Cooper ect. He asked my parents permission to see his band play in a high school auditorium somewhere local. He is Billy Connors (still playing out himself) and his band was the Boize. The band opening for him that night was the Real Kids. So the first live band I ever saw at 15 was the Real Kids and I instantly loved it! Life changing!.... Skip ahead a few years Iím 19 , just out of high school playing in my first band The Annoyed. Weíd been in the studio and were getting played in regular rotation on a local rock station. We somehow got asked to open for my all time favorite band the Ramones at the Channel. Another of my favs was also on the bill, the Real Kids. Talk about a dream gig! ... Iíd go see the Kids a bunch of times and got to know John from the scene and heíd become a regular at my bar when I was at the Border Cafe. Iíve opened for them in all of the most important bands Iíve been in over the years. The Annoyed, Shaggash, Gout32, and of course SCMF. We played with John a bunch in our early years and when Frank started playing regular again, about 6 years ago, John somehow found us and had us open for him several times at the Midway. I do love that man. Always a place in my heart for him. Heís a great guy.

Da Group

BGN - Is playing now as much fun as it seems?

Hell Yeah!!! If it wasn't fun we wouldnít do it! Whatíd be the point? I feel so lucky to have found 5 guys, with NO egos who genuinely enjoy each other. We sometimes look at each other at practice and say..this is awesome! Whoíd of thought all these years later weíd be playing and writing and joking and still having a blast? Itís a dream band!

BGN - Did you ever record anything back in the day? Or is this your first recording.

Yes weíd been in the studio several times in the 80ís.We released an independent single in 1984(?) ďRush On ByĒ b/w ďBaby DrivesĒ

On the Go

BGN - Some of your songs are so off the wall. Whoís writing those and whatís the point of view they originate from?

Lennie is the primary songwriter in the band. Itís a very different way of songwriting. Len doesnít play any instruments, never did. He comes down with his notepad full of chicken scratch and says, "I got a new song". "Letís hear it". He then sings the .song. Heís got the verses and chorus and sometimes the bridge and breaks all worked out in his head. Dave and Terry are great at figuring out what key heís singing in and getting some chord going and we all toss around ideas. We like songs about meaningful things in life that we feel are really important such as beer, whales and drinking.

BGN - Is this material youíve just recorded new material? Or are there some older songs there?

We mixed it up. Lotís of our old standards that stood the test of time, and we definitely didnít want leave on the cutting room floor. : "Drinking After Work",.. "Spider In My Beer" and a couple more old ones. Lennie wrote a follow up to "Spider" 30 years later. Itís called, "Bug In My Bourbon". Thatíll be on the full length as well.

Midway Gig

BGN - Tell us about the new single?

Itís kind of a cool song in that it is very honest and personal for Lennie, and Itís perspective is unusual in that itís the voice of a Dad with 3 young kids, teen to young adult (this is real life Lennie). This Dad is hoping that his kids donít ruin or loose their lives to drug abuse or addiction. Itís still very much an upbeat rocker. One of my all time favís of Lennie.

BGN - Youíre not the stereotypical punk band. Thatís what makes you stand out. How do you describe yourselves?

Itís funny we always called ourselves a "punk" band but Malibu Lou (love that man) at RumBar describes us as soul-garage-punks which I guess is true. I donít think we ever tried to be punk or atypical punk or anything else. Our sound is totally organic. It just happens. The punk part is intended though. We think of punk as an attitude, as in we donít give fuck what anyone thinks; we do it cause we like it, and an energy level, as in we arenít going to stand still on stage and try to play everything perfectly. Weíre going to move our semi-drunk asses around, sweat, and have fun like youíre supposed to!

The Diner club

BGN - You write unusual songs. Can you give us a few titles from the upcoming recording?

What do you find unusual about: "My Baby Is An Ax-murderer From The State of Wisconsin" or "Spider in My Beer" or "Beat That Dog"?... Also on the normal side "Gimmee Life" , "Rockiní and Bowlin" , "Every Time I See Her" - Since Dan joined the Franks in 1984 there has been only 2 changes in the lineup. In the early 90ís Moose Parsons, Richieís brother, played saxophone along with Terry in a mini horn section. Fast forward a bunch of years and quite a few reunion shows later to 2012 and we added a 2nd guitar to the lineup, Jeff Osborne who lives in the house right behind Dan in Somerville is the newest Frank. Heís a singer/songwriter in his own band the Angel Martins.

BGN - Will we have to wait till December to hear "Santa, Buy Me a Beer?"

That will be a digital single release in the fall.


BGN - And here are some further thoughts from Eddie Barese and Lennie Donohoe.

Eddie - There's just one thing Dan forget to mention and that's Billy Stevens who is one of the original founding members of the Frank boys! We were originally called The Losers for a short period of time when it was just Lennie, Billy and myself. Drums, guitar and vocals. Then Dave Forbes came along to play bass before he played guitar and that's when the band changed its name to SCMF.

Lennie - Iíve got to correct Eddie though, we played one show under the name Useless. Dave Forbes was at that show and we asked him to join the band. The show was at my fartherís Bar the Cavan Cafe in Hyde Park.

Pixies
Pixes Rat

BGN - Eddie also talks about the time that SCMF opened for the Pixies!

Eddie - Here's the two original flyers from that show (above) we headlined the show cause we played there a few times before the other bands did. I remember catching the Pixies set saying wow these guys are unbafukinlevable! They had only played there once or twice before and it was before they had any records out. They actually recorded at Fort Apache around the same time as we did with Sean and Paul aka the dynamic duo.

stop Calling me anything.

 


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