Stop Calling Me Frank Premier
Rum Bar Records
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
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.