Hateyou zine interview with Franky Flame
1.Could you tell us how did you start your career in music?
Franky- I started playing as a kid, my career really started in the seventies, I was in a heavy rock n roll Slade influenced band, called Machine Gun… then a band called U-Boat, then Frankie and The Flames… I have played piano in pubs as well, ever since I was about 16 years old…..!
Which instruments do you play?
Franky- Guitar, keyboards, and I’m the lead singer in Superyob
After so many years treading stage floors, what keeps you moving forward?
Franky- I love the scene, and our people; I love the music and I want more all the time! I want to keep playing live shows and recording news songs as well as playing the old favourites! The lifestyle and music is in my blood.
In your opinion, what are the biggest changes in the English scene since the 80's?
Franky- There’s a lot more bands now, and the politics in the scene has got overheated- there have been splits and different factions, we need more unity in the scene like it used to be…but ultimately each person or band collectively make their own choices about what they think and how they live their lives. Those are the main differences- more bands on the scene again, bigger festivals and more high profile bands, Oi! is back with a bang!
Which values or aspects do you consider relevant to the skin lifestyle?
Franky- Stay as fit as you can, smart, family and scene loyalty, support the bands, your football team; clubs and the scene, stick together, and help each other if possible; don’t take any shit from anyone….
Got any opinions about Spain that you'd like to share with us? Spaniards? Spanish food? Spanish beer?
Franky- I’ve been to Spain many times and have a lot of friends in Espana and the Balearic islands- too many to count! I speak a bit of Spanish because I had to learn Spanish at school and I try to speak it when in Spain, which has helped me to communicate more easily with my Spanish friends. I like all kinds of tapas, paella, tortilla, and chorizo sausages; the Spanish beer I like includes Mahou, San Miguel, and Estrella- cheers!
Can you tell us something about touring with Superyob?
Franky- Superyob have toured in the Uk, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Czech republic, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the USA. Our record label has organised many tours for us….and we have also done lots of shows with bands who are mates of ours; and we play gigs every year. We always enjoy touring and playing shows, its so good to be onstage and play our music, and to see all the people at the concerts having a great time; and meet some of them after we have played… every Superyob gig is a special event for us , and we always try to make it a special event for the audience;- every person who comes to see us play is special to us- because they have proved they want to be at the venue to see us! We always appreciate their support and the fact that they have spent their money to watch Superyob play live. We play in Superyob for our fans,-- skins, punx, scooter boys, football fans and anybody else who wants to be part of our shows- we never forget them, they are part of us and the Superyob experience; they are working class blokes like us, we play and sing for them, we never forget the streets and where we come from! There are millions like us- the worldwide Oi! army.
Apart from superyob, how many bands have you been in? Any fond memories?
Franky- I’ve been in a few bands and I’ve recorded and done record production with a lot of bands in our scene….
I was in ”Machine Gun” (Heavy Rock n Roll style band, influenced by Slade); “First Class” (Pop/Rock, they had a chart hit in the UK and I toured with them as a session player), “Joe Brown and the Bruvvers” (I toured with Joe as a session player in his band, the music was mostly Joe’s songs, sort of rock/folk) …. I joined “Woody Woodmansey’s U-Boat” ( Heavy Rock). Woody was David Bowie’s drummer on all Bowie’s early hits and albums, I met him through an advertisement for a keyboard player and we formed U-boat. We got management, and a huge major record label deal with EMI Bronze records. We also toured with heavy metal band Uriah Heep, did all the biggest gigs in UK, Europe and Scandinavia, (city halls, sports stadiums, and open air festivals)- we played at the Reading festival in the UK and broke all box office records at the famous Marquee club in London while we had a residency there at the club, playing once a week for four weeks. We made a single and an album and did loads of other shows… we made a film of the band (before video was used)- it was ‘big time’ shit… If Bowie was ‘glamrock’ then U-Boat was ‘rock with a bit of glam!’ haha..The manager ripped us all off completely, the record producer on our album tried to turn us into a pop band; the band split and I got very pissed off with ‘The big time mainstream record industry’…. Too much rip offs, drugs, bullshit and false people! I love music but I don’t trust the ‘mainstream music business’… my experiences in U-boat made me think ‘Fuck this, I want to be myself and write my own songs about my own reality and lifestyle as an urban working class bloke’. So;- I decided to go back to my roots (playing in pubs and clubs) and I formed “Frankie And The Flames” which was me and my local mates;- our music was a mix of punk/ power pop and pub rock and it became very popular… a lot of skins and other bands like the Business, Squeeze, Joey Teen, The Gonads and Eddie And The Hot Rods used to come and see our shows in London…we toured in the UK and Europe… at this time I also did a lot of session and production work for other bands; I recorded with The Gonads, Prole, Orgasm Gorillas, The Blood, The Business, Eddie And The Hot Rods, Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts, and loads of others.
You've also been on film, can you elaborate a bit on that?
Franky- Yep, I’ve appeared in some films- as an ‘extra’ actor and I’ve had ‘cameo’ roles. These include;-
*‘This year’s love’,
(Romantic comedy set in London) starring Kathy Burke, Jamie Forman and David Gray....... I did three days on this one, I was cast in three or four scenes as as a skin in the pub and at a gig drinking......this film turned out to be a comedy success, and introduced me to the world of the film extra. My mate Jamie Forman had a speaking part; troubadour David Gray played his songs for real in the film; and Kathy Burke was great too, she’s one of yer own, and a great professional, unlike Amanda Donohue................................................
* ‘Jimmy Fizz’
(Pop stars and gangsters flick) starring Amanda Donohue....we were filming outside a pub, it was raining on the set, and she had a scene where she had to get shot and fall over. She refused to fall over ‘because she’d get wet’. The director said they could’nt use a body double because it was a close up shot, but she still refused to do the scene the way it was written. The director said that she could have bubble wrap down one side of her body and fall on that, with a mattress on the ground to cushion her; but in the end she said no and threw a fit, and flounced off the film set. Everyone else was getting wet, the cameramen and technical people and the other actors, but she refused to’get wet’. They had to cut scenes and re-write the last part of the film because of this. It was very un-professional behaviour considering the money she was being paid, the casting people on ‘Jimmy Fizz’ confirmed she was getting more than anyone.......and she behaved like a spoilt brat. Bollox Amanda, grow up!
* ‘Me Without You’
( A comedy set in the 80’s in Brighton) starring Sting’s wife Trudi Styler and Anna Friel (who used to be in ‘Brookside’ tv soap...remember that?). I was cast as a punk in a club and had to do several scenes......
... This film was about a twelve foot high prawn who wanted to be a boxer....(yes, you read that correctly). A huge prawn operated by remote radio control ‘animatronics’ was used in the film, along with glamour models and bodybuilder fellas. I don’t know what the writer was smoking when he wrote this film script, but it was a strange turn out and that’s a fact. I had to be the leading crowd rabblerouser at a boxing match between the prawn and a muscle bound boxer, and shout ‘Come on Crusty! Come on Crusty! Crusssss-teeeeee!’ as me and the crowd cheered for the prawn..., you could’nt make it up.....Kevin Mcnally starred in this film.
* ‘Possession ’
… this starred Gwynneth Paltrow, (big budget American money flick, historical drama)...and I did three days on a film set in Greenwich, (near where I live) at the Maritime Museum there, which the film company had hired out. I had to wear 19th century clothes and wear a wig, (perfectly set by a wig fixer with skin glue etc.) Ha! The result with the costume and the wig made me look like a hell fire preacher or one of the USA founding fathers, I still laugh looking at the pictures that were taken of me on the set. I just had to stroll up and down through the marble colonnades at the museum buildings with other extra actors and actresses; and in one scene I had to walk behind Gwynneth Paltrow as she strolled through the place. She is a real beauty.....and she smiled at me!.......gulp…. (That Chris Martin in Coldplay is a right lucky bastard being married to her.... How could she marry a geezer who makes such boring music? Coldplay’s like the soundtrack to a coma! Come here Gwynneth, get over here babe, and discover the joys of Oi! I’ve got Guinness in the fridge too!).
* Boy band ‘Busted’ Christmas Special TV show
( Strange but true....whatever next!!!!!) .....in this I had a cameo scene as a skinhead in the storyline. This was filmed around Hamley’s store in London. We all had a laugh watching the programme when it was shown on tv. Busted split up about six months later.
*Video shoot for Virgin records
This was complete shit, it was a boxing ring film set and some of the band were boxers and the ref and the timekeeper....I had a part as a “Go on son!!!!!” shouter in the audience as they filmed the ‘boxing’....the song was just the worst pile of crap I’ve ever heard.... Total cost for the days shoot? I was told seventy five grand, to be paid either by the band or Virgin records.....for a lavish three minute video promoting a rubbish song.
* ‘Enduring Love’
(Another British comedy/drama). This featured one of the Scottish actors from ‘Trainspotting’ and also Daniel Craig, who has since become the new James Bond. I fixed it with the casting agent to get Superyob’s bass player John in on the action as an extra with me in this film, and we did a day’s filming together with other extras. Me and John were cast as nutters in a lunatic asylum, and I had to wear a dressing gown and slippers and a wool hat and look dopey, and play with snooker balls on a snooker table as if I’d had a lobotomy... (sometimes this feels familiar, after oceans of Guinness....); an additional short film called ‘Burst’ which was tagged onto this film in dvd format was also filmed on the set, and I was asked to ‘Talk to the camera’ for five minutes to be used in ‘Burst’. I ranted and raved about everything and nothing, it was just completely spontaneous because that’s what they wanted. The director said ‘The camera likes your face and style’. (I’ve never met Ricky Gervais by the way, but his tv show ‘Extras’ is bang on, its exactly how us extras are on a film set....)
*’Rise Of The Footsoldier ’
This is the true story of Carlton Leach, a top man on the West Ham ICF firm and a legend in his own lifetime. ‘Rise of the Footsoldier’ is the title and its a British film, brilliantly directed by Julian Gilbey, who has a Bafta nomination. It tells the story of Carlton’s rise from football hooligan to doorman/ security guard to gangster. It was made on a budget on about a million and a half pounds, (which is a piss in the ocean in the film world). The result is a gripping and ultra violent flick which pulls no punches...’gritty and realistic’ as one critic wrote. It documents Carlton’s rise with West Ham’s ICF firm, run-ins with ‘The Treatment’ firm from Millwall, the Man.U. firm and others.....and then his move to security work and bouncer, clashes with a Turkish heroin gang and the subsequent plotline with the famous gangland slayings in Rettenden, Essex.
Football riots, beatings, torture, ecstasy and raves, guns, cocaine, murders and annabolic steroids all make this film a thriller. I was cast as the leader of a football crew that fights in the streets, we had to charge another crew and have a tear up, really mix it up. We filmed in East London (near where I live) at Canning town, Stratford and Bromley by Bow, and at Leyton Orient fc. (this was supposed to be West Ham in the film). When we started filming the fights, and street tear ups, the film’s stunt director Rocky Taylor said “ This is a film;- anyone here for a real ruck can fuck off now”.... But when you are doing close up realistic stuff, it gets real after the tenth or eleventh take, and miming punches and kicks become real punches and kicks.....and it got more intense and real every time we shot it...hahaha......some of the extras had enough because it was getting well rough; I had a cameo part as the firm leader. Director Julian Gilbey had a ‘body camera’ and got right inside the fight action, and filmed very well, to his credit.
Of course some stunt men did close ups of faces getting smashed and putting the boot in.... But most of the extras were just locals like me or bouncers or boxers and it was a right free for all most of the time! After three days of filming we all got proper bashed up, I was sore for about three or four days afterwards, but it was fun! I also had a small scene in and outside a club as well in this film... However,- you do three or four days filming and see yerself on screen in the finished film for about ten seconds,but that’s all you can expect as an extra! ‘Rise Of The Footsoldier’ is a brilliant realistic London based football/crime story, and I recommend it to anyone.
Have you got any other hobbies?
Franky- yeah, I like football (West Ham and England), travel, and painting and drawing. I also use Rune cards and numerology…..
Who would you say your influences are?
Franky- Small Faces, The Who, Slade, The Business, Cockney Rejects, Cocksparrer, Last Resort, Straw Dogs, 4Skins, Condemned 84, Football chants, pub rock like Chas n Dave, and Ian Dury, some folk music and some big classical pieces, boxing, football, London town, England
Any band you'd like (or would have liked) to share a stage with?
Franky- if you mean play at the same show- then yeah, loads! Too many to mention,… if you mean ‘join’ a band- I’m committed to being vocalist and songwriter in Superyob, and doing solo Franky Flame shows and that’s enough for me!
Can you recommend any active bands? Are you close friends with some of them?
Franky- Two good young UK Oi! bands coming up that I know are;- ‘Queensbury Rules’ from Bristol and ‘No Quarter’ from Birmingham… then there’s Close Shave,
Skinfull, Condemned 84, Hooligan Uk, Last Orders, Citizen Keyne, Steel Comb, Streetpunk Drunks, Flathead (all these are UK bands, I know them all)
In Germany;- 7erJungs, Martens Army, Krawallbruder, Pobel und Gesocks (all friends of mine too),In Scandinavia- The Whalers, Last seen Laughing, The Rejected, Agent Bulldogg, Gatans Lag, Kombatants;
Holland- Evil Conduct (friends and record label mates, I have recorded with them), Discharger, Razorblade (We have played with all of these bands listed above, as well as The Cockney Rejects, The Buisness, Last Resort and The Gonads who are all mates of ours).
Is there a spanish band in your collection?
Franky- not yet!
After all of these years you've sure got many stories to tell, got anything special for us?
Franky- ‘Special’??? hahaha- my lips are sealed… lets just say that I hope to write a book about it all one day, there is too much to say here, there’s a huge amount of stories and these mostly include a lot of other people, so its best I say it in my book…. Lol…
.So, spanish tortilla, with or without onions?
Franky- Spanish Tortilla definitely with onions!!!
Seems that that's it. Feel free to add anything if you like!
Franky- Keep the Faith! Oi! will never Die!
If you want to contact me or Superyob, or buy Franky Flame or Superyob merchandise,
here are contact details-
Facebook/ Franky Flame
Facebook/ Franky Flame’s Superyob
Facebook/ Fireworks! ( My solo 30 track album page)
Websites;- Frankyflame.co.uk (site being fixed, updated)
Superyob.com (site being fixed, updated)
Emails;- email@example.com (for contact)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Superyob merch)
email@example.com (Franky Flame merch)
INTERVIEW FOR STEELCAPPED NATION EDITION ONLINE (note;- this interview is an old one, our new guitarist since July 2013 is Essex boy Tom Eastwood)
Here's an interview with Franky Flame lead vocalist of this great British band. They have a new album out called "Quality Street" (pictured above) which you can read more about as follows....
1. Franky, I know that you've played music for most of your life, so how is Superyob special to you from other projects you've been involved in?
Yes it is, because me and a good friend Pat McVicar formed the band, and we both have similar ideas and attitudes about the reality of urban working class life. The lyrics and the musical delivery of Superyob's songs reflect that urban reality. The band was born from a desire to comment on our existence, to celebrate and criticize aspects of our lives; to make statements about our loves, hates, fights, and our observations about the 'society' we live in, coming from the streets of London, (the streets of London that are not paved with gold, that is).
To start with, me, Pat, Pats brother and some mates played in the band and made the first compilation tracks and album, then we had line-up changes; and now the Superyob members are:- Me, (ex-U-Boat, and Frankie and the Flames) on lead vocals (plus 12 string acoustic and keyboards on some tracks when we record); Dave 'Haystacks' Hayman, (ex- Strumpet) Guitar and Backing Vocals, (Dave also played mandolin on one track on our recently released album 'Quality Street'); Micky 'Drummer' Fairbairn, (ex-The Business) Drums; and Andy Nicholas, (ex-The Gonads) Bass Guitar and occasional backing vocals.
Being in Superyob is special for me because the music we make is Oi!/Punk/Streetcore and I have always wanted to make music that has a strong well thought out lyric content dealing with the here and now and social reality, wrapped up in a simple, powerful melodic musical form, that's great to listen to. That's why the band is special for me.
2. Superyob seems more receptive to touring than many Oi! bands. What are some reasons for this?
It's because we love playing live, and we try to fit our work around dates or tours we are offered, with varying degrees of success........!
I'm a pro musician for my job, Dave is an engineering manager, Micky works in a warehouse depot and Andy works on a farm....so between us we are able to somehow organize tours and Yob excursions around our work.
3. Have your collaborations with other bands like Vanilla Muffins, The Whalers etc. cut into time playing with Superyob? Are there scheduling conflicts?
No, never, I make time if I have to. There haven't been any scheduling conflicts at all.
4. How have the sessions you've recorded with other artists had an affect on your creativity as a musician?
Yes, in many ways. It's re-enforced my opinion that being prepared is the most important thing, and that wasting time is bad, especially when a studio bill has to be paid. And some of the things I've been asked to play have really stretched my technical abilities and that's a learning curve that I welcome. It's also taught me to have a clear and concise idea of what exactly I can offer or add to a recording by another artist.
Session work is an interactive process, and keyboard and guitar parts I've played on other people's recordings have affected the creativity of the people I've been working with as well, so I've been told.
5. Would you describe your band as patriotic?
Yes, we are patriotic, and the world can love us or hate us for that, we don't care
6. Tracks like "Sweet F.A." and "Rough Justice" voice strong opinions on their respective topics. Do you feel that people who've maybe never even heard of Oi! music should listen to songs like these and think about their content? Basically, do you mean to pick people's brains a little?
We deal with social issues, and some subjects we write about are just never covered by the mainstream music industry artists....the major labels keep pumping out music as sedative, they want people dumbed down and they don't want people to think about the important issues that are staring them in the face. So I think everyone should have a hearty dose of Oi! at least once a day to give them a reality check, and help to tear away the veil of the great illusion that is promoted daily by the 'music industry'. My problem has always been that I love music but hate and distrust the huge bloated sick beast that is mainstream music 'industry'. Of course now, major labels are shitting themselves because of internet piracy etc, and the whole nature of the 'industry' is changing rapidly, it's possible now for an artist to deal directly with the public through devices such as i-tunes, and so.....who needs Warner Brothers or EMI or BMG?.......haha fuckin HA! It had to happen. As that great unwashed genius John Lydon once said "99% is shit." He was dead right. I hope we are counted amongst the 1% that contribute to awakening by our work and long live the genuine small and medium independent labels dedicated to the Oi! and Punk/Streetrock that promote awareness.
7. What makes a perfect rock n roll song in your opinion?
Diamond hard lyrics delivered in simple, powerful, anthemic music.
8. When did you first become involved with the Skinhead cult? Does the culture mean the same things to you now as when you first started out?
I was a Mod first, and became a Skinhead when I was working in a factory, all my mates there were Skins and it seemed natural for me. But then the Skins mostly listened to reggae, and I was into bands like the Who and the Small Faces, I didn't really click with Reggae. There weren't really any Skin bands then, until Slade came along dressed as Bootboys, and I heard their music and thought 'yeah, great band' and became a fan. The difference between then and now can be summerized as:- Then, Skins were more visible because of the cropped hair and boots etc.....the only other people who had Skinhead cuts then were soldiers, because long hair was mainstream for blokes. So, we got picked on because of the way we looked. Nowadays short hair and number one cuts are more widespread, more mainstream in fashion and skins are more accepted in a way. Secondly, the Skin scene then was not politicized, it was just a smart violent subculture. Now, the right wing and the left wing have been trying to use Skins as shock troops for a long time. And thirdly, there are tons of great Skin bands and characters now and there weren't really indigenous Skinhead bands to start with. Of course to add to this, the Skin movement is now world wide and to begin with it was just a British phenomenon.
9. Word has it that you will be playing in a movie. How did you come to be offered the part?
I've done a lot of films as an extra actor. I was recently in a film called 'rise of the footsoldier' released in September 2007. I played the part of a football hooligan firm leader in football riots and streetfights during the first part of the film. It's a very well made flick, about the life of Carlton Leach, who was a top man on the West Ham United firm. "gritty and realistic" is one quote from some scribe or other.
10. Do you think that it is important to bring new elements, like your piano playing, into Punk & Oi! music to create something original to help the style develop?
Up to a point, yes. I don't play piano onstage with Superyob, it would be like trying to be a singer with a ball and chain around my leg - You can't be a front-man behind a keyboard in my opinion. We use my piano playing on a few studio tracks for a bit of extra production sound, and on the album we've got a track where Dave plays mandolin and a violinist plays some fiddle too, as well as me playing the piano. The track these extra instruments are on is called 'Public Bar' and its turned out well. It's snapshot of life in our local pub and we've used these extra instruments because they are associated with pub life and the drinking and sing-a-long atmosphere in pubs. (Well, the sort of pubs that we grew up with, anyway.) Of course the main guts of our sound and our scene's music is guitars, drums, and anthemic choruses, and we will never want to alienate our core audience by suddenly bringing in something to the Superyob sound which doesn't work well within what's expected. Innovation is a double edged sword. Having said all this, I actually do a lot of solo piano/vocal 'Oi! the Singalong' shows, and they seem to be very popular with people in the scene!!!!! I think that basically Oi! and Streetpunk music will maintain its form, with occasional excursions into experimentation; a bit like what we've done on the 'Quality Street' album. We've used the extra instruments I've mentioned, also some sound effects. But:- good lyrics, power and melody are our watchwords, and the basic fabric of our music.
11. What does the band do outside of playing with Superyob? Any side projects? I'm familiar only with the Concrete Gods...
I've got songs for a solo album, and I'm always writing music. I go to football (WEST HAM UNITED, PRIDE OF LONDON'S EAST END!!!!!!) and of course I support the English team, (who are crap at the moment and didn't even qualify for Euro 2008 competition.....) and I like to support British boxers. I also do a lot of drawing and artwork when I can. Dave plays in the Concrete Gods as well as Superyob, and enjoys going shooting and feasting, drinking and fine malt whisky; he also is a West Ham supporter. Micky is a Chelsea supporter, and has a great line in humour and enjoys drinking with us when we feel like sinking a few ales....Andy plays in the Gonads and is doing sessions as well for the East End Badoes, and makes his own cider......the trouble is he's a Tottenham Hotspur supporter and he gets stick from the rest of us!
12. That's it for now...closing remarks? And your first thoughts/short answer on the following
a. light beer
It's shite. I don't know why people bother with it. It's a waste of drinking time.
b. educational television
There's very little of that, it's mostly propaganda or mind control crap. Television is a 20th century beast and its had its day, the internet is the future, and gives control to the individual, not to a television executive or producer........haha fuckin ha.
c. the English language
ah, my old friend, the bastard child of Anglo-Saxon and French, what a gem of richness and power....long live the English language, and street slang
d. your favorite boxing match
Woh, that's a toughie......so many great fights.....I still remember Henry Cooper knocking Muhammed Ali on his arse, and Collins bashing up that twat Eubanks and Joey Calzaghi's unbeaten 44 fights, his last fight was a classic I think. Ricky Hatton deserves a rematch, etc etc....I could go on forever, but one great unlicensed fight I remember going to was Roy Shaw -v- Ron Stander and it was a bloodbath, in and out of the ring....(Roy Shaw is a streetfighting legend in London).....the whole audience had a massive punch up and yours truly was involved. I gave as good as I got though. Memorable.
To finish, Superyob's new album 'Quality Street' has just been released on Randale Records, and is available in the USA from Cargo USA, so I'm told. It features 12 great original Skinhead Streetcore tracks, plus one cover version track. I'm proud of what we've achieved, it's our best yet; and can be described as the mutt's nuts, or the gorilla's gonads, or the donkey's todge, or nectar of the gods of Oi!.....or simply a great album. Check it out! This I command ye to do, by order of fiery Frank, vocalist and scribe of the mighty Superyob.
You can contact me and the band at :-
All the best,
Listen to the sound of Oi!.....it's the sound they can't destroy!
INTERVIEW FOR SKRUTT ZINE SWEDEN
Frankie Flame in the group have been on the road for a very long while with his punkmusic. Here he gives us the history about his group Superyob. The interview took some time but here it is finally.
History about Superyob?
-Frank;- Superyob was formed in 1995 in London by Me, Pat McVicar and his brother Rob Reeves. We were mates and went to the same gigs, and they had seen me play my one man shows. We shared the same reality living in south London and we had the same desire to make music about the world as we experienced it. To start with Pat (drums)and Rob (guitar) wrote most of the songs for the band, plus a couple from me (vocals); then me and Pat became the writers, and I have written some Superyob songs myself. I am now the only original member of Superyob still in the band, we have had several personnel changes. However, me, Pat, and Rob are still good mates; even though they are doing other things now. Up to date, Superyob have made 4 albums, an Ep, 2 vinyl singles, compilation tracks, and recently re-issued our first two albums on a collector’s vinyl package with bonus tracks and our third album with bonus tracks on Randale records. We have toured extensively in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, and the USA and recently celebrated 15 years of Superyob with a festival in London called ‘Yobstock’, which featured Superyob as headline act; with Evil Conduct and other bands.
Please tell me a little about every member, age, interests, work, family and something bad about every one?
-Frank;- Superyob band members now are Me, lead vocals, (and 12 string guitar and keyboards on recordings); Dave, guitar and backing vocals; Andy, bass and backing vocals; and Mick, drums. We are different ages, I’m the oldest and Dave is the youngest.
I’m a self employed pro musician for my job, and also work as a musical agent for piano players/ guitarists. I write lyrics and music for Superyob and also do some film acting; as well as singing in Superyob I also play solo Oi! singalong shows, and I follow boxing and football, (West Ham and England)! I drink Guinness. I’m married.
Something bad- I’m tyrannical when I’m being creative, worse when I’m pissed.
Superyob nickname:-T’wearly/Old Git
Dave is an engineering project manager, drinks almost anything, and is my right hand man in Superyob. He has just started another job after being unemployed for a while; he’s got a fantastic ‘Superyob’ custom built guitar amongst his guitar collection. He has played guitar in Aceface and The East End Badoes. Dave is married.
Something bad- he’ll eat and drink everything in sight when he’s hungry or thirsty, including other people’s dinner and beer. If he’s really hungry he can turn cannibal…..
Superyob nickname;- Fatso/ Haystacks
Andy has a farm, he harvests fruit and makes his own cider, which is very good, we may market it as ‘Superyob Cider’! He played bass in The Gonads before joining Superyob, and he is married. He recently became a proud father.
Something bad- Andy is notoriously tight with money... and badly needs one more pair of trousers......
Superyob nickname;- Pikey/Scrooge
Mick works in a warehouse, and he is the joker in the band; we have a lot of laughs and in-jokes with him; Mick played drums for The Business for 20 years before he joined Superyob, and I have known him all that time, we are old friends. Mick was a semi pro footballer, and is also a great barbecue chef! He is married too.
Something bad- make sure you watch your possessions closely when Mick is around, he has a way of making things disappear......
Superyob nickname:- Tea Leaf ( Tea leaf is cockney rhyming slang for thief....)
You have been in a lot of bands before, please tell me about some of them?
-Frank;- Before Superyob...my most recent band history would include a band called U-Boat with David Bowie’s original drummer,Woody Woodmansey. We signed a recording deal with Bronze/EMI, played many shows and tours in the UK and Europe including the Reading Rock festival, and released an album and single. After this I formed my own band Frankie and The Flames, which was a blend of punk, power pop and bar room rock. I have also played many sessions for other bands in the studio, including The Blood, The Business, The Gonads, Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Blades, lots of other bands; and I’ve produced bands and albums as well.
Do you have any other band on the side of Superyob now?
-Frank;- No, just my job which is solo work as a keyboard/guitarist vocalist, and I am an agent for others, as I said.
How did you came into punk in the first place?
-Frank;-I liked the Sex Pistols and other bands that started punk, then I got into Oi! after that.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is a lifestyle?
-Frank: It’s a look, a sound, a lifestyle, all of these..... of course ‘MTV Punk’ has devalued the brand a bit.
Music and politics, does they always goes hand in hand?
-Frank:- No, not in my opinion they don’t.
A song like Champagne Socialist....have you met many people like this? Is it any particular person you think of here?
-Frank:- Yeah.... Tony fuckin Blair and Gordon fuckin Brown and their pals who betrayed the British working class, and loads of other so called ‘politicians’.
Which is the best political band/artist?
-Frank;- Dunno. First, what kind of politics..... Right wing? Left wing? Green? Animal Rights? Christian Party? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? Socialist Workers party? British national Party? I’m simply not interested in ‘political’ bands. Artists/bands who tie themselves to a political movement get onto a runaway train that they can’t get off, and they become the ‘property’ of the political movement they associate with. They will be called traitors if they dare to do something or write something that the political party does not agree with. They can become controlled by the political faction they are associated with. Nine times out of ten this all ends badly. So, I don’t have an opinion on who is the best political band or artist. I am more interested in bands and artists who think for themselves, and follow themselves as leaders.
It seems like if the lyrics are very important to you?
-Frank:- Yes, absolutely. In a song, the lyrics are the skeleton of the body of the song and the music is the flesh on the skeleton; two different elements that together hopefully give life to a song that’s good. Lyrics are extremely important, they are the statement of an artist’s intent and what he or she wants to say. Of course the lyrics can exist without music, and the music without lyrics....I work with both together sometimes, at other times I get a great piece of music and fit lyrics to the music.... and then it can work the other way round with a lyric idea that needs a tune, or I get a strong lyric phrase with a tune for the lyric/vocal line.
What type of people comes to your concerts?
.Frank:- Skins, punks, herberts, football casual/ hoolies, record company people, journalists, photographers, pc spies........
You did Live for Today by Sweet on your CD Quality Street? Have you done any other covers?
-Frank:- Yeah, we have recorded ‘All or nothing’ by the Small Faces (London 60’s Mod band) and ‘How Does It feel’ by Slade.... both these tracks were b sides on Superyob 7 inch vinyl singles ‘Rock n’ Roll Ghost’ and ‘Rock n’ Roll Revolution’.
What does a cover good?
-Frank;-I think you have to put your own musical DNA on the recording of a cover song version while respecting the original and the original artist.
Do you never get old too playing punk(me myself is 48) ?
-Frank:- No. I’m older than you mate....! I don’t care what people say, there’s no time limit or retirement age in our scene, I just do because I love it, and when you love something, time stands still for you..... you stay young at heart..... also I’m younger than Charlie Harper....! Ha!
What shall todays punks do to shock their parents, nowadays when punk clothes is fashion?
-Frank:- Dunno, I’m sure they’ll think of something....
How is it to live in England today? Politically I mean?
-Frank;- It’s a shitstorm...... Well;- the overwhelming climate politically and financially is depressing now...... England and the whole UK is billions of pounds in debt thanks largely to Blair/Brown..... there are millions on the dole like in the 80’s....... huge public sector financial cuts announced today....... defence budget cuts...... local public services cuts.....social security and family and child benefit cuts.....higher taxes....... cuts cuts cuts.... unchecked and disastrous ‘total open door’ immigration for the last 10 years under a labour government; which has resulted in huge numbers of immigrants coming to the UK and this has resulted in extreme pressures on housing, hospitals, job market, schools and education, and all of the services and provisions of our islands......and now many local councils and communities can’t cope with the sheer volume of people needing homes, jobs, medical care and school places..... and of course housing benefit payments, social security payments and family and child benefit payments.... the system is wrong and its breaking down all over the country..... some places are a nightmare. It’s not the fault of the immigrants, you can’t blame them for wanting ‘a better life’.... they are pawns in the game. The politicians responsible for this fuckin mess are the ones to blame. Their ‘social engineering immigration project’ has simply brought chaos, over crowding, hatred, race war, increased poverty and fractured communities to the cities of the UK.....the southeast of England is the most overcrowded place in the whole of Europe; and London where I live is the most overcrowded city in the most overcrowded place in Europe. Space to live, to simply exist, is the most precious and expensive commodity where I live. Also the ‘European Union’ is causing the Uk a lot of problems politically and financially, and impacting with lots of stupid laws on our traditional way of life...... I could write a book.........This is a very short description of how it is to live in England now, politically. I’m very PISSED OFF, I want my country back.
What I’ve said here is simply what I experience every day in England, its the reality of living here now, its fact.
Are people afraid for new terrorist attacks?
-Frank;- We are aware of threats, and we are constantly being told that more attacks are going to happen..... are we afraid? Let’s just say I think most people are aware and vigilant, not afraid. And also I’ll just say that there are those who will fight back......
You released your album Quality Street on Randale Records, is it a good label?
-Frank:-We like Randale records, and yes I think it is a very good label.
Not any new album on it´s way?
-Frank:- Yes, we have now re-released our third album ‘Ghetto Blaster’ with bonus tracks due to public demand, available on cd and vinyl on Randale records; and we will also release a brand new album in 2011. I am writing the songs like a demon for the new 2011 album now. We have rehearsal recordings of new material for the new album, and the songs are dynamic anthems.
What do you know about Sweden? You have been here, haven´t you?
-Frank:- Yes Superyob have played in Gothenburg, and years ago I played solo there. We also passed through Sweden once to play in Finland, and had to sleep on the floor in Skavsta airport overnight on the way back because of a fuck up by Ryanair....... Sweden is a fine country and we have good friends from Sweden, some of our Swedish friends came to our Superyob 15th anniversary ‘Yobstock’ festival in London July 2010.
Do you know and like any swedish bands?
-Frank:-We have shared the stage in Gothenburg with The Cliches, and Gatans Lag. Both these bands played very well I think, we had a great time with them and it was a very good concert. We have heard of other Swedish bands, like Ultima Thule etc.
Please rank your five favourite records , five best concerts you have been to and five most important things in life?
Frank:- I’m going to choose TWENTY records! Five is not enough.....!
1. Quality Street /Album/ Superyob (hehe, yes I’m a big headed bastard, but its my fave!)
2. Sweet F.A. single track/ Superyob ( same with this one....)
3.Oi! Oi! Oi! / Album / Cockney Rejects
4.The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth /Album/ The Business
5.Live n loud/ Album/ Cocksparrer
6.Never mind the Bollocks/ Album/ Sex Pistols
7.Best of Chas n’ Dave/ Album/ Chas n’ Dave
8.The Ultimate Collection /Album/The Who
9.The Autumn Stone/ Album/ The Small Faces
10. Feel the Noize, The very best of Slade/ Album/ Slade
11.That’s My Music/Album/ The New Chords
12.Straw Dogs 91-97/Album/ Straw Dogs
13.Divine Madness/ Album/Madness
14.This is the Way We Feel/ Ep/ Evil Conduct
15. The Best Of Frankie And The Flames/ Album/ Franky Flame
16.Inferno/ Album/ Franky Flame
17.Islander/ Album/ Franky Flame
18.Skinflicks /Album/ Skinflicks
19.Couple of tracks from ‘Democracy’/Album/ Killing Joke
20.Several tracks from ‘Pandemonium’/ Album/ Killing Joke
Five best concerts I have been to (and played at with Superyob).
1.Avalon Ballroom Boston USA with The Dropkick Murphys
2.Concorde 2 club Brighton UK with the Cockney Rejects
3.Oi! The Meeting Festival, Leipzig Germany with The Templars
4.Endless Summer Festival, Torgau Germany with The Cockney Rejects
5.Back On The Streets Festival, Waldlaubersheim Germany with Krawallbruder
Five most Important things in Life
Frank:- I list nine rules I try to live by:-
1.Courage, 2, Truth, 3. Honour, 4. Fidelity, 5.Discipline, 6. Hospitality,
7. Self reliance, 8. Industriousness, 9. Perseverance
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-Frank;- First one was a Small Faces record, I can’t actually remember which one....last one was the 4-Skins ‘The Return’ album and the most expensive record? I dunno, probably some disc or box set package I bought as a gift for somebody.... I’ve spent a fortune on records over the years....
Where do you stand when we´re talking about mp3 and downloading etc?
-Frank:- I personally prefer physical product (cds or vinyl) for music.
Is it good or bad for a band like yours?
-Frank:-We sell physical product and some sales as downloads on Tunecore; its not good or bad, they are just different kinds of format. Some places and some people prefer cds or vinyl, and some people prefer downloads.
How much do a record of yours sell?
-Frank:- You’d have to ask our record label that! …..If you mean;- how much for a cd or vinyl copy,?.... we sell them for £10.00 approximately, it depends on the postage if they are postal sales, at gigs we sell for £10.00. (Usually!)
Futureplans for the band?
-Frank:- Tours, festivals, gigs, more albums, and videos, we hope to continue making
‘Real music in an unreal world’.
-Frank:- I intend to keep writing, recording and producing lyrics and music for our scene also I want to keep on doing my solo shows which are very popular; and also keep trying to get a budget for the production of a musical film I have written with a friend, plus writing my autobiography and doing some more film work as an ‘extra’ and ‘cameo’ actor.
Please tell me a really funny thing which have happened in all these years you have been playing music?
-Frank:- I went on holiday to Europe with my wife and her brother, they went ski-ing. I can’t ski…. I’d never been on a ski slope before in my life, so I started walking down the red piste to get to the pub at the bottom of the slope, (Stupid!) …but soon realised I was getting faster and faster, because of the ice and the steep slope, and then my legs were running like the roadrunner cartoon…. (meep meep!)…. I ended up running so fast and not being able to stop that I fell forward and went right down the mountain ski slope flat on my face like Garfield the cat….I went past the pub at the bottom flat on my face on the ice…. And slithered to a halt… dazed and messed up….. I looked back up the top of the slope and my wife and her brother were lying on their backs with their skis in the air, laughing hysterically at the sight of me like this….. an american tourist came out of the pub and picked me up. “God-damn boy, that was the most RADICAL descent I’ve ever seen on this slope!” he said. I walked shakily into the pub to loud cheers and applause, and everyone wanted to buy me drinks! Later my wife said she wished she had filmed it because we would have won a cash prize on the tv show “You’ve Been Framed”!!!!
I never did learn to ski……
Something to add?
-Frank:- Regards to all, you can contact me at:-
facebook/ franky flame