Melbourne has always had a great live music scene, and St Kilda has some of the most popular of live music venues in town. It’s no surprise then that the St Kilda Festival has an array of bands playing, with such band being Hey Frankie. Fusing their music with neo-soul, jazz and electronica, Hey Frankie performed a sell out show at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, performed at the Love Your Sister charity that Melbourne actor Samuel Johnson runs, released some great singles, and filmed a music video involved a warewolf family. Milk Bar Mag got to speak with the band’s keyboardist Nick Marks about their upcoming show.
How did the band start? Where did the name come from?
The way the band start was the singer, Jess, had a little project and she was going to make an EP. She looked for a piano player and got me as a session player. We did rehearsals, and she had a good energy with us all. She thought we had a great energy and wanted us to be a band together. Everyone was right on board. We all knew each other from Monash Uni from when we graduated back in 2013. The name Hey Frankie comes from Jess who’s from New Zealand, and she had a good friend named Frankie.
What other artists have inspired the band’s sound?
Every member of the band is inspired by something different. We have common artists, but a great thing is we bring in different people. I like Herby Hancock, Thundercats, and Jeff Buckley, while the others have some folk music influence. Our sound is inspired by great music from bands like Up Up Away, Little Dragon, Massive Attack, and other people who have written great stuff we love.
What are your songs usually about?
Usually they sort of vary in terms of theme. Sometimes they’re about going against the odds, finding your way when you’re lost, making the best of things, or fighting against the odds. There are some love songs too and songs about long term relationships ending, the attachment you had but the relationship ended and the lingering feelings. It’s about the ying and yang, knowing something’s over and it’s the right thing, but you still hurt. The singer kinda put together a video clip of Warewolves, a game you play with people also known as Mafia, where someone is nominated as a warewolf, they open their yes and guess who the warewolf is. When we write songs, it’s based on a mood, it reminds us of something that happened to us. Usually someone brings a song to the table and we workshop it.
You played at the Love Your Sister charity gig. What was that gig like?
That was great. That was a few years ago now. It was wonderful to be a part of the event. Sam Johnson saw a gig and wanted us on board. It was beautiful to be part of an important project.
How did the band get involved with the St Kilda Festival?
We played last year at one of the Live N Local shows. I’m a resident of St Kilda and proud of it, it’s one of my favourite places in Melbourne. We attended it as teenagers, watched Big Sundays. We see it as a fantastic festival that showcases and supports Australian artists. We put our names forward and applied, we’re stoked to be part of it.
What can the audience at the festival expect from your show?
A show for all the senses, visually and orally, a pulsating show. We always get people moving and dancing. They can sway or they can get involved in dancing. It’s an exciting and fun show, we get a really wonderful response from people. We want to make it an experience, it’s interactive.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Thursday 4 February 2016