Frankie Rose and The Outs

Frankie Rose no longer a thorn in anyone’s side

Originally published: The Stool Pigeon

America is rousing when the Stool Pigeon calls Frankie Rose, but she has been up with the birds and the paperboys waiting anxiously. “I’m on the cover of the New York Press and it’s really creepy,” she explains. “I don’t Google myself or read interviews that I have done usually, but this one is actually in print and the whole of New York will see it,” she panics before pausing: “Oh my God! Did I say something I shouldn’t have? Did I say something really stupid? Have they twisted my words so I am made out to be the biggest jerk on the planet?”

Rhetorical questions and the sound of pages turning noisily fill the line, and it soon becomes clear that Frankie Rose is not used to the limelight. Before now, she has made more of a name for herself retiring from bands in their prime than anything else. As cofounder and drummer of Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls, she played an important role in writing, recording and performing their hipster-hailed eponymous debut album, but left the band as the record’s acclaim grew following its release. She cites “creative differences” as her press-friendly reason for leaving the ‘Girls (“I’m not even going to get into it, but it was not amicable,” she later unveils), but she was also tired from her second job drumming “as a favour” with Brooklyn-based Crystal Stilts. She would later leave Crystal Stilts to do a stint on drums with California’s Dum Dum Girls while beginning to write her own material. (In the industry, this is loosely known as ‘Doing a Phil Collins’.)

“Phil Collins is awesome!” she squeals as the analogy of her drummer-turned-singer/songwriter transformation is put to forward to her. “I just felt that with the other bands I had mainly been collaborative, and I soon realised that was one way of doing it,” she explains. “But I’ve found that I am much more comfortable writing on my own. It’s hard to write as a group sometimes because people tend to disagree on certain things and it gets really tiring.”

Working under the moniker of Frankie Rose and The Outs, the 31-year-old no longer needs to worry about the politics of drumming for a cross-section of buzz bands. “This is 100 per cent my album,” she explains proudly of her self-titled debut, “although there is no way that I could do it without my band mates [The Outs].”

Rose was very conscientious when considering with whom to play, especially with regards to her past band endeavours. She opted, in the end, to recruit friends (Kate Ryan (drums), Margot Bianca (guitar), and Caroline Yes (bass)), regardless of whether they could actually play their instruments or not. “I guess I just see so many bands break up,” she explains, before laughing: “I have left a few myself, and not for even personality differences. I think it just makes things a lot easier when you are friends with your band mates. I know it sounds really contrived, but I just want to have a lot of fun this time.”

And is she? “Yes!” she says with great gusto, before noting shyly: “Especially because we don’t know how much of a career path we are on.” Frankie has not been one for working her way up the career ladder, clearly, but for now she seems more settled. Released 11th October, ‘Frankie Rose and The Outs’ sees Rose venture far beyond the lo-fi garage, reverb-drenched Phil Spector sound of her preceding bands. Instead, she has gentrified it with pop’s hooks, harmonies and emotive flourishes. Or as Frankie puts it: “I wanted to make this album as hi-fi as possible, but still stick to the ethereal, spacey sound that I love.”

And what of the attention that it may bring? The spotlight; the centre stage; the limelight? “I locked myself in the bathroom at our first show and I thought I was going to puke – I was petrified because I’m so used to being at the back of the stage. But I think it has taken me this long to be comfortable. And now I feel kind of addicted to it… I freak my beak!”


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