Chicago group The Frantic is getting people in a frenzy for their delectable pop punk songs, but lead singer Kyle Dee took a little break from their busy schedule to speak with Hanna Marie Pageau about what it is like to gain success fresh out of high school. Due to some technical difficulties, the interview was conducted via email.
Hanna Marie Pageau, Popwreckoning: How did your band get started? How did you guys meet and all that good stuff?
Kyle Dee, The Frantic: Ian [Farnesi], Chris [Farnesi]Â and I have known each other since kindergarten. We’ve grown up playing music together, always trying to start a band and playing at our friends birthday parties.
Brett [Hartwell] happened to be at one of those parties in 8th grade. He filled the drums for us and we knew right away that it was a special connection.
PW: Where did your band get it’s name?
KD: It’s a Metallica song.
PW: How did it feel to get signed being so young?
KD: Getting signed is the goal that every band strives for. It’s not usually something that just happens. We’ve worked very hard to get where we are and we’re very thankful for the opportunities that we have.
PW: Do you think the fact that you were so young will have an effect on anything?
KD: I don’t. Some people may think what they want about our age, but we’re no different. We wouldn’t be doing anything else right now, which is why we chose to do this at a young age. We have plenty of things to experience and plenty of time to learn.
PW: How would you describe your sound?
KD: We play fast, energetic, punk rock. It’s catchy pop songs, with punk edge and punk roots. I think Chicago’s music scene seems to have a distinct sound. My dad raised me always listening to bands like Material Issue and Cheap Trick, so that rubbed off on the way I write music. We’re young guys going through what teenagers go through, and I think that comes out in our sound.
PW: Who are your biggest influences?
KD: Personally, my biggest influences are bands that I grew up admiring like Green Day or Rancid. The other guys have totally different taste than I do and when you put it together, we make The Frantic.
PW: How did it feel to be listed as one of the 100 bands to know in 2008 by Alternative Press?
KD: AP is awesome and we’ve been reading it for years! To be grouped with so many great bands and to belong in that same category was very exciting for us. It’s something we are proud to be able to tag to our name.
PW: How did it feel to get to play both SXSW and Warped this year?
KD: Both festivals are completely different from each other. They are both a lot of hard work, but are both great opportunities at the same time. Being surrounded by such talented people kind of makes everyone step it up to their best ability and that’s awesome to see. It’s not all work and no play though. We had a lot of fun at both. You never know what you may run into at those shows.
PW: What are your band plans for the rest of 2008 and for 2009?
KD: We’ve been home now for a few weeks dedicating ourselves to writing the next record. It’s cool to work out some new stuff, but we’ve almost become attached to being on the road. We plan to get back into the studio over the winter and then we are aching to get back on tour all through spring, release a new record come summer time, and tour with that all summer.
PW: Who would you most like to tour with in the future?
KD: The Blink reunion tour would be cool. Or the Foo Fighters or Green Day. Nah, maybe Slayer.
PW: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened at one of your shows?
KD: We’re always doing stupid, crazy stuff. The adrenaline kicks in and you forget what you’re doing sometimes. One time I did a stage dive that failed. Haha.
PW: What’s your favorite song to play live?
KD: I really like the fast songs that can get the crowd jumping around and sweaty. We’re really enjoying playing some of our new stuff too.
PW: What song gets the best reaction live?
KD: “Audio & Murder” was our single so people seem to like that. We do a cover of the song “Build Me Up, Buttercup” and it’s cool seeing everyone from the youngest kid in the crowd to the adults in the back of the room all singing along.
PW: What do you hope people who come to one of your shows or buy one of your CDs get out of listening to your band?
KD: I want our music to take people somewhere that they enjoy being. Music tends to go the same direction nowadays and we want to surprise people with something refreshing that makes them say “I needed that.”