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What About Frank?

By Gary Wien

What About Frank? is one of the hottest bands along the Jersey Shore these days. In October, they took home the Asbury Music Award for Top Indie Rock Band and were nominated for a bunch of other awards including Top Live Act (Nick Villapiano, the bassist for the band also took home the Top Bassist Award) but what has people jumping the most is the band's intense live show.

The band was started around two years ago by a group of friends who all knew each other from their days at Red Bank Regional High School. About a year ago, the band brought Marc in as lead singer. Originally from Florida, Marc fit in perfectly and the lineup was set. All of the band members are close in age with the youngest being 20 and the oldest at 23.

Depending on where you see the band play live, you might see two entirely different audiences. In addition to building up a solid following among the bar crowd, What About Frank? has tons of under-age fans. Paul Ritchie, the guitarist for the band says this stems from a lot of their fans passing the music down to their younger brothers and from a show that they did at their own high school. The show was at a coffeehouse organized by the sister of the band's drummer.

"We had an audience of 200-300 kids," recalled Ritchie. "Ever since then, I guess they've just been passing it on. It's worked out well for us. We're still getting emails asking when are we going to play our next all ages show. I think there's a lot of younger kids that are really into it, which is cool.

"We try to do as much as we can for the people that are already interested in us to keep them coming around. We play music because we love to do it, but we enjoy having peopel get into it and we try to give as much back to them as possible. It's like developing a friendship. We want all of our fans to get along."

The band is getting ready to record its first full-length album. They plan on working with John Noll of Retromedia Sound Studios in Red Bank. Currently the band members are working on the songs and getting everything ready. If all goes well, the record should be done in a few months.

Every member of the band contributes something to each song whether it's a guitar riff or the way a particular vocal should sound. Ritchie says the band works well together and that shows in the music they create.

"We want to make sure we have the tunes, finish the album, and just go out and support it," said Ritchie.

What About Frank? is discovering that one of the toughest things about being known as a great live act is trying to recreate that sound in the studio.

"It's hard for us," explains Ritchie. "We just enjoy being in the moment, playing the tunes and rocking out and we have a great time doing it. When it comes to making a record, it's hard to try and convey that type of energy on a recording. That's the hardest thing for us to capture because we all feel that above all we're a live band."

And a damn good one at that...

For more by this author, click here

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Event calendar
Saturday, Aug 24, 2019


Game Grumps Live @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

SOLID BRONZE @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm


GLEN BURTNIK'S SUMMER OF LOVE CONCERT @ Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

NICKELBACK @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

O Sole Trio: Bravissimo Broadway @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Santana and The Doobie Brothers @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

Lola Montez & Special Guests @ Dingbatz, Clifton - 8:00pm

LEILA FOROUHAR & MANSOUR LIVE IN CONCERT @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:30pm

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at MAGGIE'S TIKI BAR & GRILL in JACKSON, NJ @ Maggie's Bar and Grill in Jackson / Lakewood, NJ!, Jackson - 5:30pm

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 8:30pm

WOODSTOCK 2019 @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 1:00pm

Cirotti Trio @ Middle Valley Community Center, Long Valley - 7:30pm

Rufus Wainwright @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Sugar Mountain @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Memoirs of a Forgotten Man @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Frozen Jr. @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


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