It’s been a while since we’ve heard from post-punk popper Frankie Rose (formerly of Vivian Girls, Beverly, Crystal Stilts, and Dum Dum Girls). Her last studio album, Cage Tropical, inspired by ‘80s sci-fi films and the extraterrestrial, dropped in 2017. However, during a recent chat, she tells me about her new band, FINE PLACE, in addition to a new Frankie Rose record that she’s been working on for a while now. This Wednesday, October 13th, she kicks off a tour supporting local shoegazers Nothing, which will have her at Union Transfer this Saturday, October 16th. Check out what she had to tell me about how she spent the pandemic and what you can expect from her this Saturday and the next year in general, including a glowing recommendation for this year’s winner of the Palme d’Or.
Izzy Cihak: First off, considering this is a Philadelphia-based publication, I have to ask if you have any thoughts on the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. You’ve played here a lot over the years. Any favorite memories?
Frankie Rose: I love Philadelphia. Most of my memories there involve West Philly punk houses with names and incredible Ethiopian food. It’s always a pleasure.
Izzy: A lot of artists that I’ve interviewed recently have told me that the pandemic gave them a chance to re-explore their record collections. Was that true for you?
Frankie: To be honest I spent all of the pandemic finishing my new record and making the FINE PLACE record. I didn’t do too much listening. It was crazy to have that much time without having to work a job and just be able to create…
Izzy: I know that you’re also a big movie fan, which seemed to play a big role on Cage Tropical, which you said was partly inspired by many of your favorite sci-fi films. Have you seen anything recently that really impressed you? I’m hugely into cinema and follow Criterion more closely than is healthy, but I’ll admit that I haven’t been as up on the cinema of recent years as I should be.
Frankie: See Titane. It’s incredible. Julia Ducournau is an important filmmaker. Just wow.
Izzy: I know that you’ve recently been focusing most of your energy on your new band, FINE PLACE. How did you and Matthew Hord come together and what was the main inspiration behind this project?
Frankie: Matthew is not only my partner but is also an awesome musician. Since we were also quarantine buddies we really just decided to make some songs. Those songs became FINE PLACE. It’s a very intimate record and I think it sums up our feelings when things around us were the darkest.
Izzy: What can fans of yours and Matthew’s expect of This New Heaven? What were the album’s primary influences, both musical and otherwise?
Frankie: Influences — I come from a much more goth and new wave type pop background and Matthew primarily listens to ambient and experimental music. The record is a good culmination of our two perspectives, I think!
Izzy: Have you had any favorite early reactions to the music, whether from critics or fans?
Frankie: Norman Records had some really nice things to say! It was picked as a dinked edition in the UK so that was something of a special thing for us… I guess we will just have to see!
Izzy: Amidst all of this work, what was it that inspired you to go on the road with Nothing solo? I can say on behalf of myself and many of my best friends that we’re really thankful for the opportunity to see you. (I don’t think I’ve seen you since you played North Star Bar in 2012.)
Frankie: Well, actually there’s new Frankie Rose music on the horizon (shhhhh!), so I wanted to test it out live! And obviously I have missed touring!
Izzy: You’re going to be playing our very own Union Transfer in the very near future. What can be expected of your live show this time around, both in terms of the setlist and just the general vibe of the set?
Frankie: It’s very different than the show you saw. That’s all I can say… it’s kind of a multimedia experience now. It’s also much more of an electronic show than a pop band.
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you? I know FINE PLACE’s album is about to drop, but can we possibly expect to see the band live sometime in the near future? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about at the moment?
Frankie: My new solo record LOVE AS PROJECTION is in the can. However 😡 because pressing plants are so thoroughly backed up it won’t be out until late next year…