Frankie Cosmos have had a number of memorable nights at The First Unitarian Church over the past decade or so… However, it’s been quite a few years (five, if the internet is to be believed) since the NYC-based, Greta Kline-led Sub Pop indie outfit have played the city’s most famous DIY basement. But this Thursday, October 5th, the band will be nearly wrapping their current run of headlining dates at the legendary church. Frankie Cosmos are currently touring behind their most recent full-length, 2022’s Inner World Peace. A deluxe edition of the LP, Clean Weird Prone, dropped this April, and just last month the band released three interpretations of album track “Abigail”: a remix By Kero Kero Bonito, a new arrangement by Greta Kline, and the original demo version. Frankie Cosmos are on the road with Australian indie rock duo Good Morning (who we met last April, prior to their most recent stop at Johnny Brenda’s), and will be joined on Thursday night by local dream poppers Highnoon. Earlier this week I got a chance to chat with Greta Kline about what the band’s been up to recently.
Izzy Cihak: You just kicked off a batch of dates at 9:30 Club in DC, which is basically where I lived at night when I was in high school. How have the dates been going so far?
Greta Kline: The shows have been super fun, and so far the tour has been great.
Izzy: You’re on the road with Good Morning, who I totally love. (I interviewed Liam like a year and a half ago, and the band are actually in the background of my Bumble profile pic, from the last time they played Johnny Brenda’s, haha.) Anyway, what are your thoughts on them, both as musicians and tourmates?
Greta: They are literally angels on Earth. I can’t believe I get to hang out with them. Watching them play every night has been so emotional.
Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you return to First Unitarian Church, in terms of setlist, production, and just general vibe of the night?
Greta: I’d say the production will be similar to our past shows there – it’s a pretty laid-back DIY venue, not the kind of place with a big light show or anything. It’s at the end of the tour, so you can expect a tight band, feeling super connected, having fun. And the local opener Highnoon is awesome. I’m excited to see them play, too.
Izzy: You’ve actually played First Unitarian Church a number of times over the years. Any favorite memories, or just general thoughts on the venue?
Greta: Yeah, I’ve played there a bunch, haha. A nice memory that comes to mind was my friend Nick Harris shredding a guitar solo on a song with us there once 🙂
Izzy: On a related note, you seem to play a pretty wide variety of venue types, with even this current run having a pretty diverse range of capacities and layouts. Do you have a particular favorite type of setting, or things that you think make a venue especially enjoyable to play?
Greta: It takes a lot of people to put on a show, and if those people are nice to us, that’s probably the #1 most important thing. Aside from that, I think the most important thing is that a room can sound good — some venues are not built with sound in mind, and it shows. If the people that run it are nice to us, I don’t mind if the sound is not as good. I like playing big shows, and I like playing small shows. It depends on all kinds of elements, I guess.
Izzy: So, I know that Frankie Cosmos was on a pandemic hiatus and kind of didn’t know if you’d come back, but we’re super glad that you did! What have been some of the highlights of post-lockdown Frankie Cosmos?
Greta: This tour is definitely a huge highlight. And making our record was a really great experience. I hope to make more records.
Izzy: What do you feel like are the most significant differences between the band now and the band that wrote and recorded Close It Quietly, if you think there are any significant differences?
Greta: Well, the band on this tour has two different members from the band that recorded the past few albums (including the most recent, Inner World Peace), so that’s a pretty big difference. I guess it depends if you are asking the difference between the people (Katie Von Schleicher and Cameron Wisch are on tour with us, as opposed to Lauren Martin and Luke Pyenson), or the changes in the band personally between Close It Quietly and Inner World Peace (both albums were made with Luke and Lauren). The vibe in the albums is different because of our lives being different. Does this make sense?
Izzy: Yeah, totally… And earlier this year you released the deluxe edition of Inner World Peace, Clean Weird Prone. I’m curious if you have any personal favorite deluxe editions of albums, where you were really excited to hear all of the unreleased stuff from one of your favorite records?
Greta: The only one I can think of is the deluxe edition of Beck’s One Foot In The Grave. I listened to that a lot.
Izzy: Do you currently have a favorite track off of Inner World Peace, or Clean Weird Prone, whether one you’re most proud of, one that you especially enjoy playing live, or even one that might signify where your future sounds might be headed? I realize that’s kind of a few different questions, haha.
Greta: Hmm, I dunno! I’m enjoying playing “One Year Stand” because it’s the only song in the live show where I’m not playing guitar or bass – I just sing and hit the keyboard notes on the instrumental parts. It’s hard to know what the future holds!
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you? How are you hoping and planning to close out 2023?
Greta: I’m going to write a bunch of songs, and try to figure out how I want to make the next record. I think I want to try something new in terms of recording, and I’m in a place with the band right now where I have the freedom to mess around a bit.
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