I’m literally listening to the music of The Franklin Electric as I write. I’ve listened so many times over the last few weeks and every time I listen I’m taken by something new and beautiful that my ear missed the time before. Their sound and lyrics lead you through the highest highs and lowest lows of human emotion. Their work is honest, believable, hauntingly wrought with raw emotion and technically perfect. These guys are as solid as any band you could name. If you’re into vinyl both albums are available on that format (if you’re lucky enough to find it) as well as physical CD and download. Do yourself a favor and listen, really listen, to their music whatever way you choose. I promise you’ll get lost in the magic of it all and never want to leave. Blue Ceilings is out world wide via Indica Records.
I Know the Feeling is off the new album and a perfect example of how their music instantly pulls you in.
Jon Matte (vocals) answered a few questions:
Current members and a little personal insight into each?
Ken Pressé – Based in Montreal, played guitar on several records and has done sessions around town, a historian who loves dogs.
Martin Desrosby – a silent guy who’s been an anchor in the group from the very beginning, a monster on the bass whose nick name has become Tango Tuesday.
Kevin Warren – Jazz drummer from BC who moved to Montreal to study jazz at McGill
Jon Matte – (me) Singer songwriter and producer. Raised in Hudson, small town outside Montreal, studied jazz trumpet and a bit of piano. Never finished school, went on a mission to create stuff soon as I could.
The band shifts shapes as a collective of friends in and around Montreal with different guys jumping on different tours. The new album was a celebration of Montreal musicians with 3 drummers, 4 guitar players including Brad Barr (Barr Brothers) and Liam Oneil (Suuns) and many others.
Home Base? What you like about it and what you don’t? Montreal. Love this city but its cold winters are tough.
Describe your own music and explain your “secret weapon”. Our music is a melange between folk, pop, and indie rock, based on human experience and honesty within ourselves as humans. The secret weapon is the horn which definitely comes out a few times during the show and always surprises people to see a singer switch it up to trumpet.
Who writes the music and lyrics? I, Jon, write the music and lyrics, then present the rough sketches to the musicians to figure out the performance and arrangements. The human touch is necessary and important to see how it feels when we play it through.
Tell me about the Nashville Song Writer’s competition. This was a move from our mgmt, he submitted and to our surprise we won! It was in the very early stages of the band so it encouraged us to continue, but to be honest it was an online competition and we never actually went to Nashville.
2015 was a whirlwind for you guys. What was happening? 2015-16. Amazing years of touring and in between tours writing and recording the new album “Blue Ceilings”. We saw our music start to reach more and more people in different places around the world in the deep dark corners of the world.
Highlights of 2016 and plans for 2017? Just got back from OZ , highlights include Woodford Folk Festival new years eve celebration on a mountain watching the sunrise with Tibetan monks chanting. The western coast of Oz, Indian ocean and the country side is breathtaking. As well as our success here in Montreal, the fruit of our labour is truly shown back home.
Share some thoughts about your first album,This Is How I Let You Down, and the new album and any differences in between. More layers of percussions. Blue Ceilings was a blend of acoustic folk mixed up with synthesizers and more electric guitars this time as we tried to give it a twist and not worry too much about sticking to a format we explored more textures and added more layers of percussions.
Have you released on vinyl yet or do you plan to? Yes, we have vinyl, they are beautiful.
What do you want people to really know about The Franklin Electric and what has your musical journey meant to all you? We are just grateful to have a humble career playing honest songs and travelling the world meeting different people and cultures as it is now and hope to continue to see more and more people relate to our music.
You can find The Franklin Electric on all social media platforms.
photo credits: Le Petit Russe
Members shown L to R both photos: Martin Desrosby, Ken Pressè, Jon Matte, Kevin Warren