Three Decades Of Frak Music

Already introduced on Calypso Sessions, this time Frak comes back to us with a short chat about the different angles of creativity that a project has experienced trough many years of activity. Frak, a band of three men – Johan, Jan and Björn, that released their first EP back in ’87, will now be having their newest release this December on the same label where everything kicked off – Börft Records.
We caught up with them for a conversation where sincere and straightforward answers gave us a better understanding of what their music is about.

Q: I read that in your live performances you mainly play pre-recorded music, that you are more of a studio band than a live band.  How is it really? How do your live performances work?

A: We don’t really care much for the word ”live band”. We always do the best we can to give a show worth attending – and how we technically do it varies. We’ve had track structures recorded on 8-track recorder. On top of that we use synths, tape recorders, vocals and effects. The reason was to save some space when travelling. On some occasions we have performed without having anything pre-recorded.
The three of us have different tasks during our performances. You may say we kind of alternate between the equipment, depending on what track we are playing.

Q: After more than 30 years Frak still consists of the same three founders. During these years you should have become very familiar with each other. Introduce us to Frak’s members and how each of you is special and important to the project?

A: Doing what we do, over so many years, has created a very unique relationship between us. As I mentioned before, we all have different tasks, and that goes for the studio work as well as the live performances. We always listen to each other and respect every idea that’s coming up.
Johan has a thing for melodies and likes to hand play a lot! Jan is the one who syncs this with that and really enjoys programming! Björn is the man of soundscapes, odd noises and effects!

Q: Staying creative on a single project for such a long period of time is an impressive achievement. What is the main impulse for your creativity, and how has your creative approach towards the music changed trough the years?

A: What in the beginning caught our interest, was the technology and kind of sound you could create with electronic instruments like synths and drum machines. This is still our major source to creativity and our way to express ourselves. Together with things from life in general this is what keeps us going. I guess everybody needs some kind of way to ventilate, and creating music has become ours.

Q: The scope of sounds you produce is quite wide and it would be hard to generalise everything you have made into a single genre. How would you describe Frak’s sound?

A: Our music goes hand in hand with what happens to us in life, and that’s what to expect of our tracks rather than tracks following trends.

Q: Creating music for the most of your lives should have made an incredible impact for the members and those round you. Could you tell us what are the most important things that came along with Frak’s creative career?  Or maybe things you lost along the way?

A: One thing we’ve learned is that it’s important and also possible to do your own thing, no matter what. If what you’re doing is an honest reflection of yourself, it will become your identity. Just have to remember that things are supposed to go up and down, that’s just the way it is. 

Q: As for the last question – it’s always nice to hear a good advice from experienced artists. What could you tell for the fresh starters out there trying to express themselves?

A: Being honest and respectful in your creativity will make a nice presentation of both yourself and your music.