Brutally Frank is ready to take a look back at their past. For their 13 year anniversary they are self-inducing a hardcore case of nostalgia as they will play songs they haven’t played for years. The band wasn’t always the psychobilly trio that the Midwest has come to know either. While the current lineup has remained in tact for their 13 years, their sound has definitely went through some evolution. “When we first started playing out we were a straight street punk sounding band” bass player Steevo says, “then our guitarist started diving into blues playing and started incorporating it into our sound and he introduced us to psychobilly.”
When they were a more straight-laced punk outfit Steevo played a standard electric bass, contributing to that sound. By the time Brutally Frank finished their first studio record the band’s drummer who is also Steevo’s wife, Mel, had surprised him with a stand-up bass, changing the band’s sound in the process. Now the upright bass is a big part of the group’s image and is a huge portion of defining their sound. “We knew the big psychobilly markets were Texas and California and the first few times we played there we got great responses and we thought we must be doing something right.” Steevo explains. It’s hard to imagine a Brutally Frank show now where guitarist/vocalist Klyntt doesn’t hop up on Steevo’s askew upright bass and shred some rockabilly guitar licks.
This will need to be the case for their 13th anniversary show however because Steevo is digging out his standard electric bass to play those old songs again for one show. The celebration will be on Friday the 13th as well, very appropriate for a band with an album titled “TH1RT3EN” and who is celebrating their 13th anniversary. Beyond that show the better-known version Brutally Frank will return to continue to promote their 2014 album “Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things.” This promotion is set to include a small tour to the west coast and playing some prominent festivals.
Their longevity is no surprise; groups that keep the same lineups for the longest amount of time seem to click on a different level. “We probably practice 4 or 5 times a year,” Steevo says “people don’t understand how we have this chemistry that’s always been there. The only time we really get into practicing is when we are writing new material.” With this in mind, taking their brand of punk fused rockabilly on the road isn’t the challenge it would be for some. The band members all have day jobs and moonlight as Brutally Frank, going on small runs out of town on long weekends and whenever they can. This has led to them covering the Midwest near their Joplin, Missouri home more often and building a following in cities like Springfield and Kansas City. Those cities can probably look forward to more psychobilly from Joplin for years to come, maybe even 13 more years.