Warren Franklin & the Founding Fathers

Warren Franklin & the Founding Fathers - October 2013

Warren Franklin & the Founding Fathers Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: March 13, 2013
Posting Date: October 7, 2013
Artist Hometown: Rockford, IL
Links: Facebook, Bandcamp
Recorded by: Michael Briggs @ Civil

Let Me Down Easy
Bright Green
If We Meet Again
ONE: How have you and your music evolved since your last Violitionist Session?
Warren Franklin: Well, we recorded an entire full-band EP, so we’ve added four other people to the mix, you know? So, I’ve been writing with that in mind more, so, I think that’s taken me in a different direction and has helped to fill everything out.
DJ: And you’re still the main songwriter?
Warren: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I usually bring the songs in, but if like Stewart or anyone has an idea, then obviously we’ll go that route, too. Sometimes it does change a lot, sometimes not at all. It really depends.
DJ: Why did you decide to form a band?
Warren: Honestly, it’s a lot more fun to play with other people. Like, when I was playing acoustic, I would be having fun, and then I would look over and be like, ‘Oh, there’s no one to like, jam out with…this is kind of lame.’ Now I can look over and Stewart’s there, and I can be like, ‘Fuck yeah! We’re jamming!’
DJ: How did you guys meet?
Stewart Oakes: We actually went to high school together, but we hated each other.
DJ: What for?
Stewart: We were in bands— separate bands, that did not like each other. At all.
DJ: Just different scenes, or what?
Stewart: There was a rivalry.
Warren: The same scene, but…It was like a hard…metal…We were both into hard metal. His band did a bunch of Metallica covers.
Stewart: Metallica, AC/DC, you know, the classics.
Warren: We didn’t really know each other, though, so we hated each other without even knowing each other.
Stewart: We knew who each other were, though. I knew who you were and you knew who I was.
Warren: So, like, how many years later…?
Stewart: Until after high school. Three or four, after high school.
Warren: He started hanging out with Brandon and all those guys, and then I became friends with Brandon after…How did that happen? How did we even start?
Stewart: We were drunk one night at a bar, and you stumbled up to me and asked me if I wanted to play in a band with you, because Stop Motion Call had just broken up, and so I said ‘Sure.’ And then, I think like six months later, we actually started practicing.
Warren: And then we traveled the world…
DJ: Going back to your rivalry for a moment, is it common in Illinois for metal bands in your area to just hate each other?
Stewart: I don’t know. I mean, we were in high school. We were probably in a Battle of the Bands with each other, and one band beat the other one, or they got a gig somewhere that we wanted, something like that. I don’t know. It was pretty stupid.
DJ: Sorry. I don’t want to dig up old bones or anything…
TWO: Why the name ‘the Founding Fathers?’
Warren: I don’t know. Me and Stewart were in a band called Parker, and when I was trying to think of a band name for Parker, I thought of the Founding Fathers. I don’t know why. It’s just one of those things that just popped into my head, and I was like, ‘That’s…too good for this band. I’m going to hold on to it.’
Stewart: Before we had settled on the Founding Fathers, we would make up a different band name every single night. Sometimes it would be Warren Franklin…and what?
Warren: The Deathly Hallows…
Stewart: Part Two.
Warren: Pretty much just Harry Potter movies.
Stewart: Yep. We did a different Harry Potter movie every night.
Warren: We finally settled on this one. Not even, really. I just kind of like, ‘I guess it’s the band name,’ and then we’ve been that. There wasn’t much of a discussion about it…
Stewart: There’s a nice alliteration to it.
Warren: We actually have the longest band name on Count Your Lucky Stars now. That’s crazy, to be beating out Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)!!!
DJ: That’s intense! Quite a prize.
Warren: I saw it on the flyer for the South By poster the other day, and I was like, ‘Wow, it’s way long! It barely fits on there!’ We take up two lines! I mean, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die will always be the champions of long band names.
Stewart: What about …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead— oh, no, that’s definitely shorter.
Warren: Way shorter.
DJ: I mean, they could put more ellipses in there. Just string it out.
Warren: ‘The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am Longer Afraid to DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ Just add exclamation points.
THREE: Where do you see Warren Franklin and the Founding Fathers in two years?
Warren: Probably here, for South By.
Stewart: Probably have another full length under our belts. Our first full band full-length.
DJ: So, this is definitely a clean break from the solo artist thing?
Warren: Yeah, I won’t be doing that again in the foreseeable future. It doesn’t really interest me right now. Really, when I was writing acoustic, I never even thought about putting a full band behind it. I just didn’t…I don’t know. There just weren’t the right people around, really. That’s really what it was.
DJ: So, you weren’t writing the songs thinking, ‘Oh, this would sound so good with another guitar with it’ or something like this?
Warren: No. I didn’t think that until the first time that we did a full band, which was actually with a band called Island of Misfit Toys, and they just kind of jammed up with me for the tour. They were my backing band. Actually, a lot of those guys play on the record now. Ryan plays keys, Even plays bass, and then Mark plays trumpet. Trumpet— I really think the trumpet translates really well with the full band. It helped keep the acoustic record afloat, I think. I think it made it a lot more interesting. It translated very well.
– Interview and transcription by Dale Jones.