Every year Helsinki is the home of a competition dedicated to get a local band to play at Tuska. The Tuska-Torstai band competition in the previous editions has brought winners forward such as KEOMA. This year two bands were selected as winners, one of them WAKE UP FRANKIE.
Wake Up Frankie is a Groove-metal/Thrashrock act founded in Helsinki in 2017. The guys unapologetically combine dirty old school thrash, sing-along-choruses and modern metal.
We had the opportunity to ask the band some questions so you get to know them better right on time for their show at Tuska. Read the complete interview here.
Congratulations on your victory at Tuska Torstai! What went through your minds when they announced the results?
Thank you very much! Well, the first impression could be best described to match the feeling when your favourite team wins something big in sports. Just plain screams of joy. After that came the "hangover"-phase, the disbelief. That lasted for a couple of days and in a way, is still present. We think the reality will hit us when we hit the stage at Tuska.
Can you give a brief history of Wake Up Frankie for people who haven’t heard about you yet?
It is brief history indeed, since it wasn't until late 2017 we had the whole lineup together. It all started in the spring of 2017, in a bar (Pub Porthan for those interested) when guitarist Vesku and Otto talked over a beer about starting a band. The vision was to create the best underground metal-thrash-whatever-combination band in Helsinki, since we both had the feeling that we don't have that kind of a band here. So, Vesku and Otto started writing some songs and recorded a demo of the song "Wake up Frankie!". Otto had met Kassu before, and asked him to join as a bassist, since he used to be a bassist (still is, mentally anyway). We had various singers demoing the song, but it just didn't click. Kassu presented the idea that he could do the vocals. (In which neither Vesku or Otto believed, since he had only been singing clean stuff before.) But, we demoed the song and instantly when he opened his mouth we were blown away and we knew this was our guy. He looked like an 80's rocker but sounded absolutely brutal. So, on we went to record the song to MD Studios and shot a video, with our good pal Tuukka filling in as a drummer. We figured it would be easier to get players when we have an actual song to show. Again we audited drummers and eventually met Joni. Still without a bassist, we turned to our long-time friend Dimi, who didn't only know how to play, but knew how to write and record songs and most importantly - be a badass on stage. That's how Frankie was awoken.
How would you best describe your sound?
It's basically just rock disguised as metal. A mixture of thrash, rock, American metal, death metal. It's hard to describe. Some said that it's a softer version of SLIPKNOT, some say we sound like STONE. The audience can decide, we don't care in which category we belong.
What do you have in store for those who would like to check out Wake Up Frankie at Tuska? What can they expect from your show?
They can expect a very sweaty, headbanging show from a band that takes the audience into account and won’t just play. It definitely is a show, not just a gig. Maybe you'll even see Frankie on stage..
To bands participating with a competition like Tuska Torstai next year, what can you tell them as a tip for participating? What has been your secret to gather as many friends as possible at the spot?
Just promote your band like there’s no tomorrow and when you’re not doing that, stay at the rehearsal place. Don’t just sit in a bar discussing how you’re gonna make it. Do it. With a good live show and good songs you will eventually gather a following. Even if you don’t win, it’s a great opportunity to grow your audience. We have gotten a lot of fans from the competition, people that just came to see their friends' show.
You’re still a relatively small band, opportunities like this are quite unique when you just start out. Have you played bigger shows before, or are there any other shows planned for the summer?
This is our biggest show for now, no doubt about it. We have some negotiations going on at the moment, and if they happen, they’re gonna be really nice.
So far you have released only singles, and a demo. Are you working on a full-length album that fans can expect in the near future? If so, when can we expect it?
We are currently working on an EP. We’re gonna release it at the end of summer. After Tuska we’re gonna focus on finishing the new songs and maybe we’ll give you another taste of it before the actual release. For sure we’re gonna play some new tunes at Tuska.
Any last thoughts you’d like to share with your fans/the readers?
We’d like to thank all our fans, you made this possible! We couldn’t be more grateful.