Artist: Frankie Lee
Hometown: Pampa, Texas
Latest album: Stillwater
Personal nicknames: frankly, Frank Ely, bolo
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
My mother. Anyone who can raise three children on their own, work in public health and provide a foundation for free thought and exploration is going to an influence you. She also makes time for music as a spiritual extension of our souls and sings from her experiences. Unlike most parents of today who hand their kids phones and let them listen to garbage all day and buy them Beyoncé tickets to make up for their non-present parenting styles. She showed us a way into music and it wasn’t through a screen or a wallet
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
I once sang “Let’s Get It On” in a biker bar outside Missoula, Montana. Drank for free that night…on the house, let me tell ya. You want an honest reaction to drunk divorcees butchering classic songs, you don’t have to go to Tokyo, you go to the Chug n Loaf outside Missoula, Montana.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I like comedy. I like what comedy brings out in people. The tragedy of life. The weak spirits having truth shoved in their face from the dog dish of life. They cry out in despair and demand censorship and apology. Plus, the sound of laughter is very hard to fake and I feel it brings the heart in people together. Nothing is funnier than the truth, as the saying goes…and the world has become so truly absurd, all one can do is laugh.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
Any tree or flower or weed that cracks through concrete. I like things that find light, those who reach for something above where they were planted or from what seed they were sown. We’ve tried to cover this country in concrete. There’s a lot on the surface of it…but last night’s vomit will sprayed away, some dead dogs paw prints will be jackhammered to dust, the blood will run into the gutters and the city will crumble back down to dirt.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
I’d love to be backstage with any of today “stars” and see how they react when they don’t get what they want to eat. I’d love to be in the same room with any “musician” who complains about food when their job is to stand on stage and spin around to a backing track and make more money in a night than an entire hospital staff of nurses do in a year. Perhaps the water is too warm or the vegan wings aren’t dressed right. Maybe someone’s allergic to nuts! Can you imagine what a dream that would be?