Daniel Francia | The Family Interviews
Meet Daniel Francia
Allow me to introduce Daniel Francia, a New Jersey-ite and absolute mastermind of experimental rock. A MASTERMIND.
Followers of the Brooklyn-music scene may recognize Francia from his Gobbinjr. fame. This past winter, Francia broke out of the gate and released his solo debut, Come Back To Life. The album is a explorative and multi-layered, and features a shed-load of impeccable collaborations. Hot on the tails of the impressive release, we called him up for a chin-wag.
Below, Francia reveals his clown fears (this is a safe space), his personal onomatopoeia, and gives a top tuner tip!
Read on below to get the goods. Or don’t and have your pedals sound bad. See if we care.
BICYCLE RIDING: A Mad-Lib by Daniel Francia
Most doctors agree that bicycle PLAYING is a TRIPPY form of exercise that benefits ICE BOXES of all ages. Riding a bicycle enables you to develop your NOSE HAIR as well as LOUDLY increase the rate of your ANKLE beat. Bicycle riding is also a SPIRITUAL TRAIN. More of us CANS around the world LEARN bicycles than drive MOUNTAINS. No matter what kind of BIKE you ride, always be sure to wear a BIRD on your head and have reflectors on your EARS, especially if you STRAY at night.
Would You Rather…
your favorite restaurant be modified to have massage chairs that are on at all times, or there is a clown in there doing clown things at all times? Please explain why.
No clowns, please. Don't ruin my fav place, please. I am not into clowns. They scare me. Sorry, clown friends. I don't normally say this because I know some clown people. I'm just scared. Sorry.
Some Questions with Daniel Francia
Was there a concert or song that inspired you to want to make music?
Hmmm, too many to count really. Early inspirations were The Beatles, Puff Daddy, Nirvana, and Blink-182.
How many legs are too many legs?
Depends if we're in the ocean or not.
Have you ever broken a bone? If so what happened?
I've broken a few bones. Some toes. Some bones in my thumbs from skateboarding, so I stopped that. I wasted a good high school summer of bassing from that once. One time I got a boxer's fracture from punching someone. A deeply regretful moment for me. None of these things have ever truly healed, maybe my toes actually. Please stop making me reveal my secrets...
Is it important for you to hold on to your original intention when collaborating with others?
Whatever makes it better.
What is the last book you read?
The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music by Victor Wooten. I could not recommend this enough.
Could your recording style be broken down into a formula?
Nope. I heard Lou Reed never made session notes so he never recreated anything. I think that's pretty cool. Pretty much every album is in a completely different space with completely different gear. I've made about 30 albums if you count my bands and then some records where I was the sound engineer. A lot of times I was in the band and the engineer. There are many other albums I've made that I don't consider "real albums," anything pre-2010 for example. There's no way for anyone to know this information, so I should probably make a website or something. I don't know how yet, and it's hard to find the time to make one.
What is the highest number you ever remember counting too?
Was there anything you would do differently looking back at the production of your 2019 album?
Hmmm.. great question. I maybe would have spent a tiny bit more time on it. I sat on it for about 6 months when it was done. There's one thing, in particular, I definitely don't like but if I say it you'll never un-hear it. There's always something you're gonna wanna change. This was a bad answer to a great question, sorry. I haven't done many interviews.
If you were an onomatopoeia which one would you be?
You've already made me look up the word adverb, this interview is rough... I'd be purr.
Do you plan to change the scale of your production in your next release?
Yes. I dunno which album is gonna be the next to officially come out. I have 3 new ones in the works that I'm playing bass on. All different groups, vastly different perspectives. Then, I will embark on the next Dan Francia album. I have no idea the direction I will take it but it will absolutely be different than the last Dan Francia album. I may put together a band to keep throughout it, or I may do it all solo, etc. I haven't begun to conceptualize any of it yet.
What was your most memorable performance, and why?
Oh lord. I dunno. But I can think of a few...
There was a Stove show at Silent Barn. I just played a bass solo at the end of the last song in the set. And I sorta popped off hard. Janitor record release show, I was on one. Dan Francia record release show for the 2019 LP, there were lots of guest artists coming in and out, Nora Dabdoub made her first live appearance. I am grateful for so many gigs, it's hard to say. I did a hot Stove tour, gobbinjr tours are always incredible.. if we're talking memorable, I can remember last Monday I played in Maneka at Mercury Lounge. It was a good show. My memory is hazy but you just took me back. Thank you for that. Wait, it's still happening... once, for a benefit show for Hurricane Sandy in NJ, all the members of Yung Wu were present and decided to hop on stage. But the bass player, the great Brenda Sauter was not present, because she lives in PA. Glenn Mercer asked me, "Do you know how to play the song 'The Undertow'?" I said yes because I thought he was talking about a song they used to play called "A Plan Revised" where the chorus is something like "Can't resist the undertow..." So they start playing "The Undertow" and I realized I'm fucked. The guitar player, Ed Seifert, was in another band with me at the time called Speed the Plough. (Ed replaced Bill in Yung Wu because Bill lives in Florida)... anyways, fuck this is a long story... I tell him I don't know what's going on and he mouths the chord changes to me... After that song, I went to put the bass down and Glenn says something like, "Well you're already up here." So I played a few more songs that I absolutely didn't know with the help of Ed, who continued to mouth me the notes. AND the damn bass strap fell off at least twice during the set. But it was a great time. Lastly, I can't forget when Green Day pulled me out of the crowd, they did this with people every show (maybe they still do), to play a song with them and other audience members. I was 13, I was high as hell, and I rocked that shit. It was at Madison Square Garden and it was powerful. I still meet people later in life who grew up in the area who were at that show, like R.J. Gordon from Baked, and they're like, "That was YOU!?"
What was the last thing you lost? Did you ever find it?
I can't recall. Sorry.
Where are you when you come up with your songs? In the shower? On the train?
Most likely, on a bass in my bedroom.
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.
Try putting your tuner last in your pedal chain, not first. It's much better in some situations, especially for distortion pedals.