In Session: Frank Palangi
GLENS FALLS – As the new year continues to kick off, up next in the “In Session” series is Frank Palangi. When people get hit with devastating life circumstances and find their backs up against a wall, the event surrounding such a moment in time truly shows the character of said person. For some, like Palangi, who’s made it quite a common saying amongst his fan base and lifestyle, there is “No Plan B.”
This is certainly the case with Frank, who’s seen some pretty damn dark times and kept on chuggin’ away. For those unaware, this past year the artist’s house caught fire, and while he was lucky enough to survive the calamity, his entire rig and gear did not share the same fate. Nevertheless, and strapped with an upcoming EP, Frank Palangi V, due out on January 28th, Palangi is moving forward with a certain air and gravitas that is embodied in a word: resilience.
It was my pleasure to get a chance to chat a week before his album is set to be released on all streaming platforms. Continue reading below for our discussion, as we take a deep dive into the album, the local industry, and more!
Lucas Garrett: Hey, Frank! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. How’ve you been, man?
Frank Palangi: Not too bad! Surviving the winter, here! How you doing?
LG: Good, thanks. When I think of resiliency, you need a lot of it in this industry that we’re both part of. You’re a great example of resilience, Frank. Why don’t you tell us how you’re doing and what’s new and what you’re working on?
FP: Well, this year has been quite the ups and downs, I tell you. From the house fire I had; nearly losing my life to everything I own. Where do you go from there? Where do you pick up everything, you know?
FP: Luckily, I had recorded and finished an EP beforehand. This one coming out on the 28th will be precisely that. It’s funny, but it feels like kind of a lifetime ago, to me. I have new ideas I’ve been working on and some things like that. But, it’s just one of those things where… it’s still a part of you, but I think because of how dramatic everything is; what happened this year, I’m not as connected to those songs as I usually am. I’m not in the, what do you call it?
LG: Mind space?
FP: Yeah, the mind space, yeah.
LG: One of the things… people, I don’t know. I think everywhere you go, Frank, there are certain things that are good, and certain things that are bad. But, for me, it’s inspiring – I’m very sorry for what you went through – but, it seems like a lot of people came together in this very scene.
FP: Yeah. There’s always a part of you, I think, that will always be there at certain times. A thing comes up and you remember it; it triggers something, you know what I mean? I’ve had some great support from the fans. When we were doing the GoFundMe, there were two local events where we raised some money. It’s definitely helped me rebuild my rig, gear, and just kind of start to get to do everything I love again. And, then eventually – hopefully – record some people and stuff! Have some people over.
LG: Yeah! So, how many songs are on the new album? Six, correct?
FP: Yep. This is the first EP with six main tracks; there are two instrumentals and then four have vocals.
LG: There’s a lot of talent on that record. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the record?
FP: It’s a mix of drummers! It’s like a “drummer’s soup,” going on! I drum on the two instrumentals because throughout all these years I’d always write all the instruments and then do the demo versions. And I would do the drums, but I’d go, “I’m never going to be on a track that I actually release, for drums.” Just because you want the different style, you want the different flavor. The studio that somebody else has. The thing is, “Injection,” which is the first song, I wrote 20 years ago, and I’ve been stuck with it; for 20 years I’ve had time to let it jam, let it stew there for a while. I was like, “If anyone can do this, it’s gotta be me.” The second one is an intro that we do on live shows. Now, the title changes. It’s called the “Franktro,” but honestly, it’s whatever the name the drummer is. I had a drummer called Greg, I called it “Gregtro.” We changed it to “Bobtro,” whoever. Haha. So, I’m like, “I’ll throw that in there just in between to kind of split it up.” I view it as the old-school AB side, where you have three songs on A and three songs on B.
LG: Very cool idea. With this EP, especially, there’s a lot of intricate bass and guitar going on here. Tell us about that, who’s doing all the bass and guitar work? It’s some nice work.
FP: That would be me! This one I do almost everything, except for “Fire Of Love.” I have Riley Bria from American Idol. He does lead guitar. I forgot that mix of drummers we have is Robin Diaz who played with Candlebox and Daughtry. Played with Courtney Love, you know, and Hole. He’s always recording; always working on stuff. The current drummer for Daughtry, Brandon Maclin, the drummer for Kelly Clarkson, Lester Estelle, and then you’ve got me!
LG: Well, it sounds all very tight and very good.
FP: Thanks, man. Through the years you got to learn to play to that click and you got to learn to kind of maneuver in the digital world. I still use – or, used to use – a lot of analog equipment and I’ve learned that you can kind of go off the on time and back on, depending on what the drummer is doing and all that stuff. But, my style of music – that hard rock, and that stuff – if you listen to most of the bands out there: it’s tight. It comes with the genre, in a way. It’s not like playing bluegrass or soul music or even… rap is kind of choppy, you know? But, I hear a lot of room for dithering, you know?
LG: One of the things I noticed – I don’t know if you feel this way – but I heard not only hard rock in there, but there was an element of progressive rock going on because you almost had a certain motif that came in and would come in again and it would change the entire feel of the song from what was currently going on. And that, to me, is ubiquitous in progressive rock and music like that. Do you like to listen to any progressive rock music, or not really?
FP: Not really as much. I mean, I guess kind of the granddaddy, you know, Megadeth. That sort of thing. They kind of started that. There’s a lot more layering involved, but at the same time, there isn’t. There’s one main guitar riff, there’s one lead. There might be a variety of string or synth instruments and then you have vocals. And then, you’re right, this one there is kind of different harmonies and different backup vocals and stuff in there. Traditionally, ‘cause I’m like, “Well, if I sing in a band live, or something like that, or I’m playing acoustic, there ain’t going to be all these harmonies going on,” ha. Or, whatever. But, I decided all that stuff is in the song, it sounds great when those artists do it without it, too. So, I’ll give it a shot for this record and see how it is. Maybe it’ll bump it up to another level. I’m not used to… something fresh, and something different.
LG: Yeah, I really noticed a lot of new stylistic approaches that you took, so good job with that! When you’re on your own doing your own shows, how do you plan on doing that? Do you have a band you’re currently working with or not?
FP: You mean for live stuff?
FP: Yeah, I mean I’ve done almost everything in the past. I’ve done just acoustic. I’ve done acoustic to tracks. I’ve done electric to tracks. I’ve done full band, no tracks. I’ve done me and a drummer to tracks. Me and a guitar player to tracks. So, it depends on who I have and it depends on the gig and who’s available and all that kind of stuff. So, it varies, you know? It does. It varies a lot, actually.
LG: One of the important things for an artist is the ability to adapt based on what you have on hand and what you can work with.
FP: Yeah, you have to adjust. Like, I remember it was Buckcherry and they were like, “we need somebody to open up.” And I go, “I can’t do electric, my drummer’s not available. But, I really want to do this.” And he’s like, “Well, if you get two guitarists and a track; do your thing.” And I go, “I’ll do it,” haha.
LG: There you go, man. There you go.
FP: You gotta say yes to something like that.
LG: You gotta say yes and then figure out how after the fact.
FP: Yep, gotta keep tweaking.
LG: So, the album [Frank Palangi V] is coming out on January 28th. What are you doing to promote the album after the fact?
FP: Well, actually, we’re working with Curtain Call Records right now to push it to radio. We’ve got about, trying to think – I don’t know how many stations on hand – like 100 or so internet rock stations are going towards it. So, I got them pumping it out. We started it in December. They’re actually going to be promoting four singles the whole year. I can’t really ay yet; it’s kind of early, especially because of the holidays. December’s like one of the worst times to introduce a new song. But, I go, “Let’s do it. It’s coming out in January, let’s just feed it to them in December. We’ll remind them in January and go from there.”
FP: But, I got them, and then I work a lot of social media and I do a lot of the ad stuff, now. My own ads. I used to kind of use different companies and stuff and I’m like not really seeing any results. They’re taking more money than the ads really cost, so… Then, just word of mouth, you know what I mean? Fans from all over the place have been coming to the Stageit shows on the internet – all the digital, you know, performances – from UK and Canada and Florida… So, I try to get them and their friends involved to have anybody that likes that style. You just keep spreading out, you know? You gotta be everywhere on the internet.
LG: I feel like the era of COVID has really made people that… you know, the industry is always like, “I don’t know, we’ll try it and see what works!” But, now with COVID, I feel like that mentality is really out there, because no one really knows as far as what works. We’re all trying to adjust to the new era, you know, because COVID – certainly for myself, and you, and lots of people – has made us realize how fragile…
FP: Yeah, I know what you’re saying. We’re all fishing. I am, too, ‘cause honestly like you said, what worked before, or people that had a set plan? Like, I went to some PR people, and they go, “Our formula doesn’t work anymore. Nobody really reviews records right now. The live stuff is on; it’s off. It’s on, you’re on tour again; it’s off.” This is what I say: you have to go back to the music selling the record; and maybe a little bit of selling yourself, too.
FP: And then, all the other stuff circles around that, ‘cause they go, “If these bands don’t have live stuff, what do they have?” They got to sell their music.
LG: Right, yeah. It’s just weird. But, I’m glad that you’re hanging in there, and other people, too. But, it’s just a really weird time, dude.
FP: It is, and what I went through, too, and with COVID? It was like the worst – I’m still playing catch-up with everything. I’m behind literally two years of… I feel like I’m still here, but, you know what I mean? You’re in the loop but you’re just kind of a ghost overseeing things and you’re like, “When do I come back to life?”
LG: You just gotta hang in there, you know? However, you can.
FP: Yeah. Until then, I figured like this EP; it’s already done. Let me throw it out there for the people I already have a fan base for. Maybe I can reach some new people. Honestly, if it doesn’t happen or doesn’t do anything? It’s fine; I’ll make another one. We’ll regroup once all this COVID stuff is done.
LG: Is there anything that you’d want to talk about that we might not have covered before we wrap the interview up?
FP: Check out my website here: www.frankpalangi.com. All my songs are available to download on Apple Music and Amazon. I’m also on Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and just about any social media you can think of.
LG: Thank you so much, Frank! It’s good to talk to you, as always! Hang in there and good luck with your new release, man!
FP: Thanks, man, you too. Hopefully, everyone had a happy new year!
Comments are closed.