in conversation // Frankie & The Heartstrings

Interviews "We were very direct, no fannying on for months" we chat with Frankie & The Heartstrings before their Cambridge date

Frankie & The Heartstrings complete with new line up made a welcome return this summer through the release of their third album ‘Decency’. The new record follows 2013’s The Days Run Away and sees the band continue their uncanny knack for conjuring up moments of introspective beauty whilst encapsulating the band’s ideals, both socially and politically. The pop suss that flowed through previous releases still reigns but Decency embellishes those hooks and melodies creating some of the band’s best work to date.

The band continue to ignore the lure of lucre and bright lights and remain steadfastly in Sunderland, having opened their own record store in the city’s redundant Tourist Office bringing much heralded impetus to the creative heart of Sunderland and it’s many like-minded souls. Amongst the artist who have supported their venture and played recently are The Vaccines, Franz Ferdinand and James Bay.

The band return to Cambridge on October 8th (tickets on sale here) in anticipation we caught up with Frankie…

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Hey Frankie, how has 2015 been treating you so far?
It’s been great, we released our third album Decency on Wichita recordings, we believe it’s our best yet, still lots of fun to come in final quarter

‘Decency’ came out in July, how have you found its reception?
Great generally, we set ourselves realistic goals, please ourselves and other things are bonuses, radio play, features, tours

We read you describe the record as the best you’ve made, what gave you this feeling?
It’s directness, from writing to recording, the process was honest and fast

We too reckon it’s got some of your best material yet on it, what was the creative process like for the record, lyrics or music first?
Usually an idea of song starts on guitar, we establish what we want to achieve with it, then set the lyrical tone

There’s more of a soul sound on the record – why did you decide to try this out on the record?
We’ve always had soul music playing in the background, we wanted to bring it to the front of this record

Does album making getting easier by the time you get to your third?
It’s easier now we have a futurehead

How did your approach to the record vary from ‘The Days Run Away’?
We were very direct, no fannying on for months

Which new track are you most looking forward to playing live?
‘Think Yourself Lucky’ is a hit! And always goes down well live, as does ‘Decency’ and ‘Anna’

What was the hardest track on the new album to finish and why?
For me, maybe ‘Knife in your back’ as its was very hard to sing

What did Hookworms bring to the record?
Normally he brought a Terry’s chocolate orange, but sometimes malteasers

‘Decency’ has another wonderful album sleeve, how do you go about choosing/designing your artwork?
We found it from a gallery in the north east called the Side gallery, check it out

‘Pop Recs’ – any news on when/if it’ll return?
New shop coming soon, ran by Mike and Dave

What’s a lyric you wish you had written?
Last night I dreamt, that somebody loved me ….

Finally, hypothetically you’re gonna DJ a disco for us, what is your go to dance floor filler track?
Male stripper by Man 2 Man Parish

Frankie & The Heartstrings play The Portland Arms on October 8th

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