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That Feeling: Meet The International Women of The Franklys

Monday, 18 March 2019 Written by Anna Ghislena

Photo: Derek Bremner

The Franklys are a Swedish-British garage-rock quartet you should be paying attention to. The band, singer and guitarist Jen Ahlkvist, guitarist Fanny Broberg, bassist Zoe Biggs and drummer Lexi Clark, are on the road showcasing their fizzing new EP, ‘Framed’. 

We recently caught up with Ahlkvist and Clark, who shared their thoughts on International Women’s Day, what the EP is all about and their perfect childhood pocket money treat.

You started your tour during the same week as International Women’s Day 2019–was that intentional?

Jen: It wasn’t, but what a way to start! I was pleasantly surprised to see how many nights all around the UK were put on in order to promote women in music. More of that, please.

Lexi: I'm very excited for the day where International Women's Day doesn't have to be a thing. However, we shall embrace it until there is no need for it anymore.

Did you celebrate it?

Jen: I had dinner and got pissed with my old flatmates, it was great!

Lexi: We also put up our 'Female Is Not A Genre' shirt for half price on our merch store, I'm glad we did because we sold loads. So, good to know we're getting our message out there.

In your experience to date, have there been any obstacles or difficulties in your path as women in rock music?

Jen: Too many to count. Let’s not get into it.

Lexi: What Jen said. And even now. Snore.

Your celebrated debut album, ‘Are You Listening’, explored social and political themes, and relationships.  What can we expect from your new EP, ‘Framed’?

Jen: We still write about the same sort of stuff on the upcoming EP, but are also looking at how gossip and social media are affecting us more and more nowadays. The mess of the Brexit vote and how much we hate it is also a big part of it.

If you could pick one, which track on the EP are you most excited about?

Lexi: It's Illusions for me, it gives me that feeling.

Jen: Personally, I’m most excited about Not Guilty. I love songs that have dark meanings but are happy musically.

What was it like working with producer Jason Wilson (Don Broco, You Me At Six, Fightstar)?

Lexi: I've worked with Jason for over 10 years now and it's always a pleasure. In fact, I absolutely love recording drums with him because he always gets the best out of me. It makes the studio process so much easier when you know the drill, know how each other like to work and so on. The others loved recording at Stake Out too, which was a relief to me because I obviously pushed for us to record with him.

Jen: Lex made an excellent choice in recommending him. I’m absolutely over the moon with the result.

Who did each of you listen to growing up?

Jen: I went through a lot of different stages. As a kid I loved all the pop stuff. As I got to my teens I was listening to a lot of punk rock like Sum 41 as well as some Swedish punk. My faves were Ebba Grön, I still love them. Though Mando Diao were, and still are, my favourite band of all time. They’re the reason I bought a guitar and went on to start a band in the first place.

Lexi: Michael Jackson, controversial, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slipknot, No Doubt, the Presidents of the United States of America, the band, obviously. I had an older brother that drip fed me alternative music from a young age.

Which were the first albums you can remember buying?

Lexi: The first albums I bought with my pocket money included the Corrs, LOL! And All Saints, Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica. The first punk rock album I fell head over heels in love with was 'Good Mourning' by Alkaline Trio.

Jen: Five’s first album! I was seven and was a huge boy band fan. And I remember how proud I was for buying my very first album for my very own money. CDs are super expensive in Sweden compared to England, and I felt very rich and grown up.

I used to get 20 Swedish kronas as pocket money each week and always went and bought a new single depending on what was on the charts at the time. I have a whole stack of singles back home from this time. The first rock albums I bought were probably ‘Tyrannosaurus Hives’ by The Hives and ‘Hurricane Bar’ by Mando Diao.

Have you carried these artists’ influences into your own performance and music? 

Jen: Not Five so much...but definitely still heavily influenced by the Hives and Mando Diao.

Lexi: Not from the first albums I bought, however I learned a bit from Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith: that it's all about the groove, not necessarily the 'chops' as we drummers call it.

‘Framed’ is due to be released in April and you are touring around its launch this spring.  What else do you have for us to look forward to in the year ahead?

Jen: Festivals! And our second album is in the making.

Lexi: Much writing to be done alongside festival season. As Jen said we've already started writing, but it's not something you can force.

Finally, if you could change or improve one thing for women worldwide, what would it be?

Jen: I would diminish oppression altogether so that the world would be an equal place for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or class.

Lexi: Exactly what Jen said. Otherwise, in the UK right now, if I could improve one thing for all of us, I would put Brexit in the fucking bin.

'Framed' is out on April 5 through Hälta Hälta Records.

The Franklys Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu April 11 2019 - LONDON Finsbury
Fri April 12 2019 - WINCHESTER Railway Inn
Sat April 13 2019 - HASTINGS Royal Standard

Click here to compare & buy The Franklys Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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