CVIndependent

Sat12152018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Matt King of Frank Eats the Floor was shocked when he learned he was voted Best Local Musician by the readers of the Coachella Valley Independent—beating out local greats including Giselle Woo and last year’s winner, John Stanley King.

After all, King is not even out of high school yet—but it goes to show how Frank Eats the Floor is quickly developing an enthusiastic fan base.

King credits his older brother for spurring his interest in music.

“When I was 5 or 6, my brother played in this metal band called Fistful of Glass, and there are pictures and videos of me sitting on the front porch behind the drum set,” King said. “Music has been an integral part of my life, whether I’ve been watching it or listening to it—or in recent years, playing it. I always wanted something to do within music, and I started my record collection when I was 12. I went to my first concert at 14. My love for music really started when my brother showed me the Beatles.”

King and I discussed his influences, and he was extremely attentive when I suggested some musicians and bands for him to check out.

“The Beatles influenced me for sure. There was a point in time I knew all of their songs and no songs by other bands,” he said. “I started to branch out, and I went from The Beatles to hip hop and rap. I listen to Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye and all of that.

“When I first started playing bass, I was trying to emulate pop and hip-hop beats into my bass-playing. When I met the rest of the guys in Frank Eats the Floor, they expanded my mind and showed me all these other bands, like Primus and The Doors, that have shaped my style.”

King said he easily related to the bass guitar.

“Les Claypool of Primus has this great quote about how the bass was just the crown he picked out of the box, and I feel like that relates to me, too,” King said. “My brother played guitar, and the bass-player in the band was not that great, so it made me think, ‘I could do that! It doesn’t seem that hard!’ The bass just sort of found me, I guess.”

King is a senior in high school. I asked him what he plans to study in college, and whether it will be related to music.

“It is application season, and I’ve been trying to get all my stuff together,” he said. “(I am interested in) something along the lines of music, but something I can combine with performing arts, because I’ve been doing drama during my four years of high school as well. It’d be awesome to have music as a path for a career, but one of the problems I’m having now is this success that I’m seeing at 17: Will it translate to 20-year-old me? 30-year-old me? It’s hard to tell, and it’s hard to tell if it’ll translate if I go to Los Angeles, San Diego or somewhere out of state.”

King was said he was humbled to even be a finalist in the Best Local Musician Category.

“I’m huge fans of Sunday Funeral and Justin Ledesma. I love Nick Hales of Sleazy Cortez, Giselle Woo and John Stanley King, and they’re all amazing people in our local music scene,” he said. “I’m really grateful to have been paired with those names, and winning is not setting in with me yet.”

Given that college is approaching, King said the future of Frank Eats the Floor is uncertain.

“We just released our album, and we started promoting it. But as for next July, it’s time for me and Aleks (Romo) to go to college, and that’s what we’ve been talking about,” King said. “We’re trying to make a plan where we’re able to pick this back up every month or every few months and still work as long as everyone is down. But it’s really starting to come down to the time when people grow up and grow out, which happens. The future is uncertain, but I think it’ll work as long as we all put in the work and try to make the Frank Eats the Floor train go for as long as we can.”

King said he’s enjoying the ride on that aforementioned Frank Eats the Floor train.

“Being onstage in drama is fun, but being onstage playing music and singing my songs is a step above,” he said. “My favorite memories of high school are kids coming up to me, saying, ‘Hey! You’re in that band, Frank Eats the Floor! “School Food Sucks!”’ Aleks doesn’t like to own up to it that much, but I think it’s cool being in high school and playing in a band. The only downside would be the fact that we were sort of looked down upon by some of the people around here, saying, ‘You can’t play this venue! You’re too young!’ Some people say that we’re just a novelty act. But we’re just having fun right now.”

Frank Eats the Floor will perform as part of the CV Music Showcase at 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information on Frank Eats the Floor, visit frankeatsthefloorfetf.bandcamp.com.

Published in Features

Frank Eats the Floor stands out in two ways.

First: It is one of the strangest band names in our local music scene. Second: The astonishingly young members show as much passion for music as anyone else in our local music scene.

We aren’t kidding when we say “young”: Bassist and lead vocalist Matt King and guitarist Aleks Romo are both in high school, while guitarist Joseph Beltran and drummer Frank Altamirano are in their first year of college.

So, what’s up with the name? During a recent interview, Altamirano explained it.

“Joe (Beltran) and I used to be in a band called The Power Strangers. It was literally just us two, and we sort of became this passion project that would invite other people to come on board,” Altamirano explained. “In our junior year of high school, we found some members who were willing to commit. We needed a name, and we learned that The Power Strangers was already taken, so we went through this really long and elaborate band-name generator that we found online. It asked a question about who was the leader, and I didn’t want to take full responsibility for this, but I finally bit the bullet and said I was the leader. One of the options it gave us was Frank Eats the Floor.”

How has the name worked for them?

“I think it’s stood out enough to where people remember us and go, ‘Oh, Frank Eats the Floor.’ I think it really stands out and matches our musical personality,” said King.

It has not been easy to be a band full of members who are not yet 21.

“The venues are the hardest part, but I feel like we’ve been doing a good job,” King said. “It’s hard to say, ‘Hey, we’d love to play this show!’ and they come back and ask, ‘Cool! What’s your age?’ It’s like, ‘Really man?’ It’s kind of degrading in a way. Just hear our music. It doesn’t matter what age we are.”

Altamirano said their ages have made it hard for the band to command respect. 

“One of the problems we had when it was just me and Joe was being taken seriously,” said Altamirano. “While we are kids, we’re also really passionate about what we do, and we take this seriously.”

One of the band’s standout songs is “School Food Sucks.” Beltran explained where the song came from.

“Every time we play that song, it’s a lot of fun,” Beltran said. “I look at everyone’s faces, and Franky is smiling; Matt is smiling; and Aleks is smiling. It’s a fun song. There’s a lot of anger behind it, too. The way it was composed was Matt was having the worst day of his life; Frank was having relationship problems; and I was just kinda there the whole time and was like, ‘All right, guys! Let’s make music.’ Matt actually wrote most of it.”

King laughed when he remembered that jam session.

“I gave Aleks my bass and told him to play, because ‘I’m going to go angry for a second.’ But we’ve toned it down and made it into a really fun song,” King said.

Frank Eats the Floor recently released a four-song EP.

“Jerry Whiting at Room 9 Recording in Redlands did it, and his studio is in his house,” King said. “We spent eight hours up there one day last summer. We know him through the guys in Sleazy Cortez. None of us slept the night before, so we were a little groggy. We recorded five songs, and it was a fun time. We’re thinking about recording the other songs this summer.”

The members admit they’re still trying to figure out how to build their sound.

“Here’s how that works: We play at gigs and we notice how different we play. We go to practice and notice how different we play than when we’re in the studio,” Beltran said. “We took note that when we play live, we play at a faster tempo. Me and Aleks were listening to the guitar, and they’re not synched up, and there’s one slightly off beat. We have to touch it up and add a few things. We realized we polished some of the songs and that we’re more consistent in how we play some of the songs than others.”

Still, the members said they’re proud of how far they’ve come.

“The first time we invited Matt to jam with us, he played one note for the entire song,” Altamirano said. “He had just gotten his bass and had only been playing for a few months. He played open E for every song. I go back and watch that video, because it’s on my personal YouTube channel, and I think, ‘We have made it so far!’ The chemistry is there and I love it. When I fill in for other bands or jam with other people, it doesn’t feel the same or as good as jamming with these guys.”

For more information, visit frankeatsthefloorfetf.bandcamp.com.

While the members of FrankEatsTheFloor are still in high school, the band has a ton of potential. I had a laugh when I saw the band perform recently—and frontman Matt King was wearing a cape. It reminded me of the episodes of F Is for Family with the fictional band Shire of Frodo. FrankEatsTheFloor will be performing as part of the CV Independent Presents show with Haunted Summer, Brightener and Rival Alaska at The Hood Bar and Pizza at 9 p.m., Thursday, April 12. The aforementioned frontman and bassist, Matt King, was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

The Claypool Lennon Delirium at the Observatory in Santa Ana. I was right on the rail, and I spent the whole time in shock watching just how insane Les Claypool is on bass. That first concert was part of the reason I play bass today.

What was the first album you owned?

It’s hard to recall, but one of the first albums I remember playing a lot was The Beatles’ Help! I’m a huge Beatles fan, and tracks like “The Night Before” and “Ticket to Ride” were played a lot growing up.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Ron Gallo, Jack White, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Earthless, and Sleazy Cortez.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I’m very picky when it comes to music. I don’t really like pop-punky, whiny-vocals music. Many of my friends are into those types of songs, but I’m not really a fan.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would sell my legs to see The Beatles’ rooftop concert. I don’t know how I’d make it up the stairs to see it, but that concert is just so amazing.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

It would have to be the SpongeBob SquarePants soundtracks. I’d be lying if I said they weren’t in my Spotify playlist.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Pappy and Harriet’s, because of the insane catalog of artists who’ve played there (Les Claypool, Paul McCartney, Earthless), and the fact that it’s a very cool place. I’ve played there for the open mic once, but would love to go back to do an actual show.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

A song by Ron Gallo entitled “Please Yourself”: “Trying to please everybody, you just let everyone down, including yourself. Don’t wanna be like the old oak tree, spend my whole life helping everybody breathe.” These lyrics have rung true lately, and I think they’re very meaningful.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Beatles. My grandma bought tickets for me to go see the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas about them, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I know every song like the back of my hand, and own almost every album, along with posters, shirts and shoes. The Beatles made me want to start a band; Paul McCartney made me want to play bass; and without those factors, I wouldn’t be playing music and doing what I love.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I would ask Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age what it was like starting a music career at a young age in the valley, and if he thinks it’s possible in the current era.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

This is a tough one, but I think I have to go with “Heart of the Sunrise” by Yes. It’s such a killer song, no pun intended.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles. It’s just an all-around amazing and super-trippy album. Goo goo g’joob.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Every one of you reading this should go listen to “School Food Sucks” by FrankEatsTheFloor. Vocals and bass guitar are by yours truly, and it is available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, YouTube and just about everywhere else! (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13