Frank Lenz: From Ubiquitous Band Guy to Noted Film Composer

Best known for his work with bands such as Starflyer 59 and The Lassie Foundation, Frank Lenz has been using his talents to compose soundtracks these days.  In 2009 he scored Strictly Background, an indie documentary about the life of actors who work as extras on movie sets throughout Hollywood.  His latest film music masterwork is for another indie film entitled Holy Rollers.  Both film scores are now available on Velvet Blue Music. From band guy to film composer and music producer, we shall now catch up with the ubiquitous Mr. Lenz. Read on…

What was the name of the very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what inspired the tune and/or lyrics?
I was probably around six. I don’t remember details.

How did your working on the score for Holy Rollers come about?
I had worked on another film for the producer and he recommended me for the project.

How long did it take you to complete the Holy Rollers score and what were the more difficult and easier aspects of composing for this particular movie?
Working on a film is different then on a record.  You usually get a large chunk of scenes that you work on for a couple months, then you fine tune your compositions based on edits to picture.  Sometimes you end up re-scoring during this process but usually you’re editing preexisting pieces.  In my case both films I worked on went to festival before a final edit was ready, leaving the director time to organize his/her vision.  After a run in festivals the clean up work begins, either more edits or more compositions.  The whole process can take 6 months to a year. as far as difficulty and ease.. you either associate with the scene or you don’t, if it’s easy it’s easy… if not then you’ve got work to do.

For those who have not seen it yet, what is Holy Rollers about?
Holy Rollers is about a well funded professional black jack team that happens to be made up of Christians and the obvious conflicts that arise from combining wealth and faith.

How did composing the score for Holy Rollers compare to composing for Strictly Background?
They compare only in that I was more prepared for the process after Strictly Background.  The two films are completely different as far as musical composition are concerned, as different as evening wear is to pajamas.  You are a slave to the scene and narrative.

Did you get to meet any of the extras profiled in Strictly Background? So many unique individuals in that documentary!
Not untill the film wrapped and screenings began… it was weird.

When you look back on your work with Starflyer 59, what do you think if it now?
I thinks it’s amazing!

Are you still actively involved with any bands and tour? If not, do you miss it at all?
I’m not motivated to be in a band anymore, I need stability.. it’s the anti-band way of life.  I don’t appreciate the ways of the road anymore either, it’s kind of sad really.

What is the strangest story from the road you could tell and which band were you with at the time?
A Christian rock promoter telling me he had a prophecy about me, however he had me confused with someone famous.  The band was Fold Zandura.

When you look on the Christian music scene today, what do you think if it now? Do you listen to any of the current bands?
I’m afraid i don’t know anything about the current state of Christian rock.

What is your favorite motion picture soundtrack and why?
The Heiress by Aaron Copeland… because it’s Aaron Copeland

What do you look for when it comes to producing bands?
Who ever has money

Any other soundtrack offers on the horizon?
No but I’m pursuing that currently.

What’s up next for you?
Finishing up some personal art projects

Any final words of wisdom?
Be nice to everyone if you can.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

Velvet Blue Records Official Home Page

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