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The Frantic – The Highwire Daze Legacy Interviews

The Frantic – The Highwire Daze Legacy Interviews

The Frantic: Punk Rock and Roll from the Windy City

Originally Posted: April 25, 2011

Fans of punk rockin’ bands such as Green Day, Rancid, and Sum 41 are sure to find a whole lot to like about The Frantic. Based out of the Chicago, The Frantic has just released a Self-Titled EP via Sinister Muse Records.

Editor Ken’s Notes from 2020: Kyle Dee spent nearly a decade within the ranks of The Frantic, making a name for themselves throughout the Midwest and beyond.  Since the breakup of The Frantic, Kyle has been on American Idol and he was recently announced as the new vocalist for Makeout!  Since I just sent over interview questions for Kyle regarding his membership in Makeout, I thought I would revisit a previous interview we did nearly a decade ago while he was with The Frantic.  Such an amazingly underrated band to be sure!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Frantic,and how long the band has been together.
I’m Kyle Dee and I sing and play guitar. We’ve been a band for about 8 years now. Started in the 8th Grade!

Where is the band based out of and what is the music scene like there? Any bands in your area you could recommend?
We’re from the south suburbs of Chicago and the music scene here is up and down.. When we first started, there was a great underground punk rock scene where everyone had mohawks and spray paint, but that soon died out.  We’ve watched scenes come and go and we’ve just learned to shift with it. There are always lots of people creating music and playing shows. Every once in awhile you’ll come across some Chicago bands that are doing something fresh and original.

Check out AM Taxi, The Scissors, The Downtown Struts, Makeshift Prodigy, and The Fold.

Promo Photo by Tasha Schalk

Pick two songs from your new EP and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
Come Over is a song that I co-wrote with Tom from The Plain White T’s. We sat down by the pool of my house with a couple of guitars and wrote it about waiting around desperately for a girl who doesn’t show up.

Roxanne is another song on the EP about a girl I dated. Of course, my first instinct when we met was to sing The Police song to her, but she hated that song. So I had to write a new one specifically to her.

How did you wind up on Sinister Muse Records?
We recorded and released our first album on our own when we were 16. At the time, we were playing lots of local shows and had built a name for ourselves around the area.  Then, we had a CD that sounded excellent. Before you knew it, we were approached by Sinister Muse about re-releasing our record under their label and we signed at 17.

What could one expect from a live The Frantic show?
We’ve always been a live band. We started the band before the days of macbooks and protools.. so our intention has always been just to make rock songs and kick ass.  We want to be the loudest band in the world and we take pride in putting on a rock show where we don’t hide behind anything. No digital equiptment or sound effects..just Marshall amps.

Have you ever toured outside of your state, and if so, what was that experience like?
We love being on the road. We toured for quite a long time on our first album. I think touring is mandatory for any band to succeed.  When you first start, of course the tours are going to suck and you’re going to play for no one. You’re gonna be broke. We’ve been there, but we loved it and you have to love it.  Our first tour got booked when I was still in High School, so I dropped out. F*ck it. The next week I was playing to new people across the country I was taking pictures at Niagra Falls.  I’ve learned more from touring than I have from anything else in life.

You guys would be terrific on Warped Tour. Have you ever played Warped and if so, how did it go?.
We actually have been lucky enough to do the Warped Tour 3 times already! We did, 2007, 2008, and 2010 and every year it gets better and better. Warped Tour is the best tour around for a band like us.  It gives us the opportunity to meet and play for thousands of people who may not have heard of us otherwise. It also brings all of the bands closer together. Everyone supports each other on that tour. It’s perfect. Kevin Lyman is brilliant.

How did your show opening for Papa Roach go? It seems like an unusual combination of bands…
Funny thing is, I hadn’t heard much of Papa Roach since I was younger. We played a festival together in Chicago and I watched their set and was blown away. So I went home, picked up their newest record and I loved it.  Then, a few months later, we opened for them again and I was totally excited and a new fan of theirs. The show was awesome!

How did the Middlewest Fest go and what kind of time slot did you have?
The Middlewest Fest was great! We played with our great friends in a band called Treaty of Paris. We’d toured together in the past so it was a lot of fun.  We played a late show at night after Born of Osiris played earlier.

If you could be a donut, what kind would you be and why?
If I could be a donut, I would be a glazed munchkin because they are yummy as hell. Or I’d be a long john..

Any unusual Myspace or Facebook stories you could share?
One time, my mom put her phone number on my Facebook and then got quite a few calls from our fans HAHA

What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
Hopefully the chorus! hahaha

Any final words of wisdom?
If you’re going to start a band, do it because you love it. Do it because you need to do it. There’s nothing wrong with playing for fun either, but don’t just start a band with the hopes of being famous or to be cool.  If you want to succeed, make it your life and give it everything you’ve got. It’s a long road, but it’s a great time.

Band Members:
Kyle Dee (vocals, guitars)
Chris Farnesi (bass)
Ian Farnesi (guitars)
Brett Hartwell (drums, vocals)

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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