Interview with Frankie Poullain Bassist for The Darkness
The Darkness is coming to The Truman on April 8th, 2018. I was given the chance to pick the bassist for The Darkness, Frankie Poullain's brain about their music and the things that make them human. Here's what I found out.
Photo by Simon Emmett
To get this interview started, I asked a few quick warm up questions.
Kimmy: What did you have for breakfast today?
Frankie: So far just one satsuma.
Kimmy: Do you prefer the window or aisle seat (No one likes the middle right)?
Frankie: Window, looking into the clouds is a rare pleasure that shouldn't be taken for granted.
Kimmy: What was your favorite subject in school?
Kimmy: What are you reading or watching right now?
Frankie: Watching "Abigail's Party," a dark and hilarious Mike Leigh play that was screened on BBC in the 70's.
Kimmy: Ok, on to the more serious questions. Last year The Darkness released Pinewood Smile. What are you most proud about the new album?
Frankie: I don't really go in for the pride thing, not consciously anyway. The songs from that album sound great live though and Ru's drumming is stunning on "Japanese Prisoner of Love."
Kimmy: What was most challenging part about making Pinewood Smile?
Frankie: Recording the backing tracks live, Dan, Ru and I, doing take after take together, trying to get 'the one'. It's old school but provides an energy and excitement that you can't fake.
Kimmy: What is the band’s creative process in the studio? Is there a specific division of duty?
Frankie: No, we keep things open, it's important that everyone is in a creative and free headspace, ready to 'catch the big fish' as David Lynch would say.
Kimmy: The Darkness’ Tour de Prance kicks off on March 29th. What are you most looking forward to on the tour?
Frankie: You can never second guess what's going to happen Stateside. We always find ourselves being taken by surprise when we least expect it. The first three look good on paper - LA, Las Vegas and San Fransisco, especially coming from an English winter.
Kimmy: What are some of the essential items that you always pack on tour (other than your bass)?
Frankie: Olbas oil to help me sleep and breathe freely.
Kimmy: What is one of your favorite shows that The Darkness has played, and what made the concert special?
Frankie: The 'Why Not' Festival in 2011 when all four of us went into the crowd on roadie's shoulders at the festival. It felt biblical. We'll do it again one day.
Kimmy: When did you start playing music? Has it always been the bass?
Frankie: I took it up quite late, I wouldn't recommend my career path to anyone. Pretty much bass all the way.
Kimmy: What drew you to the bass?
Frankie: The mysterious nature of the instrument and the sound itself. The way it throbs and pulses. Hope that doesn't come over too Freudian.
Kimmy: What type of bass are you playing now? How did you land on that one?
Frankie: Always the Gibson Thunderbird, preferably 90's ones, since 2000. A lovely man called Ray Williams from The Pooh Sticks sold it to me. And he sold me another one last year. They’re my two favourites.
Kimmy: What is the best part of being a musician?
Frankie: Reaching out to the great beyond. Kimmy: How do you see your role in the world as a citizen and a musician?
Frankie: As a citizen I was catapulted into the world to rest in a catacomb, and as a musician I'm a catalyst.
Kimmy: I'm looking forward to seeing The Darkness on April 8th, thank you for your time!
Frankie: You're welcome.
You can find the The Darkness here: