Living… in Vetno, Ireland, in Don’s alpine cedar cabin, for as long as it takes to record the album. The band lives together, with the typical rooming problems you’d expect. There’s a constant creative atmosphere, but it’s been a long time since anyone’s come up with anything good. They’ve been there 14 hours a day for 11 months. It has not been easy. None of them has left since he got there. Frank refuses to record any song until every detail is perfectly rehearsed. Oh, and Frank always wears a giant paper mache head.
Profession… lead singer of the band Soronprfbs. (No one is sure how to pronounce the name.) Frank wants to push his band mates to their furthest corners and unlock the great music that lies there. People suffer under his tutelage, while simultaneously feeling completely artistically liberated. Frank is at the heart of the operation. At his heart, he’s friendly. As band mate Jon Burroughs observes, “He can hide himself for days at a time. What goes inside that head, inside that head?”
Interests… field work. Frank won't let the band get started on proper rehearsals until his procedures are put in place. He initiated a strict regiment for physical exercise. Fortunately they’ve come up with a safe word: “chinchilla.” After a while, he made everyone start everything from scratch, at which point he created an entirely new musical notation system. Each of them designed their own instruments. Frank takes endless inspiration from everything.
Relationship Status… uncertain. Clara, the band's fierce theremin player, can get frustrated with his egregious displays of ego, or just plain become interested in one of the other band members. Mainly he just wants the exciting opportunity to finally play in front of people who know and love them. As Frank explains, “Until now our audiences tend to people who chance upon us and find out after a few minutes they do not like us.”
Challenge… not playing the wrong notes and not letting his perfectionism overtake him. Frank by turns sabotages his band and complains about their status. He complains about the songs and then refuses to work with Jon, because he’s not Clara. He also has to be weary of driving his band mates crazy and forcing them to turn on him. Frank has to state his facial expressions out-loud in order to be understood, whether it’s a big non-threatening grin or an ambivalent shrug. This further alienates him from others. It’s unclear whether the torment helps him make the music. Or does it slow him down?
Personality… eccentric genius. People want to be him, but not really. He lives his entire life underneath that paper mache head. He never takes it off. He sleeps in it. He sucks food up through a straw through his neckline. It’s not even food; it’s a supplement. Despite all of his issues, half the time people wonder if he’s the sanest person they know. To be fair, he surrounds himself with fellow eccentrics.
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