Long time friend Daniel Frankowski is hard at work again with his new band of nordic thunder, Common Cause. We caught up with him and guitarist Jon A. Gaasland. Be sure to check these guys out if you want classic hardcore played well! More to come...
You haven't taken a whole lot of time off from doing HC bands over the past 15 years. Do you get restless if you aren't doing a band? As a well-versed guitarist and dude that is into all sorts of different music, how haven't you ended up doing something completely non-HC related?
Daniel: Yeah, you could say so. It's almost something I just have to do. The only time I remember that I wasn't in a band for a period of time was when I moved from Germany to Norway. I was supposed to join Sportswear on 2nd guitar and we practiced once actually but soon after that the band broke up and that was that I guess.
It took me a bit of time to get to know the right people and to set up a new band. It's just something I love doing, sort of my creative outlet. Even though it can be a total headache at times, since you always have to deal with so many people that are invloved in doing a band but at the same time you also learn a lot about yourself and other people. I just love writing songs, putting them together, organizing stuff, playing shows. It's the best thing there is. I don't think Common Cause will be my last band either, at least I hope not. There are still many different things I wanna do.
I tried several times to do something non-hardcore related but it just never felt right. Besides that, I never had the time to so domething else either since I've been playing in HC bands all the time and I'd rather focus on one band and give it 100%. At one point I'm gonna do a non-HC band though. I really wanna do a good old fashioned rock band, you know, like CCR meets Skynyrd or something. I guess I'm gonna do that when I'm 50 and hopefully can grow a full beard.
Common Cause puts you back on vocals after taking up guitar duties in Damage Control. Before that you fronted Eyeball. What do you like about singing versus guitar? What do you miss when you are singing?
Daniel: I think I like both equally well, the only thing I really dislike is the process of writing lyrics. I don't think I am really that good at it. I have plenty of good ideas I think, but I have problems putting those thoughts on paper. Singing is great though, it's so much easier to get in touch with the crowd and let your emotions go without having to think about playing an instrument. But if I ever do another band iIwill be playing guitar again just to keep it fresh and interesting for myself.
How do you describe Common Cause? Influences, inspirations,motivation, goals, etc? Having done at least 5 other bands, is this just another HC band to you inspired by the same things? How do you keep it fresh?
Daniel: A straight forward hardcore band. Powerful, fast, energetic with a positive message. That was the idea when we started the band and that's what still keeps us going. I think our biggest inspiration and influence comes from bands like Youth of Today or Uniform Choice. Powerful music with a powerful message. Life in general motivates me, you just gotta turn on the news and see what happens around the world, Imean we are really living in an Age Of Quarrel. There is so much suffering and so much pain, you know. Rasicm, homophobia, poverty. Everything that is wrong right now in the world motivates me to do this band.
Common Cause is definitely not just another HC band for me. I take the band 100% serious and put all my energy in it. I keep it fresh by never doing the same band twice, even though it's always hardcore I never try to go for the same formula. I also never do two bands with the same members, well almost. Common Cause kinda came out of Soulfire and P.O. played with me in DxC but other then that I like to start a new band fresh.
Jon: Our influences remain the same, and are quite obvious – late 80s hardcore, with some earlier and later influences thrown in for good measure. Besides the musical inspirations, what inspires us the most is probably arriving at a show, after some ridiculously long drive, exhausted and not really expecting much from the show – and having kids go apeshit for you and just having a blast playing. Also just working on songs and recording them and putting them out. It's cool to hold a piece of vinyl in your hands that you played on, that has your picture on it, and knowing that it will be around long after you no longer have any kind of relevance in the hardcore-scene, maybe even after you leave this planet. I guess it's stuff like that that is what keeps me motivated.
Which can be a bit hard at times. I was talking about someone close to me about that recently, why the hell I really bother going on these hellride tours. Keep in mind this was someone coming from a hardcore background, so it wasn't a matter of "why don't you mellow out and try to get signed on a major?", she just genuinely didn't get why I bothered. And I wasn't really sure myself. I mean, you're out there driving for often a double-digit amount of hours, to get to a show that may or may not be good, that may or may not end up losing you more money in the end. You see a lot of places, but more often than not you don't have time to stop and check it out anyway. I'm also sort of a private person, and don't really enjoy living practically on top of other people, even if they're some of my best friends. And well, it's just altogether a stressful experience for me a lot of the time, and it can be hard to rationalize to yourself or others why it is you really do it.
When I get home, I always think "that's it, I'm never doing that again". But after a week or two, I get some distance, and just remember the positive things, and wish I could go back out there again the next day. Maybe it's getting a very direct response to your music, whether it's positive or not. Maybe it's the lack of responsibility and the feeling of being out on somelittle adventure with your friends. Maybe I just like torturing myself. But those few weeks out of the year when I'm on tour, always stand out as a lot more exciting and positive than the rest of my year. If that makes any sense. Which of course it doesn't.