Q&A: Frances Rose
Sisters Sarah Frances and Michelle Rose, make up the 80's inspired duo Frances Rose. Releasing their debut single back in 2012, they have gained the support of impressive platforms including Kitsune, Neon Gold and more recently, SXSW. Ahead of their show at the Knitting Factory in NYC this week, we were lucky enough to grab some time with the ladies to ask them about their 80's inspiration, being female role models and what 2017 has in store for them.
ASBO: First and foremost, congratulations on your set at SXSW! How did it go for you guys?
M: SXSW was excellent! Really spontaneous and full of energy. Definitely an inspiring change from our regular New York groove. I took a polaroid diary for OUT Magazine. It kept my eyes open to the happenings and musical landscape.
S: We played an acoustic set for Shure microphones and headlined an all female line up at the Swan Dive, such an incredible venue. Austin feels so youthful, fresh and fun. We got to see tons of friends and acts like, Banks, Sofi Tucker, and Japanese House. Its an amazing festival that has a really special energy.
ASBO: I’ve been a huge fan of yours and 'Vampire', since the very beginning! What was it like having platforms like Kitsuné and MS MR Track Addict support your debut?
S: Wow, thanks! It's really inspiring to have platforms like Kitsuné and Lizzy of MSMR supporting us. I've been following Kitsuné since I lived in Paris, and we were super thrilled to have Vampire on the first ever Kitsuné America compilation. We watched the Nomad Hotel be built in NY. To see our vinyl in the shop was a dream come true. &YES!!! Lizzy Plapinger of Neon Gold Records was HUGE initial support for Frances Rose, and we continue to support each other.
M: Max of MSMR actually recorded the initial demos for our publishing deal with Warner Chappell. It's always exciting to have support from friends and be put on by tastemakers and respected behind the scene influencers in the music industry. I've been following Kitsuné since I was a teenager. The first time I ever went to a nightclub was a Kitsuné Club night party in Paris when I was 17. Meeting Gildas and being welcomed into their musical network was a dream come true.
ASBO: Is the 80’s inspiration something that came naturally to you both?
M: I became hardcore into 80's music in my late teens. It was sparked by the soundtrack to Donnie Darko. There was a long period of time where I only wore clothing from the 80's. The immaculate collection by Madonna has been a pretty huge inspiration. It never gets old.
S: YES. We love a lot of 80's films. Ferris Bueller's Day Off, anything Molly Ringwald, Winona and Christian Slater via Heathers, teased hair....we def draw from the colours, styles and absurdity of the 80's... You'll see in the music video for 'Dangerous'!
ASBO: I watched a recent interview where you spoke about being role models for young women wanting to get into the music industry. Who were your role models when you were looking to get into the industry?
M: I've always looked up to women in popular music who wrote their own material. I've looked up to Fiona Apple, Patti Smith, Madonna; women who aren't afraid to speak their minds, and speak their truth. Women who are driven, passionate, and aren't afraid to put themselves out there. The music industry is heavily dominated by men, but Samantha Cox from BMI has always been a supportive role model.
S: TLC was my first cassette tape ever bought. I had to write my mom an essay on WHY I WANTED THIS PIECE OF MUSIC. The title of that record was 'CRAZY SEXY COOL' and for a third grader, that was a bit much, so she wanted to know why I wanted it...
S: I enjoyed when Fiona Apple spoke out at the VMAs, even though I was too young to truly understand it. Tori Amos remains a role model as well. Her music inspires. Frances Rose formed based on our mutual adoration of bands on Saddle Creek Records. We loved the fact that Omaha, Nebraska could have such a thriving music scene, and as a high school student experiencing a band like Bright Eyes, we all know how that felt. We were big into bands like Garbage, Placebo, Azure Ray, Cursive, Coheed and Cambria, Saves The Day, Get Up Kids.
ASBO: What influence have they had on how you position yourselves as artists?
M: Madonna has sonically influenced my voice. Fiona Apple, because of her organic and natural essence.
S: The music industry can be male driven, and sometimes it is hard for females to break through. We recently performed at a charity organization for She Runs It (sherunsit.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to women who work in advertising, founded in 1912. We view ourselves as the voices of women who express themselves freely.
ASBO: You’ve been teasing us with material for a while now - what does 2017 hold for you?
M: We'll be pressing vinyl and releasing new singles. We're about to release a new song with a very powerful message to protect trans children, and women's rights. It's an anthem. I'm very excited.
S: Our fans have been VERY, VERY patient and we appreciate that so much. 2017 is the time to share and get the music out! Read My Body, My Choice. It's going to be very rewarding and fun for everyone involved.
Listen to Frances Rose's last release, 'Dangerous' below and make sure to catch them performing live at the Knitting Factory on April 29th. Tickets available here.