As legendary front-men go Frank Black is right up there. Whilst his most famous work will always of course be with The Pixies, we were honoured to be able to grab a few minutes of his time this past week to ask him about the huge Frank Black And The Catholics box set which is set for release on 4th May. Under the 'Frank Black And The Catholics' side project, six albums were released, all of which are part of this extensive box set which also includes previously unreleased tracks and demos.
R13:How did you come to the decision to release all of the Frank Black & The Catholics material via this special box set?
FB: I don't recall. I suppose when the USA licensee for Cooking Vinyl went out of business I felt the need to get the material back in print. A box set is one way to re-launch the back cat repertoire. Plus you have to go through all those old tapes.
R13:It’s mentioned briefly in the press release that you’ve chosen to list the track’s alphabetically, what was the thinking behind that?
FB: I've done set lists alphabetically, and running order on records as well. It makes sense to me. If "the song" is the most important thing in popular music - I'm not saying it is, but let's face it, it might be - then in theory the dramatic narrative of a running order is insignificant. It's all about that 3 minute pop song, theoretically, anyway.
R13:Has revisiting all of this material encouraged you into writing new stuff under ‘Frank Black & The Catholics’?
FB: No. I'd need to have a reason. An offer from somebody. I have discussed doing new material with some of the Catholics and so, it is a possibility. We'll see how it all works out. I see that Scott and Dave are out touring again with Mark Mulcahy.
R13:Your first record under the Frank Black & The Catholics name is often touted as one the first that was made available for legal download - how do you view the music industry now with the dominance of streaming beginning to take over?
FB: It's all good. It's seems to be headed somewhere interesting. But I've always been more focused on the music related stuff, recording and touring. I can't really do much to control the business-side except have a good lawyer, a good manager, a good accountant, a good publicist. And that's actually a relief. I think musicians need to think about the internet less and about music more.
R13:Do you feel like releasing boxsets like this is a good way of both re-connecting with old fans, but also engaging with a possible new generation of fans who may not be familiar with your work outside of The Pixies?
FB: Getting your art some profile is always good. And if your art is good you will always find new patrons.
R13:How have you got the rest of 2015 planned? Any UK tour dates?
FB: Nothing in the UK planned yet, but the calendar year is still being discussed.
Thanks again to Frank Black for taking the time to answer our questions.