Allan Franzner is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer making music that bridges alternative, heavy rock and some of the most mainstream pop trends of the moment. Left-wing lyrical themes bash the coming of age of irresponsible use of technology with total ownership of few people. Truly poetic pieces that swing across many moods, and bring forward statements that lie in the outskirts and corners of mainstream culture, Allan Franzner’s music is very much his own, distinct and recognizable. We had a chance to chat with Allan Franzner about his newly released album and much more!
Congratulations on the release of your new Album Who Pays The Price?!
Tell us more about it, what inspired you to record this LP and what is the main message behind the title?
It’s a “socially conscious” album, if you will. The question is: who pays the price for societal organization as it currently is? The answer is: everybody but the ruling class, exploitative people who couldn’t care less about anything or anyone else so long as their profits are thick enough. The problem?
Well, existential threats exist as a byproduct of that, because then you need to secure your power and stab everybody on the back, act immorally to incredible extents, make war and make surveillance, be environmentally irresponsible, and as we know, much as many people try to propagandize it otherwise, these things all make up for our determining predicament on this century that people like me (born in this timeline) will have to endure.
Not the old fading bores who make up the rules. And I know that it’s a heavy thing to talk about this stuff, but if you don’t catch up with the evil, the evil will catch up with you. That’s why you aren’t seeing me here starting as an artist doing only love/personal songs. Because I feel like I can do it like this, and so it becomes my personal obligation to do it like this (+ it also is connected to love/personal stuff since it relates to everybody).
It is a journey to take on the analysis of the lyrics but, if you do, I think it’s pretty crystal clear, you’ll see one side of me merely punching up: “the gunmen go around taking”, “big men… shaking”, “can’t get rid of it all… oil men”, and then there’s the alienated perspective of “this isn’t how this whole earth thing should go down, and it’s something in everybody’s control”, everybody is running around and finding excuses and ways to cope, and it postpones dealing with realities that will ultimately be catastrophic if not cared for with collective action.
Out of the 11 tracks listed on the album, which one is the most personal to you and why?
I think that one is the third track, “Flowers and Butterflies”. It was originally written a while ago and then I decided to change the pronouns to she/her and then explored many of the toxic behaviors that I’ve witnessed, either from others to themselves, myself to others or vice-versa, plus misleading negative thoughts that one has sometimes.
We would love to know more about your early beginnings, and what drove you to envision a music career?
Well, where to start?! Perhaps that’s part of the answer, I can’t figure out where it started! However I can grant you that the obsession started when I was 13 years old or so, I learned to play everything, couldn’t stop listening to records at all times and, most importantly of all, I reckon, is that I’ve found the safe space that we all are looking for in early to mid adolescence, and a sense of identity.
It was my easy way to make friends with people, and I wind up starting to help every local musician I knew at their affairs, showing up to be the first one in and last one out at small live events they hit me up to do, therefore being able to have a sort of internship at a little bit of everything music.
I tried formal education for a while, but it just wasn’t for me at all. That all sort of ended around the covid-19 start, I was wrapping up school there and therefore conflicted on whether to go on with my music obsession or my other one: the humanities. I think you already figured out what happened. After a long story that’s best left for another occasion, the merging of both that has come about in the last few months was what I could finally sort out.
What is your most memorable moment as an artist?
I’m trying to farm ’em, ay?
Your signature style sits at the intersection of many genres, how would you define your own musical style?
I think that the description needs to draw the line between the guitar/vocals/lyrics and the rest. The drums, synths, bass are a pocket of artsy pop experimentation, and the former are a sort of “frontmen on the duty” of bringing the message forward and keeping the energy levels up.
What is your favorite song of the moment?
Impossible question! I’m gonna have to dance around that… hmm… I was obviously very intrigued with the songs from the new Kendrick Lamar, the new Billy Woods, but the thing that caught my ear that I didn’t know of (and now feel like I’ve been missing out, obviously) this year was Fils de joie, by Stromae.
What artists have influenced you the most?
In a lyrical way Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Kendrick Lamar. Musically, in the whole “be your own band in the studio” thing Prince, Stevie Wonder, Tyler, The Creator, Kevin Parker. In the guitar playing sense, I have a pretty specific thing, actually, maybe you’ll find it kind of strange even. Both for sound and playing, I like to sort of channel a mix of the sort of hot valve, old bluesman battling the guitar with the more shredder, fast and light flowing, guitar hero style that people like to go for generally. People who I’ve obsessed with guitar wise in the past were Slash and James Hetfield (such a cliché 13-year-old boy preference!).
What’s next for Allan Franzner?
Bringing this to the right live settings! And it’s a thing that I need you, reading this article, to join together in. And then different stuff too, but the music + message thing is what’s here, and it’s here to stay.
Thank you for having me on! I really appreciate it.