Frankie and the Witch Fingers is an American rock band formed in Bloomington, Indiana, in 2013[1] and based in Los Angeles.[2] The band is composed of founding members Dylan Sizemore (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Josh Menashe (vocals, lead guitar, synthesizer), as well as Nikki Pickle (bass) as of 2020, and Nick Aguilar (drums) as of 2022.[3] They are currently signed to Greenway Records from Brooklyn.[4]

History

Bloomington Years and Formation (2013–2018)

The band was started by Sizemore who initially formed the project as a solo outlet to perform in basement shows, singing, playing the electric guitar, and a kick drum. In the Bloomington basement show scene he met founding members, Glenn Brigman and Josh Menashe. Brigman invited Sizemore to record at the home recording studio that he shared with Menashe, where they recorded their band Triptides. Sizemore would later go on to play bass for Triptides on and off.[5][6]

Sidewalk (2013)

During the first recording, Brigman offered to play drums on the tracks and quickly recruited two of the other founding members of the band including Menashe, and Josh Morrow (second drummer) to join the recording effort. This album would become the first Frankie and the Witch Fingers release on a cassette titled Sidewalk (2013),[7] released by Nice Legs Records.

Sidewalk was recorded to a Tascam 488 by Brigman.[8] Sidewalk primarily blended garage rock, and surf music.

Alex Bulli (bass), who played in Prince Moondog with Menashe and Brigman was recruited to fill out the 5-piece lineup for live shows.[9] The band played a handful of live shows together as a 5-piece, until Morrow exited the band later that year, which then performed and recorded as a 4-piece group from 2013 to 2018 producing four full-length albums and two 7-inch records together.

4 Way Split / Self Titled (2014–2015)

The band's second release was a song included on a 4 way split 7-inch with Triptides, The See See, and The Young Sinclairs featuring the unreleased track "Revival" in 2014 on Stroll On Records.[10] Permanent Records (Chicago and Los Angeles) heard the track "Revival" from the split and contacted the band about a partnership to release their newest recordings. Permanent released the band's subsequent eponymously titled album, Frankie and the Witch Fingers (2015),[11] their first release on vinyl.

Moving to Los Angeles / Merry Go Round 7″ / Heavy Roller

Brigman, Menashe, and Bulli moved to Los Angeles in 2014. Sizemore flew out to Los Angeles for the band's first tour in March 2015. Sizemore moved to Los Angeles later that year. After arriving in Los Angeles they met Stu Pope at a show at Permanent Records shop in Highland Park. On April 1, 2016, they released the first single from their next album that included tracks "Merry-Go-Round" and "Mystical Rapture" on the Merry-Go-Round 7″ through Hypnotic Bridge Records (Sierra Madre, Calif.) as the first release for Stu Pope's new label.[12] Permanent Records then released the full-length Heavy Roller LP (July 29, 2016).[13]

Heavy Roller saw the band venture into new territory with songs that ranged from psych pop to stretched out acid rock jams.

Brain Telephone (2017)

After the release of Heavy Roller, the band set about recording a new album in Los Angeles, in the recording studio that they shared with Levitation Room, on a 388 tape machine borrowed from a friend.[8]

Released on September 15 by Permanent Records,[14] Brain Telephone continued expanding upon the band's psychedelic sound by blending rhythm and blues style rock n' roll and emphasizing some of their southern rock influences into the mix.

Drip Tea (2018)

In 2018 they met the band Twin Temple and went into their home studio to record their next release with Twin Temple's Zachary James, a 7″ featuring tracks "Drip" and "Tea" released on May 18 by Let's Pretend Records (Bloomington, Indiana)[15][16]

Shaughnessy Starr joins the band / Pleasure 7″ / ZAM / (2018–2019)

In July 2018 following a long stint of tours, Brigman exited to focus his efforts on his band Triptides, and drummer Shaugnessy Starr (ex. Psychic Ju-Jitsu, Hooveriii, Triptides) joined the group in his place.[17]

Shaughnessy Starr immediately began working with the band to write their next record. In September 2018, touring the US with Stonefield from Australia, their set consisted almost entirely of unreleased material that would be recorded for ZAM later that month.[17]

Recorded at Zachary James' home studio called Studio 666[17] and engineered by James and Kevin Mills,[18] ZAM was their first full length album completely recorded by a non–band member. For ZAM, the band adopted a more rhythmically driven sound and drew on new influences of Krautrock, Jazz, and Funk.[19]

From ZAM (2019),[20] a double album, a 7" single was released, "Pleasure"/"Realization (acoustic demo)".[21] "Cavehead"/"Mind's Eye"[22] followed in 2020 from Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters…,[23] a concept album in which all the songs transition continuously from one to the next without any breaks between tracks.

At the end of 2019, Alex Bulli exited the band and bassist Nikki "Pickle" Smith (ex-Death Valley Girls) joined the group playing one show with the band in Chicago before the shut-down of the COVID-19 pandemic.[24] During the height of the lockdown phase of 2020, the group was able to meet up and record a few live sessions, one of which was streamed live and released on vinyl and video through Levitation (Reverberation Appreciation Society) and Greenway Records as Levitation Sessions: Frankie and the Witch Fingers (2020).[25] The next 7-inch single on Greenway Records, "Cookin'"/"Tracksuit", came out in 2021.[26]

With Starr's exit near the middle of 2021, drummer Jon Modaff filled in for the band's first post-pandemic tour[27] before Nick Aguilar (Slaughterhouse, Mike Watt, etc.) became the new current full-time drummer.[28] The new lineup played their first show together on April 30, 2022,[29] and recorded a full-length album set for release in 2023.

Notable performances

Frankie and the Witch Fingers performed as an opening act for ZZ Top and Cheap Trick on a handful of those bands' 2019 US tour dates.[30] They have also opened for Osees at the Bataclan Theatre[31] in Paris, Ty Segall at Troxy Theater in London, and Porno for Pyros[32] in June 2022.

Discography

Full-length LPs

  • Sidewalk (2013) cassette: Nice Legs Records, LP: Permanent Records (2017), remastered LP: Greenway Records (2020)
  • Frankie and the Witch Fingers (2015) Permanent Records, remastered: Greenway Records (2022)
  • Heavy Roller (2016) Permanent Records, remastered: Greenway Records (2021)
  • Brain Telephone (2017) Permanent Records, remastered: Greenway Records (2021)
  • ZAM (2019) Greenway Records
  • Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters... (2020) Greenway Records
  • Data Doom (2023) Greenway Records

7-inch records

  • 4-way split 7-inch (2014) Stroll On Records
  • "Merry-Go-Round" (2016) Hypnotic Bridge Records
  • "Drip/Tea" (2018) Let's Pretend Records
  • "Pleasure" (2019) Greenway Records
  • "Cookin'" (2021) Greenway Records
  • "Electricide"/"Chalice" (2022) Greenway Records / The Reverberation Appreciation Society

References

  1. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers". Rough Trade Publishing.
  2. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers releasing Heavy Roller". Brooklyn Vegan. 28 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Rising LA psych-punk outfit comes to the Chapel". CBS News. 26 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers". Greenway Records.
  5. ^ "Album Review: Frankie and the Witch Fingers – Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters". Mxdwn. 15 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Frankie & the Witch Fingers Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  7. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers Sidewalk". Greenway Records.
  8. ^ a b "Vibing with Frankie and the Witch Fingers". Musician's Friend.
  9. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers". It's Psychedelic Baby! Magazine. 16 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Revival (Single)". Bandcamp.
  11. ^ "PERM-045". Permanent Records.
  12. ^ "Video Premiere Frankie and the Witch Fingers Merry Go Round". Buzzbands LA. 17 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Album Premiere: Frankie and the Witch Fingers 'Heavy Roller'". LA Record.
  14. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers: Brain Telephone". LA Record.
  15. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Drip Tea". The Fat Angel Sings.
  16. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers Drip/ Tea". Lets Pretend Records.
  17. ^ a b c "A catch up with Frankie and the Witch Fingers". Bad Luck.
  18. ^ "ZAM". Bandcamp.
  19. ^ "Frankie & the Witch Fingers: ZAM Review". Paste Magazine.
  20. ^ "Frankie & the Witch Fingers - Zam Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic" – via www.allmusic.com.
  21. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Pleasure". Sly Vinyl.
  22. ^ "New Frankie and the Witch Fingers 'Cavehead' 7" + Video!". Greenway Records. 10 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Frankie's monstrous new LP "MEPEM" is out now!". Greenway Records. 2 October 2020.
  24. ^ "New Music: Frankie & The Witch Fingers new video and album news". Shindig. 7 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers announce Levitation Sessions Live Film". Greenway Records. 18 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers Share New Single, Cookin'". Moof Magazine. 16 October 2021.
  27. ^ "Frankie and the Witch Fingers Bio". Big Hassle Publicity.
  28. ^ "Frankie And The Witch Fingers Announce 2022 Headline US/Canada Tour Dates". Broadway World.
  29. ^ "Frankie and The Witch Fingers". Jambase.
  30. ^ "Oct 06, 2019: ZZ Top / Cheap Trick / Frankie and the Witch Fingers". Concert Archives.
  31. ^ "[Live Report] Frankie & The Witch Fingers et Clavicule au Supersonic (Paris)". Benzine Magazine. 20 August 2022.
  32. ^ "The Return of Porno for Pyros". LA Weekly. 6 July 2022.