Bilmuri interview: “Nothing out there sounds even close to this album”
Bilmuri, the brainchild of Johnny Franck, has been picking up steam with a run of kick-ass releases in recent years. Franck, formerly of Attack Attack!, has shown he can craft killer songs in whatever genre he tries his hand at. Bilmuri began with a sound based in punk and hardcore, but recent albums have moved towards an ambient and experimental vibe.
Earlier this year Franck dropped the Frame LP, which basically sounds like the album The Cure would release if they grew up playing hardcore and suddenly chilled the fuck out. Not content with one stunning release for the year, Franck is about to drop the follow-up, which is apparently called Banana (nom). We’ve heard the first taste of this delicious and vitamin-packed LP with the Wave single. Franck filled us in on all the deets about the new material as well as the advantages of doing a tonne of drugs and Pop-Tarts in the studio.
Franck gets dank about guitar effects
OK we are a gear/tech website so we’ll start with a nerdy question, what’s your fav guitar effect and why?
“I love stereo chorus it can take a normal sounding riff and make it sound really smooth and give it dank vibes.”
You hinted at a new direction on the upcoming album, can you tell us more about the style(s) you’re exploring with that?
“Yeah I just started doing a bunch of drugs so it’s really just a recording of me sitting in a room eating pop tarts. FR tho (hate that term) I wrote four albums of songs in a similar style using a similar sound palate and on this one I mess around with more electronics mixed with heavy aggressive guitar riffs.”
Franck also gave this insight to fans on Facebook about the new album on Wednesday:
“Just letting ya know Banana is an album of experimentation. It’s pretty off the wall but I love it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously which I also enjoy! Once I finished this album I thought. Nothing out there sounds even close to this. Basically I just want you guys to think I’m cool. Just kidding but I really want you to hear this album!!”
On a scale of stoked to really, SERIOUSLY FUCKING stoked, how stoked are you for the new album?
“Haha I can see you’ve been reading my Twitter. I hate when every band says that. I know that it sells records but you can’t be equally stoked for anything let alone every album release. That being said I’M SO ST0AKED DUDE.”
Why do you play all the instruments on Bilmuri recordings?
“Because I don’t trust anyone with my music and I’m way too particular on the way I want things to sound.”
“I honestly love the way rappers just release whatever the fuck they want”
You have a very rapid release schedule for Bilmuri, which is the total opposite of what most bands do these days. How do you keep the (awesome) releases coming so quickly?
“Most bands are doing it to make money and they are on labels so they have to think about that. I honestly love the way rappers just release whatever the fuck they want. So I’m going that route. When I’m old as fuck I want to know I spent my youth putting out as much music as possible.”
Frame was an interesting chance of pace, with a lot less heaviness, more synths and ambience etc. What inspired the move into that kind of territory?
“I just came out of a real shit time in my life and frame is more reflective so I wanted to use glassy synths and guitar riffs.”
How often does Bilmuri do live shows? How big a focus is live work compared to studio releases for the project?
“I like playing live shows but, I’m in love with songwriting. Songwriting is my life’s passion, I’m obsessed with it. I view live shows a side thing to for fun and to get me out of the studio every once in a while.”
Why Bilmuri fans are a big part of the project
Can you talk about your relationship with fans and why you continue to make such an effort to engage with them over and above what most bands will do?
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I love if they didn’t take the time out of their day to listen to me. Plus honestly I’m a pretty lonely dude and I have a lot of nights where I don’t have anyone to hang out so I post shit on the internet to get some human interaction.”
You just dropped a crushing new song from your side project The March Ahead (now on Spotify). Creatively and songwriting wise, how does your work with The March Ahead fit in with (or differ to) your work with Bilmuri?
“I think TMA is more for metal/heavier riffage. Bilmuri is more just an extension of my soul.”
Can you speak a bit about the experience working with Jarrod Alonge on the Crazy Eighty Eight EPs? I imagine it must have been exciting to see him break out with such amazing original material.
“Yeah working with Jarrod is the shit man. It’s too fun.”
Have you got any upcoming production/mixing/etc releases you can tell me a bit about?
“The new Bilmuri album called Banana comes out October 11”
** Pre-orders for Banana kick off today! Watch the Bilmuri Facebook page for details.