Interview with Singer & Guitarist Kurt Frohlich (Riley's L.A. Guns, former Faster Pussy Cat)
By Mick Michaels
Cosmick View: Hello, Kurt! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thanks for taking some time out of your day to speak with us. It's greatly appreciated.
Kurt Frohlich: I really appreciate you having me.
Do you think diversity for an artist is crucial for career survival? Or does
only working within one's own wheelhouse have a level of merit?
KF: I have done a fairly wide variety of projects in my career and I’ve been playing professionally since I was 18. I’ve stuck with mostly rock and roll but I think doing different things keeps you not only working but interested as an artist. If I only played in a couple different projects I think I would get bored playing the same material.
CV: You have worked with a number of notable performers, including Faster Pussycat, Marky Ramone, and Riley's L.A. Guns, which will release a new album later this month, "The Dark Horse." How did working on a solo effort differ from working in a band situation for you? Were there greater challenges to overcome?
KF: Working in a group situation is definitely a different process. With Riley’s L.A. Guns, we bounce ideas off each other not only in pre-production from home, but in the studio when recording. I think it has given us depth in our writing and sound. I’m always writing and recording music in my home studio so it’s almost second nature to me now but this will be the first time releasing a solo album. The main thing that has been different is I am on my own timeline so I can take time to listen to material and make changes if I feel it needs something more or different. With my new album, “1977” I had a focused vision of what I wanted so I just went for it.
With the "The
album now available as of January 22nd and the recent unfortunate and
untimely passing of founding member and drummer Steve Riley, what does the future hold for the
remaining members? How do you see Steve's
living on and how will you remember him?
KF: We are taking it day by day. We had one last show on the books which we were up the air about. We tallied with Steve’s wife Mary and she gave us her and her son Cole’s blessing to do the show. We all thought Steve would have wanted us to do it. We dedicated it to Steve and made it a tribute to him. It was tough him not being there but I think it went well, mainly due to the support and understanding from our fans. Steve is a rock and roll legend. He worked his ass off and loved playing the drums. He had no ego whatsoever and treated everyone with respect and equality. I never heard him talk bad about anyone and that’s the reputation he left after he passed. I miss him.
Has the current music soundscape become nothing more than a rehashing of what's
already been done…like so many critics want us to believe? Is there fresh music
to be heard still?
KF: Most things have been done in rock and roll but a good song is a good song. No matter what sub genre it is if it’s good, it’s good. I think trying to duplicate old catalog is pointless and not moving forward. With RLAG we have always had the attitude of “keeping our ears a little in the past and our eyes on the future.”
Are critics ever right in your opinion or are their voices just “white noise”
to an artist? Does what they say ever affect you?
KF: Music is subjective so it’s all personal preference. I don’t let things affect me from social media or press. There are always people talking shit about anything or anyone in this online world, so I always ignore it and just do my thing and hope it connects with some people.
Tell us a little about your upcoming solo album, "1977." What do you feel is the
defining aspect of the album that separates it from the work you have done with
the aforementioned bands on previous records?
KF: It’s different from what I have done in the past. It’s still rock and roll but it’s very influenced by the 70s punk rock I grew up on…very stripped down to a simple catchy punk rock vibe. Playing guitar for a short time with Marky Ramone of the Ramones, I learned a lot. I took some of these things and put them into writing and recording of this album.
How does an artist avoid genre labeling when it comes to true creative
expression in your opinion?
KF: That’s a tough one. I just write what I feel and what I think is cool. I’ve learned if you over think or try to imitate a genre or time period because you’re worried about sounding outdated it will sound unauthentic.
Are genres that important for an artist, or are they just industry marketing
ploys to divide, conquer and generate sales?
KF: I think it helps with marketing but when I listen to something that’s labeled “rock” on some streaming, some stuff isn’t rock. There’s so much music out now that it’s just over saturated the market.
What's been the greatest lesson you learned being an artist in a band?
KF: Be open minded, listen and learn from your fellow musicians. A lot of guys I’ve played with have been doing it longer than I have and on huge stages around the world touring with legendary bands. You can always learn more.
What more can fans expect to see coming from you throughout 2024?
KF: Like I mentioned, we’re taking RLAG day by day. Steve was very proud of our new album, "The Dark Horse," and so are we. We want people to hear it. My solo album "1977" will be out this year with a single out very soon. I’m already writing and recording a new album in a little bit different genre that I’m used to and I’m loving how it’s turning out. I’m a full time musician so I’m always playing somewhere. All my dates and other info is on my brand new website www.kurtfrohlich.net
CV: Thanks again, Kurt, for taking the time to share with our readers. We wish you all the best and continued success. Thanks Mick, I really appreciate it.
Check out Kurt
Golden Robot Records: https://goldenrobotrecords.com/golden-robotrecords/kurt-frohlich/
Riley’s L.A. Guns: www.rileyslaguns.com
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