Interviewing Frances Cone

Frances Cone sounds like a name of some male singer song-writer, but they’re actually a indie-pop band based in Brooklyn. They played at a cute little venue in the Lower East, the Cake Shop as a part of New Music Seminar last week and awed the crowd with Christina’s mellow voice. Though they were on a tight schedule and arrived only 30 minutes before their set, Christina made time to answer some questions I had while chowing down on some bananas and sipping on white wine.

How did Frances Cone form?

I met Andy at the end of 2012 through a mutual friend. I needed a bass player so he came to my house and auditioned and was ridiculously attractive and definitely talented. I was like “yeah, you’re definitely in the band!” He’s known our drummer Alex since like 3 years old, so we have wonderful band photos of them hanging out at put-put when they were little. Jeff and Andy met earlier on Myspace back in 2006. Andy was in a Boston band and he wanted to play a show in New York, so he would just get on Myspace to find a band that want to share a bill with him. So that’s how they met, they started playing shows together.

What made you want to move to NY?

You’d go to elementary, middle, high school and then go to college in the same place, and then to me NY was next. It was just a natural progression in my 22 year old head. When I got here I didn’t know why I lived here. It took me about 2 years to get settled and we talked about moving recently, but I just can’t! I love it here so much. I love that it makes general anxiety that you just create in your mind that you cannot somehow make it in New York, because everything is hard to do, like going to the grocery store. The day to day difficulties make me calm down in a way. I drank a Red Bull just now and I have a lot of anxiety, so its weird for me to be saying that I’m totally calm and peaceful…Because I’m actually freaking the fuck out.

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Living in NYC for a while, what do you think about the indie music scene here?

It’s packed with artists. I feel like I know thats true, but I still get to do my thing. I don’t feel competition, is that crazy? I’m very committed when I’m in it. I want to be inspired by everybody here. I think it’s a great place to be in and meet people and make music.

Have you discovered any local bands that you’re into?

I love Lucius, they’re great! And so is Howard. Those are probably my two favorites right now.

Whats the best show you’ve played so far?

We played at Webster Hall last fall and I think it was sold out when we were opening up for Ron Pope and it was amazing. I don’t really get nervous for big shows like that, but I’m nervous now! And I’m pretty sure there’s going to be only 10 people there. I think for the big ones there’s so much weight to it that forces me to focus away from being nervous. And when it’s a small show, I find right beforehand that I’m like “Oh my god!”

What do you do to calm your nerves?

I eat bananas and drink white wine

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Is Rihanna a guilty pleasure? I’m a guilty pleasure person . I like Taylor Swift, she’s doing a really bang up job right now with the whole apple music thing. I really respect her, as a musician and as a person. I think she’s a good human in that she’s made really cool mature decisions.

Do you come from a musical family?

My mom is a classical pianist and organist and my dad is an opera singer. Thats how he met my mom and became a pastor later. My grandmother went to Julliard in the 30’s too. They’re very confused at what I do because they’re all classically trained.

What was their reaction when you told them about Frances Cone?

They’re really supportive.  I guess they always thought I’d go away. My grandmother sent me an article the other day that was in the back of the Charleston South Carolina paper with a tiny picture of a musician- and she was like “see, you can do music in SC too!” And I was like “Nonna- I’ve been in Vanity Fair and you don’t care! What are you talking about that I can do it there too?” (laughs)

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Frances Cone at New Music Seminar