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Interviewing Frances Cone
July 2, 2015 10:00 am

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

New Music Seminar Takes Over the Big Apple
June 30, 2015 1:20 pm

“Do you want to be part of the largest movement to build the music business- to be part of the community that is affecting change?”

As a music enthusiast, it’s important that you know about one of the most important music events in the city. Being able to attend the New Music Seminar this year, I’ve been really fortunate to be a part of the music business movement and to be able to engage with colleagues of the same interest.

By attending panels that tackled discussions such as the role of artist managers and where indie labels stand in the industry right now, I was able to expose myself to a range of knowledge and ideas that I wouldn’t have been able to answer myself. It was motivational seeing important music business individuals express their informed opinions and give us advice on how to handle situations. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited sitting through these discussions and taking notes like I was back in college studying for a test.

While these mind boggling topics of the music industry kept me occupied during the daytime, I’d have to say that I was pretty impressed with the festival performances that went on in the evening. The opening night red carpet was helday1_DIY-movementd at Webster Hall with an extensive line up of talented musicians including Alessia Cara, Fictionist, Bad Veins, Belmont Lights, Jay Stolar, Grace Weber, and Melanie Martinez. Although Webster Hall is one of my least favorite venues in the city, NMS managed to glam it up with a beautiful red carpet. The show started later than expected and I was pretty exhausted from all the waiting, but I was blown by the amount of talent I saw that night.

I discovered Alessia Cara for the first time and was astonished by her soulful voice. I was also taken aback by Belmont Light’s powerful stage presence; so much so that it was impossible to think a record label hasn’t picked them up yet. Expecting Melanie Martinez to make a grand entrance on stage as a last act, she peacefully strutted her way on stage with no shoes on while hardcore teen fans raged. Although she seemed reserved at first, her confidence projected through the room when she started singing. Her songs may sound depressing with lyrics like “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” but it gets pretty contagious and you’ll be singing it to yourself the next few days.

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The next two nights followed with an overwhelming line up of musicians who performed at DROM, Cake Shop, Pianos, and The Delancey. I ended up staying in Pianos for the first night seeing Little Racer, Lewis Lane, and Dear Rouge. Tuesday night had a line up which was tough for me to choose since my favorite bands were overlapping with each other. Most venues were pretty close to each other except for DROM, in which I exhausted myself running back and forth. I started the night with mellow tunes from Frances Cone, and checked out the indie-pop sister band Chaos Chaos afterwards right next door. I traveled all the way to DROM to see the last set of The Collection and made my way back to the lower east to see some Fort Lean because that Northside Festival showcase wasn’t enough for me. I definitely didn’t want to miss City of the Sun because no matter how many times you listen to them, they will never disappoint. There’s something about their tunes that put you in a euphoric state that leave you with the chills.

All in all, the New Music Seminar was a successful evening bursting at the windows and walls with talent, successful professionals, and innovative artists who live, breath, and work the ever-changing music industry!

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