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"An ethos carrying their music to a new generation “I feel like rock is alive and well, it’s just presented kind of differently.” - Frank Berry

Posted: June 20, 2024
The continued exploration of music allowed Berry to discover her own identity. “In high school, I joined and played guitar in another band that already existed.
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During an era synonymous with pop megastardom and influencer clout chasing, an exciting wave of new bands is revitalizing a frenetic approach to music, putting the tired, ‘Rock is Dead’ trope to rest. Straight from the heart of Hollywood, California, Frankie and The Studs are rising to the top of Los Angeles’s rock scene. Their sound is a sonic collision of CBGB’s in 1973, the melodic sensibilities of Paramore, with enough sleaze and sexuality to make it their own.

The backbone of the band, comprised of Frank Salazar on guitar, Lizi Gionangeli on bass, Nick Rossi on drums, creates the foundation for guitarist and vocalist, Frankie Berry, to run wild. Born into a rock and roll household, Berry is the daughter of guitarist Gilby Clarke. Although she’s following in the traditions of her father, the merit of her own ferocious talent is propelling her forward.

Long before the New York Dolls or any other record set sparks flying, a ubiquitous movie of her generation inspired her first group. “I saw School Of Rock when I was about ten or eleven years old.” Berry said. “I started my first band after that, which was an all-girl band called Sweet Gone Sour. I was always the shy kid in school. I never really spoke up in class or had lots of friends. That movie brought a bunch of us together and we wanted to do that. I started writing songs right away too. That was a way for me to express myself. Since then, I’ve developed a persona on stage and that’s a way for me to be whoever I want. School Of Rock alsoinfluenced that with how the kids have their rock alter egos and dress. I remember Zach was one of my big inspirations at the time being the shy kid who became a rock god.”

Berry’s interest in music grew with feverish intensity through her middle and high school years. Her mother, Daniella Clarke, a renowned fashion designer, helped spark her love of style alongside her discovery of David Bowie’s iconic sound and image. “I grew up loving glam rock.” Berry recalled fondly. “The music and fashion are so hand in hand like all of Bowie’s iconic looks. I wanted to look like that.” From the jump, these two worlds naturally coalesced for Berry. When Daniella Clarke traveled to shopping malls to meet potential buyers for her clothes, she would set-up an in-store performances for her daughter’s band to play. “We played in malls, our backyard, our classroom, and then, we got featured in Teen Vogue even though we weren’t teenagers yet (laughs)” said Berry.

The continued exploration of music allowed Berry to discover her own identity. “In high school, I joined and played guitar in another band that already existed. It was crazy how doing that, I got to show people who I really am instead of just the quiet girl in school. I made so many friends and had so much more confidence that year. It’s amazing how music can do that; finding your voice and what makes you feel confident translates to the rest of your life.”

That newfound confidence manifested in her musical influences in anarchic punk legends like Iggy Pop and The Dead Boys. Simultaneously, also loving newer bands such as The Strokes and Green Day. Upon graduation, Berry initially pursued English and Media Studies in college. Although she had a burning passion for rock and roll, she hadn’t decided on becoming a professional musician. “My senior year of college, I started putting out music just for fun” Berry spoke. “I put out a cover of ‘Hot Child In The City’ on YouTube and that’s what catapulted everything.

I started getting asked to play shows. I didn’t have a band, so I put a band together and went down to part time in school because I completed most of my credits. By the time I graduated, I said, ‘This is what I want to do’. Much to my parent’s dismay, they were hoping I would be pre-med or a lawyer or something (laughs).” As fate would have it, Berry’s new skills allowed her to create her own band logo, marketing ideas and further develop her unique voice in songwriting. Since releasing their first single, “High On Yourself” in 2016, Frankie and the Studs has steadily grown in popularity. Their blend of modern and vintage sensibilities has caught the attention of their heroes including Billie Joe Armstrong, The B-52’s and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols; all of whom invited The Studs to open for them. Touring with Armstrong’s side project, The Longshot, was the most surreal experience.

“I posted some picture on Instagram of Billie Joe and Joan Jett and said, ‘These are my parents’ Berry said in jest. “From there, he watched some of my videos and started following the band. When this tour came up, their management reached out to me and asked if we’d be interested in opening in this tour. I had no idea how he found me at first or when we went on tour if I’d get to meet him. The first night of the tour, I’m setting up for sound check, tuning my guitar and I felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was him. I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ He said, ‘I’ve been following your band for a while and I’m so glad you could do this tour with us.’ He was super sweet and that was the utmost compliment. ‘American Idiot’ was one of the first songs I learned on guitar so that experience was super cool.” Berry carries her success with a radiating humility and grounding gratitude not always found in music.

A profound sweetness living next door to the wild, onstage persona she’s crafted on stage. An ethos carrying their music to a new generation “I feel like rock is alive and well, it’s just presented kind of differently.” Berry explained. “That rock attitude is still alive with bands and I’ve noticed and influx of it in the past couple of years. When I first started my band, rock nights weren’t as popular. Now, there’s a lot of bands that might not be household names but can sell out decent sized venues. I feel like kids are hungry for that music because it’s raw and it feels more authentic I guess.” Frankie and The Studs upcoming single, “Bimini” will be released on July 11th. They are releasing their full-length album, Life’s A Glitch, on vinyl in late fall or early spring. For more information, visit www.frankieandthestuds.com




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