Frank Eats the Floor stands out in two ways.
First: It is one of the strangest band names in our local music scene. Second: The astonishingly young members show as much passion for music as anyone else in our local music scene.
We aren’t kidding when we say “young”: Bassist and lead vocalist Matt King and guitarist Aleks Romo are both in high school, while guitarist Joseph Beltran and drummer Frank Altamirano are in their first year of college.
So, what’s up with the name? During a recent interview, Altamirano explained it.
“Joe (Beltran) and I used to be in a band called The Power Strangers. It was literally just us two, and we sort of became this passion project that would invite other people to come on board,” Altamirano explained. “In our junior year of high school, we found some members who were willing to commit. We needed a name, and we learned that The Power Strangers was already taken, so we went through this really long and elaborate band-name generator that we found online. It asked a question about who was the leader, and I didn’t want to take full responsibility for this, but I finally bit the bullet and said I was the leader. One of the options it gave us was Frank Eats the Floor.”
How has the name worked for them?
“I think it’s stood out enough to where people remember us and go, ‘Oh, Frank Eats the Floor.’ I think it really stands out and matches our musical personality,” said King.
It has not been easy to be a band full of members who are not yet 21.
“The venues are the hardest part, but I feel like we’ve been doing a good job,” King said. “It’s hard to say, ‘Hey, we’d love to play this show!’ and they come back and ask, ‘Cool! What’s your age?’ It’s like, ‘Really man?’ It’s kind of degrading in a way. Just hear our music. It doesn’t matter what age we are.”
Altamirano said their ages have made it hard for the band to command respect.
“One of the problems we had when it was just me and Joe was being taken seriously,” said Altamirano. “While we are kids, we’re also really passionate about what we do, and we take this seriously.”
One of the band’s standout songs is “School Food Sucks.” Beltran explained where the song came from.
“Every time we play that song, it’s a lot of fun,” Beltran said. “I look at everyone’s faces, and Franky is smiling; Matt is smiling; and Aleks is smiling. It’s a fun song. There’s a lot of anger behind it, too. The way it was composed was Matt was having the worst day of his life; Frank was having relationship problems; and I was just kinda there the whole time and was like, ‘All right, guys! Let’s make music.’ Matt actually wrote most of it.”
King laughed when he remembered that jam session.
“I gave Aleks my bass and told him to play, because ‘I’m going to go angry for a second.’ But we’ve toned it down and made it into a really fun song,” King said.
Frank Eats the Floor recently released a four-song EP.
“Jerry Whiting at Room 9 Recording in Redlands did it, and his studio is in his house,” King said. “We spent eight hours up there one day last summer. We know him through the guys in Sleazy Cortez. None of us slept the night before, so we were a little groggy. We recorded five songs, and it was a fun time. We’re thinking about recording the other songs this summer.”
The members admit they’re still trying to figure out how to build their sound.
“Here’s how that works: We play at gigs and we notice how different we play. We go to practice and notice how different we play than when we’re in the studio,” Beltran said. “We took note that when we play live, we play at a faster tempo. Me and Aleks were listening to the guitar, and they’re not synched up, and there’s one slightly off beat. We have to touch it up and add a few things. We realized we polished some of the songs and that we’re more consistent in how we play some of the songs than others.”
Still, the members said they’re proud of how far they’ve come.
“The first time we invited Matt to jam with us, he played one note for the entire song,” Altamirano said. “He had just gotten his bass and had only been playing for a few months. He played open E for every song. I go back and watch that video, because it’s on my personal YouTube channel, and I think, ‘We have made it so far!’ The chemistry is there and I love it. When I fill in for other bands or jam with other people, it doesn’t feel the same or as good as jamming with these guys.”
For more information, visit frankeatsthefloorfetf.bandcamp.com.