Random Recipe - Meet Colorful Frannie Holder
Last week, Random Recipe released their second album Kill The Hook and got their name everywhere on the web and on paper. They gave a very incredible performance on October 8 at La Tulipe, and gained a lot new fans (one is writing these lines at this moment).
But, what happened before this? Where were they doing? I had the privilege to talk to the very colorful Frannie Holder, singer and co-founder of Random Recipe. Here's what she had to say:
(Photo credit: MJ Cromp)
IX: Why Random Recipe?
F.H.: We created it before having a band. We were really young, Fab and me, well, really young… we were like 21. We were talking on the phone about "what if we had a bar name, or a cooking show name, or a band?" And we said Random Recipe as a joke, because a lot of random things were happening in our daily life, and we thought that music is a little bit like a recipe: you add different ingredients and you get a song. And one time, Fab and me went to a 5$ concert, and at the door, they asked for 5 bucks, and Fab, being cocky, told him "If we sing a song, in exchange, can we get in for free?" because it was an open mic night. The guy asked by whom and she told him "Random Recipe!" So, Fab used what we were saying for fun on the phone. The performance was filmed and was posted online.
IX: Oh, wow.
F.H.: Yeah, and we were stuck with that name after that.
IX: It's also kind of random how you got that name.
(Photo credit: Local 9)
IX: How did you all meet? Where did you begin?
F.H.: Well, Fab and I met randomly on the street, then I saw her at a Stars, Montag, The Organ show a long time ago at Montreal's Just For Laughs Cabaret, and I saw her again on MySpace, through friends of friends, on her personal MySpace page. I'm kind of afraid to go back on my own MySpace because it's probably humiliating. Whatever.
F.H.: We started to talk online, and months later, we started to hang out together. We worked together at Urban Outfitters. I went on a trip in South America and I bought a guitar there, and six months later, I came back, and Fab and I started to jam together with this guitar. So that's how Fab and I met. A year later, when we had to do a very important show, and we decided to do collaborate together for more shows, and they were more and more important. And one time, we got booked at a festival, and we didn't know what it was, and I understood it was an outdoor performance in front of at least 400 people. I kind of freaked out, so I decided to call Vincent, my childhood friend's brother, and that's how I know him, and he joined the band 24 hours before the show, with Liu-Kong, with who Vincent went to elementary school/high school with him. It goes waaay back and they had a band in high school named Mes Voisins En Peuvent Pu [My Neighbors Can’t Take It Anymore].
IX: *laugh* What is the band's biggest influence?
F.H.: It's really hard to say, because we all have different influences, which is probably why we have our own sound.
(Photo credit: MJ Cromp)
IX: What is the band's greatest accomplishment so far?
F.H.: I think I'm gonna give you a boring answer, but I would say the second album we did. The first one was like Snakes and Ladders, it was super easy, but this album was harder, because we are now grown ups and Vincent became a father. It's a lot, a lot of work being in a band. It's a full-time job that doesn't make a lot of cash, so you think about it if you want to go on and do a second album or not. We've done 200 shows at that time and we started to get on each other's nerves like a family that comes back from vacation. It wasn't easy because there were a lot of tensions in the band and we didn't want to do the same thing for the second album, but we were able to create something that we are all satisfied with.
IX: Did you study before?
F.H.: Vincent and Liu-Kong have abandoned their studies in music. Liu-Kong was in percussions at McGill and at the Conservatoire. Same for Vincent: guitar jazz, but I think they never completed their degrees. Fab and I studied in other fields. I think Fab was in translation at Concordia. I finished my degree in political science.
(Photo credit: Madly Juicy)
IX: Is there a show that you've done more memorable than the others?
F.H.: I think… probably… there are a lot of them, you know? I would say Iceland. We were playing before SBTRK, which is a very very very big influence on our music. There's a lot of reference to them in our music. The show was in front of 800 or 900 blond heads. Like, it was just weird. It's like, you come on stage, and you ask yourself "Why am I playing here?" and maybe they don't know you, but they were really into it. There were really happy to see us play. And on top of that, they are all beautiful people, so that was intimidating. So that was fucking weird. We also performed for the first time on an outdoor scene for the Montreal Jazz fest. We were replacing a rapper that was stuck at the frontier and couldn't make it. They called us 24 hours before and they asked if we could do it. We accepted, and we learned it was in front of 5000 people. At that time, we didn't have a manager, a record label or even an album. So that was something.
IX: Wow, okay.
F.H.: There were also a couple of Quebec shows in very small venues of 80 people where things happened that were memorable, you know? Like something magical and wild happens in the room. These were my favourite shows. Little shows that like… you're in the moment. It's nothing extravagant like playing in front of 300 000 people at Canada Day. But it's nothing like a small stage where there's sweat and something happens.
(Photo credit: Boquébière)
IX: Yeah, I totally get you. Can you describe me the band in one word?
F.H.: Oh, my fucking god.
IX: *laugh* Maybe in two?
F.H.: Oh, shit… Hum.
IX: It can be any word.
F.H.: Wild. I think. Wild.
IX: Yeah, I agree.
F.H.: It describes our music, our personality combined together, both on stage and on record. Yeah, wild. And we are wild. God. I had a concussion after the album release party. I partied so hard, I ended up in an ambulance at the end of the night.
IX: Wow, really?
F.H.: Yeah. Right now I stay in bed for two weeks, and they asked me if they should ask someone else to do the interview and I said, "No, it's the only thing I'm allowed to do for two weeks. I'm not even allowed to fucking watch TV, so please, let me have this interview." So yeah, we're very wild.
(Photo credit: MJ Cromp)
IX: Do you write your own songs?
F.H.: Yes! Yes, of course!
IX: You know, a lot of artists do not write their own songs.
F.H.: Yeah, it's funny, because I don't understand people who don't write their own songs. I don't get people who are only singers. I just don't understand. I wouldn't know how to do that. We write our own songs. It must be weird. It's like karaoke in a way. But for us, it is complicated because we are four people to write. We write the beats, we write the arrangements, the thing that only two of us write are the lyrics, Fab and I. It's fucking long and harsh process.
IX: I understand. Hum, some people told me about your Christmas special concerts with cheesy ornaments and how you return everything after the show.
F.H.: Yeah, we do this every year. It's been three years in a row at Club Lambi where I work. It's feels like home you know? It's one of the show that just for fun. We buy for like 900$ of decorations that we bring all back the very next day at Wal-Mart. There's a cheesy buffet for 300 people. There's enough food for everyone, like crust less sandwich, small stuffed bread, etc. We also dress up and we integrate Christmas songs to our songs. We wanted to do one this year, but we are just too overwhelmed with work.
IX: I totally understand.
F.H.: It's a lot of work.
(Photo credit: MJ Cromp)
IX: You gain a lot of popularity so do you think it would be possible to do these kind of shows?
F.H.: Of course! Worst thing that could happen is that it's sold-out. But it would be so sad if we had to stop small shows like that. I would be very sad.
IX: I only have one last question for you: what is your favorite color?
F.H.: Oh well, that's not a bad question, because we always argue about that stuff in the band. To do this album, we need a central thread, a focus. So we told ourselves to think about a theme, or an object, but we never agreed on anything. And so Fab, the rapper, was always like: "Ok, just think of an animal and a color." And I told her she was really getting on my nerves with her fucking animal and you color. So we all had our own animal and color. I was a red cat. I prefer other colors, but it's a hard question! I've been thinking about it since I'm really young and it's really hard to choose one.
IX: Do you want to add something else?
F.H.: Not really… Halleluiah!
IX: *Laugh* Thank you for your time!
Random Recipe will be performing again in Montreal at La Société Des Arts Technologiques, presented by M for Montreal, and they are totally worth it.
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Main Picture credit: Madly Juicy