In the echelons of Australian Heavy Metal, Frankenbok sit high in the ranks as a true Australian institution. They have survived the highs & lows of a brutal industry, and in their 20th Anniversary, return once again with a new album and tour to celebrate all things “Bok!” I got the chance to catch up with long-time friend Azza Bok, guitarist and all round funny and down to earth nice guy from the band about being a band for 20 years and the new album ‘Vicious Lawless’ . We got to have a great chat as I asked about what’s more exciting. 20 year anniversary or a new album. Azza straight replies, “definitely the new album.”
Now, Frankenbok in their musical journey have had their share of lineup changes, but look pretty set in this current incarnation, so I wondered if this felt like a new band or something more. One of the great things about Azza, is his wit and great outlook on life, which he offered, “it feels kind of like the old band but supercharged with a flashy new paint job and those silver balls you see at of them Utes.” Armed with a fairly new singer, one questions how Dan handles the catalogue? Azza’s response oozes an exciting confidence, “Awesome because they were already familiar with the old stuff and put Their own flair on bits vocals are killer because Dan really can cover all the bits from the quirky don’t call me baby to the totally heavy stuff.” And the band have well and truly returned, armed with their latest offering ‘Vicious Lawless’, so when I asked Azza if there was inspiration behind the album or a theme, he shrugged “Dunno mate. There was some history in where it came from but I was just like sounds nasty like the record so go with it.” So it was a tricky album to record then? “It defiantly came with its hurdles but recording it ourselves and having Ricky our new guitarists mix it was a great way to do it was also recorded by Dan McDougall our ex-singer.” This response blew me away, as it’s rare to hear a band share a bond so strong, even with ex-members.
Now every band has a personal highlight on a new record, and I inquisitively asked so. The response was warm and proud, “hearing Dan White add his vocals to these songs that had been around for awhile it really brought the songs and sound together.” So, I had to dig deeper and ask about the drums & guitars on the record, as bands now use all kinds of technical tricks and bits. Is the Bok one those bands? “Yeah we didn’t edit shit. The drums weren’t doctored at all. We left all real playing and the same with the rest of it real guitar takes not drop in city all very human.” So, the band enjoys recording or touring? “We enjoy both I guess for completely different reasons. Recording is great fun, but very reclusive and self-indulgent, whereas touring is great to see all the people and old friends.” And with 20 years of Bokstory, one has to know, or at least ask of any memorable moments? Azza chuckles, “We had the singer from Darkcell come down and jam with the band! Ha-ha good times I also saw Rob Flynn’s cock.” Yes, I remember that time well. It was when the band was auditioning singers after Adam Glynn left. I sent a demo, the boys liked it, and next thing you know, I flew down to jam. It was still one of the best jams, being a fan and all. But one thing you learn about these guys is how down to earth and genuine they are, which is awesome.
So, is Frankenbok still labelled “Taco Metal” then? The deep wisdom of Azza Bok leans in “no we are more like the big beef burrito with a bucket of corona.” How can one argue with that? And the tour? What can the people expect? “A total fury of drums riffs yelling lighting and a vicious attitude with a Lawless good time yeeeeeer!” Yells triumphantly, a passionate Azza, as I find this statement believable beyond measure, and can vouch that if you get a chance, one must see the mighty Bok live for a true Aussie metal experience.
As we wrap up, I ask Azza for one final piece of Bok wisdom, or just a final thought, to which he responds, “Fuck the people and fuck the record! But seriously, cheers. Stoked to be getting amongst this shit again and what’s that thing ? Um it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice .” Frankenbok. Not just a band, but a way of life. Check out the new record and see them live dammit!