The Short Story:
The Anatomy of Frank, hailing from Charlottesville, Virginia, will record an album on every continent on earth. Their debut album, Pangaea, is the prequel to this saga, and has already landed them tours across North America, Iceland, Britain, and mainland Europe. Their concerts are laden with more suspense than a Hitchcock film, with long build-ups followed by silence that does not relieve itself until the grand finale. "These guys are a must see. Dynamic, sincere, entertaining, captivating, and upbeat. I’ll just come out and say it, they were my favorite." - Dance or Die
Jimmy and Kyle met in a record shop, where Kyle noticed that Jimmy knew an intimidating amount about an awful lot, particularly bands. Within three exchanges of words, Kyle asked him, “do you want to join a band and go on tour all summer?” (He said yes.) Jimmy plays guitar, saxophone, and keyboards. He is the secret weapon in The Anatomy of Frank’s “party animal” arsenal. Jimmy is the calmest member of the band, and yet has a record-breaking number of stories that end in “and then the cops came, and I walked away before they saw me.” He loves watching B-list horror flicks, sleeping on the floor, reading bathroom graffiti, and sometimes wearing glasses.
The average layman might think Chris to be the world’s model do-gooder. Perhaps the hardest-working drummer in the music industry, Chris teaches drums to whole universities, coaches at a Crossfit gym, researches everything, and helps old women cross the street. To those who know him, however, Chris is a reliable source of unthinkably lewd stories, action, and feats of demanding physical prowess. Often, Chris is the real boss during practice when Kyle worries that demanding another take would be tyrannical. In a typical week he has worked 60 hours. He bakes amazing gluten-free brownies.
Founder of The Anatomy of Frank, and a lover of the smell of paperback books. Most do not suspect it, but Kyle cannot remember any melodies he hears and has to write down nearly all musical ideas when they occur to him, or else they are lost forever. He lives in a cabin in the middle of the woods of central Virginia, and spends his time looking at maps, playing guitar, feeding a wood stove, and building mountain bike jumps. At any given moment he is usually dreaming about a foreign land and scheming a way to put on a concert there. He is the only member of the band with a mountain in his name (Mount Woolard. Google it now.).
Jonas, known among the band as Jo-nasty, created a bit of a flurry when he joined the band and learned all of the songs by heart in only a few weeks. This feat, combined with his status as the only Frankster with west coast cred, has given him a bit of a godlike status within the band. Jonas hails from Pasadena, California and is able to end genocidal conflicts with his smile. It is his life goal to be in a Sister Act 2-esque movie, in which he inspires a group of troubled children. He loves Christmas and giraffes, even though he is neither religious nor endorsed by giraffes. He is the only tattooed member of The Anatomy of Frank. Yes, it is a Harry Potter tattoo.
An enigma that continues to unfold even within the band, Erik seems to be a Russian-speaking, music-making, film-acting, dissonance-loving vegan who is every bit as enticing as his hair. If provoked, Erik can turn music into mathematics, introduce you to a band you’ve never heard of and will love, and charm you into playing notes on an instrument that you didn’t think could or should ever be played. He is a native of Richmond and has played rock, jazz, marching percussion, and innumerable other styles throughout his short life. A man of remarkable consistency, Erik seems to only have one mood: awesome.
The Long Story:
A combination of wanderlust and frenetic energy, The Anatomy of Frank are on the path to record an album on all seven continents on earth. Yes, this includes the uninhabitable Antarctica, where a rock album has never before been recorded. Lead singer Kyle Woolard says, “Albums like Black Paris 86 by Arms and Sleepers, among others, have been almost solely responsible for me going completely stir-crazy and buying an expensive plane ticket. I dream of places when I hear the music, and stories begin to form in my head.”
Their debut album, Pangaea, which combines atmospheric post-rock builds with catchy hooks (to arrive at the genre “post-pop”), was recorded in their hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia with producer Lance Brenner. It has already landed them tours across Iceland, Britain, mainland Europe, and North America, including most of the 50 states. Pangaea introduces a prelude to their continent saga: after all, it was the ancient supercontinent that predated all of the continents breaking apart. It represents separation, starting off sweetly and dealing with love, and ending with brooding, sprawling epics about distance. “I have been very inspired by wanderlust, particularly for places like Antarctica, Iceland, northern Canada, and other places like Sri Lanka and India.”
In Woolard’s second year at The University of Virginia, the dorm he lived in shut down for Christmas break. There was no heat, and everyone was gone because all of the students went home and weren't allowed to stay in the dorm. He hid out and stayed for two weeks to experience what it was like to be very cold and very alone. In those two weeks, he wrote the entirety of the Antarctica album. “I kept the lights out for most of the time too, to see what it felt like to live in darkness."
Once the band, which includes Erik Larsen (guitars/vocals), Jimmy Bullis (keyboards/ vocals), Jonas Creason (bass), and Chris Garay (drums) began touring, the North America album began to come together. In fact, they currently have three albums’ worth of material for it, and now must size it down to a manageable figure. Each continent has inspired a different mood for the band: North America has spawned a sprawling collection of songs, full of lengthy epics and nuanced post-rock. Europe and South America have their own stories, too. “It is in no way going to be a reflection of the music of the place,” says Woolard. “We're not going to make salsa music for South America, or tribal drum music for Africa. That would feel fake. It's merely a reflection of the feeling the place instills in us, whether it’s from dreaming about it, knowing the story of someone living there, or actually going there ourselves.”
Each band member provides their own unique relationship with the world: Garay retreated to Brazil for a month to study percussion, Larsen spent time in Russia during high school, Bullis is part Latino and visits family in South America and Europe, and Creason grew up on the opposite side of the continent. The quintet shows its respect for fans all over the world by surprising them with strange concerts: they have performed in a defunct grain elevator in northern British Columbia, a house show in the woods of Alaska, a tiny art gallery in the Arctic fjords of Iceland, and on the roof of a skyscraper in Minneapolis.
This is how the band absorbs inspiration for their music. This is how they plan to meet the world, one continent at a time. Each album will have its own personality—though no one knows yet what that personality will be—and they intend to not question why that is, but to just run with it.
- Megan Fisher, Green Light Go