Interview: Michael Franzino Of A Lot Like Birds Talks alone. And More


alone. is a side project from Michael Franzino, guitarist for post-hardcore outfit A Lot Like Birds. Last summer saw the project funded entirely by fans over at indiegogo. Here, watch the video in which Franzino explains why he wanted to do the project:

I drove down to Springfield, Missouri, to not only watch one of my favorite bands live, but also to hang out with A Lot Like Birds. These guys are truly a bunch of characters who genuinely care about what they do and who supports them. I had the chance to catch up with Mike to discuss the side project, playing barefoot, and being on various tours.

Hey Mikey, so, first question, when is the alone. project coming out?
That’s a hard question to answer; I finished tracking literally the day before we came up here. I had a vocal part I needed to redo because of click bleed but it is such a hugely in depth project that mixing is unforeseen how long it will take. I actually just feel really bad for my producer [laughs]. But I am looking for the first week in June.

How has that affected writing for A Lot Like Birds, if at all?
It has affected it unfortunately. I thought the project would take the two months that I took out to write it and then two months after that to finish it. It ended up being such a huge thing that it was like a six to seven month endeavor. We (A Lot Like Birds) have already started writing for the record and that will be what we do as soon as we get back.

Has any of the alone. project bled over into the new A Lot Like Birds? I know alone. is focused on the more pretty side of your music.
If anything, it was kind of an indulgent experience for me to get that out of my system. Mainly because I was concerned that I wasn’t getting to express a lot of that kind of stuff, or as much as I wanted to with the Birds’ records, so being able to do that will hopefully allow me to play upon this band’s strengths.

Are there any significant themes you are allowed to discuss for alone.? You and Cory discussed motifs for No Place. Is it more free will?
I think the general commonality in it is it is mostly about feelings of loneliness, as you can imagine being in a cabin for two months by yourself. Generally that, I kind of look at the entire project as method acting, putting yourself into a situation that forces you to live within something you want to be inspired by.

How has this recent tour been?
Very good. We are actually out with a new bassist right now and he is wonderful. Everybody is having a really good time. It brought the band back together in a really cool way.

Are you stoked for the Enter Shikari tour coming up?
I am, we are going to be playing some of our favorite rooms, very good crowds. The Enter Shikari guys are super nice and it will be fun for sure.

How do you play barefoot? Have your feet ever been involved in any accidents?
[Laughs] I am actually very clumsy, especially with my many, many pedals. Wearing shoes does not allow me to hit them as accurately or the way I want. My feet have seen some cuts and dirt, but otherwise it’s second nature.

Have you heard any of the new I The Mighty album? I know it has not been released yet, but they are your brother band in a way.
We’ve heard a bit and that band is going to blow the fuck up.

Speaking of that, how was being on Warped Tour? I know you and I The Mighty split the dates.
It was awesome. Our label EVR was offered a spot for a band to partake in the tour and I remember them telling me, “I can’t pick one over the other, that’s too hard.” Instead we split the dates with them.

You guys got most of the home show crowd in California though, I want to work Warped someday.
Yeah, we did, it was a blast. Honestly, if you really want to work Warped, you just have to be there and show up constantly. Last summer one of our friends really wanted to go on the tour and was hanging around the first few dates. it just so happened one of the bands needed a new merch guy. Word got around and he was offered the position, but he had to stay in the trailer. He did. A few days later someone offered to make room for him.

That’s a crazy story. Any last words?
Not that I can think of, I suppose just look out for a single dropping for alone. around May 1st. Oh, and also I just got a really great artist everyone should check out. His name is Marco Mazzoni and he’s going to be doing the album artwork for alone. and he is amazing.

Be sure to check A Lot Like Birds on tour with Icarus The Owl, and their upcoming tour with The Marmozets, Hundredth, Stray From The Path, and Enter Shikari.

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