Check out our interview with talented London band FRANSIS who just unveiled the first single from their upcoming EP. “Honeymoon” takes a fond look back on the sweetness of childhood rebellion and the sense of freedom and indestructibility you feel as a teen.

FRANSIS are a four-piece, London based alt/indie band made up of front woman and singer-songwriter Emma Withers, along with guitarists Alex Scott, Stefan Kotlarz and bassist Craig Rattray. Formerly known as Emma & the Idles, the band have been hailed as ‘Jessie J meets Joan Jett’, making a name for their balls to the wall approach to their sound and sharp songwriting style.

Follow FRANSIS @fransismusicofficial

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Day dreamer, Passionate, Impulsive

How did you guys meet and start in the business?

I was searching for good musicians who could nail the stuff I was writing at the time, me and Alex (lead guitarist) run the band and form the foundations of each song, we’ve worked together for years and have this intrinsic musical synergy, like those annoying people who finish each other sentences, it just makes sense.

How has this changed your life?

I think the release of this first single is the start of something really special, I’m proud of every single song on this debut EP, they all speak for something important, authentic and personal to me, so it’s amazing to know people are hearing; and hopefully relating to my truth. Since the release of the ‘Honeymoon’ single I’ve had a bit of a writing streak, the archives are growing for sure. This music is my waking thought, i’m a little one track minded with music so it really just IS my life.

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?

I’m a full time musician, singer, performer and songwriter, I started off by busking and using any avenues I could to get a name for myself around London as a half decent performer and it seemed to work, its a 24/7 job but I love it, this band is my passion so all the work gigs I do are to fund this (and pay bills from time to time ugh).

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Dramatic, Empowering, Relentless

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

Kate Bush full stop! I vividly remember the first time I watched Kate Bush, it rocked everything I thought i knew about being a performing artist, here was a woman, dancing like she was possessed, wailing over some really strange strings sounds and I was entranced, I don’t think there has been another artist quite as unique as her. I admire how unapologetically her she has been throughout her career, both in performance and in her absolute genius writing, she doesn’t get enough credit. It really has been a life long obsession, i’m so protective of Kate Bush!

Do you play any instrument?

I play guitar, just chords to accompany myself and write, nothing too wild

Do you ever get nervous?

I’m quite used to performing now so not usually, but if I was on a big festival bill or Jools Holland, something big scale like that i’d get butterflies for sure, I think nerves are good though they keep you focused and get the adrenaline pumping

Tell us about the new EP “Honeymoon?”

Where to start! We recorded this with Dave Holmes at lightship 95 who was an absolute legend to work with, this music is all about ballsiness and power, we went in with that in mind and rode it all the way through the recording process. Just when you think we’ve calmed down, it will explode again, so you never quite know where you are and I love that in music its just so exciting, and this EP isn’t an exception. I like the fact you can’t really place an overall genre on it, it shifts through elements of indie, pop, rock, grunge, alt, soul and hell even a tiny hint of metal, but you can still tell its us, which I think is quite special.

What’s the story behind the songs in the album?

I wrote a lot over lockdown, so for this EP I picked songs with a particular voice and story that I wanted to share as a collective, the core of this EP from a lyrical perspective is very much a journey of womanhood, the joys, the pitfalls, the beauty, the trials and the tribulations. Starting with the teen freedom and childhood rebellion track ‘Honeymoon’ this is meant to make you look back at those awkward teen years with a smile and maybe a slight cringe.

‘Pin me down’ tackles the heavy subject of sexual assault and male violence in society ‘when no-ones around and the crowds are gone and i’m all alone pin me down’ this was written during the Sarah Everard tragedy, there was a collective anger but also a beautiful togetherness which spurred me to write this.

‘Long Old Road’ which is tongue in cheek but very much about female strength and perseverance through stereotyping and expectation ‘I’ll hate myself then paint my face and go back to get more’, ‘Hold Onto Water’ which is a real woman scorned song ‘forget i’m somebody’s daughter, ignore what i just said’ and ‘Ticking Boxes’ which is the fun one about a failed relationship that wasn’t that great anyway and again about being done with having to meet expectations of someone else, ‘I was falling at your feet while you were just ticking boxes’.

I like to pick out lyrics to tell the story as i think that’s the best way to some it all up, all these songs have a very strong narrative and I picked them to share my story and perspective with others who may and probably do relate and especially with Pin Me Down, if that song can help one woman through any kind of traumatic event it’s done it’s job, like so many songs have done for me and that’s the beauty of music.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

It’s the simple things, when someone message me or comes up to me and says how a song got them through a difficult period, when someone recites a lyric that hit them in a certain way, i’ve received some amazing videos of kids singing in the kitchen and barbecues where people are dancing to the song i’ve written and it honestly brightens my day and warms my heart, as cheesy as that sounds its true.

What book should every entrepreneur read?

‘The subtle art of not giving a f**k’ by Mark Manson, it’s all in the mind right

What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

Please yourself before you please others and go after what you want, theres no need to justify it.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Stop feeling so weird about yourself, everyone around you has similar issues they’re just not talking about it, and the differences you do have are a blessing.

How would your best friend describe you?

The term goofy has been used a lot, not quite sure how to feel about it

If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

A MILLION AND ONE DISTRACTIONS – because theres always a million and one things going on in my head to get distracted by, that’s why writing is not just my passion but a necessity!

What’s next for FRANSIS in 2022?

We are holding an EP launch show on the day of release: 1st July. It’s going to be a great night celebrating with old and new fans and a real show of what’s to come for us, we’ll be playing some brand new unheard material and some classics and from here we’ll be aiming to take the next steps to further FRANSIS to bigger and better things.

What is your favorite healthy food?

Anything with peas!

And your favorite cheat food?

A good vegan burger and chips (Temple of Seitan preferably)

How would you explain your fashion style?

I like autumnal colours because its my favourite season I love a bit of grunge, I love a bit of preppy, but mostly i love that 70’s chic kinda look, I have a lot of that stuff, can’t go wrong with a bell sleeve and flare!

What is your own definition of happiness?

Being comfortable in your own skin, giving self love and self gratitude, and being confident in knowing no matter what life throws at you you will get through it, that inner grounding is happiness for me.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Kurt Cobain because he’s fascinating, I think it would be great to get an honest insight into his life which is surrounded by so much conjecture or Kate Bush but I think i’d get too star struck.

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

Anywhere steeped in historic culture with serene natural beauty, i’d love to do a trip round Asia at some point and i’d go with my boyfriend we’re great travel partners!

Best advice ever given?

Get out of your own way

Do you support any charity?

WWF Bukit Piton Forest Reserve for orangutans

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

Touring and making lots more music

Favorite song? Why?

I change it so often at the moment it’s ‘River’ by Leon Bridges

What do you think of Social Media?

Bittersweet, i’ve made long lasting connections with great people and its a great way to build and get out there, but as we all know it can be a really toxic environment at the same time.

Where we can follow you?

fransismusic.com

Instagram / YouTube / TikTok / Facebook / Apple Music

https://linktr.ee/fransismusic

Book: I know why the caged bird sings – Maya Angelou

Quote: ‘Not all who wander are lost’

Movie: Goodfellas

Tv Series: Queer Eye

Favorite Food: Pizza

Travel Destination: Italy

Sports Team: If i had to pick, Aston Vila, cos I’m a Brummy!