Frankie forgets Hollywood - Frankie Muniz interview
PUBLISHED: 15:18 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:18 05 July 2013
When I speak to Frankie Muniz, he’s in the back of a van on the way to Worthing Pavillon, where he and his band, Kingsfoil, will be judging the finals of S’Koolfest. S’Koolfest is a Sussex-wide youth music talent competition, conceived and run by Northbrook College’s Music Department (affiliated with The University of Sussex).
Frankie is better known as Malcolm, the beleaguered lead role in the Grammy and Emmy award-winning American television show, Malcolm in the Middle. But for now, he’s put down his scripts, picked up his drum sticks and taken to the road, and he’s keen to tell us all about it.
“Tristan and Jordan grew up together, and Tim joined five or six years ago. I’m the newest member, having only signed up last April – and we’ve pretty much been on the road ever since.” None of the band has ever visited Sussex before, except Jordan, who vaguely remembers standing on Brighton beach as a child. “I remember it as a good place,” he says.
This tour will take in the bright lights of Guildford, Reading, Swansea and Hatfield, before heading back to America, for a very short break, before continuing the tour. Frankie is engaged to X, and has a dog, X, which are the two things he confesses to missing when out on the road so much. “But I do also worry about my mail. I have visions of it piling up and getting out of control – that’s what really makes me want to go back!”
In addition to his film and television career, Frankie also tried his hand at being a race car driver, but now serves as drummer for the US indie band, who released their second album A Beating Heart Is A Bleeding Heart, last September.
“I’ve played the drums since I was 12 or 13”, says Frankie of his musical background. He taught himself for the most part, (with guidance from old friend Zac Hanson, of the band, Hanson), but his family weren’t particularly taken with the idea of lessons. “None of them does anything musical, except maybe my grandpa, who does like to sing…but he definitely doesn’t sing well.”
Frankie confesses to always having wanted to be in a band, “but I never really knew how to go about it, until I sort of fell into it.” I ask him what the dream would be four the foursome – sell-out tours, a legion of fans, being bigger than the Rolling Stones? “Well yes, that would all be good, but really I just want people to hear the music, listen to the music and like the music.” I reply that with such a huge touring schedule, they must surely be on their way to achieving this. “You’re right, it’s the best way to get the music out there, for sure,” he says, and goes on to talk about what Kingsfoil are planning next. “We’re always trying to be ahead of the game, so in any breaks that we get, we’re putting together the next album, sorting out what we’ll be doing this time next year – it’s all go.”
As Frankie is the drummer, it crosses my mind to ask whether he sings, too. “Erm, a bit. No, not really – I haven’t got a great voice.” So there hasn’t been any romantic wooing or serenading? (I always imagine this to be the major advantage of being in a band – the romantic possibilities.) “Put it this way...” Frankie is sounding sceptical, and I fear my illusions are about to be shattered. “…If I sang to a girl she wouldn’t love me, so no, I’ve never put any girl through that – she’d hate me!”
As I try to move on from my disappointment, I ask about a possible return to acting, but for now it seems music is the name of the game. “I’m not saying no to ever acting again, but for now I’m just focussing on this, and seeing how it goes.”
After appearing in Worthing, Frankie has one day of exploring to do in Sussex before heading back to London – he says he and the band are heading to Arundel Castle for the day. “I’m excited to explore. Sussex is supposed to be a great place, so let’s hope it lives up to its reputation!” n