Ask a few people to classify an artist into one genre and you’re likely to get a diverse range of answers.
Asking the artist herself should be an easier task, seeing as no one is more familiar with her music, but Frankie Rose refuses to give herself a label. To this Brooklyn-based musician, her songs transcend a specific genre mold that others might give her.
“I’ve been called so many things,” Rose said. “I can tell you what I don’t think it is. I don’t think it is garage rock. Somehow, along the way, I gained the reputation of being a garage rock songstress that I don’t believe is true. Nor is it lo-fi. It’s actually the exact opposite. I just let people do what they want to make of it. It’s not my job to put it in a box.”
Rose has been in New York for eight years working in the service industry and performing in several bands like Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and Crystal Stilts. She said her career has always just “sputtered along,” but she is now touring with English indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. The two acts are slated to perform at Newport Music Hall Wednesday, with the doors opening at 7 p.m.
“The whole crew has been so nice and generous and professional and it’s been amazing,” Rose said. “Franz Ferdinand is the first support tour I’ve ever done. It’s a different perspective and it’s great, actually. They have a lot of roots in the sounds that I like to do, and they’re more of a straightforward rock band, but I have music and records that are along that line as well.”
This is not Rose’s first time in Columbus, as she performed in Columbus with Crystal Stilts in 2008, Vivian Girls in 2009, and Dum Dum Girls in 2010. Rose released her first solo single “Thee Only One” under the moniker Frankie Rose and The Outs in 2009, but is now performing as Frankie Rose.
“I see a difference even from the last record to this record, whether it’s better or worse, I’m not sure,” Rose said. “Is it different? Yes, and what’s going to happen next, actually, I have no idea… You can hope that you’re growing and doing something innovative and interesting for yourself, but sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a crapshoot.”
Derek DuPont, a fourth-year in communication and co-founder of the Columbus Songwriters Association, has never heard Rose’s solo work before, but is slightly familiar with her work with Dum Dum Girls.
“I heard a cover song that they did, I’m not sure what it was, but it was really good,” said DuPont, who plans to attend the concert.
Amjed Osman, a second-year in finance, said he thinks Rose’s song “Sorrow” from her latest album “Herein Wild” sounds like a lot of songs that are being released and liked it.
“If I bought music from iTunes, I would buy it,” Osman said.
Rose said it is very important to her that her songwriting comes from within.
“I’ve never really written music for anyone else but myself, and there is not one single song where I was trying to convey something to certain people,” Rose said. “I just happened to make music and thank goodness, people are interested in listening to it.”
For six years in San Francisco, Rose worked as a bike messenger. After that, she worked “a million terrible jobs,” bartending and serving coffee. All the while, Rose was always playing music.
At this point in her career, there are times when Rose said she still thinks of going back to bartending, simply because of the non-committal aspect of the job once she is done for the day. Being Frankie Rose the musician, though, is a full-time job.
“It’s equally a job as much as it is being a teacher. I work probably 60 hours a week, I’m sure. It’s not always just making music. There are so many sides to it that (are) not even creative at all,” Rose said. “It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade it.”
Times like these, when it’s easy to feel washed out, Rose said she thinks of her favorite musicians, who have produced many albums in their musical career.
“I’m not going to stop because it’s not just a hobby,” Rose said.
General admission tickets for the show are available for sale from Ticketmaster for $36.35 each.