September 12, 2006

"Words From the Underclass - Frank and his Skunk Allstars"

What's hiding behind such a provocative and striking title? Is it a lousy copy or reissue of Marx's Communistic Manifesto, or even pre-revolutionary wish-wash, that is more than outdated because it's idea stick to ideologies from former times? No. Words form the Underclass will be the title of the new full-length release from Frank and his Skunk Allstars. Or, would it be better to say "Frank and his Skunk Allstars featuring the rest of the world?" Well, let's leave this question open for now, and let's start at the beginning.

Hatred of a Minute by Frank and his Skunk Allstars, the band's sophomore full-length release, which is being released right now was the beginning of something bigger. It was on this full-length that Frank was able to connect and combine the creativity and skill of 80 musicians, who came from more than 20 different countries to work together as a united force on this wonderful project. The album was recorded in no less than 8 different, unique countries, which shaped it's appearance to a large degree. The core, and thus the basis for the motivation to organize this logistic challenge, was the tiny little word "unity", which is often completely misunderstood and generally abused. It was all about the act of creating something new; something larger together by unleashing the creative energy not limited to national or cultural borders and boundaries. Although it was an extremely strenious, hard process, and though it took some time to sort things out, this record was realized playfully in relation to all of the difficulties such a concept brings along with it. Now, you can get a hold of the finished product from Long Beach Records Europe in Europe, Hairball 8 Records in the United States and Canada, and CR Japan in Japan and in Australia.

All the strain Frank put into this project was returned in a positive way from his steadily growing, and supportive fan base. Such moments as receiving mail from a boy residing in Iran made it clear that it is possible to achieve much more with music, besides allowing people to dance along, which alone tears down barriers and brings people together as one.

"Hey, i just want to tell you , that me Bekim come from iran ..I am proud to be a owner of your beautyful music dont know how strong it was to get your music here to iran ..i want to tell you that not all of us muslims are bad ..we want peace too .i really hope there will be a time that music groups like you can visit my country you helped me to get hope again much thank you for that.I promise you to save your music with my life ..sorry for my bad English but I wanted to write you this letter .your voice is my hope on tomorrow hope that we all can live in peace together one day" Bekim, 16 yrs, Iran

Always sticking to the motto, which is already mentioned and outlined in the intro to Hatred of a Minute ("If you act on that positivism it will be returned three-fold"), Frank has begun the planning phase for his next full-length album entitled Words From the Uunderclass. This new project will overshadow everything he has done so far and everything you have ever seen or heard before. So, what is the vision about?

The idea behind Words Form the Underclass is pure, simple, and unique. However, no one has ever realized the beauty of such a vision before. The new album is going to be an interactive album, one which everybody will be able to contribute his or her part to. Frank already announced his plans via (on which he has solidified a fan base of more than 61,000 fans) and received a lot of overwhelming, positive feedback. He described to his audience that anybody who wants to, anybody who thinks of themselves as gifted or talented, anybody who has to say something is able to send his/her lyrics, poems or little writings to Frank for the project Frank will then use their creative works and combine is musical ability to complete a final, co-operative, unified project. The hidden agenda is to let as many people as possible participate on this project, to neglect borders, and most importantly to bring all people together, regardless of their race, culture, beliefs or gender. It is all about unity, about sticking together, and about respect towards the other and love for one another. It is past-due to create an album as a team, to connect beliefs, energy and the spirit of hundreds of different people, in order to represent a community that wants to transform the world into a strong, more positive, more tolerable place. A community beyond prejudices, beyond distrust, but full of peace-loving people respecting each other for who they are. In addition to the texts that will be submitted, a picture of each contributer to the project will be put together to create a huge collage to show the world the faces of freedom-loving, gifted people. In addition to that, there will be an eighty page book attached to the full-length album. This book will act as a collection of poems, designs, pictures, photographic art and anything else people may submit to Frank.

Aditionally, all of the artwork for this project is meant to be designed by talented people that are interested in doing such a job, as a way to top this whole project off. But, there's even more to tell. Words From the Underclass will be a double-disc album. The first disc will contain 15 songs. These 15 songs will be the songs by Frank and his Skunk Allstars, all based upon the lyrics submitted by listeners. These songs will be the musical elaboration of their texts. The second disc will also have 15 tracks,and on it there will be 15 songs by 15 different bands. There won't be a genre regulation referring to the bands. Frank will feature the 15 songs that he he feels deserve the spotlight and attention. There will be 15 bands from all over the world on the second disc to give the whole CD an even stronger, global base. It's the aim to show the world the amount of unknown positive, creative energy yet to be discovered. Frank wants to erase the mindset that only accepts things that have already been established. He wants to create awareness for every artistic effort.

Finally, it's safe to say that Words From the Underclass will not end up as a lo-fi project, which may be a general assumption to due the level of unknown musicians featured on the second disc. Frank has always proved that Frank and his Skunk Allstars stand for high-quality and professional musical performance.

The people who feel that this project is doomed to fail could not be more inaccurate. Everything Frank has tackled in his life so far was brought to a wonderful and satisfying end, and the direction in which Words From the Underclass goes is already established on Hatred of a Minute. Everybody involved in this upcoming project knows that it will take longer than everything else they've done before, but they are all willing to take this ride together. Besides the support from Long Beach Records Europe, there's already a lot of help guaranteed from much-welcome sponsors including Irie Daily and Firetrap Clothing. There are also requests from various television
stations that would like to create a documentary on the making of Words From the Underclass and even charitable organizations such as Amnesty International have shown interest in supporting Frank on his mission to achieve an international understanding. By attemption to get 1000 people together to work on this project, Frank is also already aspiring to receive an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, as Words From the Underclass will be a full-length the world has never witnessesd.

So, we don't deal with retrospective flowery phrases when we observe this ambitious and highly moral work of art of the general public. It is actually the voice of people, the thoughts of many having the same ambition: communication with the other, respect for the other, appreciation of the other and acceptance of cultural, and individual differences, all without the need to assimilate them. Virtually, we're dealing with the ethics of those who have been silent until now. Words From the Underclass will give them the necessary basis to break the silence that was forced upon them.

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