Interview by Danny Coleman
“We’re from Nashville as a band but I’m from New York,” said an enthusiastic Elena (pronounced EL-uh-nuh) Franklin as she discussed her band Reality Something and their upcoming September 13 show at The Saint inAsbury Park, NJ. “I am so excited to play in Asbury Park! I’ve not been to the Jersey shore since I was a kid with a friend’s family I think it was; so we are looking forward to it.”
Nashville based but assembled from parts all over the U.S., the band came together through some spur of the moment actions and the timing of guitarist Kingsley Brock. Franklin could not help but laugh as she recounted how it all came to be.
“Kingsley the guitar player, I met him while I was living in Los Angeles and I moved to Nashville like a psychopath after only knowing him for three weeks so that I could hang out with him,” she started with a giggle. “He was in another band at that time and we were living with two guys from a band called The Weeks and they were gone all of the time on tour and I didn’t know anyone so I learned guitar because there were a lot of guitars in the house. I just started learning guitar and writing songs and right around the time I was getting serious about it, Kingsley ended up leaving his band so we started Reality Something and made it our main focus. I found Ethan Place our drummer because somebody literally mentioned his name and I just started stalking him until he agreed to come over and play with us (laughs) and Bill Grasley we found through friends of ours up in Wisconsin. He was in a band called The Traveling Suitcase but he really wanted to move to Nashville; Bill is an incredible guitar player and he does us a favor playing bass but I think he likes it (laughs).”
Reality Something; what’s with the name? According to Elena it’s sort of being in the moment as in looking at things as they are or just accepting situations for what they are and as they arise, or as she says, “If that makes sense let’s go with that. I get this question all of the time and I’ve never really come up with a good answer for it other than; look, if you switched around the name and made it, “Something Like Reality,” that’s what it really is; like what is this whole thing? We don’t know (laughs), it’s something, something like reality!”
With a self-titled EP in the books which was recorded several years ago, they have recently released a full band, full length disc and this also has a right place at the right time feel to it; especially as to how timing once again caused a relationship to blossom.
“Life Noise” is a full length, it’s our very first full length and it’s our debut record. We released it on May 4 onInfinity Cat Records here in Nashville. We found them or maybe they found us, we’ve always probably sort of known of each other, well we knew of them and I’m pretty sure they had some idea of who we were and their offices are located in a place here in Nashville called Fort Houston which is what they call a, “Maker’s Space” because people literally make stuff like pottery or wood working and there’s a big art gallery in the back which is where their offices are and I had my first art show there last November in that gallery. So they watched me and my friend who is a photographer as we put up the art show and we’d been doing it all month and right around that time was when we finished the record and my friend Jenna who is in the bandDaddy Issues who are on Infinity Cat gave them the record, they liked it and since they had been watching me all month it just all sort of fell into place.”
Geologically speaking, the amount of time the band has been together is a blink of an eye but for Elena it’s been a total growth process for both her and the band.
“We’ve been together a little over three years,” she said with definition. “We put out a self-titled EP in August of 2015 and then started playing together a little later that year.” I was the principle songwriter for the EP and the record; I sort of wrote the songs bedroom style but really I was in a freaking basement where we lived (laughs). It was just me and my guitar and then I’d bring them to Kingsley and he’d add his guitar parts and help me rearrange them and really bring them to life with his guitar because without him they are just four chord songs. Then everyone else would add in their parts on drums and bass and we’d work the songs out like that but the stuff we are working on now is way more collaborative and the next thing we’re going to do is probably an EP and this next one is really Kingsley’s project; he’s doing most of the songwriting and arrangements so I’m excited to see what we come up with.”
Getting ready to set out on the road can be a daunting task for any band, for Elena it’s a homecoming of sorts with dates in Jersey and New York City but she’s not worried at all about the unit as it’s only a week or so away from their current home. “It’s a two weekend kind of thing; we’re going to play Philly, Brooklyn and Asbury Park and then the next week maybe Pittsburgh and then Milwaukee and a little festival and then to Appleton, Wisconsin. This is the first time that the band is going to play in New York and then we have a couple of days to hang out; I go all of the time but I’m excited to have them along this time.”
When asked what one can expect when attending a Reality Something show, she offered a very upbeat response, “We’re a rock band, I usually say we’re alternative but it’s just a really honest rock show and we definitely have fun.”
The Saint is located at 601 Main Street in Asbury Park, NJ and to attend this event you must be 18 years and older. The show starts at 9:30 with an $8 price tag per ticket.
To discover more about Reality Something, please visit www.realitysomething.com.
Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)