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Let’s be Frank



Frank Smith of Austin, Texas, is an enigma, being that it’s not a person, but a band.

Naturally, front man Aaron Sinclair has had to deal with a good bit of confusion concerning the name.

“I have been called Frank by people before,” Sinclair said. “That always gets a little weird.”

There’s not — nor has there ever been — a Frank in the alternative act, but frustration with losing out on its original tag of LaGuardia compelled Sinclair to adopt the full name.

“I figured we might as well change it to something that I would never have to change again and couldn’t be copyrighted by someone else,” he said. “That was the most pedestrian-sounding name I could think of.” With Sinclair being the group’s only original member after a move from Boston to Austin, the solo-sounding moniker is somewhat fitting.

A brand-new lineup helped write and record Frank Smith’s latest album, “Before You Were Born,” which will be unveiled within the month; free downloads of select tracks are already available on its website.

“It’s definitely a different band than what played on the last record. That’s a common thread in a lot of Frank Smith records,” Sinclair said. “[In] Austin, there’s just so many players and so many bands, a lot of people move around a lot. It’s been fun and challenging to keep a group of guys together.”

Those lineup changes have been accompanied by just as many shifts in musical styles; while things have always stayed somewhat folky and Southern, “Before You Were Born” marks a more drastic move toward a more rock-oriented noise à la Dr. Dog or Delta Spirit. Hopefully, it will prove to be the secret weapon the band has been seeking over the course of eight albums, dating back to 2002.

Said Sinclair, “I’m not trying to make the same record over and over again.”

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