Frank Ernest on the inspiration behind their album ‘One Time For The Mind’

Who is Frank Ernest? 

The band is vocalist Chak la Rock, bass guitarist Neb Malicious, guitarist Grooveya and drummer C-1.

Yet, some might recognize the nod to the classic line spoken by Samuel L. Jackson at the end of the film ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’. It figures in the name of the group as well as in the prelude of the ballad ‘The Way I Know You’ from their debut album ‘One Time For The Mind’.

Chak and Neb sat down to share their inspiration and a bit of the story behind the music.

Q: What’s the inspiration behind the name Frank Ernest?

Chak la Rock: We thought it was a catchy, funny name with a double meaning. A name that keeps things honest and real. No bullshit.

Neb Malicious: The name Frank Ernest to me is a survivor, a person who is taking a beating but not falling. A person who is ironic but not someone who takes their pain out on other people. Frank Ernest is the one you know will carry that banner through the hardest of times.

Q: How did your band meet?

Neb: La Rock and me met in school. Grooveya and I met at the maternity hospital and I met C-1 outside of the Betty Ford Clinic.

Chak: I met Neb in high school. We were in the same class. We got introduced by a mutual friend named Oliver Hallquist, who was forming a band and wanted us to join. Grooveya is Neb’s nephew. When Oliver moved to Lund, where he eventually started working with Poetized as Diplomatic, I met C-1 when I went down to visit.

Q: When and why did you start playing together?

Neb: Chak and I started playing in Twist And The Thieves. Right away we were in tune and wrote our jams fast and furious.

Chak: I always found that working on music with Neb felt easygoing. We are into different styles of music but we’re both open-minded.

Neb: C-1 and Chak had been playing for a while when Chak took me down south, where we fell into the swing and we’ve been building on it ever since.

Chak: We started playing in a band called One. When that came to an end, we brought in Grooveya and started Frank Ernest.

Q: What other musicians have influenced your style and why?

Neb: Punk wave because of the revolt, disco because of the groove and reggae because of both.

Chak: I could write a book concerning this question! I was heavily into Marvin Gaye and Hall and Oates. I always loved listening to falsettos and melodic vocals like The Bee Gees, Prince, Frankie Valli, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Alexander O’Neal, The Brothers Johnson, The Whispers, George Michael, Chicago, Level 42, New Edition, R Kelly and The Commodores. For vocal technique: Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

I love the guitars of Nile Rogers, Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic, Eddie Van Halen, Aerosmith, The Clash, Nirvana, The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers and of course plenty of old school hip hop like the Beastie Boys, Schoolly D, Mantronix, Gang Starr, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, KRS1, A Tribe Called Quest, because I just love beats and rhymes. The list goes on because music is the shit!

Q: ‘One Time for the Mind’ by Frank Ernest was released on September 30. How would you describe the album?

Chak: One time for the mind is a fusion of many different styles of music. It can make you dance and at the same time sit back and think. It’s honest in it’s emotional and it’s optimistic in its message. I thinks it’s well rounded that touches on many different subjects. A nice mix.

Neb: The album is a classic Frank Ernest product. It came out in September right before the darkness will conquer the lives of the millions living in this part of the Earth so let the album shine on all of us and carry us forward!

Q: What makes Frank Ernest’s music unique?

Neb: Frank Ernest music is based on genuine respect for diversity.

Chak: It’s got a special blend of soul, rock, funk and hip hop. That’s unusual nowadays.

Q: What is your favorite track on the album and why?

Chak:I Am Who I Am’ is a very personal song. I wrote the lyrics while trying to deal with losing my dad a year and half ago. I love the overall mix and arrangement and the message that true love never dies and to find true love you’ve got to start with accepting and loving yourself.

Neb: ‘Sirens’. We tried to do this jam before and then Chak changed it totally one day, added the grooves, keys, tones. Sirens can catch you and tempt you because of your fears but at the same time you know you’ll be just fine, you’ll get by.

Q: Why do you think people should listen to Frank Ernest?

Neb: Because they’ve got great taste.

Chak: Even though we have very different backgrounds, we  can all get together and make something awesome happen. If we respect one another, we can learn a lot from each other. I think our music is an example of that effort. People who listen to us are gonna hear that and they’re gonna feel a positive vibe throughout the record. It’s an emotional experience.

Q: Tell me about the song, ‘Revolution of the Mind’. What is it about?

Chak: ‘Revolution of the Mind’ is about the state of the world we live in. It seems to be a sorry one right now and if we don’t change things soon, we’ll keep heading towards the disaster on the horizon.

Neb: To me it has that personal calling: change yourself and you’ll change the world.

Chak: We’ve got to get used to globalization and diversity. We got to get used to each other period because, at the end of the day, we’re all God’s children. As Michael Jackson said, it’s the man in the mirror who’s got to make that change.

Q: What do you want listeners to take away from ‘One Time for the Mind’?

Neb: All change and improvement of self and society starts with a thought. Start with our thoughts, let’s clean them, let’s make them stronger, let’s make them better.

Chak: I want listeners of ‘One Time for the Mind’ to be taken on a musical journey to a place where they can connect, feel understood or understand and, perhaps, for that moment in time, the world becomes a better place to be in. One love.

‘One Time For The Mind’ is available on Spotify, iTunes and CDBaby.