Frank Sidoris came into the SMKC picture for 2012’s Apocalyptic Love tour, and then while not playing on the album, also toured for 2014’s World On Fire. While the youngest member of the group, Frank’s take on the guitar is that of an old soul. When you see him live he plays for the songs and not for himself, and it seems that Slash finally has that perfect guitar duo again, which has not really been seen since he played with Izzy Stradlin. While a member of SMKC for 6 years now, Frank had yet to record with the band, until now! Living The Dream sees Frank join Slash, Myles Kennedy and fellow Conspirators and Las Vegans Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz in the studio, and the result is amazing. Franks guitar work is heard throughout the album, and really gives the songs a different flavour. We caught up with Frank to chat about it all.
H2Z: Thank You for your time Frank. This was your first album with SMKC. How did you approach playing with them in the studio after only playing live with the band?
FS: After 6 years of playing with this band and jamming new riffs at various sound checks, etc., I felt I had a good idea of how to add to and support the songs and their overall vibe in my own voice. Nothing was forced, it all flowed fairly organically.
H2Z: Did you sit down with Slash and work out your parts in advance or were you given free reign to put your individual stamp on what was being created?
FS: Slash, Brent, and Todd get together and workout the basic frame work of a song and then eventually it’s sent over to me to put my parts to. I showed up to the studio and jammed the songs with my parts and we fine tuned as we went. Besides a few rhythm ideas that Slash came up with a while back that he paired with his riffs originally, it’s all me.
H2Z: While recording was their one particular song that just grabbed you and you knew it was going to be something special?
FS: Funny enough, I think Driving Rain was the first song I was super psyched about. I really enjoyed writing my parts to Slash’s on that one and it came out really cool. Next would have to be Serve You Right. Sugarcane took a minute but once it was finalised it grew to be my favourite, I think. It’s a tough call!
H2Z: When it came to deciding what guitars to use on the album, what did you take in with you? Any particular effects or different amp set ups that were used?
FS: I brought a lot of guitars. Over the years I realised how balanced it sounds when I don’t play a Les Paul along with Slash. I recorded with my Gretsch Duo Jet, 1976 Gibson 335, Gibson Les Paul Junior, and only used a Les Paul on two songs that really called for it. I used a Supro Statesman amp, Wizard Modern Classic, and a Marshall JCM800 for the preproduction and ultimately went with the Marshall for the album.
H2Z: What songs from the album are you really looking forward to playing live?
FS: I’d say Sugarcane or Slow Grind.
H2Z: Any Velvet Revolver or Snakepit songs you would love to play live that haven’t been done yet?
FS: It’s funny because we’ve played each of my favourite Snakepit and VR songs live already! Sucker Train Blues is always killer and I have always enjoyed Been There Lately.
H2Z: This was your first time working with Elvis (Michael ” Elvis” Baskette – Producer), How was that experience?
FS: Elvis is a blast to work with for many reasons but because he is a guitar player it’s even more fun. Always has killer ideas and just knows how to take a song to another level. Constant laughs throughout the process as well.
H2Z: What is your live set up going to be? Which Amps and Pedals are you taking out?
FS: Amp wise, a Marshall JCM800 2203 that has been modded through a Marshall 1960b cabinet. Pedal board is super lo-fi as I don’t really require a lot of effects for this gig, but I use a ZVEX Box Of Rock boost, a Walrus Audio Arp87 delay, and I have a volume pedal. Nothing too fancy.
H2Z: Any final words for the readers?
FS: Hope you all enjoy the album and see you at one of the shows.
We would like to thank Frank for his time to answer these questions while out on tour. Dont forget Living The Dream is out on all platforms world wide, so make sure you get out and get a copy. Or two. Or three!