The Front Interview


Kansas City is their home. CBS is their label. McGhee Entertainment (Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Skid Row) is their management.

With such a winning combination, it's only natural that a group moves to the Front. And, that's exactly what they've done.

"Front' man Michael Anthony Franano fills us in.

Q. You realize of course that one of the reasons the Front is being looked at so closely is your management. Does that put extra pressure on you guys every time you set foot on stage?
A. I don't think any of us ever think about it. Scott (McGhee) was probably a lot of the reason we got signed. Doc (McGhee) was looking for something different. He had the number one band in the world. The best heavy metal band in the world. The biggest touring band in the world. He wanted something different. They were looking, and they found us. We didn't call them. I think there was more attention paid to us because of the McGhee’s before the record came out. But now that the record is out and the reviews are coming in, I think they're starting to move into us a little more. Certainly the McGhee’s have a lot of involvement in why we get some of the things we get. We're a real priority at CBS right now, because they're really genuinely interest in this group. They really want to see it go. We're getting the kind of attention from CBS, the heads of CBS, that you would normally find on a much smaller label, a much more intimate, smaller roster.

Q. How can the Front turn a profit, when you're playing clubs?
A. We don't turn a profit. It costs us a fortune to be out here. Back in 1970, you carried a crew of 10-11 guys for an arena show. You had 3 or 4 trusses of lights; the staging was already put in. The promoter put the P.A. in, back before there was any such thing as production. Guys toured in vans and stayed in hotels that were $15-$20 a night. You could actually make money touring. Nobody makes money touring today. Touring costs money. But, it's the only way you can get out there and let people see you. Radio only does so much. MTV is a little better as far as introducing you to a group. But, really, "live" is what a band is all about. So, to play actually costs money. Our tour bus costs us more a week than we make playing. And then, you gotta pay the crew guys. The record companies just understand it's gonna cost money to get on a tour. The only guys who are really making any money are the super headliners, because the promoters give them such a large guarantee. There's no way they can get hurt. Plus, it's already drawn in, that the crew is paid for. The promoter pays for everything. The headliner makes a flat fee, and that's it. They walk away from it.

Q. Your album cover is different. It's bright and colorful, not dark and gloomy looking. Whose idea was that?
A. Mine. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it originally. They (the record company) did it a different way, so it kind of ended up being a combination of the original idea I had and some stuff I wanted to do. I didn't want to be another Neo-Gothic dark band. That's not what this band is about. So, we went the exact opposite and went to a Peter Max pop art type of thing, an Andy Warhol print or something, just to make a contradiction. Another thing, you look at the album cover, and it tells you nothing about what's on the inside of that album. You can never figure out what kind of music it is. It could be anything. It tells you nothing about the band. And, I wanted that as well. I don't want a lot of pre-conceived ideas on what this group is about. I want people to make-up their own mind.

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