INTERVIEW: Dan McDougall – Frankenbok

Interview by Dan Catania


Photo credit Jay Collier

Dan talked to Dan McDougall from Australian metallers Frankenbok about 25 years of the band and more…


Metal-Roos: Dan is awesome to have you here for a chat with Metal-Roos. Wow, 25 years of Frankenbok. I remember 25 years ago when I started listening to bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and the Nu Metal era back then. I was looking to see if there were any local bands. I’m happen to find Frankenbok, Superheist and Sunk Loto. Believe it or not, I had a poster of Frankenbok in my bedroom and I got into listening to Frankenbok’s music from local radio stations. Today you guys are still active which is an awesome achievement. How does that sink in with you and the band?

Dan McDougall: Yeah it’s pretty crazy to think we are still in the game. Not too many Aussie metal bands have survived this long without stopping or breaking up for a while. I reckon I could count them on one hand. When the apocalypse finally happens it’ll be the ol’ Bok and the cockroaches that survive I reckon. We are just stoked that people still love what we do and as far as the band is concerned this current line-up all around is the most cohesive on all fronts. 25 years in the game playing in the Aussie metal scene will teach you a thing or two about resilience that’s for sure, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Metal-Roos: A year ago the band played a special gig at The Tote to celebrate 25 years of Frankenbok and it was not just an average gig. It was a celebration of the “The Boks” existence with five incarcerations of the band’s lineup. What sparked the idea to do a special one-off show to celebrate Frankenbok which you guys managed to pull off?

Dan McDougall: The idea was put to us by a local promoter named JD, who approached us backstage in Adelaide at The New Dead Fest early last year. He said he was keen to do a show for our 25 years and we were keen but initially, the idea was to just get a couple of old members up to join in on a few songs. As we started talking to some of the old guys and how enthusiastic some of them were to do it it then dawned on me that if we were going to do this, then why not do it properly and ask all the old members from the 5 main line-ups if they were up for it. It was a rather ambitious idea and would only have taken one or two of them to say they weren’t keen or couldn’t make the date and the whole thing would have fallen through. But miraculously everyone agreed and was able to make the date. I still can’t believe we actually pulled it off to be honest. And as far as I know, it’s a world first, I don’t know of any other band doing such a thing, or being stupid enough to!

Metal-Roos: Once the band had the idea, The next challenge was how we would do it and pull it off. I remember a year ago watching an interview you did with “Metal Matt” on his YouTube channel discussing the logistics of how to do a show and what certain present and past members are willing to do. Behind the scenes, there was a lot of planning for this gig. What was the biggest challenge in the planning stage?

Dan McDougall: Definitely trying to organise rehearsals for it. We started a few months out from the show and started with bringing in one or two guys for each jam and adding more as we went. It wasn’t until the week of the show that we were able to get almost everyone there (Adam B. Metal couldn’t make it until the day of the show) and we didn’t get a full proper dress rehearsal until the afternoon of the show. We had Scotty come from Perth too but he was able to get there a few days before and I gotta say that the first time the original line-up played in the jam room was pretty fucking cool. I don’t think any of us ever thought we would see that again. Brought back a lot of great memories!

Metal-Roos:  So on the 15th of December Frankenbok is releasing the live album of that night called “25 years of Noise In One Form or Another” Not just the live audio but the performance can be streamed from “YouTube”. I had a listen to it and fuck man is so fucken awesome. What I loved about it was the energy from the crowd and the band. Once I pressed play I had no option but to stop and take a break. It flows from start to finish. I believe once people hear it for the 1st time. They’re gonna wish they were there. Just the vibe I got from it. For those who came, they’re gonna relive it again. Do you still get goosebumps when you listen to it once in a while?

Dan McDougall: That’s great to hear, I’m glad you dig it. Well, mate, I was the one who did the mixing and the video editing of the show, so I’ve heard it more times now than I care to remember! It was quite an ambitious project that took 10 months of what little spare time I have, but I am really happy with how it has all come up. I felt that I needed to do it, to give it and the band the respect it deserved.

Metal-Roos: You put in videos in the lead-up to the release on YouTube and the band’s Facebook page and it captures the energy of the night of the band’s performance. Can you tell me when you guys were rehearsing for this show? The buzz you personally got from jamming with the incarnations of the band’s past members?

Dan McDougall: Yeah as I said earlier when the original lineup kicked in to Greetings and Salutations for the first time in about 20 years, it was a pretty special moment. The room was filled with everyone but Adam B. Metal so the energy was and the vibe was pretty intense. Everyone had smiles from ear to ear. Despite everything and all the trials and tribulations over the years, it was great to have everyone there and everyone getting along and having a great time together.

Metal-Roos: From the video clips of that night. The production from crew that put it together did a great job with the filming and the audio mix. There are parts from those film clips that once again captured certain moments and we haven’t seen the whole set and those video clips are a good taste of what is to come when it is available. How was your reaction when you and the band watched it for the first time?

Dan McDougall: Well as you know, personally I have seen it and heard it more than anyone. Every note, every edit, every damn nuance. I am well over it! The other guys have only just got their hands on it. Some of them probably haven’t seen much of it at all. I only just got the final edit done about a week ago or so. Azza just got back to me today and said he watched it on Friday and loved it so I’m very relieved to hear that. I hope the rest of the guys dig it too, I did my best to make it as good as I could. It does capture the night and it’s as close as you will get to being there, so I hope those that were there get to enjoy it all over again and those that missed out get to experience it in all its sweaty glory. A huge shout out to Steven Mitchell from Riff Crew who filmed the bulk of it, and also Jed and Natasha Mace who are long time fans of the band who turned up on the night with cameras in hand to film also. We appreciate you guys for helping us record this for posterity!

Metal-Roos: What was your favourite or the highlight that stood out the most from that show?

Dan McDougall: For me personally it was getting up and doing Monk Discipline with the original lineup. It’s one of my favorite old Bok tunes so to be able to do it with Hutch and the guys was pretty damn fucking cool.

Metal-Roos: Have you had anyone ask if Frankenbok can do a repeat of that set again? I know I would love one haha

Dan McDougall: Never say never mate! It may well happen again. Yeah, we have had a few people ask if we could repeat it. We shall see! Not anytime soon though I don’t reckon. The current lineup is keen to get some new material out so that is what we will be focusing on in 2024.

Metal-Roos: What is the future of the band going forward? Is there any new material or gigs that we can expect to see in 2024?

Dan McDougall: Yeah new material for sure, hopefully a new album by the end of the year. And gigs are starting to be booked too. We will get the silly season out of the way and then get stuck into fully figuring out what we are gonna get up to next year.

Metal-Roos: Dan, Once again congratulations on that awesome achievement and taking the time for a chat. Is there anything you want to say to the fans who have been there since day one or have just discovered this band?

Dan McDougall: My pleasure mate. I’ll just say a big thank you to everyone who has been a fan and supported us over the last quarter century, it goes without saying that without them we would have given up the game a long time ago. And yeah if you’ve been a fan for a long time or you’re just getting into the band, please check out the live album and full video of the show on YouTube. You won’t find a better show that’s a true representation of a band that has persisted in the Aussie metal scene all this time, in one form or another!