This past November, ATTACK ATTACK! guitarist/vocalist JOHNNY FRANCK shocked fans when he announced that he would be leaving the band to “refocus on God.” While some applauded his decision, many online critics of Attack Attack! suspected some other hidden motive. But Franck was telling the truth, and he also expressed a desire to stop touring as extensively as he had been. Since then, he’s been working on a new band, THE MARCH AHEAD, with former K Sera vocalist Mike Caswell. In this interview, he tells us what to expect and how you can help get the March Ahead moving forward.
You recently started your new project, the March Ahead. Tell us a little about it.
Yeah, it's like an experimental/electronic project with my buddy Mike. At some point we're going to release an EP. We're going to record as much as we can with Joey Sturgis in March.
You started a Kickstarter.com project in which people can donate to help fund the album and receive gifts for every certain amount of money given. Do you think it will be hard to fulfill all of them?
You know, if people have the heart to donate, then I have the heart to work my hardest to write all the letters and do all that stuff. We're motivated because these people are helping us out. It's the least I can do. If I could do more, I would. It'll be a lot of work for sure.
Are there any hard feelings between you and the remaining members of Attack Attack!?
No. Many would just lie about that, but I'm definitely not. I just hung out with Caleb [Shomo, vocals/keyboard] yesterday. There's definitely no hard feelings with any of us. It's just one of those things where I wanted to pursue a relationship with God, and being on tour all the time conflicted with that. So I had to leave, go home and pretty much start over. I still hang out with the guys when they're home, but there are absolutely no hard feelings.
Some online commenters thought you were lying about your reason for leaving the band. How did it feel to see people responding that way?
It's hard being in Attack Attack!. This isn't the first time I've been hated on over the internet, so I don't really pay much attention to it. During my time in the band, we were the most hated internet band from 2008 to 2010. I think the “crabcore” stuff is hilarious. People love to talk crap on the internet. I was just so surprised to get tons of support messages of people saying they supported me 100 percent. I was honestly just expecting a bunch of hate mail. [Laughs.]
Did you ever think about quitting music? Was it weird to start a new project?
I love the music they play in Attack Attack!. It's a little weird [to be out of the band], but I love playing and making music so much that it was only weird for, like, two seconds. I never planned on stopping. I just didn't want to tour anymore.
How did the new band come together?
I met Mike on Warped Tour. K Sera played a few dates. I heard them and I noticed he had a great voice, so I went on a whim and asked him, "Hey dude, you wanna start a project with me?" and he agreed. So I flew him out and it came together. He and I have the same opinions on pretty much everything. It's really cool to find someone who wants to go in the same exact direction as I do. It rules.
You guys haven't released an official song yet. What will it sound like?
It's definitely got some aspect of Attack Attack! in it, but it's got a lot more stuff, too. It’s a little bit more electronic with more natural-sounding guitar and bass. It's still got that Attack Attack! sound to it, though.
Do you plan on releasing new music soon?
Yeah, that's what the Kickstarter page is for. If kids donate, like, $3 they’ll get all of the songs for free. We're also giving them all the songs before we even release them [to the public].
Will you guys be playing any shows?
Not extensive seven-week long tours like Attack Attack! do, but definitely some shows where the demand is the highest. alt