Perhaps one of the most underrated guitarists is rock and metal, Frank Hannon has made a name among savvy fans and fellow musicians. His bluesy sound, classic style and psychedelic vibe all create a signature unique to Hannon: A signature found on numerous platinum and gold Tesla albums, as well as a handful of solo efforts, including his latest, Six String Soldiers.
On Six String Soldiers Frank got together with Albuquerque-based vocalist Jeff Sandoval and guitarist Mike Araiza to create what is arguably his most complete and inspired album to date. To make things even better Frank brought in some of his favorite guitarists and friends to lay down some wicked solos of their own including Y&T’s Dave Meniketti (“Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline”), Pat Travers (“I’m Alive”), Rick Derringer (“To The Light”), as well as long time Allman Brothers axe-master Dickey Betts (“Touch the Ground”).
On October 24, Metalholic Radio‘s Dia G. talked with Frank about his new solo album, working with his heroes, Tesla, and much more.
Hannon has had a busy 2012 between touring with Tesla and creating Six String Soldiers with Sandoval and Araiza and he couldn’t be more excited about it:
“It’s been an outrageous year. It’s awesome. I met Mike at a guitar contest years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And he brought along Jeff Sandoval, who’s an amazing singer and lyricist. We got together and just had a lot of fun, over a few weeks period of time, and wrote all these new songs. One thing led to another: Pat Travers who is one of my guitar heroes — I called him up and asked him if he wanted to jam on a song, and it turns out he’s a fan of mine as well. He was more than happy to come spend a couple days at my house.”
“To be truthful with you, before even getting those guys involved in making guest appearances on the record — the music and the songs that we wrote together, Mike Araiza, Jeff Sandoval and myself, along with Courtney DeAugustine (the drummer who played on Frank’s Moon Dog Mane album), I was so excited about these songs that we put together. For example, there’s a song called ‘Love, Life, and Beauty’ that is a great song that reminds me of what Tesla would do: Just capturing the spirit of love on a song. That’s something Tesla hasn’t done in a while. And for me, it was feeling that way again, the way Tesla felt when we were really on fire writing songs together.”
Frank offered that while Tesla is still on fire as a live band, they are currently on songwriting hiatus, which made working with Jeff and Mike quite refreshing:
“This album had that magic of spontaneity that comes across in the music. I was very excited about that before even having Dickey Betts, or Pat Travers, or Rick Derringer get involved. The music and the songs were exciting to me. That was why I made those calls and took a chance on inviting [them] to play on it. I was very happy with the songs to begin with.”
You can listen to our full interview with Frank Hannon below, and pick up your copy of Six String Soldiers at iTunes or at FrankHannon.com.