LIFELINE is a photographic documentary book that relates the behind-the-scenes story of FRANKENBOK, a Melbourne-based thrash/groove metal band, from October 2012 to December 2015.
When photography began, Frankenbok had a future full of possibilities that included moving into a custom studio and recording a new album. Two-and-a-half years later, Frankenbok's situation had changed dramatically: two band members left and the band was on the ropes.
LIFELINE documents what happened and why, and looks at the balancing act that is being a band member and being a mate.
"It was the first rehearsal I went to that made Frankenbok the project rather than a part of it. They were physical and technical, and played with a beautiful, aggressive intensity. I vividly remember the air being punched across the room by Mick’s bass drums, and Dan arching and twisting his body with fervour as he screamed into the mic. It was one of the key music experiences of my life.
During that rehearsal, I also caught my first glimpses of who they were. As individuals, they were an eclectic bunch: Azza was the wise working-class veteran of music and life, Tim, the self-proclaimed born to be mild family guy, Mick, all business and a bit cheeky, Dan, a mesmerising front-man and philosopher, and Yeti, the tough-yet-sensitive Kinglake mountain-man with a million great stories. Their diversity as people made it seem improbable for them to be in the same band.
“We’re musicians. Each of us is fucked up but we fully accept that we’re all fucked up and work with it. It’s how we roll,” said Yeti, irreverently describing what it took to keep them together.
It never occurred to me that I would actually document Frankenbok’s collapse instead."
Book Details: 134 pages / 108 photographs / Foreword by Michael and Susanne Silver / Postscript by Michael Weinhardt / Softcover / Landscape / 21 x 30 cm / ISBN 9780646960326 / Published in December, 2016 / Limited release of 100 copies
A Pozible crowdfunding campaign was run from October 2016 to November 2016, successfully enabling a special limited edition run of 100 pre-ordered copies to be printed and delivered.
FRANKENBOK is a Melbourne-based thrash/groove metal band that formed in 1997 and released its first album, Greetings & Salutations (LP, Faultline Records) in 2000. Frankenbok followed up with The Loopholes & Great Excuses (EP, 2001, Dark Carnival), which included a metal cover of Madison Avenue’s Don’t Call Me Baby that got significant rotation on radio and television.
The band’s second full-length album, Blood Oath (LP, 2003, Roadrunner Records) was well received but did not garner enough sales to keep the band on its upward trajectory. However, Frankenbok continued on, releasing Murder of Songs (LP, 2007, Prime Cuts), The Last Ditch Redemption (EP, 2008, Prime Cuts), The End Of All You Know (LP, 2011, Fair Dinkum Records), Cheers, Beers & Beards! (LP, 2013, Fair Dinkum Records) and a Home is Where the Stage Is (Live Concert DVD, 2013, Fair Dinkum Records). Frankenbok’s most recent album is Vicious, Lawless (LP, Fair Dinkum Records/Nerve Gas) and was released on July 14 2017 via Nerve Gas and iTunes.
Frankenbok has had several lineup changes since forming in 1997 with Aaron "Azza" Butler (guitars), Adam "Hutch" Glynn (vocals), Tim Miedecke (bass), Scott Lang (guitars), and a drum machine. Michael Morley’s first show as the band’s permanent drummer was in mid-1999. Hutch quit the band in late-2002 and was replaced by Adam B. Metal in early-2003. Scott left in early-2006 with Adam doing both vocals and guitars before being asked to leave in early-2007. Dan McDougall became Frankenbok’s new vocalist shortly after and Nathan "Yeti" Amatnieks came onboard as the second guitarist in mid-2007. Dan and Yeti resigned in January 2015. A couple of months later, Daniel White and Steve Watts replaced Dan and Yeti respectively. Mick played his last show in December 2015 and left after contributing drums to Vicious, Lawless and handing over to Tommy Rossell. Ricky Barbour took over from Steve Watts in early-2016. Tim left the band in late-2017, with Dan Freeman now on bass. Daniel White left at the end of 2018 and Dan McDougall subsequently returned as vocalist.
LIFELINE documents Frankenbok's lineup from October 2012 to February 2015: Azza, Tim, Mick, Dan and Yeti. Never to Return (video below) was the last song this lineup would publish together.