The rock singer-songwriter FRANKY PEREZ best known, perhaps, as the touring vocalist for Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, and former guitarist for Daron Malakian’s Scars on Broadway has performed with a number of all star cover bands over the years including with with guitarist Slash, Camp Freddy, Ducati All-Stars, Royal Machines and the 2013 incarnation of Kings of Chaos.
Franky’s current supergroup project is Deadland Ritual with guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath,) and drummer Matt Sorum (G N’ R.)
Clearly the musician hates to sit around, so 2020 saw him filming a poignant documentary that explores a 13 day, 4,000 mile trip he made across the southern United States on his motorcycle, a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour, performing songs from his “Suddenly 44” disc for healthcare workers, and talking with fellow artists during the peak of the pandemic.
It was this unique experience that inspired the “traveling songs” that would ultimately become a new solo album inspired by his odyssey “Crossing the Great Divide”.
This trip, with just a motorcycle and a guitar, really grounded me as a performer…Franky Perez
“During this pandemic, we became separated – families from one another and artists from their audience,” explained Franky.
“Artists need that feedback, that connection we can only get through human interaction. Shows are perfect little utopian worlds that exist 90 minutes at a time. Playing my guitar by myself at home for a year felt like being stranded on a desert island.”
Franky performed for front-line healthcare workers at nursing homes and other facilities from Miami to California. For most of the workers and residents, Franky’s soulful acoustic performance was the first live music they had seen since before the pandemic started.
In addition to bringing joy and connection to the largely unsung heroes of COVID-19, Franky also met with legendary performers to discuss their experiences including Country Music superstar Randy Travis and comedian Bill Burr, who shared stories and offer inspiring thoughts on survival and success.
“This trip, with just a motorcycle and a guitar, really grounded me as a performer,” Franky says, “The lights and stage and distance were gone. I had to not just entertain, but to connect on a deeply personal level. These smaller shows were some of the most moving of my career.”
Franky debuts his new single, “The Great Divide” on November 19th with the album due in Spring 2022
Main photo credit: Fab Fernandez