Jeremy Ziehe – bass guitar
New Ben Franklins have always been about sonicness… if that’s a word, and I don’t think it is. Since the band’s formation in 1992 they have always been about making some noise, whether playing full-blown, distorted rock-and-roll freak outs or more traditional country-inspired songs.
The impetus for the Franklins’ formation came about during a road trip from California to Denver in the fall of 1991 in which original singer, Malcolm Tent, and guitarist/songwriter David DeVoe had the idea to finally put a band together to try to marry the hard-rocking, drum machine-driven music of bands like The Sisters Of Mercy and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry with more poppy songwriting. With the help of co-worker Andy Harris, the band started programming drums and writing songs. After 2 years of storming the local Denver scene, the band exchanged the drum machine for the live drumming of George Edwards, and singing duties shifted to DeVoe, prompting a move to a more aggressive, wall of noise guitar-centric sound. During the mid 1990s, the band released three albums and saw some modicum of success as a regional band, touring and garnering radio play in the Rocky Mountain region.
From ’96 to now, the band has evolved through a string of musicians into its current incarnation – David DeVoe on vocals and guitar, Jeremy Ziehe on bass guitar, Jon Dennis on drums, Bobby Taylor on guitar, and the occasional wandering musician stopping in to play something else. The band’s newer music has a bit more than a touch of old country in it while maintaining its sonic (and loud) features. As DeVoe gets a bit older, his songs seem to float back to the music upon which he was weaned: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, Glen Campbell, etc… and all those influences seem to be working their way into the music a bit more each day, building a solid Americana foundation into the noisy guitar-driven rock that the band has always played. Each February, the band recruits other Americana acts from the region and plays a series of Waylon Jennings tribute shows, centered around the death date of Jennings (February 13).
In 2012, the band released their epic full length CD, [peter gabriel]. The album honestly showcased the range of musical styles that the band incorporates, as well as the fury with which they play. Working through the fall of 2014 on three new recording projects, the band plans to release a 7″ single, new original CD, and a new covers CD in early 2015. The band has also had a few featured songs on compilations in the interim, including DeVoe’s anthemic love song to Denver, “Beautiful Queen,” on the Kings Of The Queen City (Vol. 1) compilation. For more than 20 years, the Franklins have been well known for their live shows, and they continue to play regular shows in the region and make occasional short forays into other parts of the country to play festivals and make short tour runs.
Call it Americana. Call it noisy country. Call it alternative country… It doesn’t matter to the Franklins, as long as it’s a fair piece loud and a ton of fun.