NUVO Interview: Donavon Frankenreiter

 

Whether riding atop an ocean wave or playing music in a crowded club, Donavon Frankenreiter feels quite at ease these days.

“I’ve been a professional surfer for 20 years and playing music professionally for six years,” Frankenreiter says. “When I started playing my music in clubs I used to get real nervous. But I feel really comfortable on stage now.”

Frankenreiter’s third album, Pass It Around, finds him coming up with more of a funky, pop sound.

“On this album I collaborated with as many people as I could,” Frankenreiter admits. “I got to work with some of the people I like and respect, like Ben Harper, Grant Lee Phillips, Steve McQuien and [producer] Joe Chiccarelli.

“I wrote all the songs on the first two albums, so I decided I was going to work with other people for this one. For me, collaborating is so much fun on so many different levels.”

According to Frankenreiter, “Every album is a growing process. The next album may be all acoustic, you know, go back to the basics. The first record was beachy in its sound, and with the second one, I was on my own. Pass It Around is definitely the most pop thing I’ve done.”

When it came to recording Pass It Around, Frankenreiter and company were able to book time at the legendary Hollywood studio Sunset Sound.

“Recording at Sunset Sound was incredible,” Frankenreiter recalls.“I admit I was pretty nervous. There were really good vibes in each of the rooms we worked in during the month that we were there. One room was where Van Halen had recorded, another was the one that Prince liked to use, and the other was where the Doors and Joplin had recorded.

“[For me] it’s about the experience. That’s what I want to feel. I want to touch the walls there. I want to sing into the microphones there. That’s what recording is all about, being in those places where people have been before.”

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