Q&A: Speakeasy speaks with emerging band 17 Franklin

17 Franklin takes their name from the big white house in Athens that they started jamming and staging their first house shows in. The band, made up of Jimmy Evans (guitar/vocals), Jordan Dixon (bass), Alex Talbert (guitar), and Joston Horton (drums), are a recent startup in Athens, but are already turning themselves into a fixture in its DIY scene. Fusing together influences from oldies like Hendrix and Derek and the Dominos to newbies like Ty Segall, they’re trying to create a psychedelic garage funk revival. But first, they just want to play the Union.

Speakeasy: How’d you guys get started?

Joston: Jimmy and I started playing together.

Jimmy: Joston and I worked together and I was looking to start something this year and we were talking about the same kind of music and I was just like alright f*** it, lets just jam.

Joston: We just figured we’d play some blues.

Jimmy: Another thing is I’ve been roommates with Dixon and we’ve been roommates since freshman year, so we’ve always been jamming, and Talbert and I started jamming this summer, so its just like all of my worlds combining, and here we are.

Talbert: A little Casa…

Jimmy: A little Casa action. We played Casa this summer, so that was fun. It was a good time. But yeah, that was pretty much it.

Speakeasy: Did you guys all play in bands before?

Talbert: Yeah, with friends, but I never played in a full group like that before.

Joston: I have a band back home in North Carolina. Its not like anything, you know, we don’t have any albums or anything. Just like my high school friends, I guess.

Speakeasy: How long have you each been playing?

Jimmy: Well I’ve been playing guitar since junior year of high school, so not too long, but I was in a band in high school. We played pop punk though, so totally different.

Talbert: I’ve played since I was really young, like elementary school. My cousin played and I thought that was cool, so I did that.

Joston: I don’t know, I’ve been playing drums since probably like eighth grade, but I just started playing guitar freshman year of college. But seriously playing drums probably just like the last three years. Getting real into it, you know.

Dixon: Since fifth grade.

Speakeasy: How would you describe your sound and influences?

Jimmy: Derek and the Dominos… we sound kind of like them. Weird band, but like, I didn’t even know about them until recently.

Speakeasy: Derek and the Dominos are sick.

Jimmy: Yeah they’re so dope!

Joston: Yeah you showed me those guys, they’re cool. I would say like… Hendrix. We’re like a poor man’s Hendrix. I love Mitch Mitchell’s drumming, so when we play bluesy shit I just try to emulate that. But yeah, just like bluesy stuff. Some of it gets pretty trippy when Alex starts doing the delay and the wah stuff.

Jimmy: We’ve got a little funk in us.

Talbert: Chili Peppers. John Frusciante is my favorite.

Jimmy: Big John Mayer fan over here, but f*** me, right?

Joston: Zeppelin, obviously. They’re, you know, Allah, Buddha, and Jesus mixed into one.

Speakeasy: So like a classic rock, psychedelic, blues kind of thing?

Joston: Yeah… I guess a contemporary example would be Ty Segall—guys like that. We’re talking about that like sweaty rock that sounds like someone recorded it on an old mobile phone or somethin’.

Speakeasy: Where do you guys see this going?

Jimmy: We’re trying to play at the Union! So that’s one thing, other than going platinum.

Talbert: We’ll be headlining Bonaroo before you know it.

Joston: Honestly, if we even got to the point where we were playing shows and making enough money to eat on, that would be amazing. Just going on tour and sustaining myself doing that would be enough for me.

17 Franklin will be playing at Porch Sounds, a house show style music festival, on Saturday October 21st. For more information and the official lineup visit Speakeasy’s Facebook Page.

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