RS: Exactly. Well speaking about real house music, who first called you The Godfather of House Music?
Frankie: The people here in Chicago.
RS: Is there a specific person or specific event?
Frankie: No, no, not that I remember. I can't single out any one particular person.
RS: It's a great tagline.
Frankie: <laughing> That's true.
RS: Well let's go back to your album for a second, how did you choose the singers and the vocalists on the album?
Frankie: Nicki Richards is somebody that I've worked with for a very long time and she's done a lot of session work for me, she's done a lot of background vocals for me for a long time. I really wanted to do some stuff with her when the moment was right. So when I decided to finally buckle down and make this album a reality, most of the tracks were in the can but the vocals hadn't been recorded yet. I was going through the lyrics on all the other songs and the last six songs on the album that needed to do, she had committed herself to doing. So I was really fastening all the songs with her in mind, so that part became really easy.
Jamie Principle and I go back twenty-seven years and this was the first song he and I had done in twenty years. So we'd been talking about doing some things but the opportunity was never really there. I believe that timing is everything and it's something that we could have done probably three years ago but I don't think it would have had the same impact that it has right now. I think the timing is perfect for this album to be out in the marketplace right now and everything else can follow through on its own.
RS: What was it like recording and working with your own vocals?
Frankie: Well I'm not crazy about the sound of my voice, so I always have serious issues with that. It was essential with the way certain songs and certain productions are done that my voice needed to be in there and thank God I work with people that have a great sense of humor and they understand what I'm trying to do. They make it easier for me.
RS: Let's talk about some of your remixes. I have a friend who maintains with every fiber of his being that your mix of Swing Out Sister's "Not Gonna Change" is one of the best three or four remixes ever done. Are there any interesting stories behind that particular remix?
Frankie: I agree, this is probably one of the best pieces of work I've ever done, I was so proud of it. Right after I had done that mix, the album had just come out and they were doing a promotional tour. They came to New York City and there was a dinner being held for them and I was invited to the dinner. I went so I could meet them and hang out, this that and the other. I turned to one of the group and I asked what they thought of the remix. She said "Remix, what remix?" I said the remix I just did for "Not Gonna Change." She said she didn't know there was a remix and turned to her partner and asked if he knew about the remix. Collectively, they began to get louder and louder. They didn't know that there was a remix done and it went on from there and it just turned into a very ugly experience. I said that I didn't mean to offend anybody and I just thought the mix came out lovely and that everyone's responded to it really positively. She said that this was not anything against you, but it would be nice if the artist is informed when this kind of work is being done. So I was like OK, I can recognize that but I'm not the A&R person.
RS: Did they ever hear the mix and get back to you?
Frankie: Oh yes, well they heard the mix but they didn't feel positive about any of it at that particular point. They felt like they were being shafted because the work was being done and they weren't being informed about it in the beginning. That's one of the messed-up things about this industry. When you're signed to a major label, you've got A&R people and promoters that will make decisions on your behalf and not even consult you about it. You'd be the last one probably to find out about it, and you're the artist which is so not fair.
RS: What about your timeless mix of Pet Shop Boys "I Want A Dog," any stories about that one?
Frankie: Timeless? <laughing>
RS: That's what my friend called it..
Frankie: I never thought of that mix as being timeless, I thought it was very whimsical when I did it. I had just moved back to New York City and that was one of the first professional mixes that was offered to me. I've always liked them, so when they asked me to do the mix I thought OK, this will be fun, it's going to be cute. They liked what I did with it and they offered me one other mix after that, "Left To My Own Devices." They absolutely hated what I did with "Left To My Own Devices", so it was like oh well, you win some, you lose some.