Most successful musicians claim their love for their instrument started from childhood and a family member but what is not common is when what started their love for music is still the central part of their daily life. While rare for most, this is all Andrew Franklin knows.
“It all started with my dad teaching my sister the guitar. I was interested in the drums. My cousin just happened to play in the orchestra at his school. Before we knew it, we were playing and learning our instruments together,” Andrew, drummer of Five Smooth Stones, says. Before they all knew it, Five Smooth Stones was born.
Though the band members share their bloodline, their musical tastes vary. Andrew, who prefers alternative rock and pop, claims their dad is a blues guy, cousin Colvin is into technical and funk tunes, and sister Kathryn is a heavy metal girl. These combined musical tastes come together into Five Smooth Stones’ unique sound. As most other bands can affirm, achieving that unique sound can be quite the task, not to mention the added element of being family members. In order to navigate the challenges, the family/band mates have the creative process crafted beautifully.
“Usually one of us comes up with a song idea and writes the lyrics. Once we all hear it, we all write our own parts…it’s individual but also collective,” Andrew says. A good example of that process is “Escape,” the title track from their latest album, Beneath the Finite Sky, released in June of 2011. This alternative, melodic track is not only easy to listen to but also identifiable with all their listeners, telling of the constant struggle to find worth and identity.
While music has always come natural to the family band, balancing music business and ministry remains a day-to-day effort.
“It’s really difficult to think about success,” says Andrew. “I’d much rather just talk about kids needing food than selling merchandise.”
In fact, Five Smooth Stones has recently partnered with and become a sponsor of Food for the Hungry. During each of their shows, they make deliberate efforts to encourage their audience to find ways to show love. ‘Showing love’ lies at the core of the mission and vision for Five Smooth Stones.
“We’ve really been asking ourselves to think about what is important in all this,” Andrew says. “We talk about hope, love, and Jesus but want to do more than just talk and play music. We want to get our fans to ACT.”
Apparently, their approach to music and ministry is working. In fact, they are still surprised when they think about their success thus far.
“Each year we tour more and more, especially in Baltimore and around the Northeast. We’re always surprised because everything is always better than we expected.”
Five Smooth Stones hopes to continue touring down the east coast and is talking with new producers about their upcoming new album.
For more information regarding the band, www.smoothstones.net
, or check out their latest album on iTunes.