Franklin Manor’s new album “Motive” captures a new wave rock sound portraying the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, CA where they reside. Kelpin Kelpin, highly innovative front man and founder of the project, delivers a cutting edge sound and provides hard hitting subject matter about the darker sides of a city that prides itself on sparkly image, reputation, and money. Kelpin set out to create the album with a vision to capture life in the trenches of LA. After tedious work and refinement in the studio with two time Grammy award winning engineer/producer Sadaharu Yagi, their full length album “Motive” was released in December 2014. The sound and style of the album are cultivated from a combined force of Kelpin’s 90’s grunge rock influences, (Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots), and Sada’s 80’s dance influence (Talking Heads, Simple Minds and Depeche Mode), giving birth to a new sonically driven sound. In modernizing these roots, Motive is Merely a concept album about the so called “City of Angels” and is heavily influenced by the sound of Muse, Coldplay and The Naked and Famous.
At age 19, Kelpin left his tiny hometown of Woodland Park, CO in 2006 to embark on a music career in LA. Inspired and driven to express his voice in the big city, he soon joined up with life long friend and prodigal guitar player, Jorden Smith, to create the birth of “Graycase.” After two years, the project was tragically cut short on a foggy night in Santa Barbara, CA when Jorden’s car spun out in the middle of highway 101 resulting in a tragic car accident. The traumatic event left the extremely gifted guitar player paralyzed on the right side of his body. It was a heavy blow to the psyche of two young aspiring musicians, already gaining notoriety in southern California.
FM was later formed in 2010 in Hollywood, CA, where a small apartment complex called Franklin Manor made its mark. Kelpin, together with musicians from the apartment complex, started honing their craft and performing on popular Sunset strip clubs (The Roxy, Whisky A Go Go, House Of Blues.) Nevertheless the project had to be retired when the constant party got out of control and drove everyone broke, hungry or in rehab. In a recent interview (Cosandra Calloway, Callywood, Blog Talk Radio), Kelpin spoke on that matter, “ I was standing in the shower one night in my Beverly Hills apartment and it all hit me at once. It was divine intervention. I knew it was time to change and make a shift in my life before I destroyed myself from the inside out. So I checked myself in, and I’ve never went back to that life style”. After Kelpin cleared his head and became clean and grounded, everything shifted.
He graduated from Musicians Institute with a new perspective and starting working on other projects as an aspiring producer/engineer at Phantom Vox Studios in Hollywood, where he met veteran engineer/producer Sadaharu Yagi in 2012. He was mentored during the creation of a project that soon received a Latin and American Grammy in 2013. Kelpin was spending twelve hour days for nine months in the studio with no pay, and at the same time, mourning the recent loss of his father who died from a heart attack.
More determined than ever, Kelpin consistently brought demo’s into the studio and eventually caught the producer’s attention. They soon agreed to start working on the new Franklin Manor album, and quickly went to work in over half-a-dozen world renowned studios in LA, filming and recording every step along the way. After 2 1/2 years of total devotion to the record, Sada and Kelpin’s work came into fruition. Since then, Kelpin has re-formed Franklin Manor with a creative force backed by Ra Diaz (Bass), Jeff Galland (Drums), and Marc Aliana (Guitar) delivering powerful live performances.
Reviews for Franklin Manor:
“It takes the work of a true artist, with determined bravery, to access and utilize every aspect of the emotional spectrum. Franklin Manor excels in illuminating the grit of life in the city that wants to turn every talent into a celebrity commodity… Franklin Manor has been asking deeper questions about things that not only exist in the big city, but all over the world and has called Kelpin forth to be a voice for the dim underworld of addiction and self-inflicted restraint. Motive tells the story of one musician’s journey through musical expression and his motivation to find inspiration in dark places.”
– Casandra Tanenbaum, Monkey Dust Productions
“Franklin Manor draws from a variety of influences ranging from “Muse” to “The Naked and Famous” piecing together their musical talents to create a sound which ultimately becomes their own. Combining moments of driven rock with catchy melodies, Franklin Manor inks head bobbing, sing-along tracks that stick with listener long after the record stops spinning”
“Franklin Manor is original; his lyrics are very in depth and pure. There aren’t a lot of artists out there now a days that can say their lyrics are well written and truthful. I appreciate artists who bring their heart into their music. It’s a rare breed of talent and it should be noticed more right now since it’s slowly vanishing.”