Frankie and the Defenders

  • Genre
  • Rockabilly
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2020 Winner★ Rockabilly ★1st Place
    • SAMMIES 2020 Nominee★ Rockabilly ★
    • SAMMIES 2019 Winner★ Rockabilly ★
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Rockabilly ★
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Rockabilly ★
  • Musicians
    • Frankie DeFury — guitar, keyboard, songwriter, vocals
    • Michael Otwell — keyboard, saxophone
    • Nate Dickson — standup bass
    • Robert Crosthwaite — drums
  • Share

Q & A

All-time favorite song?


"Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen.

Bonus: You're welcome to submit additional questions and answers of your own below.


When people are really enjoying a song you wrote, it is the best feeling. Music, like any other art form, should engross people in its humanity, entertaining them to the point that they are soley focused on the sound, the beat, the voice and the style.

How do you describe your music to people?


My rockabilly music is all about the beat, the energy and the guitar licks. My creative rock songs are about creating a theme to the song and using advanced songwriter techniques I have picked up over the years. I put a lot into each song. My music is fun and gets under people's feet in a powerful way. It's positive and doesn't dwell on dark or negative issues.

Tell us about how the band formed.


Different bass players and drummers have come and gone with the passing of time. I currently have been performing with Nate Dickson on bass for about a year. He is extremely skilled at stand-up bass and song structure. Erik Erock is a family friend who fit in nicely with the band after a change in drummers. I have been performing on and off with Michael Otwell on Sax for decades. I sometimes can't believe that we still jam together!

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


Every show at the Roseville Opera House. Great stage, sound system, our fans love seeing us there.

Tell us about your worst gig.


I don't look at any gig as being "the worst." We occasionally got shows with low turnout due to a lack of promotion and a bad time slot (before Facebook).

What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?


I am never embarrassed about loving a musical artist.

What was the first song you learned to play?


Basic piano lesson songs from instruction books. I later requested that my teacher show me "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis, and I practiced that style intensely.

What's next for the band?


Promoting our original music. Just hooked up with ITNS radio for a huge radio and promotion campaign. Cover songs are "safe" and always work, but original songs show real artistic creativity and can take what's good about a cover and make it better.

What's the story behind the band name?


Frankie and the Defenders used to be Frankie Flame and Ruthless Fun (a Bay Area Band). The new name (Defenders) came from after moving to the Sacramento area and wanting a new name (easier to remember), and it simply comes from our music defending fun, positive, rockin' dance music.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Val Starr and the Blues Rocket, Ryder Green.

Who are your biggest influences?


Brian Setzer, George Thorogood, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Berry.

Who first inspired you to play music?


My dad, a songwriter who played piano and kept me in piano\music lessons when I was young. He wrote catchy songs and was quick to record original songs I wrote with a childhood friend in high school.

Words to live by?


Never give up. Keep doing what works and improving on what needs work. Be confident, yet humble.

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