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Frank the Baptist (USA)


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Frank the Baptist began in the late 90s in San Diego, California by eponymous frontman Frank Vollmann. Through various line-up changes, FTB built a loyal following through their atmospheric music and Frank’s unmistakable, powerful voice in live performances around the southwest US, Chicago and New York.

On the strength of copies of early demo CDs which found their way over to Europe, independent Austrian label Strobelight Records was formed and quickly released “Different Degrees of Empty”(STROB 001) in 2003. The CD was a critical success, a dancefloor favorite, and has since become an underground classic in the Postpunk, Indie and other underground circles.

In 2004, the second CD “Beggars Would Ride”(STROB 005) was released by Strobelight, and FTB toured Europe for the first time to enthusiastic audiences. After headlining the Wave Gothic Treffen in May 2005 at the Parkbühne in Leipzig to a full ecstatic crowd, it became increasingly obvious that their success in Europe was outshining their success back in the states.

Frank Vollmann relocated to Berlin in 2006, joining long-time comrades Fez Wrecker (Bonniwell Music Machine, Fuzztones) and Benn Ra (Hatesex, ex-Diva Destruction), both of whom had coincidentally played in early incarnations of FTB in San Diego circa 1997-8. East Berliner Thomas Fietz joined on drums, and the new line-up debuted at The Villa in Leipzig on Friday the 13th, 2006.

In November 2006, FTB went into Studio Wong in Berlin-Kreuzberg and recorded in three days what would become the group’s charter and manifesto, “The New Colossus” (STROB 026). Produced by longtime friend and ex guitarist Fez Wrecker, “The New Colossus” is a massive milestone of an album in the elaborate and unmistakable Frank the Baptist style, full of melancholic power, dangerously intense atmosphere, and inspired production. Live and dancefloor stompers such as “If I Speak” and the instant classic“Harlot of Nations,” eruptive anthems such as “Nautical Miles,” anthracite ballads such as “Scars Forever,” or the epic masterpiece “Cosmonauts” — it’s all there.

Along the way Toxo and Mario Usai (Clan of Xymox) have graced FTB with their talents on Bass and In 2008 Justin Stephens (Passion Play) joined the ranks as bass player for the FTB performance at the Mera Luna Festival and has played with the band up until the completion of the 4th album, which he recorded and produced.

The band has also been joined for live shows by Carsten Klatte (Project Pitchfork) and ex-player Fez Wrecker (Who still jumps up on stage from time to time) before long time friend of the band Ralf Hünefeld joined permanently on guitar in 2010.

With Slady replacing Thomas on drums and Ilija Gavrilenko eventually replacing Justin, freeing him up to pursue his own projects, the band has headlined various festivals and concerts in various places around the globe from then until now and toward the end of 2011 and through 2012 FTB has played a string of shows to try out the new material for the next album with old and new fans. The music was very well received and the band put their shows on hold for a year to work on recording the new album/cd.

The 4th Frank The Baptist album “As The Camp Burns” exceeded expectations in the private listening parties and has been hailed by some as their best work to date. It will be released in April 2015, right before they start happily hitting the stages again to bring their very own special brand of mayhem and leave an FTB size hole in your town.


Frank the Baptist ist eine US-amerikanische Postpunk-Indie- und Death-Rock-Band aus dem kalifornischen San Diego, die in den späten 1990er-Jahren von Frontmann Frank Vollmann gegründet wurde.

Frank the Baptist sind eine amerikanische Band um den Frontman Frank Vollmann, zu der derzeit außerdem Gerrit Hassler (Gitarre), Julio Cardador (Bass) und Salomon Bosse (Schlagzeug) gehören. Ihr vielseitiger Sound enthält Elemente von Psychedelia, Rock ’n’ Roll und Grunge, Americana und Gothic sowie Batcave und Glamrock.

1997 wurde die Band in San Diego gegründet und erlangte Bekanntheit in der kalifornischen Deathrock-Szene. Nachdem sie 1999 und 2000 bereits zwei EPs im Eigenvertrieb veröffentlicht hatte wurde das neugegründete österreichische Label Strobelight Records auf sie aufmerksam. Dort erschien 2003 das offizielle Debütalbum, Different Degrees of Empty. Es erhielt gute Kritiken. Thomas Thyssen bezeichnete die Platte in der Zeitschrift Sonic Seducer als „Hammerscheibe“.

2004 folgte das zweite Album Beggars Would Ride. Zu diesem Anlass unternahm die Band ihre erste Europa-Tournee. Im Mai 2005 spielte die Band beim Musikfestival Wave-Gotik-Treffen.

Frank Vollmann zog 2006 nach Berlin, wo er sich mit Fez Wrecker (Bonniwell Music Machine, The Fuzztones) und Benn Ra (Hatesex, Diva Destruction) zusammentat, die beide bereits 1997–1998 am Projekt Frank the Baptist mitgewirkt hatten. Der Berliner Phanthomas komplettierte als Schlagzeuger die neue Besetzung, die ihr erstes Konzert 2006 in der Leipziger Villa gab.

Im November 2006 nahm die Band im Studio Wong in Berlin-Kreuzberg das dritte Album The New Colossus auf, das 2007 veröffentlicht wurde. Ab 2008 war Justin Stephens (anstelle von Benn Ra) Bassist der Band.

Nach weiteren Änderungen in der Besetzung und sechs Jahren ohne Veröffentlichung erschien am 20. April 2015 der Longplayer As the Camp Burns mit elf neuen Songs, die im Gegensatz zu den früheren Alben mehr Rock-Anteile aufweisen.

Frank the Baptist traten mit Bands wie Chameleons Vox, In Extremo und Clan of Xymox auf. Sie steuerten Tracks zu verschiedenen Kompilationen wie Pagan Love Songs 1-3 und New Dark Age 1-4 bei.