An Interview with Tom Frank of Duel

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Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Frank of Duel. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, Duel’s newest music, what’s next for Duel, the history of the band, the aesthetic of Metal, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Duel, you can head over to Heavy Psych Sounds website, and dig in. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Tom.

Joe:
What have you and Duel been up to the past year-plus considering the current state of the world?
 

Tom:
Really trying to stay busy writing and recording. Our pre-pandemic schedule was so busy we had little time to create new music. This time has allowed us to really focus on just that.

Joe:
Duel has a new album coming out in a few months. What can you tell us about it? How does it compare to your other three albums?

Tom:
We love it. It was a great outlet for us to process our frustrations and keep creating. Really helped us all hold on to our sanity, and look to the future.

Joe;
How did Duel come together as a band?

Tom:
Really at first through putting a listing online looking for musicians to form a band. The original guys were eventually replaced with our current lineup as it has been for most DUEL. In our first years, we toured constantly so that really decides who is right for the band. I love that on tour and at home, we have complete harmony and a real family vibe. We are beyond brothers.

Joe:
How did you decide on the name “Duel?”

Tom:
Spielberg’s first film. I was trying to think of names in my living room and looking at a pile of old VHS tapes, and there it was. It jumped right out.

Joe:
Heavy Psych Sounds is a truly amazing label. How did you guys get involved with them?

Tom:
When we first started we made a little EP and sent it to a bunch of labels. HPS was one of the interested parties and seemed to have the most to offer us. Since then we have built a great relationship with them. Such a great label and great people!

Joe:
Duel has some pretty trippy lyrics with songs such as “Astro Gypsy,” and “Tyrant on the Throne.” How do you and the other members of Duel come up with such creative subject matter?

Tom:
Drugs man, Lots of drugs. [Laughs]. No, seriously, we get baked and think of plots from old sci-fi movies — Conan The Barbarian, European vintage horror, etc.

Duel at Barracuda on April 20, 2017

Joe:
Now that live shows are starting to happen again, does Duel have plans to start touring? If so, what do those plans look like?

Tom:
We have a lot of stuff in TX the rest of this year. We’ve got some west coast dates February and March. In June 2021 we have another EU tour that includes Hellfest as well as a bunch of other dates with bands like High on Fire, and Elder.

Joe:
Do you collect records, CDs, and tapes? Or do you mostly listen mostly digitally? What are some artists or albums you have been listening to lately?

Tom:
I collect old records and some new ones too. At home, it’s all vinyl, but in the car, I listen to a lot of 70s Proto-Metal on YouTube or wherever.

Joe:
Who influences you most as a musician, and songwriter?

Tom:
I love Judas Priest and UFO…stuff like that. It’s also the kind of music I want to play.

Joe:
Aesthetics and imagery always seemed important in music, more so in Metal. What are your thoughts on this?

Tom:
It really is important. I think you need to have a consistent vibe that people can tune into. I think it helps people form a complete picture in their minds when listening.

Joe:
Where do you see Duel going in the future?

Tom:
Just to keep in keeping on. Our dream isn’t to be a huge band, diluted and disconnected from their fans. We are doing exactly what we want. To play, write, and share good times with cool people. To enjoy the journey, and not worry about the destination.

Interested in sampling the work of Duel? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Records, Roots & Ramblings, by Joe O’Brien, here: https://vwmusicrocks.com/records-roots-ramblings-archives/

About Post Author

Joe O'Brien

Joe has always been a huge music fan. Growing up on Long Island, NY, USA, Joe did chores and dumpster dove for bottles with his best friend Andrew to trade bottles for money to buy vinyl. Joe is a Registered Nurse in the ER by day, and a life-long music lover by night. Having been an avid consumer of all things music since he was a child, Joe’s diverse collection of over 3,000 vinyl albums, plus several hundred tapes and CDs, tells the story of a man who simply loves music. Joe’s goal is to write about what he is most passionate about and share new and exciting music. Joe lives on Long Island, NY with his beloved dog Scarlett.
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