A Five-man Band of One

The cheerful sounds of a five-man indie band from Virginia, The Anatomy of Frank, are coming to Whitehorse next week … delivered through one person.

How? The band’s founder and guitarist, Kyle Woolard, explains:

“I was in college at the University of Virginia, and I had been looking for members for a band for a few years,” he says of the group’s origins.

“About 9 or 10 months ago, we put a lineup together and started The Anatomy of Frank. As far as touring went, though, the other guys couldn’t all leave their jobs so I’m doing this leg of it myself.”

Woolard has developed a full set to tour around North America, including a stop on September 16 at the Jarvis Street Saloon.

“I designed this electronic show myself, with lights and instrumentation to make up for the lack of people,” he says. “This will be the one-man, electric version of The Anatomy of Frank. I just kind of deconstructed our music and put it in an electronic context.”

After quitting his job at an elementary school and spending three months on the project, Woolard admits the result is different from what he is used to.

“It’s a different bag of tools for this kind of music,” he says, “Instead of five guys on instruments, it’s just me and electronics. They’re the same songs, but they do sound different.”

Woolard estimates it took about 100 hours to re-work each song.

“You have to use a different mindset. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s very rewarding in the end because I have it pretty much where I want it.”

Although the music itself tends to fall under the ‘experimental’ label, Woolard prefers the description coined by his producer: indie-prog-pop. The term ‘electronic’ should also be thrown in, at least for this particular act, he adds.

He goes on to describe a little of what Whitehorse audiences can expect from his unorthodox setup.

“I’m going to start off the night with an acoustic set and after that the full electronic set. It starts quietly but by the end it’s pretty loud. Not bad loud though,” he says, debating his choice of words.

“It’s just got all kinds of dynamic changes and lots of orchestration. There’s a lot of movement onstage, and a full light show that goes along with it.”

Woolard has now been on the road for two months, travelling from Virginia through Mexico, California and Canada’s east coast. So far, he says, the reception has been even more positive than he had hoped.

“I’ve sold too much stuff; I have to reorder before I head north. It’s been a really invigorating experience for me, and very gratifying… we have a beautiful continent here.”

He particularly looks forward to travelling through the Yukon and Alaska.

“I feel like up in the Yukon and Alaska, you guys certainly don’t get the flow of music traffic they get down south,” he says. “I’ve always been very eager to travel to places that don’t get to hear as much music as everywhere else.”

While Woolard is doing the work of five on this tour, the other members of Anatomy of Frank have been far from idle in their short time playing together.

In June, the group released its debut three-track EP, called Relax, There’s Nothing Here But Old Pictures. A full-length album is slated to appear this winter.

Start time for Woolard’s Jarvis Street Saloon appearance is 9:30 pm. For more information about the band, go to www.theanatomyoffrank.com.

Willow Gamberg is a former What’s Up Yukon intern who writes about music and other arts-related topics.

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