INTERVIEW: “The last four years, The Paula Franceschi Band has been playing Paula’s originals at L.A.s top rock clubs including The Viper Room, The Mint, Molly Malones, House of Blues, Skinny’s NoHo, etc., while also working with multi-platinum producer David J. Holman on an EP and a full-length album, “TPFB”, available on iTunes.”
Q: You’ve been making moves in Los Angeles, how’d you get into music?
I’ve been in groups since I was in Jr. High, but took a long break to raise a family and work at movie studios. I started performing live again about 4 years ago and built a tight professional band, using the skills from my ‘real’ life. I remember writing my first song at age 3. Guitar started at age 12, and I’ve played electric guitar for decades. A Tele and a Strat are my best friends, though I’ve dated a Les Paul and a Music Man from time to time. My favorite amp is a Pre-CBS Fender Vibrolux that I bought used back in 1973 for $100.
Q: Congrats on ‘TPFB’, who are some of your influences?
Some people call us “Tina Turner meets the Rolling Stones”. Some say the lyric-writing reminds them of Leonard Cohen or even Cole Porter. The Meters, old-school R&B, CCR, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, C-Lo, Bonnie Raitt, all were influences. My guitar idol is Keith Richards.
Q: What are some of your proudest moments in music so far?
It’s so cool that songs I originally wrote back in the ‘70s, like “Slave Trade,” are as kickass and relevant as the songs I’m writing now, like “That’s Not How It Goes” and “Away.” “Though we’ve got our share of love songs,the songs that mean most to me are the ones with a strong social conscience. I’ve finally found the courage to loudly take a stand on issues like human trafficking, income inequality, and gun violence. And I have an awesome band to drive the message home! My kid, Alex Stensel, joined the band at age 19, and he’s developed into an exceptional lead guitarist. Duane Waider/drums, Clackers Kay/bass and Dana Howell/keys round out the band, which is ‘coached’ by Howie Simon (Alcatrazz, Jeff Scott Soto Band, etc.).
Q: What cool stuff is on the horizon for The Paula Franceschi Band?
We’re rounding up the financing to get back in the studio. We’ve got almost another whole album’s-worth of new material road-tested and ready to go. We’re planning to tour outside the L.A. area very soon. We LOVED being interviewed on USC’s college radio station and hope to spread the word even farther. I need to learn how to connect with organizations that could use my music to further their social reform goals. As a grown woman playing rock and roll electric guitar, I’m told that I inspire girls and women to plug in and rock out and follow their dreams. That’s a life worth living for!