Frank Cosentino

I know we feature so many great new, young, aspiring bands here on PensEyeView – but it always feels good to check in with musicians who have “seen it all and done it all” – the kind with decades of experience under their belt and thousands of live shows to their credit. And that describes out latest feature pretty well – Toronto native Frank Cosentino has had a guitar in his hands for over 40 years, and has played the blues for most of that time. His first CD is nearly 20 years old, released in 1993; a chart hit all over Europeat the time!

Frank has some credentials over here in North Americaas well, having taken on over 10 endorsement deals in his native Canada. Like I said before, the blues guitarist seems to always be playing a show. He gets into his live sound here, saying his music is “Heartfelt! My Sound Is 50% Quiet finesse and 50% Brute Force! I can take a song down to a whisper and then make it explode out of my speakers and back again! But the factor that makes Frank Cosentino stand out over others is that when I strap a guitar on I play it like it’s my last time... with 100 or 1000 people in the crowd!” Cosentino is a workhorse, so keep a ready eye out for his newest materials. Want to learn more? Keep going for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Frank Costentino

PensEyeView.com (PEV):  How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

FC:  Heartfelt! My sound is 50% quiet finesse and 50% brute force! I can take a song down to a whisper and then make it explode out of my speakers and back again. But The factor that makes Frank Cosentino stand out over others is that when I strap a guitar on I play it like its my last time.

PEV:  Tell  us how you developed your musical journey. Why did you decide to run with this?

FC: I've been playing guitar since I was 5 years old, so this year makes it 43 years that I've had six strings in my hands. But when I saw Jimi Hendrix that was a life changing experience! It just spoke volumes to me. Then I wanted to know who made Jimi, Jimi. So I found The 3 Kings, BB, Alber, Freddie, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Robert Johnson and all the players who influenced this monster artist who changed the way I heard music.

PEV:  What can fans expect from a live Frank Cosentino show?

FC: The crowd can expect 150% from us as a band and intense guitar playing! It’s over the top! But there is still an element of fun at the live shows. I never forget that I'm there to entertain the crowd not just play licks.  Song wise you will hear songs from my vast catalogue of originals and some of my favorite covers because I'm still a fan and love the tunes as much as the crowd!

PEV:  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you write a song?

FC: The first thing that comes to mind when I write a song, is a VIBE, A Feel. It’s important to convey the feel of the songs topic... Do I as a songwriter what the listener to  feel sad, anger, happy, tense etc. Once the Vibe is established it becomes a wide open canvas for me to create.

PEV: What is your creative process like?

FC: I have my own 24 track recording studio, so I have my own song laboratory where I work. So, the creative process for me is many things, I might start with a cool riff or a line that gets stuck in my brain. Inspiration comes... I don't question it.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for you?

FC: I'm a guitar junkie and even after 43 years there is not a day that goes by that I am not inspired by something I hear, by old and new artists alike. I have a guitar in my hand about 10 hrs a day...so I'm always listening!

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

FC: Absolutely! It’s been a long and many times lonely road to where I as an artist am now! But playing all those shady places in the past gave me much needed musical street smarts and made me a more competent musician and entertainer. It’s things that can't be taught in a music school. So I have no regrets what so ever.

PEV:  What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

FC: After 30 years and 1000's of dates under my belt, I still get nervous before I hit the Stage! But it keeps me on my toes!

PEV:   Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

FC: The first time my guitar playing and singing got a reaction from an audience and I was hooked! And knew this was my mission in life and worked and am still working to be the very best I can be. It’s important to me that my audience never feels cheated... after dropping $10 or $20 to see me. After all without them I'm nothing.

PEV: What one word best describes Frank Cosentino?

FC: INTENSE!!!

PEV: How is life for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

FC: Life in today’s music world has its highs and lows. The high's: playing that great show where everything is in its place and you and your audience are completely connected...there's a magic in the air! And you and your audience realize something special is going down! Or laying down that perfect track! No feeling like it. Bottom line is knowing what I do has touched someone in a profound way. The lows: The Business of music. It can be underhanded and shady with lots of people promising what they can't deliver. It can drive new artists away, so you need a thick skin and after 30 years.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play?

FC: The one area I'm Interesting in traveling and playing in Europe and more places in the US. These two places really understand the type of blues (heavy on guitar) I play. After all my first Cd in 1993 charted big all over Europe - Top 10 and those great blues fests are fantastic.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

FC: No one is shocked at my career! My passion for the guitar and all things musical is just as strong (if not more now). As when I was that young kid playing guitar in the halls of school or opening up for my favorite local band in the clubs, back in the day. I'll go down with the ship.

PEV: What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?

FC: It’s always a blast to play my home town Toronto. The Venues are packed! I’m told people travel from long distances to make a show. And all the local guitar players who fill the seats just to see and hear what I will bring to the stage this time around. I never play a song the same way twice. So that gives the audience a fresh perspective of the Frank Cosentino experience. It also great that I've been honored with over 10 endorsement deals… so they really help to push what I do!

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time?

FC: Working on being a better guitarist and songwriter! Always trying to flex those muscles farther! I don't golf or play squash I am a musician and that’s what I do.

PEV:Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

FC:  My dream collaboration past would be a toss up with Albert Collins or Elmore James. The Fire these two giants played with just make me want to see if I could stand on the same plain as these giants.  The Artist I would Love To Collaborate with today is  Billy Gibbons! ZZ tops guitarist can do no wrong in my book. He has magic in his hands and his ears are huge. He truly is pushing Blues guitar forward.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

FC: This is a hard question! So let me say this.  If you want to see the best bands and or players, go to the local clubs in your area, Never forget the players slugging it out night after night in the clubs can blow away most players you see on music shows and videos! Why you ask? Those players in the clubs are doing it to survive! So they will always give their best. Just look in your backyard and you will be shocked at the world class tallent you'll find!

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think would be your career?

FC: Can't answer that question... Because music is all I ever thought about! There was never anything else!

PEV: So, what is next for you?

FC: So, what’s next for me? To keep recording and performing and bringing it to the people. And get that all important Record deal to bring this thing to the next level! I'll never quit! It’s all I know! It’s all I feel! So lookout! we're coming!

 

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