When you see a bunch of 20-something-year-old guys with open shirts, leather pants and gold glitter on their face, you’d think that they’d have to be really good to be a legitimate band. They’re called the High Class Elite, and I got a chance to speak with them after their half-hour set for about five minutes before they had to get to the media area. It turned out to be more of a conversation than a formal interview, and the only speakers were frontman Franco V. and drummer Michael Resnick, but hey… enjoy.
Michael: That was a pretty intense show.
Franco: Was it?
Michael: Yeah, I don’t think anybody was expecting that. It started off with a pretty small crowd, but you guys drew a lot of people in by the end.
Franco: Yeah, it felt pretty good.
Michael: Was that your biggest show?
Franco: Uh…no… Probably in terms of people, in Philadelphia, when we opened for Iggy Pop—that was our biggest show.
Michael: That’s another thing I was just gonna say—are you excited for Iggy Pop tomorrow? Cause I saw a lot of his influence in you.
Franco: You saw the influence? (Laughs)
Resnick: He’s biting our style a little.
Franco: Yeah, I talked to him about it, I was like, “Iggy, take it easy…” (Laughs) No, but seriously, he’s obviously one of my biggest influences.
Michael: Who else would you rank up there?
Franco: David Johansen, New York Dolls… Ramones… Richard Hell… That whole kinda scene.
Michael: What about the whole New York City thing? You feel that influenced you a lot, coming from that city? You got a song named after it, after all.
Franco: That’s true. Yeah, it’s definitely a unique place, I think. I mean, I grew up there, so I don’t know what it’s like to grow up anywhere else… but from what I hear, it’s a unique place.
Michael: But do you think it’s influenced the music?
Franco: Yeah, definitely.
Michael: Now, the whole image, the whole glam-rock thing, it’s not as popular these days, so how’d you guys find each other, the five, six in a million?
Franco: GlamRock.com. (Laughs)
Resnick: Craig’s List/band-rocker.
Franco: Nah… we were all friends, you know, we met at bars and stuff in New York…
Resnick: In the bathroom…
Franco: We met in the bathroom, heh…
Resnick: It started as a circle-jerk.
Franco: And I remember, like, “Well, we’re all pretty fruity,” like, “we probably like glam-rock.”
Resnick: Frank and I had, what was it, “Acoustics of Recording” together?
Franco: Yeah, we had a class together. It was a terribly boring class.
Michael: And you guys just decided to go with glam-rock as opposed to any other genre?
Franco: Uh, well, I mean… that’s just, uh… you know… that’s… All my influences are… not all of them, but you know, where I’m at right now in life… I’m just feeling that the most.
Michael: All right… also, it’s not so much apparent live, but in the studio, you sound a lot like Eddie Argos, of Art Brut.
Franco: You know, I feel like I’ve heard that before.
Resnick: Yeah, I’ve gotten that a lot from people as well.
Michael: It was even on the Lollapalooza summary.
Resnick: (Mocking Argos; sounding constipated) “I’m considering a move to LA”—That’s what Eddie sounds like. (Laughs)
Franco: I’ve actually never listened to him, to be honest… I mean, that’s cool I guess. Today was a bad display of my voice, cause I’ve fuckin’… we’ve been practicing…
Michael: I don’t think anybody cared, I gotta say.
Franco: Well, that’s what I felt was gonna happen.
Michael: Do you run around in all your shows?
Franco: Yeah, that’s normal, that’s… yeah.
Michael: And you start dancing with the people who aren’t dancing?
Franco: Yeah. Yeah, you know, if I see that people are just kinda shoegazing, you know, they could be enjoying us or whatever. But if they’re not into it, the way I get most into it is by getting the people into it. And so the easiest way to get people into it is to go out there and shake ‘em up.