Imagine for a moment having all of your hopes and dreams laid out for you, almost within your grasp, only to have them jerked away at the last possible second. That is the story of one of the biggest bands that you’ve probably never heard of, and the subject of a new movie schedule to be released on Youtube this Sunday.
“Meet the Frantics”, a film from Owensboro-based Matthew Scott Martin, tells the story of “The Frantics”, a power-pop rock quartet that debuted in 1999 and were on a trajectory towards superstardom, before their world came crashing down around them.
With their debut (and only) album climbing the charts, band members felt they were on the verge of taking a huge step forward in their careers. Then, following a performance in Grand Rapids, front man Chris Shandrow unexpectedly announced that he was finished and walked away.
As highlighted in the film, Shandrow’s departure marked the end for the four-piece band and the beginning of a lot of hard-feelings that his band mates still struggle to deal with.
One of the hardest parts was that their history was a lot longer than the year and a half they toured as “The Frantics,” the period covered in the film. Guitarist John Gilbert and drummer Derek Sorrells, both Madisonville-natives, had played together in a band known as “Homesick” along with bassist, Clay-native Matthew Scott Martin, beginning in 1995.
In 1997, after that band ended, Sorrells and Gilbert joined the band that backed up Christian recording artist “Miss Angie”, where they first met Shandrow, a native of Bloomington, IL.
All three can be seen playing in the video for her 1998 release “I Lift My Eyes Up”, along with Martin, who is in the crowd.
After breaking from “Miss Angie” in 1999, the band took shape and began performing.
After signing with Christian Rock record label Pamplin/Organic Records, the band toured the country for a year, along the way performing with acts such as Katy Perry and grammy award winning rock band Petra, as well as serving as back-up band for Newsboys bassist Phil Joel on his solo work.
These days the band members all live fairly normal lives. Shandrow is a minister in Illinois. Gilbert has worked at Carhartt RCV in Hanson for over a decade. Sorrells is an outside sales representative for The Journal-Enterprise, a newspaper based in Providence. And Martin is a filmmaker based in Owensboro.
While putting the film together, Martin managed to reunite the band for the first time in 19 years. They performed a single show together in September.
The roughly 45-minute film debuted to a crowd of around 80 people Thursday night at the Xtreme Center in White Plains, before being released to the public via Youtube on Sunday.
Watch "Meet the Frantics" at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93yGKqKSDWw
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