Frayle makes music for the night sky. The group was formed in 2017 by guitarist Sean Bilovecky (formerly of now-defunct Man’s Ruin recording artists Disengage) and vocalist Gwyn Strang, a singer with an alluring voice and an equally compelling flair for imagery. Frayle’s “lullabies over chaos” approach to songwriting allows the group the freedom to explore what is possible with heavy music; its gorgeously ominous sound is a result of complex layering and tone stacking while simultaneously overseeing the perfectly delicate balance between heaving, heavy riffs and haunting vocal melodies. With its full-length debut, ‘1692’, Frayle pushes the immense intensity and gorgeous ache of its unique sound and style through to uncompromising new plateaus. While there is much darkness on the record, it’s also contrasted superbly with beauty, both fragile and fierce, in a way that feels weightless rather than plummeting, as if release truly is a possibility. Here’s our interview with the voice of the band, Gwyn Strang!
Sean and I met in 2016 when I hired him to make some patterns for me. We started dating a year or so later. For Christmas one year I gave him “Logic,” a d.a.w. And he started writing music again. He would hear me sing in the bathtub and asked me to sing on one of the tracks that he wrote. We gave ourselves a deadline of April 1 to get something together and to put it on Bandcamp. Our hope was that we would sell 2 copies a month to cover the monthly fee. Within a few days our European label, Laybare contacted us and within 6 months we were playing festivals in Europe.
Behind the name:
We thought Frayle would be an appropriate name since I write about the frailties of our hearts and psyche. It also is appropriate for my singing style. We thought that taking apart and rebuilding the word frail makes it somehow stronger. Like kintsugi, that which is broken can become stronger and more beautiful.
For me, Portishead has always been a huge inspiration. Beth Gibbons’s lyrics and vocal delivery touch me. Swans is also a big one for me. Sean derives a lot of inspiration from Amenra, Crowbar, and My Bloody Valentine.
Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. Most of the time things just flow or they don’t. It really depends on how you feel that day.
Sean and I write everything separately. He will write a riff and add it to his library. We pick several from the library and set them aside. I then go in and record a scratch track over top. Once that is done we go over everything and decide what we want to flesh out more. We’ll then arrange and finalize.
On the last show of our recent tour with Cradle of Filth, they pranked us by coming on stage during our last song with balloons and took apart our drum kit. We hadn’t planned on doing anything to them, but of course, we had to retaliate. We decided that all of us would dress up like their guitarist Ashok (pinhead) and rush the stage with our guitars during their last song. We didn’t have costumes so we “borrowed” some curtains from the club and used my makeup to paint our faces like Ashok. We ran on stage and did our best impressions of all of his signature moves. It was great!