'Malcolm' star switches gears with Kingsfoil

'Malcolm' star switches gears with Kingsfoil

Story by Linda East Brady , Standard-Examiner staff - Oct 5 2012 - 12:43am
Frankie Muñiz (left) is a member of the indie pop band Kingsfoil, performing Tuesday at Mojos Caffe & Gallery in Ogden.

Kingsfoil

7 p.m. Oct. 9.
Mojos Caffe & Gallery
2210 Washington Blvd.
Ogden
$10/adv., $12/day of.

At 26, Frankie Muñiz already has a couple of fantasy careers under his belt.

A child actor, he became an overnight sensation as the title character in the 2000-2006 Fox TV series "Malcolm in the Middle."

He guest-starred on such shows as "Lizzie McGuire," "Arrested Development" and "MADtv" -- and also worked behind the scenes, writing for television and working as a film producer.

He became a race driver in his early 20s, competing in dozens of open-wheel, Indy-style races since 2005. His fellow race-car drivers voted him the Jovy Marcel Award for sportsmanship in 2008.

But also during those years, Muñiz was honing the skills that now serve him as a drummer. He started first with the Phoenix band You Hang Up, in 2010. He joined Kingsfoil, an indie pop outfit, in March of this year. The band plays Ogden's all-ages venue, Mojos Caffe & Gallery, on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

"It was kind of a perfect situation in the sense my previous band had broken up late last year, and Kingsfoil's drummer left early this year," said Muñiz, calling from California's Fontana Raceway, where he was watching an old racing teammate compete.

"I had the same manager as the band did, so they helped me arrange it, and I flew to their home base in Pennsylvania and auditioned. Here I am now, a full member of the band, and having a blast. I love this."

Drum crazy

Muñiz said he has been fascinated by percussion since boyhood.

"I can play some stuff on piano and guitar, but drums is what I do. I never took my eyes off the drummer when I went to shows, even when I was a little kid."

He became a big fan of the brother band Hanson in his preteens.

"They were the same age as me, and I thought that was so cool," said Muñiz. "I think that motivated me more than anything to start playing drums."

Muñiz got his own drum set at age 12, and was soon pounding away in his grandma's basement. He never had a lesson.

"I taught myself by listening to and watching other drummers. I started taking it seriously once I joined my first band, but until then, it was always a hobby. But now, I am trying constantly to improve and try to think of new things I can do or try. I don't want to let my band down. I want to do the best job I can for them. I'm working really hard to make that happen."

Muñiz said he is inspired by many players, including Carter Beauford of the Dave Matthews Band, and Darren King, drummer for Mutemath.

"He (King) is phenomenal, to watch him live. A lot of people don't know drummers, but he really puts on a show -- you can't help but watch him! That is impressive to me, not just being able to play these amazing parts perfectly, but to be one of the guys to make an impact on the entire performance."

Foiled

Muñiz said he was a huge fan of Kingsfoil (which includes Jordan Davis on guitar/vocals; Tristan Martin, guitar/keyboards/vocals; and Tim Warren, bass/vocals) before joining was even a consideration.

"This is the exact genre of music I love to listen to, and play along with, and once I got out there, and got to meet the guys, it was my dream situation for a band," said Muñiz. "I was so hoping it would work out, and it did."

Muñiz joined the band after it had already finished its latest album, "A Beating Heart Is a Bleeding Heart," which arrived Sept. 25.

"The other guys had completed the album in Nashville the week I joined. It is challenging to come into a band that already has a sound. Every drummer has their own technique. Like with fills, I have a certain style, but I really had to learn someone else's, to play the songs on their albums. And their old drummer was really, really good. No easy drum parts here. It is exhausting and amazing."

Plus, Muñiz had only four days to learn the parts before playing his first show with Kingsfoil.

"We rehearsed literally until my fingers were bleeding," said Muñiz. "Now, getting ready to tour the new record, we all are learning the songs a bit together. We all really want it, and we are all working really hard to make this happen."

The band has already started writing songs for a new album, with hopes of recording with Muñiz early next year.

"I can literally say I am the happiest I have ever been," Muñiz said. "I know, I really do, that I have been so fortunate to get to do such awesome things with my life. But I really love this band so much, and the lifestyle of it, and really want this to work.

"We all do. We are putting in as much effort and work as we can to be the best band we can be, and hope people will come out to the shows and just enjoy the music."

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