Hollywood’s biggest triple threat James Franco can add another notch to his belt; rockstar. In true Franco style that we have come to know and love, the actor cum director cum author cum poet cum everyone’s favourite grad student‘s (you get the picture…) latest foray into the world of music is no disappointment. Collaborating with musician Tim O’Keefe to form Daddy, the duo’s hazy brand of reverb heavy grooves influenced by Franco’s hometown of California, classic Motown and rare soul, are a welcome departure from the straightforward indie pop that seems like the obvious choice for crossover stars these days.
The video for first single “Love In The Old Days,” from the debut EP MotorCity (which features his Spring Breakers co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine as the album artwork and drops tomorrow), is directed by Franco and follows the Cali summer aesthetic with mirror imaged, grainy, hyper color, framed stock footage from previous projects, such as his collaboration with 7 For All Mankind, of beach babes juxtaposed with a final penetrating image of Franco’s parents’ wedding photo, adding a very personal touch; something which he has come to be known for in varying aspects of his work. The difference with Daddy however is that Franco does not sing, instead by employing his poetic background, the spoken-word, to accomplish a distinctive and unique sound for a band who could so easily be written off.
While to some, this ‘jack of all trades’ mentality that Franco has may be annoying or frustrating, it is refreshing to see someone use the resources they have to their advantage without taking it to an obnoxious extreme. Franco’s work is clearly personal and his output is to create something interesting and thought provoking outside of the commercial realm, which he could so easily be immersed in. Nevertheless, Franco is also painfully aware of his onslaught of creative output, and he told Rolling Stone, “I know I do a lot of things. I’m very aware of that. I’m sure there are a lot of skeptical people, hearing about me doing music… To me, it all comes from a similar place. It’s like using different tools to express things in different ways.”