The Franklin-Neumann Project
Gary W. Franklin and Bill L. Neumann
In 1996, Bill and Gary decided to get together at Bill's house in order to get an idea of each other's musical style and favorite groups. Bill grew up in the sixties and seventies listening to the blues and rock of that era. Gary grew up in the seventies and eighties listening to rock and heavy metal. For the first few months, Bill tried to teach Gary the basics about playing blues (yeah, he had played guitar for ten years and had never really learned any blues, disgusting ain't it). Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the musical "magic" wasn't there playing Stevie Ray Vaughan, Popa Chubby, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd tunes. But they both worked for the same company, in the same building, in the same lab (actually, Bill was Gary's boss) - so they continued to make a go of it by playing blues songs and throwing in the occasional hard rock / heavy metal tune. It was during one of these sessions that Bill played a keyboard riff that he had originally written some 20 years ago. As soon as Gary heard it, he knew that they had to do something with it. A few weeks later, they had a working copy of I Can See Forever, a progressive rock song about a man who sells his soul to become omniscient. Shortly after that, Bill played a complete keyboard song that he had also written some 20 years ago. Going from a few verses he had written, they had the ballad Forever in Your Eyes. Within the next two years, they would go on to finish the Symphony of Man, a thematic collection of songs entitled Kings, Commoners, Princes, and Thieves. Within a few months after that, Machinery Of The Gods, their debut CD, was released (February, 1999).
They profess to be amateurs at writing music (they are actually pharmaceutical research chemists), but their abilities have increased for each song that they have created. In two years they went from "jamming", to 4-track analog recording, to their current ability of digitally recording complex compositions. They now use a computer-controlled, 32-track digital recorder in conjunction with a Yamaha keyboard, Korg Pandora, Zoom 3030, and various other pieces of equipment. Bill and Gary both provide rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, percussion, and vocals. Bill has, for the most part, created the foundation for all of the FNP songs. Gary has performed the orchestration and written most of the lyrics.