Frankenstein Dog

Frankenstein Dog


What would happen if a kid from the old CBGB N.Y. Hardcore scene was forced to learn every Dylan song and read every Hemingway novel? He'd most likely start a band called Frankenstein Dog.


I guess I was about ten minutes late for the meeting I had scheduled with Billy Manas from Frankenstein Dog, so when I walked into Bacchus in New Paltz, I noticed the conversation was in full swing. Manas was explaining to the bar-back how Frankenstein Dog began--or more accurately, why it began.
At 23 yrs old, Manas just finished school at SUNY New Paltz, and just lost what he described as "the girl of his dreams". Obsessed with the possibility of having to see her date other guys, he made a spur of the moment decision to join his college roommate on a trip to Arizona in a VW van.
An incredible transition took place for Manas on that trip.
This was a person who grew up on Long Island and absolutely despised all things conventional. According to Manas, being a non-conformist growing up on Long Island left him with as many good memories as his last toothache..
"I dealt with ridicule, threats, and way too much notoriety for the way I dressed and the music I listened to. I assumed that was the way the entire world was. When I came to New Paltz and realized that there was so much more tolerance for individuality, I never went back to Long Island again."
His musical tastes began with punk rock and progressed to the NY hardcore scene. By the time he was a senior in high school, he had his first four track recorder and belonged to a tight knit group of avant-garde songwriters who had these primitive recording set-ups, as well.
"We'd get together practically every night after school and do nothing but drink coffee and listen to each others newest creations--it was as if everyone was trying to "out-weird" each other."
"Most of the time, whenever I was in a situation where some sort of mainstream music was being played, I'd either make fun of it mercilessly or just leave the room. I spent two years living with a college roommate who owned six or seven Dylan records that he would play incessantly. I couldn't stand it.
But in that van, emotionally devastated and heartbroken, it was like I was hearing this music for the first time. I was literally entranced by every word of every song When we got to Tempe, I bought an acoustic guitar and approached learning Dylan the way I learned Hemingway in Grad school. Total immersion. After I had about fifty songs down, I began playing all the coffeehouses in the area."
It sounded like an incredibly eventful year that Manas described as half rite of passage and half Fellini movie. But, as he put it, every escapade reminded him of how much he missed "that girl."
"I remember, after I had been there for about a year, I was on my way to the rental office with my rent payment and noticed a taxi sitting there. I ran back upstairs, grabbed my acoustic guitar, a handful of clothes and some books and jumped in the back of the cab."
He was back in New Paltz within a few days.
"My plan was to win back my girl. Sitting at the airport bar I formulated this plan to write the greatest songs in the world, start the greatest band in the world and while I was busy playing at one of the New Paltz bars some night, "she" would walk in, I'd sing her the most incredible song in the world, and we'd live happily ever after."
And the name of the band?
"Oh that's obvious. While I was on the plane back to NY, I was reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The idea that this monster was created with the ability to fall passionately in love but was cruelly made too ugly to receive any reciprocation--I could feel that. So the band name is half based on that and half based on the fact that the plan I had to win back my girl was total underdog."
Whether or not the original plan was successful is immaterial, according to Manas. It began what turned out to be his life's work.


Don't Put Me in Your Movie

Set List

1-Don't Put Me in Your Movie
2-Guilty of Yourself
3-Far away
4-All's Well in Denial
5-GueSs that's What I Gotta Say
6-Interesting Justice
7-Murphys law
8-Killin Me
9-Another world
10-That's ok
11-Waste Away

About an hour long set.