The Rat Opera

The Rat Opera

 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Comprised of members of legendary South Florida punk bands Quit and The Holy Terrors, The Rat Opera were formed specifically to perform songs from the punk rock musical "Hearing Damage - aka The Rat Opera", which tells the story of Miami noise pioneer Rat Bastard.


15 years ago, a
young, long haired, Birkenstock wearing lad named Brian Franklin
found himself lost in downtown Tampa (at 3am in the morning) walking
with Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra, legendary Noise artist, employee
of a major airline, musicologist, and locally known as the guy who
recorded some of the first (and last) demos of South Florida's Most
Popular and/or Interesting Bands.

The two had just finished recording Franklin's first solo album, a
collection of long acoustic dirges that seemed very much out of
place in Rat's punkish sort of ethos. Nonetheless, Rat adopted Brian
like a stray kitten, determined to provide him with much needed
exposure to stuff that "did not suck like U2."

A few years later, Franklin began to realize that this
strange man wasn't just musical... he was literally "a musical." Or
a rock opera. Something like that.

Pieces of what he knew to be Rat's life became more interesting
strung together. His work for the airline. The fact that he hated
hippie music but surrounded himself with acoustic artists. That he
had the best t-shirt collection in history. A history of hot women
around him. That he literally had fans around the world, and yet the
average listener would rather be at Guantanamo than spend 10 minutes
listening to his band.

However, domestic life and suburbia had left Franklin musically
bankrupt. He needed assistance. Someone who understood Rat's
complexities and could offer a harder edge to the presentation.

Enter Rob Elba.

From a purely musical perspective, most of Rob's friends probably
raised an eyebrow at the collaboration. Was Rob going soft? What
would Franklin do to Elba's well earned reputation as one of the
"hardest rocking men in Weston, Florida?"

In fact, it took years of badgering and discussion before Rob
consented to even look at the lyrics. But once he did... the music
began pouring out...

Now, they have a long array of songs, a great band, and a
show. Not really a musical. More like Tommy, except it's the
audience that's growing deaf, not blind but needing reading glasses,
and definitely not mute.

No doubt Rat will think it sucks, and that the true
originators of the Rat Opera Sound was this Dublin band back in the