Introducing: Franck Carducci & The Fantastic Squad

French prog rock outfit Franck Carducci and the Fantastic Squad have announced a run of UK live dates for February and March. Here’s what you can look forward to from this vastly experienced musician:

What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing in this project?

My name is Franck Carducci, I’m a French rock musician, singer, and songwriter.

I grew up in Lyon, France, in an Italian family where 70’s classic rock music was part of everyday life. We would listen to the Beatles and the Stones as well as Billy Joel or Supertramp, Led Zeppelin, and old Elton John records. As a teenager, I grew particularly fond of a band with very weird album covers. They had this cow with no band name on it, and another one had 2 guys shaking hands but one of them was on fire. My favorite one pictured a pig flying over an old London power station. They went by the name of Pink Floyd, and their music changed my life. So I started to play covers in pubs and clubs downtown Lyon, where I was not even old enough to be allowed in as a customer I was also doing some studio sessions work in the area. In parallel, I was writing my own songs and recording some demos. Regularly, friends would tell me: “Hey, these songs sound good, you should make an album!” and I would always give the same answer: “What for? Nobody knows me and it’s never gonna work!”

Later on, I moved to Amsterdam and joined the local scene there. Then I got to meet one of my childhood heroes, Steve Hackett from Genesis. I opened a gig for him and we had a long discussion. At some point he said to me: “Your songs sound good, you should record an album!”. So I fired my usual response to this, but then he replied: “Well, just do it for yourself, that way you can’t be disappointed, if it works you’re happy, if it doesn’t, you’re still happy because you did it for you anyway!”

The next day, I started the recording of my first album “Oddity”. Steve was very supportive in the process and he apparently enjoyed the album because he then offered to play on the next one, which he did on “Torn Apart” in 2015. So I guess, everything I achieved as a solo artist, I owe it to Steve somehow, I wouldn’t be here without his wise words. As for the name, since I didn’t have a band at the time of the release of “Oddity” I just obviously used mine 🙂

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Franck Carducci & The Fantastic Squad?

You can expect a lot of fun; a lot of colors, a lot of glitters, a lot of visual effects, and of course a lot of rock ‘n’ roll

I’ve always been a fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Especially the more elaborated side of rock. So Progressive-Rock of course, but also Glam, Hard, Blues, … It’s a mix of all these genres! My music is widely influenced by 70s classic rock, so I’d say I’m a new classic rock artist with a lot of visual stage effects. Some call it “Theatrical Rock” I like that label a lot.

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?!

It was … a long time ago 🙂

But yeah, I never expected to make an album, and even less play my original songs live. So I’d say it was pretty unexpected. And at the same time, it felt amazing

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

Indeed, supply might be bigger than demand 🙂 In my opinion, it’s important that the music is good and well played, but it’s not enough. If it’s just for the music, fans are probably better off listening comfortably on their couch where the sound experience is more likely to be better than in a concert venue. So if you expect them to go out and buy a ticket for your show, you’ve gotta give them more than just the music. That’s the reason why we started to develop all kinds of visual effects, to give them something to remember.

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What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

After releasing an acoustic album as a duo with Mary Reynaud + a live album with my Fantastic Squad in 2023, I’m now currently working on my next studio album.

In the meantime, we’ll be touring the UK in 2024:

FEB-28: LONDON – The Bedford

FEB-29: SWINDON – The Victoria

MAR-01: PORT TALBOT – Seaside Social & Labour Club

MAR-02: STOURPORT – Fusion Festival

MAR-03: SOUTHAMPTON – The 1865

MAR-06: LEICESTER – The Musician

MAR-07: LIVERPOOL – Cavern Club

MAR-08: GLASGOW – Ivory Blacks

MAR-09 : NEWCASTLE – Innisfree Sports & Social Club

MAR-10: OUNDLE – Queen Victoria Hall

Regarding a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel you would be best suited to open for?

If I could choose a band to support, that would probably be Paul McCartney or David Gilmour or Roger Waters, but there are so many that I’d love to play with!

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

My good friend Peter Jones is one of the most talented guys I know. He’s already in the process of becoming a superstar with his band “Tiger Moth Tale”!!!

What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

A Pink Floyd concert in my hometown of Lyon, France in 1994. I was 16 and already playing guitar. This was an unforgettable experience.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Peter Frampton in Paris. He was fantastic, even though he’s having some health issues.

What current social issues are you particularly passionate about?

People, particularly youngsters, being absorbed by social media on their phones and forgetting to live the real life. I’m really concerned about that, and doing my best to convince people to go out, talk to each other, and have fun!

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

“Grease” … HA HA HA 🙂

There were some amazing new albums released this year, what would be your album of the year? 

I’ve loved the new Roling Stones album. I didn’t expect them to be able to surprise me at their age, but they did. Still rocking at 80 … what an achievement!!!

I’m mainly listening to old stuff though, and some indie bands I meet on the road.

What does 2024 hold for you?

A big tour with hopefully so nice festivals and maybe some new music … I’m workin’ on it anyway.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

Very active, first on my website:

And of course Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Apple, Bandcamp, Amazon, Deezer, … you name it!


Photo credits: Bryan Taylor (black and white) Martin Reijman (colour)

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