Welcome to Bandspace, the monthly series where Phoenix New Times visits a local band's practice space.
Inside an inconspicuous warehouse in West Phoenix, through a dimly lit dark blue hallway lined with large, padlocked doors is a small dingy room filled with amps, drum gear, and cables. This is where you will find The World to Come, a metal band that, after a one-year hiatus, is ready to start making noise again.
Behind the drumkit was a collection of broken hi-hats and a 24-pack of Corona. Cards from the Cards Against Humanity game were hammered into the adjacent wall. On the other side was a single note that read in pink hi-liter, “Tim is a Lot Lizard."
“We are all actually 12 years old,” Jon Infranco laughs.
Regardless of the dark and musty practice space, they feel right at home.
“Our band is very oriented around family, like everyone in this band we are all friends, we are all brothers," Tim Franzkowiak says. "And that’s what’s cool about this practice space even, yes, it might be a little bit of a dingy place, it might be a bit sketchy, but it’s our sketchy, dingy place."
After the fallout of the band Pray for Daylight in 2011, guitarist Shane Griffin and his longtime friend formed The World to Come. “We want to do something heavy and dark and we just knew we want to do something that moved in a different direction and slowly but surely the World to Come was born,” says Griffin.
But after an onslaught of creative differences, all of the members except for Griffin left The World to Come in 2012. Leaving members Griffin and Franzkowiak free to create the sound that they wanted.
“Before, it was a lot more hardcore influenced, we wanted to be half hardcore, half death metal or half death core," says Griffin, "It was very interesting, to say the least and very different than it is now”.
Griffin and Franzkowiak joined up with vocalist Luis Menchaca, bassist Infranco, and drummer Josh Merrill to form the band's latest iteration, and it's one they're really proud of.
“This is the best lineup, we work well with everybody. So I think that’s something we needed as a band,” says Franzkowiak.
The hiatus hasn’t been a hindrance. It gave them months to practice and hone how they perform live.
“We went from a band that plays shows to a band that puts on a performance,” said Menchaca.
Griffin, Menchaca, Infranco, Franzkowiak, and Merrill answered a few of New Times' questions about their work and their practice space. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Phoenix New Times: Describe your practice space in five words.
Tim Franzkowiak: Cheap, easy, secure. Quiet.
Shane Griffin: Would grungy work?
Luis Menchaca: Dingy.
Franzkowiak: It’s no band oasis but it works. It’s 24 hours so you could live in here if you wanted to.
Infranco: Musty, I will say questionable but in an endearing way.
Merrill: I don’t like being at my house, so I come here a lot.
Infranco: Didn’t you live in here for a minute?
Merrill: Yeah, it’s kind of sad.
What are you working on right now?
Franzkowiak: Right now, we took a little bit of a hiatus. Some band members finished school, I got married myself…
Griffin: I left for a while.
Infranco: I moved.
Franzkowiak: That was last year and we came back. Now we are pretty much working on playing live and the album that we had finished recording in 2015 and didn’t really get a chance to play out a lot. We are trying to get some exposure, so we got back together.
Infranco: We wanted to make sure that we are all on the same page and that if we were to jump back in after taking a year hiatus, we don’t want to just play another show and sound exactly the same.
Franzkowiak: So we are practicing to get our sound as perfect as we can, and then after that our plan is to start writing for a follow-up release. We will just jump right back into writing.
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If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Franzkowiak: Nine Inch Nails. They are my biggest influence. But, in our genre, I’d have to say Molotov Solution.
Griffin: There’s a lot of up-and-coming bands that I would love to play with, but in our genre, my personal favorite is Oceano. I’ve dreamed of having Adam Warren on a track.
Menchaca: I vote a band called Make Them Suffer.
Infranco: I would have to go with the Acacia Strain.
What's the best show you ever played?
Infranco: The one where Shane’s amp exploded.
Franzkowiak: For me, it was our EP release show back in 2012. It was at The Nile. It was one of the best shows we ever played. The crowd was great and it was just a good time.
Menchaca: I’d say for the current lineup it would have to be a show where we opened up for The Browning. They are a more well-known band pretty much statewide. So it was really cool that one of the promoters saw that we sold a lot of tickets and offered us to open up for two very big bands. That was one of the last shows before our hiatus and probably one of our best.
Infranco: The Club Red one was really good, that was my first show with you guys. That show was cool because it was kind of a new era and we were starting to incorporate new songs off of The Cartesian and they were received really well.
How about the worst?
Griffin: Two years ago in July, we had just gotten onto the stage and were doing soundcheck and my head blows out and none of my stuff was working. All of my equipment just stopped working at of nowhere, a minute before our set was supposed to start. I tried everything I could, nothing was working, and I had to walk off stage. They played one song and just said, "Well, I guess that’s it."
Franzkowiak: We didn’t have any time to figure out what was going on. That was easily the worst show.
Griffin: It was so awful because I checked all my gear afterword and it worked. There was nothing wrong with it.
Menchaca: We’ve had shows where stuff doesn’t work but the reason that was the worst one is that we had sold a lot of tickets, we had a lot of people there that came just to see us. Instead of taking five minutes, explaining the issue, and continuing on with the set with one guitar; we took 15 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong. It was definitely
What's one thing missing from the Phoenix music scene?
Franzkowiak: Do you want me to talk for an hour? I have a lot to say about that one. I started playing shows in 2009. I’ve been in it ever since, and I’ve watched genre fads come and go. It’s interesting to see how it’s changed so much. Between 2010 and 2013, this scene was great. There was a show happening almost every week, the scene was self-sufficient. If you wanted to start a band, that was the time to do it. Around 2014 or 2015, that just died. Completely. And it went to one specific genre of music, which was melodic hardcore. That stayed but everything else just died.
Griffin: We want to show that, hey, there are still metal bands out there.
Infranco: There’s just not a lot of variety. Like deathcore isn’t very prevalent here. There’s a lot of cool bands out here, and a lot of out-of-state bands get received really well here. For example, Arizona loves pop punk, but there are almost no bands from Arizona.
Griffin: There are other genres, but not a lot of metal.