Gary James' Interview With
The Founder and CEO of Audio One
He's been the Chief Engineer Technologist for some of the biggest names in Rock. He's the founder and CEO of Audio One, a home automation and theater system. He's even written a book on Clint Eastwood. But on December 6, 2014, David Frangiomi will realize one of his biggest dreams and that dream is to play drums alongside Phil Collins. The event is part of the Little Dreams Foundation (LDF), a charity that helps young, underprivileged children obtain lessons, career direction and mentoring. It will be held at the Fillmore in Miami, Florida. David Frangioni talked with us about his life.
Q - How many of these Home Automation and Theater Systems do you sell? It almost sounds like something only rich people can afford. Or am I mistaken about that?
A - Well, it can be. It's not that it always is. It just depends on what the scale is and how high end. It's all very similar when you think about pricing of a car. You've got Rolls-Royces and Lamborghinis and you've got Toyotas and Kias. There is really nothing wrong with any of them. It's just a matter of what your expectations are for performance, reliability, longevity and quality. So at Audio One we tend to do almost exclusively what we'll call Luxury High End Systems. So, they are expensive and they are typically purchased by wealthy people.
Q - You serve the music business in seven cities throughout the U.S. with Pro Media training and an IDA program. What are those programs all about?
A - Pro Media training is a company that was started over ten years ago to train people in Pro Tools. So, anybody who wants to learn the Pro Tools technology, we have been doing it the longest and that's what that company is for. IDA is to inspire and develop artists. So, Rudy Perez my partner at IDA and cofounder, had this vision of what he thought of as a star boot camp where people could go who were aspiring artists and really get all that they need to take the game to another level and in doing that they would be able to achieve the success they wanted. So, he had an original kind of concept and I took it with him, the Inspired Development Artist Program, which is a two day or five day program where artists come in from all over the world and in that period of time they co-write a song with a famous songwriter that will become an original song of theirs. They perform with a 'live' band, a really awesome band. They have guest speakers come in from all different areas of the music business, music publishers, record labels, lawyers, promoters. They go over styling and photos. It is very comprehensive and it really is an amazing five days. We have a self-help component to it. So, when you finish the IDA program you are really taking your game up a notch.
Q - How big of a dream is it for you to play drums with Phil Collins?
A - Unimaginable.
Q - Where is this Fillmore you are performing in? It's not the Fillmore that Bill Graham once had.
A - This is the Fillmore Jackie Gleason on 17th and Washington in Miami Beach.
Q - You were a Chief Engineer Technologist for The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Ringo, Elton John, and the list goes on and on. What does a Chief Engineer Technologist do?
A - It is the geek that sits at the console or the computer and takes care of the technical work that's needed to record and edit music. The artist just focuses on creating music, singing and playing. All the technical stuff, I handle.
Q - Were you in bands when you were growing up?
A - Absolutely, from the age of 12. I was playing in Classic Rock bands. First band I was in was called Neon Night after the Black Sabbath song.
Q - Were you in a recording band he would have heard of?
A - No. I made lots of recordings as a drummer in Boston, playing in bands between the ages of 12 and 17, but nothing you would've heard.
Q - You've got dozens of Gold Records. That's for your work in the studio?
A - Yes, or working with the different artists as a technologist.
Q - You wrote a book on Clint Eastwood. That seems pretty far away from what you have done in music. Are you a big Clint Eastwood fan?
A - I wrote about his movies and the focus of the book was movie memorabilia. So, we take the reader through all of his films, through the art that was used to promote his movies. It's a historical journey of all of his films through the movie posters and the movie art. All of the photos in there, I supervised. They're all taken with my supervision. They never existed before. All the items that are photographed are in my private collection. So, that's how it all ties together. I've always been a Clint Eastwood memorabilia fan and a fan of his movies and so I decided to do something meaningful with the collection instead of having it in my own world. I wanted the rest of the world to see it. I thought if I did a book, it would be a really nice way to present the material to other Clint Eastwood film fans and the proceeds go to charity and so Clint thought it was a good idea. I approached him on it and got his blessing and the book has done really well. He loves it.