The name was just us looking for a simple sound that could be pronounced more or less the same way whatever the language – because we’ve always hoped for an international audience. And it had to have a K in it – Julien (guitars) and I (Michel, vocals & programming) wanted that from the get go, because there’s sort of a Germanic, angular quality to the sound, a monolithic aspect that we wanted to capture. I was toying around with 2 words when Johann (drums) mashed them up for a joke in an email, and that was it. “TRANK” just jumped off the screen and off the tips of our tongues. And no, it’s not reference to tranquillizers, although that would be interesting, wouldn’t it.
About influences – you’d get a very different response to that depending on whom in the band you’d ask. I was reading Jimmy Page’s biography a few weeks ago – and there’s a really interesting quote by John Paul Jones about how, when all their rivals at the time tended to all like the same things and play the same records, the four members of Led Zeppelin had massively different tastes, and that’s what made their sound so rich and unique. Well, we’re not Led Zeppelin (I’m kneeling right now), but we DO have that in common with them. For David (bass), I think it might have been Guns’n’Roses as a teenager – and then Chris Cornell’s bands and projects; you can find some of that melodic sense of menace and tension in TRANK. For Johann (Drums), the clincher was probably Toto and the prog rock bunch – that rich, layered sense of musicianship still inspires him and us today. For Julien, I’d say Muse, where he takes that flamboyance in his playing – but he also learned his chops from a guitar teacher who gave him the Flamenco bug… And for me it was Depeche Mode. As a teenager I felt odd, never quite in my place and weird in all sorts of ways – and there was a brand of accessible weirdness in the sounds of DM’s music that made me feel at peace with being the odd one. Queen were also a huge inspiration – the way Freddie up and decided one day he was a singer, and became the greatest tenor in rock. Just like that.