TO MOST people Frankie Muniz is best known as the troublesome yet lovable teen Malcolm in hit television series Malcolm in the Middle. But these days he’s all grown up and is making waves as one fourth of American indie rock outfit Kingsfoil.
With the band about to kick off their first ever UK tour with a show at The Forum, in Hatfield, on Friday night (May 17) the Observer spoke to Frankie to find out what it was like to grow up in the spotlight and why he loves being in a band.
Kingsfoil formed as an acoustic duo in 2002 before rounding out as a full rock band five years later, consisting of Jordan Davis, Tristan Martin, Joe Cipollini and Tim Warren. Frankie joined in April 2012, replacing Joe on drums.
“I was in another band prior to Kingsfoil that shared the same manager,” said the 27-year-old, who lives with his fiancee Elycia Marie in Arizona. “That band broke up around the same time the drummer left Kingsfoil and they were holding auditions for a new one, so it was like one of those perfect scenarios.
“I was a huge fan of the band way before I ever thought there was a possibility I could be their drummer. When they called and said I could audition I was ecstatic; now I’m their drummer which is just awesome.”
Frankie started playing the drums at the age of about 12 but says he never really took it seriously until he joined his first band in 2010.
He said: “I always enjoyed it and I was saying to my dad the other day it’s weird how that little toy drum kit turned into something that I now do for a living!
“I’ve never taken any lessons, I just watched people on television and at shows and tried to figure it out. I’m 180 shows in with Kingsfoil and it’s only now I want to start taking lessons because I want to be the best I can possibly be.”
After touring the US and Canada over the past year, the band, who released their second album A Beating Heart is a Bleeding Heart in September, are hoping to reach out to new fans by journeying across the pond.
“We’re super excited about it and it’ll be great fun,” said Frankie. “On our Facebook page we have a lot of fans from the UK and for them to be able to see us live is really important.
“Malcolm in the Middle was shown [in the UK] so even if people haven’t heard our music but come for that reason that’s fine because it helps out get our music to new people.”
Despite going on to star in several films and completing a stint as a racing car driver, it’s Malcolm in the Middle that Frankie will always be associated with due to the phenomenal success of the show, which ran for seven seasons between 2000 and 2006.
“You never really think about how successful a show is going to be,” he said. “You just concentrate on doing the pilot.
“When the first episode aired in the US, 23 million people watched it which is unheard of; then they showed it again that week and even more people watched it. I think it exceeded all expectations.”
But the young star wasn’t phased by growing up in the spotlight.
“It’s all I’ve ever known,” said Frankie. “Being on the show was what I did. I got to experience a lot of amazing things and it put me in a position to do what I want to do now.
“There’s always going to be good and bad but I don’t ever regret doing it.”
For now though it’s all about the music for Frankie.
“I love this more than anything else I’ve done and I’m having a blast,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to the show and I hope everyone comes and checks us out.”
Tickets for Friday’s show, which starts at 9.30pm, are available from www.forumhertfordshire.co.uk