Frank Lenz shifts background in ‘Strictly Background’


lenz-coverA couple of weeks ago at the Los Angeles United Film Festival, I caught a screening of “Strictly Background,” director Jason Connell’s poignant documentary that looks into the lives of 10 people who chase The Dream by working as movie extras. [Here’s the trailer.] The film, just released in North America in March, not only interested me for its storylines but for its score, done by Frank Lenz, a longtime session guy from Huntington Beach who’s played with some of my favorite SoCal bands, including Starflyer 59. (He’s currently Richard Swift’s drummer.)

“Strictly Background” originally screened at festivals with a soundtrack featuring the likes of U2, ELO, the Thrills, Badly Drawn Boy, Talking Heads, the Flaming Lips and Eels. No way, however, could the filmmakers afford to obtain the rights to those artists’ songs for their final product. So Lenz rather artfully composed and recorded songs reminiscent of them. The soundtrack was just released on O.C.-based Velvet Blue Music. Here’s Lenz, channeling some 1976 …

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