Meet Frank Pané, a PRS Artist from Germany, a lover of Classic Rock and guitarist in the legendary German rock band Bonfire. As well as many solo projects, Frank founded the classic rock influenced band Sainted Sinners and also the progressive rock orientated band called Dark Blue Inc. We caught up with Frank to chat all things music and PRS!
PRS: What first drew you to PRS Guitars?
FP: I remember seeing ads in guitar magazines like Guitar World in the early 90s featuring some of my favourite guitarists like Alex Lifeson, Carlos Santana and many others with PRS guitars. Also, I saw Jim Matheos of Fates Warning live a few times, which has always been one of my favourite bands and he used PRS Custom 24s. That’s what got me really attracted to PRS guitars, and it was around that time when I decided I wanted to take playing guitar more seriously and become a pro musician. A few years later when the Dave Navarro model came out, I really wanted one so bad, but it took many more years and building my experience up until I got my first PRS and proudly became a PRS artist!
PRS: How many PRS guitars do you currently own, and which ones see the most action on stage and in the studio?
FP: I’m fortunate to now have 6 PRS guitars in my arsenal, of which the antique white core PRS Custom 24 ( my first PRS ) is definitely my main one. I have used it on a couple of records and nearly every live show since I got it, it’s my go-to guitar. Also coming back to the Navarro model, I love the look of white guitars and especially the PRS Custom 24 looks awesome on stage in white. I have a goldtop Custom 24, which works as my backup and for dropped D-tunings. A very good friend kindly loaned me his PRS McCarty Single-cut for an unlimited time, which became another favourite guitar of mine. It’s a stunning guitar and the best single-cut style guitar I have ever played.
PRS: As you are in three different bands; Bonfire, Sainted Sinners & Dark Blue Inc, all the while doing your own solo projects. Do you use the same PRS for all these projects?
FP: For Sainted Sinners and all session work I do, which requires standard tuning, I use my white Custom 24 and the McCarty Single-cut. For Bonfire, which tunes down to Eb, I have a beautiful PRS Custom 24 Floyd in Charcoal Burst (awesome colour) and this will hopefully see more action in 2022, when Bonfire returns to the stage and the studio again. For the melodic Metal style of Bonfire you gotta have a Floyd. Even though the non-locking PRS Gen trem works super nice, when if comes to extreme heavy dive-bombs and squeals, a Floyd is the best choice. Also, the Metal pickups featured in the Custom 24 Floyd work perfectly for the Bonfire sound, even if my general taste leans towards more low output pickups like the 85/15, which became one of my fave pickups ever. Dark Blue Inc is a more progressive band and we use a variety of tuning, so this is where my SE Holcomb 7-string gets used for a more modern and proggy approach.
PRS: When it comes to your live rig, are you a “keep it simple” player, or are you in the “more the merrier” camp?
FP: I guess you could call my approach super simple. I’m sort of very old school when it comes to the ingredients for my sound. A good tube amp, a good versatile guitar and a handful of stomp boxes ( Delay, Phaser, Octaver, Treble Booster & a WahWah ), all connected with good cables is all I need. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a more complex setup, but for me a simple setup always works best and gets me the results I‘m looking for. The best thing with a PRS is, no matter what style or situation, I can purely concentrate on my playing, as I know they will stay in tune and deliver the sound I’m looking for.
PRS: What is the current touring situation in Germany? Any tours coming up in Europe & the UK?
FP: Well, just when Sainted Sinners began to tour again November this year to promote our latest album ‘Taste it‘, things started to fall apart again and unfortunately while being on tour, clubs had to cancel the shows with very short notice as new restrictions came up. This was very unpleasant, but i guess we’ve all learned to live with it by now, that you basically can’t plan anything. These cancelled shows have now been rescheduled for April & September 2022, and we hope that next year things will look better. As for now our schedule includes shows in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Also as mentioned previously, Bonfire should finally tour again including shows in the UK. The new Bonfire tour plan will be released within the next few weeks.
PRS: Any exciting projects coming up?
FP: Yes, 2022 seems to be very busy! With Bonfire we just started to record for not 1 or 2, but 3 albums, which are all to be released next year. These are not studio albums with new material, but something very interesting for the fans. A studio album with new Bonfire material is scheduled for 2023. Besides that, material for the 2nd Dark Blue inc. album is in the works and also the writing sessions with Sainted Sinners continue with a follow up to “Taste it“already in mind. Last but not least, I also plan to release some new instrumental stuff in 2022. Whether it will be in form of an album or just digital singles, I haven’t decided yet, but there will definitely be some new stuff in 2022 in one form or the other!