Like so many movie stars before him (Jared Leto, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis), James Franco wants to be a rock star, too. And now it appears he’s well on his way, as the actor’s Smiths-inspired rock and roll duo, Daddy, signed a worldwide, multi-year record deal with Kobalt.
Consisting of Franco and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, Daddy recorded their yet-to-be-released third album, Let Me Get What I Want, with Smiths bassist Andy Rourke on every track. And, in typical Franco fashion, they will create a short film for each song, which can be played in chronological form to create an album-length music video. Both the videos and the songs are expected to hit the public in 2016.
“We are really excited to partner with Kobalt on our upcoming Daddy album and film,” the band said in a statement to Billboard. “Kobalt has the right forward-thinking approach to work with a project as unique as ours, where we see our work not only existing within the music realm, but extending into the film, art space and beyond on an independent basis.”
It’s not a huge risk for Kobalt to sign a smaller act with a big Hollywood star. A company with three divisions — label services, publishing, and neighboring rights — Kobalt is one of the largest music houses in the world, working with 8,000 artists across most genres and nations.
Daddy formed at Rhode Island School of Design when both members were working on their masters degrees in fine art. Past releases have been mostly underwhelming, and without Franco being a member, would probably have gone unrecognized by the general public.
That said, the band is more of a multi-media side project than anything for the actor who fancies himself as a bit of a renaissance man, with past music videos featuring scenes curated by high school students at Franco’s former high school in Palo Alto, opening shots featuring his original paintings, and lyrics repurposed from Smiths-inspired poems he has written over the years.
Franco isn’t hurting anyone with his new-ish musical side project, and regardless, celebrities are allowed to write mediocre songs just like the rest of us — even if ours don’t garner a record deal.