Shania Twain Bassist, Derek Frank, Shares... "The Ultimate Guide to Being a Pro Musician"

That's My Gig <--Click for full interview
By Brie Blaire
December 24, 2015

TMG: You recently completed Shania Twain’s 2015 tour. How did you land the gig with Shania?
DEREK: Getting that gig was kind of a process... I’ll explain. With almost every major touring gig that I’ve gotten, I’ve found that multiple factors come into play which resulted in my getting the gig. Usually it’s based on referrals from more than one person, and this situation was no different. So in January I got a call from Shania’s guitarist, Joshua Ray Gooch, to fill in with his blues band at a hotel bar. I had known Josh a little bit from seeing him at jam sessions around town, but we didn’t know each other well and hadn’t played together at all beyond the occasional jam. Again, I tried to prepare as best as I could for the gig, even though it was just a cheap little bar gig: Learned the tunes, showed up on time with the appropriate gear, etc. Anyway, we ended up having a great time playing together… one of those gigs where things just gel, you know? So he mentioned that Shania might be making some band changes for her upcoming tour, and of course I told him I’d be interested in auditioning if the opportunity arose. He called me a week later, and said that he had recommended me to Cory Churko, Shania’s bandleader, and that he wanted me to send in some web links, videos, etc. So I did that, which then got passed to Shania for her consideration. About a month later I got an email from Will Hollis, who was Shania’s musical director… and also musical director on the Dancing With the Stars tours that I had done a few years back. I had no idea that Will was now Shania’s MD, but BAM! Now I had two sources vouching for me. From all the submissions she received, Shania narrowed it down to 4 bass players and 6 drummers that she wanted to see at a live audition. So a month later, I did the audition in LA, and about three weeks after that... ended up getting the call from Will that I had been hoping for. So from the time I first submitted links to Cory until getting the gig, three months had passed. A long stressful process! But during all that time, I had been listening to Shania almost constantly, getting as familiar with her music as I could.

TMG: Shania has been touted the best selling female country artist in the history of country music. What has it been like touring with Shania and her camp?
DEREK: It’s been amazing… definitely the best tour I’ve ever had the privilege of playing on. Everyone... management, band, crew, etc., was extremely cool and great at their job. That makes a tour run like clockwork, and makes for such a positive experience all around. They’re not all like that! There’s usually at least one asshole on the tour.