A Fistful Of Questions With Francis Roberts From Old Man Wizard


     Guitarist.  Vocalist.  Keyboardist.  Artist.  D&D’er.  Pirate.  Sexiest man in rock!?  This edition of Fistful of Question goes to the multi-talented Francis Roberts.  


What is your full name?


Francis Roberts


Do you have any aliases?


None that I'm actively using


If you had an alias what might it be?


I don't like sharing alias ideas in case I want to use them anonymously.


What bands are you actively involved with?


Old Man Wizard


What was the first instrument that you played?


The first one I played seriously was guitar. Before that I had a toy keyboard, a recorder, and a clarinet.


Tell me about one of your first musical memories?


Trying to figure out the demo song on my toy keyboard!


What was the name of the first band you were in?


I think we were called Thresher Tuna. The first band I actually played shows with was called Hellhound.


Tell me about the genesis of Old Man Wizard. 


I was in a fully acoustic band for a few years and wanted to start writing electric guitar songs again. I made demos of the songs on the first album and posted them online to see if any friends would start a band with me, and it worked out!


What inspired the name Old Man Wizard?


My friend referred to a grizzled old dude in a truck as old man wizard, I told him I thought it'd be a good band name, he disagreed, I thought it'd be funny to try to prove him wrong.


How long did it take you to write and record Kill Your Servant Quietly?


I don't think there's a good answer to that question. I found some of the lyrics in a notebook that's more than ten years old, but it'd be ridiculous to pretend the album took ten years. Some of the songs are five years old, some were brand new when I was putting the album together. Recording took a few months of pretty consistent work.


If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?


I'm not sure if I'd enjoy any bands. I got into this stuff because I like writing music, and I like my favorite bands because I admire the songwriting. Joining them would ruin the fun for me haha.


Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so… What was the song and artist?


King Diamond - A Mansion In Darkness

Queen - '39

Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Muse - Knights of Cydonia

Neil Young - After the Gold Rush


Do you have any non-metal/hard rock musical inspirations?


Way too many to list! Here's a few:

Stravinsky, Berlioz, Tangerine Dream, Tony Rice, Lee Hazelwood, ABBA, the Sherman brothers, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Michiru Yamane, Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Carly Simon, Shirley Bassey


What’s a non-metal song that you'd like to do a cover of?


Old Man Wizard used to do a cover of "Feed The Birds" from Mary Poppins! I'd like to do a version of "Gimme Gimme Gimme" by Abba, too.


What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?


Witch Ripper always sounds awesome


Do you have a favorite venue to play at?


Anywhere with good sound! Which is practically nowhere!


Do you have a pre-show ritual?


I try to do a vocal warmup, but mostly just finding someplace quiet to chill for a bit


What is your favorite thing about touring?


Trying new places to eat!


What is your least favorite thing about touring?


Being disappointed by those places to eat!


Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?


I always have fun in Seattle


What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?


I could write a dissertation on this subject lol. But honestly, some drunk guy at a venue in New Mexico giving me detailed driving directions home when I told him we were from San Diego hahaha. I don't know what he was thinking but he sure knew his freeways.


The year is 2002.  Where are you at and what are you listening to? 


In high school, and I don't think I liked music yet, so whatever my older brother put on.


What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business?


Have fun! And put fun first.


What is an absolute band killer?


Not getting along as people.


If you were to start your own music festival what would be the name of that festival and who would be the three headlining bands?


I don't think I would ever start a music festival haha.


What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?


Probably two weeks on a long camping trip or something?


What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?


This is a trick question, because any answer I give stops being true as soon as people read it!


Is the Fistful of DOOM show in the top 10 of your favorite music podcasts?


I don't think I've listened to a podcast! I feel like that's maybe a weird enough answer that it belongs in the previous question. Like I might have heard one that a friend put on in the car but I've never actually listened to an episode of any podcast by choice as far as I can recall.


Do unicorns sleep standing up?


I've never met one!


You’re driving cross-country and you can only listen to one album the whole time.  What album will it be?


I usually don't listen to music when I drive, but I think the final fantasy 7 soundtrack would make good driving music.


You are writing a book about your life thus far.  What is the title of that book?




Have you ever recorded a song that you really didn’t like, but somebody else in the band really did?


Yeah, a bunch of times! Dread Crew had too many people to keep everyone happy haha.


What style of music did the The Dread Crew of Oddwood play and what was your role in the band?


Acoustic music inspired by pirates! I wrote a lot of the songs, sang, played mandolin and guitar.


Have you ever worn a cock sock in public (if yes.. why)?


Uh is that like stuffing your pants with a sock so there's a bulge? We did that in a music video once to be funny.


Can you explain the enduring appeal of Dungeons & Dragons?


It's make believe with extra steps and structure!


Have you ever considered starting a cult?


Considered, yes. Didn't actually do it.


What is your favorite song by Taylor Swift?


I don't think I can imagine what any of her songs sound like! I know I've heard some, just can't think of any


The Beach Boys or The Beatles (if you had to choose)?


Beach Boys


Doobies or Boobies (if you had to pick one)?


You can keep both!


Waffles or Pancakes (if you had to pick one)?




Star Wars or Star Trek (if you had to choose)?


I haven't watched Star Trek yet so I'll take that! Star Wars is great but I don't need to watch them again.


Favorite band t-shirt you own?


I have an old Hammers of Misfortune shirt that I've pretty much worn into dust haha.


Favorite meal?


That changes from time to time, but a plain quesadilla with good hot sauce is hard to beat.


Favorite book?


I have a really hard time answering these type of questions haha. Tove Jansson's moomin books are special to me


Favorite movie?


Conan the barbarian (1982)


Favorite album?


Maybe Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow? Also a hard question.




     Mucho thanks to Francis for taking the time to answer my questions.  I appreciate it and I also have a hard time answering favorite type questions.  Old Man Wizard’s latest release Kill Your Servants Quietly is a phenomenal listen and I highly recommend that you put ears to it.  Francis is also in the band King Gorm and he creates Dungeon Synth music under his own name.  Those are also highly recommended.  Finally, he livestreams on YouTube while he’s creating art and music and he is quite enjoyable to watch and interact with.


~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson host of the Fistful of DOOM show)