Gorgoroth’s Frank Watkins Was a Mortgage Broker
The last thing you’d expect the longtime bassist of Floridian death metal institution Obituary and the bassist of evil-as-hell Norwegian black metalists Gorgoroth to be is a former mortgage broker. But Frank Watkins was exactly that.
“I had a mortgage company for a while and mortgages went out the window in America and it’s all corporate,” Watkins told Noisecreep. “I worked for Wells-Fargo for a long time and realized I could do this myself. I don’t need a bank to pay me so I just opened my own. Just as the mortgage industry dropped, Obituary said, ‘Let’s play again.’ I let the company fizzle out in 2008. I do music full-time. I manage bands and negotiate deals for bands with labels for them, too. I decided to do music full-time since I could try and implement the business sense that I have and all the nightmares I suffered through in the music business!”
But before he made that choice, Watkins entered the nine-to-five world because he had to. “To get the job at Wells-Fargo, you needed a college degree,” he recalled. “Well, I graduated high school and went on tour with Obituary. At Wells, I walked in and said, ‘I need a job.’ I was a stock broker for three years and brokers are considered loan sharks! The manager said, ‘You seem aggressive and into selling … but what else do you do?’ I told him I played in a band for 15 years and he was like let me check it out. He pulled up Obituary’s Web site at his computer and said, ‘I’ll give you a shot.’ He wasn’t a metal guy, but he liked Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I got the job and I opened a deal the next day and was there for three years. I think my manager was tripping over me being in an international band, not just a local band playing in Florida.”
As for where Watkins honed his sharp-as-a-steak-knife business sense? In the metal world, where else! “Probably from fighting with promoters at shows,” he laughed. “All the s— we did in the band! When I started as a stock broker, I had gotten off a tour and Obituary decided we were not do anything for a while. I saw my friend driving a Porsche in my neighborhood at the grocery store, and I was like, ‘How do you afford that?’ And he said he was working as a stock broker, so I told him to get me a job. I learned how to sell on the phone. It was hardcore and military style s—. It was insane, but taught me a lot of negotiation skills.”
Hear that concert promoters? Don’t try and stiff Obituary or Gorgoroth on their guarantee, or you’re gonna have to deal with Frank Watkins!