Franko (Frank Heke Yates) graduated with merit from the Nelson School of Music in 2002 before returning to his hometown and soon landed his dream job: looking after every major band or artist that passed through New Zealand. In short order, he met and tended to acts as diverse as R.E.M., Metallica, Velvet Revolver, Live, Mark Knofler, 50 Cent, the Foo Fighters. If they were on top and visited kiwi country, Franko showed them around. In turn, these artists fueled his desire to someday create music on their level.
Franko knew that if he wanted his music to be heard by the world, he couldn't stay put in New Zealand. So in the summer of 2005, he packed up his suitcase and guitar and moved to the Gold Coast of Australia. At first, he was paid by the owners of a cheap clothing store in Surfers Paradise to play out front and draw a crowd from across the street. But before long, the crowd his raw sound drew was so large that he could afford to quit working for the store to become a full-time "busker."