Welcome back for part three of our chat with Samantha Stephenson, Frenchy in the music duo, Frenchy and the Punk.
Part one can be read here.
Part two can be read here.
Airship Ambassador: What kind of writing, practicing, and editing went into creating each cd compilation to convey the desired message and feelings?
Samantha Stephenson: The writing and arranging of songs is a long and often times tedious process. You can love and hate yourself within seconds of each other, it can be as exhilarating as it can be frustrating. Our CDs are eclectic within themselves so there is not a ‘message’ behind the CDs. They are not concept albums. Our CDs are a collection of songs. There is plenty of meaning behind the songs but we are not overtly sentimental or meaningful. We’re more subtle in the meaning and you have to pay attention to get it. If you don’t, then they are just really fun songs. I always kind of think that the people who get it are the ones who are meant to. I’m usually not into overtly hit-them-in-the-face-with-meaning-and-feelings kind of person. I’m more into metaphor.
AA: What are some memorable fan reactions to your work which you’ve heard about?
SS: The memorable will sound lofty and self serving if I recount them. But we tend to get “I met (significant other) because of your music”. One time in Louisville Kentucky after playing one of our drum instrumentals, a guy yelled out “I was about to loose my mind!” he was really blown away! When a fan shares what our music means to them it can become fuel to keep going on those days when it all seems so impossible.
AA: What kind of attention have your songs and live performances generated?
SS: We get a lot of enthusiasm from people in the moment, which is great. We constantly hear that we are a band that really needs to be seen live because of the catchiness of the songs, our energy onstage and the chemistry between us. I think that’s because we are such a DIY band that we don’t have the resources to create the hype machine so people are surprised when they see us. Plus we make a lot of sound for just two people. Scott is a magician with his guitar looping technique and my percussive accents and vocals along with that make for a fuller sound than you might expect.
AA: Can you share anything about what is coming up next?
SS: We’re working on new material during the winter and also finishing up some projects that have been pending in more of the art and book realm. I will be finishing some video editing in the next few months for some tunes off of the Bonjour Batfrog CD too. We’re hoping that people will visit our website during these coming months and pick up anything they’ve been meaning to get from us whether it’s music, art, bats, whatever and not wait until they see us at a show. We might do some other surprise specials too. A few weeks ago we did a special free-coloring-jigsaw-puzzle that we designed that went into all the online orders. As we do this fulltime, we tend to have to stay on the road to make it viable. But we need that time off the road to write new songs and only online sales can make that possible.
As far as shows, we will be performing at Steamathon in Las Vegas at the end of January, Wicked Faire in New Jersey in February and AnomalyCon in Colorado in March. We have a big tour coming up in the Spring with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing around the Steampunk World’s Fair. We do an average of 100 shows a year across the U.S. and in Europe. Our dates are listed on the website and people can sign up for our mailing list on there too.
AA: How do people find you and your work – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?
AA: Every creative person I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works come to fruition. What was your experience like?
SS: It’s a birthing process. The ultimate act of creation is to have a child. I chose to not have children and creating music and art is what I do instead. My need to create and express myself is so strong that if I were to be denied that, life would no longer make sense and my time here on earth would be meaningless and short. I create because I have to.
We’ll pause here in talking with Samantha.
Join us for part 4 where she talks about being a full time performer.
Keep up to date with French and the Punk’s latest news on their website.