Welcome back for part three in our talk with Scott Helland, the Punk in the music duo, Frenchy and the Punk.
Part one can be read here.
Part two can be read here.
Airship Ambassador: What are some memorable fan reactions to your work which you’ve heard about?
Scott Helland: One thing I hear a lot is, your music lifted me out of a deep depression. We also get, ‘when I wanna do something and get it done, I listen to Frenchy and the Punk. We get a lot of people who clean their house to us! We have an amazing community of fans that are very supportive. I might be in a gutter without them.
AA: Clearly, I know what I need to listen to now when cleaning! What kind of attention have your songs and live performances generated?
SH: One interesting bit of attention we’ve gotten from the recorded music is that it has been used on several TV shows. Like the Oprah show, the History channel, the Discovery channel, HGTV, Dance Moms, NY Ink, Vice News and a few others I can’t think of right now. We tend to get other show offers while playing events and conventions which is just awesome too.
AA: That’s definitely some nice usage and recognition. Can you share anything about what is coming up next?
SH: Well, as we do this interview now it’s Dec 2015, so coming up next year we already have 30 or so dates booked. We’re doing the Steampunk World’s Fair again in NJ, Festival of Legends in NC, Spoutwood and Maryland Faerie festivals, and an East coast tour with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing in the spring that my very own Frenchy booked. I’ll probably do some more Deep Wound reunion stuff with guys from Dinosaur jr at some point too. Also, I’ll be doing some more solo shows and hopefully my second art book will be out. I just released my first art book called Feast. It’s a collection of over 50 pen and ink drawings that are very nature based. The work is all about connection. Guitars, trees and the human form blended in a mythical way. I want to finish a new solo record and of course fans await a new Frenchy and the Punk CD!
AA: Never a dull moment. How do people find you and your work – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?
SH: We have played almost every steampunk convention in the United States and a bunch in Europe. We’ve done close to a 1000 shows together, so people can definitely find us at conventions and different alternative music venues. There’s always frenchyandthepunk.com and the usual social media outlets. We’re on most of `em.
AA: Every creative person I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works come to fruition. What was your experience like?
SH: I have a very old school punk DIY ethic, almost to a fault. If I want to do something I just work on it until it’s done. I do it myself I don’t wait for help. It’s always worked. My dad used to say just do the work and make it happen for yourself don’t wait for someone to do it for you. But sometimes we need help… so DIY isn’t always the best thing.
AA: If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing now?
SH: Drawing and drinking
AA: What do you do to keep a balance between music and the rest of your life?
SH: Huh?, Music is life!
AA: HA! Who needs balance?! Do you get to talk much with other musicians to compare notes, have constructive critique reviews, and brainstorm new ideas?
SH: We do a lot of events, so we see a lot of bands but there really isn’t a lot of time to really sit down and talk except for at musician panels at conventions, those are fun for the bands AND the audience! So we kinda compare notes there.
AA: How have you and your work grown and changed over time?
SH: I’ve become more relaxed, more open to new things. But even that is a day by day thing. You can definitely hear a progression with the dozen or so records I’ve done over the FnP and solo years. My guitar playing is better, more fluid. Our songwriting and arrangements are better. It’s awesome to see and feel the change personally as a musician. We tour smarter not harder now too. We used to burn ourselves to the bone on the road. We’d come home after 5 months straight and be beaten physically and emotionally. It can be grueling out there being a DIY band. We’re better at it now.
We’ll pause here in talking with Scott.
Join us next time when he talks about interests, inspiration, and integration.
Until then, keep up to date with news on their website.