Rather excitedly, when I decided to have a proper go at putting on gigs, Jamie from Audio Antihero Records was very quick to reply to a tweet; “Frog are touring in January” he said, “I’m sure they can play Colchester.” I’d become aware of Frog only a few months earlier with the release of their album, ‘Kind Of Blah,’ but I’d enjoyed it immensely so I knew we had to make this happen. So, technically, Frog were my first Paper Champion booking! Danny from Frog took the time to answer a few of my questions, so here they are!
Hi Frog, how are you keeping? How is Queens this time of year?
Frog is great!! Queens is unseasonably warm. The tinsel is out, the sauer is kraut. The meadows are quivering, the percolator is sizzling. The Mets made it to the world series! That’s only interesting if you live here I guess.
You’re heading out to the UK in January for a little tour – have you played here before? Is there anything you’re looking forward to?
We’ve never played shows out of the country before. We are looking forward to the entire thing. I’m ecstatic. I’m pretty sure we’re going to screw this up but that’s ok, it’ll still be fun.
I think you’ll be a new band to a lot of our readers, how would you describe yourself?
I actually have trouble making a coherent description of my music to people who haven’t heard it, despite the fact that its pretty much just rock music, but to me its not! Which is why I have trouble. I guess I’d say that we’re a great band, if I don’t say so myself, with two young men in it. We got your keyboards, we got your guitars, and some guy squawking over the mix. It’s the next sliced bread!
Kind Of Blah came out in the middle of 2015 and has been met by overwhelmingly positive press – good reviews and BBC 6 Music seem to love you guys – can you tell us a bit about the writing/recording process for that album?
This record took a long time. There were, like, 8 months of sessions before the final feel of what I wanted to accomplish with it came into focus. All the songs were turning out kind of dark and mysterious, and so I tried to accentuate that and use it as the theme of the record. My favourite song is the secret track at the end.
The record is about living in New York and making tunes! Which unfortunately can get kinda dark if you do it for long enough. I think it came out great except for the production quality which for one reason or another didn’t come out like I would’ve liked it to.
I write the songs, or Tom and I write them together, and we record the arrangement first with just guitar and drums/keyboard. Then we do vocals and overdubs. I have a little recording setup that we do everything on. I usually write half the lyrics as I write and then half as I record. I am a complete amateur at mixing and tracking so thats why it sounds all fucked up.
I read that you recorded Kind Of Blah in an old bowling alley – was this kitted out as a studio already or did you just take the space and run with it? It must have been a weird place to record in?
This is just our practice space, which is very dingy and horrid but also wonderful because you can make as much noise as you like. It used to be a bowling alley. The room sounds very bad and there are lots of hardcore bands that you can hear perfectly through the incredibly thin walls. I feel like there are ghosts of metal bands and bowling fans that are strewn through the space, and they make their way onto everything I record down there. But the reason I say that is because I’m trying to smooth over the fact that we can only afford a space that has such horrible acoustics/smell.
I saw that the positivity behind the release has led to the debut self titled record seeing a re-release, how does it feel that earlier songs are reaching a new audience?
It feels great! Those songs rule. Frog does not divorce from our past and are proud of all iterations of our music. The tapes look ill and I’m pumped that they exist.
What can we expect from yourselves in 2016?
I’m excited to meet any fans we might have in the UK. I’m also excited to meet any people at all in the UK. I’ve always wanted to see the idyllic English countryside, but it’s probably gonna rain the whole time we’re there. I watched Watership Down to get excited and I will really spill over if I see any rabbits.
I’m also excited to make a new frog record! It’s been a long time coming.
The Waiting Room show will be their first ever show outside of the USA so come along and make them feel welcome!