Imagine Siouxsie Sioux and Dee Dee Ramone had a duo that was inspired by Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Toulouse Lautrec and Deepak Chopra, this is what it might sound like. One part Dresden Dolls, Sonny and Cher and one part White Stripes. A pixie spirited flexitarian band of tree hugging, gothic, folky, Steam Punks by way of Paris and New York. Doused in red wine, kale and granola, raised on punk rock and ballet, eclectic and uplifting…fun with a capital F!
The product of a 1998 office romance, the two left their temp jobs, traveled as a solo musician (him) and artist (her) selling their wares until 2005 when, Stephenson, the sultry French born singer jumped onstage and joined, Helland, the fiery punk rock guitarist from the golden days of the hardcore scene, and Frenchy and the Punk was born. Along the way they became the ‘jewel of the steampunk scene’ and were named one of the ”Top 25 duos in America’ by Yahoo music.
The unlikely pairing has since released 6 full-length CDs, produced a live concert DVD and have performed all across the U.S. and in Europe. Their show is a carnival of two that will take you from the Moulin Rouge to CBGBs and back again. A rollicking flapper folk punk steampunk cabaret with Taiko meets Rio de Janeiro pounding drum instrumentals.
Frenchy, Samantha Stephenson, whose roller coaster journey went from artist to MBA graduate to full time performing artist, paints pictures of lust, love, intrigue and unbridled joy. Whether singing in French or English, her invitation to surrender yourself in the present moment is irresistible. As Frenchy and the Punk’s lyricist she draws inspiration from art, dance and travel. She has lived in France, England, Brazil and the US and spent time in West Africa. She studied art at The National Academy of Design and Art Students League in New York City. She began her dance training at the Royal School of Dance in England and performed in dance troupes in Boston and New York and studied piano and voice throughout her teens.
Scott Helland is the Punk, whose serpentine guitar lines and creative guitar looping technique perfectly complement the playfulness and spirit of Frenchy’s lyrics. Helland was co-founder and bassist of the legendary Massachusetts hardcore punk band Deep Wound, whose members included future Dinosaur Jr. members J Mascis and Lou Barlow. Deeply entrenched in that 80s hardcore scene, Scott’s follow up band, Outpatients, shared the stage with some of the biggest bands of that underground movement like Black Flag, Husker Du, GBH, Agnostic Front and CroMags. The scene is now documented in two films, in which both bands are a part, American Hardcore and All Ages. After 13 years of touring in the US, Argentina and Canada, the band split up and Scott heeded the call for musical experimentation and switched to acoustic guitar and began his journey into folk, medieval, ambient, soundscape and gypsy styles. From 1996 to 2005 he put out 7 solo CDs. In a complete about face, in 2002 his Earthbound CD was in the New Age charts and in 2004 his music was licensed to the Opera Winfrey show.
Fast forward a few years and the music that Helland and Stephenson started writing together in 2005 was to take on a more cabaret bent and bring back the intensity of those early days. In their nine year collaboration as band mates they have poured their vast collective
musical and life experiences to create a theatrical and compelling sound and style. They are now one of the top featured and sought after acts worldwide of the burgeoning cabaret and steampunk movements.
The duo’s music, magnetic stage presence, charm and exhilarating performances have attracted a consistently growing and loyal fan base around the world. The most recent CD, Bonjour Batfrog, was released in August 2014 for which they toured both in the US and Europe.
Be sure to check out their earlier releases, the gypsy-tinged Cartwheels EP (2014), the Taiko meets Rio drumming and exhilarating guitar of the Elephant Uproar CD (2013), the frenzied fun of the Hey Hey Cabaret CD (2012), and their break through 2010 CD release, Happy Madness.
- “Top 25 Duos in the US” by Yahoo Music Blog.
- Nominated “Best Band 2013” Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers ChoiceAwards.
- Nominated “Best Band 2012” SteamCon Airship Awards.
- Featured on The League of Steam’s “Steampunk Essentials” Album
Frenchy and the Punk CDs
- Eternal Summer EP (2008)
- Happy Madness (2010)
- Hey Hey Cabaret (2012)
- Elephant Uproar (2013)
- Cartwheels EP (2014)
- Bonjour Batfrog (2014)