Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Interview with Frogbelly and Symphony

Frogbelly and Symphony
Recently I was contacted about reviewing an album by a band that had three genres listed as their main focus.

Honestly, I very nearly chose not to review it. I can be put off when bands are listed into such strange genres that don't even make sense...

And the fact that their music was listed in the noise genre.

But in the end, I said I'd give it a listen, and obviously I really enjoyed the record. It's poppy, noisy, folksy, and just out and out crazy. It was like a musical stream of consciousness that never seemed to end, repeat, or bore.

I was lucky enough to get them to answer some questions about who they are, what they do, and the like.

Glacially Musical: Good afternoon.

Frogbelly and Symphony: Indeed.

GM: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and such.

FB: Thanks for being curious

GM: What does your name mean?

FB: That we've been asking ourselves. 

Today it means: a freshly picked tangerine from a Phoenix garden, hot nail polish glistening in the sun, a one-eyed-dog on a roll, and the bartender who flashed us yesterday with a frog on his belly.

GM: How did your parents react to your music?

Ray: My Parents love my music. 

Ben: Likewise, my dad has special dance for when he hears my music, 'proud dad's dance.'

Liz: Mom says "Don't scare your audience too much with Leprechauns."

Tom: My Dad called me for the first time in 5 years just yesterday (true story). He was psyched to hear I was in the United States touring with my kindred companions.

GM: I heard many different influences in your sound. Can you tell me who your top 4 are?

FB: 1. Martin Bisi, our recording engineer/producer.

2. About 5000 years of musical history.

3. J.S. Bach, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Fairport Convention, Chuck Norris, Harold Faltermeyer, The Beatles.

4. USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Poland and our collective DNA footprint.

GM: What kind of gear do you use?

Ben: Fender Stratocaster (made in Mexico) with diMarzio PUs, Fender Twin Reverb (mostly, besides various amps), MXR carbon copy analogue delay, boss TR2 tremolo, Joyo Vintage Overdrive,
Clark's Shoes.

Ray: Pearl Export.

Liz: George Gemünder Violin (year 1887), David Gage 'the realist' PU, Wurlitzer electric piano, nord electro, acoustic piano.

Tom: GTX Precision Bass (custom with original Fender PUs), Allsound B4040 bass amp, Hughes & Kettner Bass Master pre-amp, Boss OC3 Octaver, Marshall Guv'nor distortion.

GM: How would you describe your music?

FB: Progressive rock echoes in folk landscapes. 

GM: Where do you get your inspiration for your songs?

FB: In our record collections, books and lives.

GM: Can you pick one song off your record and tell me what it's about?

FB: Organism: The song was written around the time Hurricane Sandy happened. 

We were in England at that time watching the devastating news. Liz had a near death experience several years ago when she was in Peru. She almost drowned when she underestimated the power of the elements as she went out for a swim in the ocean. 

GM: How do you write a song? Start with a riff? A vocal melody?

FB: There have been many ways in which the musical ideas have resonated within the Belly of the Frog. 

However, in principal, Tom often comes up with a chord progression and a melody and a lyrical concept. The band often changes them around a lot before the final result.

GM: What are your tour plans?

FB: http://frogbellyandsymphony.com/#shows

GM: Your album makes you come off a bit, well crazy, what's the most normal thing about you?

FB: Our differences are the only thing we all have in common.

GM: Thanks!

FB: Thank you. 

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