A French-born/British vocalist, percussionist, dancer and a punk rock bassist, guitarist from the early days of the hardcore punk explosion blended their diverse talents to form Frenchy and the Punk in 2005.This unlikely pairing has since released 5 full-length CDs, produced 1live concert DVD and performed over 700 shows together all across the U.S. and in Europe. In May 2012, Yahoo Music called them one of the top 25 duos in the US and on July 10, 2012 they released their 5th CD, Hey Hey Cabaret. A follow up to their break through 2010 release, Happy Madness, the songs are rollicking flapper folk punk cabaret with pop hooks and true DIY attitude that will take you from Paris to CBGBs and back again.
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 exhilarating fun. Whether she's singing in French or in English, her persuasive nudging for you to lavish yourself in the present moment is infectious. As Frenchy and the Punk's chief lyricist she draws inspiration from art, dance and travel. She 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 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. players J Mascis and Lou Barlow. Deeply entrenched in that 80s hardcore scene Deep Wound, and 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 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. But 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 seven year collaboration they have poured their vast collective musical and life experience into a continuing exploration of new avenues of sound and performance. They are now one of the top featured and sought after acts worldwide of the burgeoning steampunk and cabaret movements.
Together Stephenson and Helland are nothing if not theatrical and fun in their live delivery of their music and the new Hey Hey Cabaret CD captures that energy. If they were a circus, you would want to pack up and join them. Imagine Django Reinhardt, Johnny Ramone, Siouxsie Sioux and Francoise Hardy jamming together at the Addams family house at an event hosted by Tim Burton. The duo has a magnetic stage charm that has attracted a consistently growing and loyal fan base around the world evidenced by their fan’s outpouring of support in their Fall 2011 crowd funding effort garnering over $10,000 in fan donations. This New York-based, international touring duo is as much at home performing at Steampunk, Faerie and Fantasy conventions as they are at a variety of cultural Art and Music festivals. Fans of Gogol Bordello, Dresden Dolls, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Rodrigo y Gabriela are all well served here. Visit www.frenchyandthepunk.com