Batfrogs is the creation of artists / musicians Samantha Stephenson
and Scott Helland aka Frenchy and the Punk.
Based in the Hudson Valley, since 2001, the electro-acoustic Dark Cabaret Rock duo who play largely within the Steampunk and Mythic Festival circuits, has released 7 CDs (most recently Zen Ghost, Oct 2022) and toured across the US and in Europe since 2005.
When not on tour, they create the world of their mystical and magical creature, the
Scott, when he was the bass player for Deep Wound and Outpatients in the western
Massachusetts hardcore punk explosion of the 80s, had always connected with the pen and ink art of the punk scene, like the styles from Raymond Pettibone and John Holstrom. It inspired him to do his own drawings which he revisited and expanded on when Frenchy and the Punk started performing.
Samantha, who was born in France and raised in England, had gone from studying dance and piano from a very early age, to focusing her creative energies in sculpture and painting while living in NYC. She was a student at both the Art Student’s League as well as the Academy of Design before delving back into the performing arts as
the singer and percussionist for Frenchy and the Punk.
As a child, Samantha loved to watch bats at dusk in the garden of her family’s home in the south of England. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Scott whiled away the time exploring the woods seeking out toads and frogs! Fast forward a few decades and, with an eye to find a symbol for the band that would be as striking as the Horned Bug of the British Rock band Møterhead, Scott created the Frenchy and the Punk Batfrog. The duo could never have imagined the Batfrog would take on such a life of its own. It became not only the symbol for the band but now graces the art and merchandise the pair creates.
Starting with Scott’s hand drawn pen and ink images, Samantha adds the color and then they create the designs together. An avid seamstress, Samantha sews the tea towel wall hangings and band patches as well as her signature finger puppet bats for which she now designs the fabrics.
Samantha also created a Batfrog Habitat Art Installation that she has exhibited at various events. Within an enclosed 7‘x7’ tent, she constructs a cave-like environment completely adorned with all-fabric elements --- mock stone walls, large vines and leaves based on Scott‘s artwork, lit by glowing lights with a soundtrack of forest soundscapes. The installation pairs well with the duo’s support of responsible practices to protect our planet and climate change awareness.
Both bats and frogs have symbolism that vary depending on culture. For FnP, they see the two as symbols of rebirth and transformation. A mystical creature inspired by the natural world, a purveyor of good fortune.Welcome to the world of Frenchy and the Punk’s Batfrogs.
An odd and eclectic world where there is beauty in darkness, comfort and inspiration in sound, and a delight in the mysterious and unknown.All artwork and designs are made in-house at the Batfrog Cave in the foothills of the Mohonk Mountain range.