Track by Track: Frog – “Count Bateman”
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Frog has a cool new album out, “Count Bateman”, so we had Bateman himself send us over a track by track breakdown of all of the songs from the record.
Take a listen below while you read over each track’s backstory. Frog might not be a very serious name, but he is serious talent and songwriter.
Hello all. Bateman here, keeping on tracking on trucking on. Stacks of tracks over here in the ol swampland. Count Bateman is my first foray into wearing all the hats that a record needs to wear, on a tape machine at that. Hearing the reels whir brought me into a different time, in a different place, as a different person. Dive in, don’t mind the ketchup in the cupholders, I’ll clean her out someday I promise.
This song is about smoking cigarettes in the clear plastic weather shelters on the Hartsdale Metro North platforms. Actually, it’s really not about that, it’s just about life inside New Ro and the environs. If I’m anything I’m 914 ‘till I die. Shoutout to NRHS I love you.
RIP to the Empire State Flea Market
This was a flea market in Port Chester where I took my wife when we were first going out. She always used to play this game where we’d describe people to each other by who’d play them in a movie. It closed down and I’m still in mourning. Pat’s Hubba Hubba is still open however, and worth a stop by if you’re ever in the neighb’ of PC WC. Amazing chili that will leave you close to death.
My dogs barked at something, as they do, while I was recording the piano part. I thought they ruined the take but I listened back and it fit right in when I was talking about dogs in the lyrics!! I was ecstatic. Happy accidents make a song sometimes.
This song I tried with Tom a bunch and it never came together ‘till I tried it just with the drum machine. In the lyrics I’m both a New Ro boy and some sort of Middle Ages minor court figure, pleading with the King to see the rot and the beauty inside of his kingdom. A lot of these songs are me going places that I’ve never been, it was very satisfying to paint from a memory that I was never in.
Straight North end diary. On the roof of Davis school smoking cigarettes. My friend Borna used to make fun of us for saying ‘Bum me a cig’ instead ‘Can I bum one’, but I liked the wrong way better.
It’s Something I Do
My brother’s favorite song. I like it too! My favorite line is the one about her hand touching the leather. I also tried this one with Tom and we couldn’t figure it out; I feel like less is more in this case.
This song is about the night life, about giving in. I did this a few times actually. I’m not sure if I ever really nailed it but this version is pretty close. This was very close to being left off the record.
You Know I’m Down
I also strongly considered leaving this one off but my brother revolted. I like the lines in the first verse, you know the ones. I mixed this straight off the mixer with no plugins so it sounds ridiculous, my mastering guy got really mad because I had the bass up all the way in the right ear. He pushed it so it’s more even, but I miss the old way kinda. Maybe I’ll release it as an alt mix someday.
Got the World at Your Fangs
I was most excited about this song after tracking, and then despondent when I couldn’t figure out how to mix it right. This happened to a few of the songs in the sessions but this was the only one that I resurrected to my liking. The trick was to have the drums be really huge and loud.
I love this song! My gospel music. This didn’t work at all until I tried it with acoustic guitar. On electric you don’t understand the chorus as well. I think this was a first take on the vocal. One take timmy! Is what I always say but it’s never true except for somehow it was here.
Order Count Bateman on tape or digitally via Audio Antihero Records.
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