Introducing: Frog – GROG + interview

I have shared a couple of singles from this album and I was excited to listen to it in the full. Before sharing my thoughts, read what artist has to say about it:

“Grog took a long time – I had kids while making it, my job situation became a lot crazier. Sessions started in early 2020, I had twins in June 2020, and we finished mixing in summer 2023. My brother Steve became a real member of Frog for these recordings and I think the music we made together is a reflection of our relationship. It is a joy to make music with people you love.

There are really exciting places we were able to get to on this record, places that I didn’t know existed before I found them. It feels both gothic and cartoonish to me, big gargoyles, dark skies, storms, but the statues are of Ah! real monsters.

Every song is a step deeper into the abyss. At some point I’ve lost all ability to see the daylight and the darkness envelops me. The twilight bathes the snow as I put my skies back on to drift down the mountain- it is shocking how quiet the world is in the snow. Music is the only time I can ever feel alone.

If KoB is set in New York, and Count Bateman is set in LA in the 70s, this one I think is set in Hades. The whole thing is bathed in flames and the grooves are bubbling bubbling and the devil is a DJ smiling broadly.

At the end of making Grog, and recording the songs for the one after it, I began to start hallucinating music – I’d lay awake and dream entire songs, fully orchestrated, fully realized, that lasted hours and hours. This may mark the last point in my career that I had any vestige of sanity left, but who needed it anyway.

Grog is a drink they used to give sailors- basically, they were trying to stop the British navy from stockpiling their rum ration and then getting blotto and being useless the next day. So, this one admiral changed the ration so that the rum was diluted with water and a little lime juice, in a 4:1 water-rum ratio. The admiral always wore a grogram cloth, and everyone called him Old Grog, so his drink was grog too. I think I first heard of it playing The Secret of Monkey Island – one of the puzzles involves you using grog to burn through steel bars to break some guy out of prison.

You can do incredible things, things you would never in your wildest dreams think you were capable of; all you have to do is require them of yourself.”

Credit: – Collin Heroux

This album is an absolute work of art. I made sure to listen to it in its entirety before writing this post, as I wanted to provide an unbiased and fresh take on it. And let me tell you, I was completely blown away by the sheer energy and emotion that this album exudes. I was so amazed that I had to hit the play button once again to grasp its essence fully.

After immersing myself in this album, I found myself wanting to listen to it again and again, and eventually lost count of how many times I had played it. Each time I listened, I discovered new layers of complexity and beauty in the guitar parts, the vocals, the lyrics, the piano parts, and the overall atmosphere, which is nothing short of magical. I knew that this album would be great, but hearing it in full from beginning to end was an entirely different level of experience.

I wish I could find the right words to describe the richness of this album and the incredible craftsmanship that Frog has demonstrated here. It’s no surprise that the album is receiving praise from various music websites, as it is truly well-deserved. This is undoubtedly the one album that you need to listen to from 2023 if you haven’t already.

I am absolutely in love with this album, and I do not doubt that you will be too.

I have reached out to Dan from Frog with questions and you can read our interview below:

Filip: What inspired you to start making music?

Dan: I started taking piano lessons when I was 7 – it’s still my favorite instrument. My favorite bands as a child were the Police, the Who, Led Zeppelin, stuff my parents liked. I started my first band, named Misusage, in 9th/10th grade and I’ve always had at least one project going since then.

F: Do you have any memories of music from your childhood?

D: I still remember the first song I ever wrote – it’s not bad. Basically it’s a repeating melody over a I-ii-I6-IV progression, classic moves. My piano teacher put on a recital every year where her students all practised a really hard piece and then played for all the parents. I did Pachabel’s Canon, some Rachmaninoff, Chopin, all the heavy hitters; that was my introduction to classical music. My father and mother both played piano as well – my dad was really into playing George Winston.

F: Do you have any special memories with cassettes or vinyl records?

D: TBH my childhood was mostly CD focused- the first album I ever bought was Dookie, on CD. I think I might have bought an Alanis Morrisette tape at a gas station somewhere in Ohio once. Honestly I love CDs- they sound incredible and I love the art and how you can play them in your car.

F: How the name Frog was created?

D: Tom found a Casio 101 when painting his old school in Maine – some cheap old keyboard from the 80s. One of the preset sounds was called ‘Frog’ and it was completely unusable in any song, horrible and hilarious. I felt like that was what our band sounded like.

F: You have released your first album in 2013. Has releasing music have been years back then or now?

D: I think that what you’re asking is about the differences between releasing music in 2013 vs. now – the major things that have changed in my life in that time are not music related, so I guess the difference in later releases is that I do not have any time to allocate towards music business stuff, at all. The actual making of the music is only different in that I’ve done it a bunch of times now and so I have an easier time getting the songs to sound like they do in my dreams. I guess the other thing that’s different is that more people are frog fans, which is great.

F: Your new album just came out. How do you find the reception of the new music so far?

D: It’s been amazing! Jamie has done an incredible job with the PR and everything. I’m slightly burnt out after the amount of effort this took tbh – I just need a vacation.

F: You live in New York. Does this state have an impact on the music you make?

D: Besides 2 months where I lived in Philadelphia in 2017, I lived in NYC or the suburbs my whole life – like the same 10 mile radius. It’s the only place I’ve ever known, really. It has an impact on everything about me!

F: What has the DIY community meant to you and your music?

D: I have spent most of my time in bands in the DIY community – many of the best venues in NY were people’s houses that we knew, etc. I have certain personality traits when it comes to music where I am not good at letting go of it, and if anyone else works on it I have to really trust them, and I don’t really trust that many people. I think the DIY ethos and focus on entrepreneurship matched the way that I naturally think – it’s very stressful to me if I can’t be the one making all the decisions.

F: Which artists have influenced your music the most?

D: I’m influenced by so many people in so many different ways, and I’m always seeking out new people to be influenced by. As a child I was really into Mozart and Beethoven, as well as like the Police. In high school I became really interested in the independent rock music that people were making in the 90s – Pavement, Polvo, that kind of thing. Lately I’ve been really interested in artists of any medium that are able to work for a long time, over decades, constantly finding different things to be interested in, whether it’s Lil Wayne or Almodovar; the greatest and most interesting artists all have this thing where they’re able to completely dissolve the lines between themselves and the art, and it invades every aspect of their lives and vice versa.

F: What does your creative process look like?

D: Me and Steve get in a room and just play whatever comes through our heads. It was the same with Tom! Keep it simple.

F: Do you search for the meaning through the music? Does the creative process help you to process your thoughts?

D: It is cathartic to make music that you’re really excited by, so in that way it provides stress relief. It’s just what comes out of whatever you find inside the piano or the room or the friend.

F: Where do you seek inspiration for your lyrics? How do you choose what to include in lyrics and what not?

D: The lyrics choose me, just like all the other parts of a song. Anything I hear on the street, the way someone talks, a funny story or line they say, it might come out of my mouth in a song – the world around us is very interesting.

Credit: – Collin Heroux

F: What is your daily job and how do you make music while working? How hard is it to find time?

D: I work for a tech company, and on the side I help a friend run his small business in the film industry. Me and Steve play for a couple hours most Sundays – it helps me stay sane.

F: Do you have any other hobbies besides music?

D: I have two kids, so I play with them and hang out with them anytime I’m not working. We just got a replica of the golden gate bridge for our train set – pretty exciting.

F: Any favorite or inspirational books or movies?

D: I love films- Almodovar, Kubrick, Hitchcok, Itami, Welles, Bunuel, so many amazing filmmakers. I started watching Miyazaki movies with my kids and I became a superfan, they lit my dreams on fire.

For books, I love Tolstoy, Chekov, Joyce, Stephen King, Amy Tan, anything that I could find as a child I read. I didn’t have a TV. Stephen King was probably my biggest influence personally- I read Cujo in second grade and it exploded my brain.

F: What keeps you motivated to continue making music?

D: I just like it! Nothing about the music business appeals to me at all except making records, which is one of the only activities I’ve ever really loved.

F: What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?

D: Life is very hard- much harder than anyone could ever anticipate. Music is easy, because it’s fun! Navigating the business side of music is not fun at all, so it’s best to just not care about that part of it.

F: Do you have any set goals with your music? Any milestones you would like to achieve?

D: The songs themselves are the goals – they’re what I want to happen, and realizing them is the pleasurable part. I don’t care at all about anything else.

F: What would you dream to do if anything was possible?

D: Honestly I would sleep for a whole day.

F: Do you have any advice for artists just starting out or maybe coming back to prior passions?

D: The only way to get better at making art is to make art over and over again, ad infinitum. The only thing that matters is that you keep doing it again and again- each iteration is essential and will teach you everything you need to know. Repetition is the father of learning- I repeat, repetition is the father of learning.

F: In the end, I have one challenge for you. Describe every song from your most recent album Grog in a single sentence, one sentence for each song.


  1. Townsends are great people, thank you Townsends.
  2. I bought this keyboard for 10 dollars from a crust punk on the street, it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. 
  3. I haven’t eaten Taco Bell since I was 19, when it made me very ill, but I loved it at 16 when this song is set.
  4. First song me and Steve wrote together possibly, love when he double times on the ride.
  5. Sand, Gods, Guitars, Cymbals, Riffs – wrote this on a banjo lying on the couch in my mom’s house.
  6. Me and Steve wrote and recorded this in like 15-20 minutes or something; there is a whole other verse and chorus that we cut.
  7. Came to me in a dream!
  8. Old song that I pulled out the cupboard and tried again, somehow it worked this time.
  9. My daughter and son sing at the end – they love hearing themselves on it.
  10. Sounds from the Queen City of the Sound 
  11. As I recall I wrote this song while watching the 2015 World Series (LGM!) – finally got it to work for this one.

Thanks Filip!

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