One of the many popular on-campus bands, FROG is comprised of Jason Edelstein ’18, Miles Lamar Lowe ’18, Benjamin Thomas ’21, Harrison Selle ’19, Charles Meyer ’19, and Nico Calabria ’18. FROG recently opened Speakeasy’s Block 5 performance and will be competing in the upcoming Battle of the Bands. Half of the band—Edelstein, Lowe, and Thomas—sat down to answer a few questions for The Catalyst this week.
The Catalyst: What was your initial inspiration for forming the band?
Jason Edelstein: Honestly, probably everyone that’s now in Mad Wallace, which was Funk Dozer at a time, and then all the different permeations of that band, just seeing them at Battle of the Bands and all the different house shows when we were freshmen. And Gabe Sashihara’s band, Raisins; I think that was our first house show that we went to, and someone smashed a watermelon at the show.
Miles Lowe: True.
JE: Yeah, and that was our inspiration, that watermelon.
ML: Also, I played in a concert band and jazz band throughout high school, and I played freshman year of college. But I thought that the— I don’t know, I just for some reason didn’t really want to be in a band that was still directed by a faculty member. So it was cool when Jason and I became friends, and I realized he played guitar. And then there was like this proximal relationship where Harrison, Jason, and I all lived in the same hall last year. So maybe not proximity as inspiration, but it definitely made it a lot easier.
TC: How did you settle on such an amphibious name?
JE: It took us a long time. At first, we were Jeb Kush—no, first we were Dank Tofu, then we were Jeb Kush for like a day (some people really didn’t like that name; I still think we should go back to it), and then we were Mob Secret, and then we just wanted one word. We’re going to change our name pretty soon actually because there’s another Frog on Spotify, and it’s not the most searchable word either. We have a lot of people liking our Facebook page who’re just interested in frogs.
ML: And I surveyed amphibians for like three summers, so I was like, “FROG.”
JE: Yeah, Miles is our expert.
TC: What has been your wildest experience while playing a house party at Colorado College?
ML: I feel like maybe the wildest experience occurred while I wasn’t in the band.
JE: It wasn’t so much of a wild experience with the audience—it was just this wild experience where everyone in the band was pretty messed up that night, and we were playing at FIJI, and it was a terrible show. Definitely the worst show we’ve ever played. I think I had three entire beers spilled into my amp. And it involved a reggae cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I guess one of the craziest concert experiences was last year at that one show when someone threw up on the stage. That was kinda crazy.
ML: I remember you just getting pushed over at a lot of shows. And like, I feel like the craziness just occurs whenever we play Rage Against the Machine.
TC: What is a song that you have been dying to cover but haven’t had the chance to yet?
JE: Ben wants to cover everything.
Ben Thomas: I do want to cover everything; that’s true. I still really want to do a Beatles cover at some point. I think that’d be a lot of fun. And I’m always trying to convince them to do a Nirvana cover. We did a couple of times in the beginning of the year, but Lithium would be fun, a lot of fun.
JE: I want to do “American Pie” by Don McLean—I think it is objectively the best song ever written.
ML: “American Pie” would not be a good party song.
BT: The last time we saw Mad Wallace, they covered “She’s So Heavy” by the Beatles, and that was really incredible. So doing something like that would also be cool.
JE: I feel every CC band has covered that song at some point.
ML: It’d be part of our legacy.
TC: What is your favorite song that you currently play and why?
ML: My favorite is “Ghost Flow” because I get to go off on my sax and vocals, and it’s just so long. Plus there’s a fat bass solo, and there’s also a guitar solo and a sax solo—it’s a long song, and it’s very cathartic; you get to leave it all out there.
BT: Probably “Break Your Crown,” for me. I get a drum solo, and also the opening bass line just gets me going every time because Harrison is nuts on that song.
JE: I think probably “Perturbed Cyborg Future” because I get to sing on it, and I get to yell on it at the end. And we do this really weird two-part round in seven/eight at the end, and watching people dance while we’re playing seven/eight is just so much fun.
TC: Who can drop the sickest solo in the band?
ML: Not me.
BT: Harrison has done some pretty insane solos.
JE: Ben also does pretty sick solos. I’m always telling him to keep going and going and going; I don’t want his solos to end whenever we’re at shows.
ML: Jason also shreds. But I don’t know, Harrison, Ben, and Jason are pretty good soloists. Maybe we should just say Harrison because he’s not here.
TC: If you could open for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
ML: Rage Against the Machine.
JE: I had a dream recently where we opened for Rage Against the Machine at the Hybl Community Center for some reason. It was a lot of fun. There were way too many people in there; it was kinda scary.
ML: I probably want to open for Lil Wayne, actually.
TC: You’re given the opportunity to add a professor to FROG. Who would you choose?
ML: Michael Sawyer.
JE: Michael Sawyer is a musician; he plays saxophone, guitar. Steve Hayward also plays guitar.
ML: If Michael was in our band though, he’d also be our promoter. Or maybe we would want to add one of the music faculty.
JE: I would want Dan Tynan to do a harmonica solo. I don’t even know if he plays harmonica, but he looks like he would.
TC: Do you expect/hope to see yourselves on the Llamapalooza stage this year?
ML: I mean, we hope to see ourselves there. Do we expect it? The thing is we only know of a few other bands, but there’s like, what, 18 or something [for Battle of the Bands]? There are a few other bands that we know will be competition for us.
JE: I want to see all the bands at Llama. . . and us.
BT: That’d be cool if they did like a CC band festival kind of thing.
ML: I would say we want to win, and we have confidence in ourselves.
TC: Do you foresee FROG continuing post-graduation, or will you be dispersing?
ML: Damn bro.
JE: That’s sad. We don’t know anything about where our graduating members—which are just me, Miles, and Nico—are going to be necessarily, but we’re recording an album this block and next block. And we each decided we would invest some time and some money promoting the album and seeing where it goes, and if people like it and listen to it and it’s foreseeable, then I mean, it would definitely be the most fun thing to do after graduation.
ML: We’d be able to step up our game if we were focused on it. The problem is Ben is a freshman.
JE: He could drop out.
ML: Ben is probably not going to drop out of school. . .
BT: If the situation arose where we got to a certain point where we could tour, I would definitely take a break from academics; I don’t know if I would drop out. And even if none of that happens, I’d still be very interested in continuing to make music with Harrison and Charles and everybody who is going to be around.
JE: And me and Miles might still be in Colorado next year, in which case we could figure it out somehow, yeah.
ML: If we were in Colorado Springs we could probably keep it going pretty well. If we were somewhere else, then we’d probably be able to drop in for shows sometimes, be like featured artists.