The equation is simple. 1 French girl + 1 American guy = the band Freedom Fry. Freedom Fry is the musical duo of Parisian-born Marie Seyrat, and Michigan-native, Bruce Driscoll. Seyrat, who had been singing since before she could talk, initially pursued a career in fashion and styling, where she did PR for Gucci and even dressed the likes of Sharon Stone. Driscoll, meanwhile, cut his teeth in the music industry as a producer and touring musician from a very young age. He toured extensively, playing live with the likes of James Iha and Ivy and sharing bills with bands like Stars, Cake, Tahiti 80 and the Trashcan Sinatras.
Fate brought them together when Marie worked as a stylist on a video for Bruce’s other band, Blondfire. “She played me a song with her singing in French while we were on the set, I believe it was a Sylvie Vartan cover. I loved her voice and thought it would be cool to try to write some songs together in French. That was April. That following August we wrote and recorded our first EP and the following single, Earthquake, in about five days in my apartment in New York,” Bruce recalled.
Earthquake, inspired by an actual New York earthquake, was released in February of 2012 and received a great critical response to both the song and the self-directed video. It even garnered a single-of-the-week from highbrow French music magazine, Les Inrockuptibles, and features in Glamour, MTV Brasil and American Apparel’s Viva Radio Blog.
Soon after the release of their first EP, Let The Games Begin, Bruce relocated to California and the twosome did a road trip from NY to LA. Along the way they made a detour and stopped in Fort Sumner, New Mexico at the grave of Billy The Kid. This visit would inspire their following wild west themed EP, Outlaws. The EP featured a reinvented, banjo-driven cover of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot’s Bonnie and Clyde as well as songs about legends Billy The Kid and Jesse James. Jesse James, the single from the EP, was accompanied by a video directed by French director Mark Maggiori (French music fans know his work for the bands Pleymo, Lilly Wood and the Prick and Brigitte) and Petecia Le Fawnhawk.
Freedom Fry strive for one main thing, “To be as original as we can be.” Seyrat remarks with her soft-whispery voice with just a hint of a French accent. “We love doing every aspect of the band, from writing & recording to directing and conceptualizing the videos and artwork. We are very much out to not do the ordinary, even if sometimes that can be difficult. We’re out to prove that there are new things under the sun.”
You can see this put into action by the fact that their first EP packaging was in the shape of a French Fry box and their trademark look has become sunglasses accompanied by red, wax lips. Even their name sums up the universe of different that the band has strived to create.
Bruce explains their name’s origins, “It was the name anti-French Americans were using for french fries around the time of the Iraq War. We thought it was a fun idea to adopt it and change its meaning completely. We’ve tried to make it synonymous with all the good things that are French. It’s me, an American, and a French girl uniting to create something positive. It completely goes against the term’s original intention.”
Now permanently based in Los Angeles, the duo continues to self-release singles and videos leading up to the release of their full length LP in 2013.