Joseph Seager had a chat with Sam from Club Smith, after their Leeds support slot at the Academy with The Sunshine Underground, and before their own headline gig on March 19th at The Cockpit.
Hello Sam from Club Smith. How are you doing? Where are you currently?
Currently at home trying to get over a hellish journey back from Norwich at the weekend. Broke down at 1.30am, didn't get towed till 6.45am then stuck in the snow and didn't get home till 1pm! Heavy night ! Good gig though.
You release 'The Loss' EP on March 8th. Are you pleased with it?
It's easily the best thing I've ever been part of musically. Apart from perhaps the second set of recordings we've just done. I'm blown away by how it's felt like second nature this time around to be doing stuff I'm so proud of. I think it's down to the group atmosphere and the producers involved.
What's your favourite song from the EP and why?
I love them all, really. I think the lead track 'Lament' is the best song writing achievement and nicely documents a frustrating portion of my existence, and I really like track 3 'Connected' because it's written about my late mum. The other 2 tracks are huge fun to play live.
What's this I hear about a second EP, set for summer release?
Well, the tracks are recorded but we have to see when the right time is. It could be after the summer as we don't want to ram Club Smith down people's throats too much. No-one likes intense relationships, it always ends in tears too soon.
You just supported The Sunshine Underground in Leeds and have your own show at the Cockpit coming up soon (two huge Yorkshire gigs). You must be getting a massive fan base now with this and other exposure?
It (The Sunshine Underground gig) was pretty wicked, a whole heap of people were there. There's been pretty much universal positive feedback about the new stuff we're doing, even from people who are always honest with us so I'm guessing once it's out there a few of the general public could like it. Who knows!?!
I know you formed in 2009 but what made you first get into music?
I think it was a fascination of what's possible with music. It's the ultimate escapism for the musician, but somehow it can also connect with other people.
Why did you become Club Smith, stepping away from 'The Hair'?
LMS is probably the only place I'd answer questions about The Hair. The two bands feel like completely separate entities and parts of our lives. Basically The Hair toured with Kaiser Chiefs and then decided we were bored of the songs, some of which had been played for 5 years and even though they were good they probably had as much time in the sun as they were worth. Added to that we had a new member on drums in Vijay who basically made it fun for us again and had lots of new ideas. The songs changed with his input along with the impact of events in our lives around the time and suddenly we felt like a new band. Hence the change. A lot of people thought we were a bit silly changing everything after our biggest break as The Hair but it went a bit deeper than that for us, we wanted to produce something a bit more meaningful to us at the least...hopefully to others.
What would you have done if you didn't take the musical path?
I think I'd be doing what I do now outside of music which is trying to work to help people (am a housing support worker). Learnt a long time ago it's about job satisfaction if you're going to have to work 35 hours a week, so you've got to care about what you do.
What are you currently listening to, what's on your mp3 player?
Wild Beasts - 2 Dancers - simply astounding
Gaslight Anthem - very simple...but good
The Maccabees - Wall Of Arms - still listening to it and it's amazing
Sunshine Underground - Nobody's Coming To Save You - obvious choice, but it's getting under my skin big time.
Who are you backing to 'break through' this year?
Things have changed so much in the music industry I don't really know what 'break through' means anymore. I'd really like to see Middleman make a living from music as they are serious grafters and great musicians. I think Wild Beasts will get even bigger than they are all around the world. Totally deserved for them and everyone involved with them too.
What's the best venue you've played?
On the basis of the recent gig I'd say it's Leeds Academy! It was great to play there and then see The Sunshine Undergound who we've been mates with for a while now do so well and sound so IMMENSE.
Favourite artist you've toured with?
We toured with a Liverpool band called 'The Maybes?' last year. Their music wasn't really our thing at first but we got more into it over 15 dates. Decent lads but the best thing was their ridiculous activities on the road. There was about 6 of them in a 3 seater transit, seemed to be completely at the mercy of their balls, sacked their manager mid tour and parted ways with the agent, and caused massive havoc in a service station on the last night of the tour. It was proper entertaining listening to what they'd done every time we met up at the next gig.
How do you go about writing your songs? Where do you find influence, or do they find you?
The music comes from one idea in the band that's developed as a group, the words spring from the top of my head but are almost always derived from my mood at that particular time. It's a snapshot into what I'm thinking I reckon, and how much I soak in about everything, which is really interesting to reflect on because outwardly I'm quite full of bravado and act as if I'm really laid back when I guess I can't be, judging by the lyrics!
What do you miss when you are touring?
My girlfriend and bits of routine, it's a heap of fun though touring.
If you were a jelly bean, what colour and flavour would you be and why?
The white one I think as it's a bit exotic like.
Some quick fire questions. Tea or coffee?
Tea, can't take coffee lows. Plus tea has endless variations...I'm sure you've seen the advert with the waterfall and that...
Summer or winter?
Eat in or take out?
Eat in, love to cook as long as I don't wash up.
Marvel or DC?
Mac or PC?
Everyone in the band would say Mac, and though I don't use one I'd have to agree. They look sliiiick.
I think I know the answer already but...Reading or Leeds?
And finally, what's next on the agenda for Club Smith?
A tour, coming to Leeds on the 19th March! Come!
Good luck with the EP and the tour Sam!
Club Smith released 'The Loss' on March 8th.