Friday, 30 March 2012

An Interview with Sam Airey

I interviewed Sam Airey for Think-Work-Play.

Sam Airey is a 22 year old folk artist, originally from the Isle of Anglesey. He released his debut EP Season's Change in March 2010 recorded and produced by Whiskas of iForward, Russia! fame. His new EP ‘A Marker and A Map’ is an exploration of lyrical themes inspired love and loss. We’ve caught up with Sam and asked him about inspiration, irritation and ideas.

Think-Work-Play: What does a day in the life of Sam Airey look like?

Sam Airey: That would depend upon the day. It can be anything from writing, gigging and rehearsing to doing stuff for the label I co-run, promoting shows in Leeds, and also occupying space on both sides of the bar. I can quite often be found pulling pints, but I sometimes like to drink them too.

Who are your top three influencers (music, literature, cultural provocateurs, anything)?

The three 'L's', of course. Love, Loss, and Leonard Cohen.

If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?

I listen to songs everyday and think this. At the moment it's probably Northern Lights by Bowerbirds. I love that band.

In your biography it says: “He writes songs about the seaside and/or death, but never exclusively these things.” What’s so fascinating about these things?

That was more of a running joke to be fair, but also has some basis too I guess - I grew up by the sea so that fascination was kind of instilled in me. And who isn't at least curious about death? It's as ever present as life.

Are love songs overrated?

Not at all. Well I guess many are. The perfect love song is a fine art - the secret is striking that delicate balance between being brutally honest and sincere without being over-earnest.

Drake or Nick Drake?

Nick Drake of course. But throw Rihanna into the mix and it might change everything.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Music-wise?

Anything by Toto or Journey. Power ballad central.

Who’s your favourite person?

This weekend it's been Dan Lydiate and the rest of the Wales rugby team in the 6 Nations. Amazing performances.

Describe your world today in one word.


Where are we most likely to find you on a Friday night?

Probably at a gig. Not necessarily my own, either. Or at home playing FIFA.

What do you like most about what you do?

New places, new people, the usual things I guess. Also the way in which new songs take shape and change course from the minute they leave your head to to the finished article. I like that, I like the possibilities - not just the roads that were taken but also the ones that weren't. It's all good.

What did really offend you recently?

The Sun on Sunday? Or actually the rest of the tabloids too. Who actually reads that shit?

What makes a good storyteller?

Conviction and consistency. Oh and maybe exaggeration too. The greatest ever stories are always embellished, no matter how true they are.

Any crazy gig stories?

I bled once, that was weird. I didn't notice until two songs later, so I got blood all over the strings and fretboard. There's been a few stories actually. One time I accidentally broke the PA so had to play the gig outside in the car park.

Where do you spend your time “thinking, working and playing”?

- THINK: Where do you come up with your ideas, is there a special place or do random places spring up best ideas - examples?

I like to retreat back to the countryside now and again, but to be honest I never really get the chance anymore. I usually have to think on the move - ideas will probably come regardless of whether I'm searching for them

- WORK: Where is your studio, or work place?

I record and rehearse with the band at a place called Mook Studios in Leeds. It's a fairly modest setup but it has everything we need and I like it there.

- PLAY: Unwind, party – do you have a favourite place?

The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. It's the best venue in the world, don'tcha know?

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