Sam Russell Interview


Hallo Rocker!

Es gibt Neues in COMEBACKSTAGES NEWCOMERS CORNER! Heute stelle ich Euch Sam Russell aus London vor. Er veröffentliche vor kurzem sein Debut Album „Impetuous Desire“, an dem er fast drei Jahre gearbeitet hat.

Tell me your bands story…

Sam Russell:
It started after being fired from the previous band I was in. Prior to writing under my own name, I had played the role of lead guitar player in other peoples bands, playing their music and putting some shred on the top. After being fired, I realised I couldn’t depend on other people to write songs and just have fun playing guitar solos… So I started learning to write, and writing my own songs and lyrics.

After all it was my dream, I was the only one who could do anything about it, about making it happen.

Learning to write was a pretty slow process. I had a lot to learn (and have a lot left to learn!), and really, I should have started working on that skill years before I did. Hindsight is always much clearer than foresight!

I think given that I had written about 2 songs prior to writing „Impetuous Desire“, the album came out pretty well. It has scored well with other reviews so far!

Who’s part of the band?

Sam Russell:
On the record, I played guitars and bass. Drums were done by Jason Bowld of Bullet for my Valentine. He did a killer job on the drums. I had a few vocalists: Daniel Leigh did the majority of the vocals and absolutely smashed it, Ryan Mueller guest sang on one song which was 100x more brutal than I expected, and the legendary Queen of Metal Doro Pesch guest sang on the ballad – getting to watch her record was incredible! Phil Kinman was the producer and had a lot of valuable input into the making of „Impetuous Desire“, from extra ideas to pushing me to do better than I could by myself.

Why did you decide to use your own name on the project?

Sam Russell:
There were two reasons: I couldn’t think of a band name that didn’t sound cliché, and it appealed to my ego. I wrote it and funded it, so putting my name on it seemed like a good idea.

Where do you see yourself musically seen, what are your bands influences?

Sam Russell:
My influences mainly fall into 3 categories:

  1. 80s metal, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Riot, King Diamond,
  2. Virtuoso Shred, such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen
  3. Baroque, classical and romantic music such as Bach and Vaughan Williams. While I can’t say I’ve written a piece thinking “I should do something like Bach here”, I listen to it a lot, so his influence probably comes through subconsciously.

How many albums did you release and how are they called?

Sam Russell:
I did a guitar version of Bach’s 1st and 2nd Cello Suites, and released a heavy metal record of music I’ve written, which was called „Impetuous Desire“.

The name „Impetuous Desire“ was a bit of a personal joke to myself. It summarises my attitude to making the record. After all, who am I? Just a guitar player with a dream. My desire is impetuous, haha!

Which topics do you talk about in your songs?

Sam Russell:
The songs on „Impetuous Desire“ cover various topics. I try to tell a story in each song, and they are usually taken from experiences in my life. In the booklet for the CD, I have an illustration for each song next to the lyrics, to try and convey the message in each song a bit clearer.

The Disciples Hand is a song about philosophy, and the struggle man has had through the ages to understand his mind – something that mankind as a whole still struggles with. Huge proportions of humanity, damn themselves for being conscious, worship their eventual death or view their mind as a restriction. Living is associated with mindless hedonism. People who dare to be individuals and seek their own happiness are often damned and torn down.

Waves of Tomorrow is about a stage in my life where I had ambitious goals and dreams, and I was struggling to make them happen, and I felt like my life was passing me by… without me. To some extent I still feel like this, and it motivates me to work as hard as I can each day to make sure I keep hold of that dream and work towards it.

Passing Light references motorbikes, because I thought it would be sinful to write a metal album without referencing some form of motor transport. Saxon are experts at this. I tried to turn the lyrics into a metaphor for the plot of the heroine in the story, so in a way, the lyrics tell the story in two different ways, simultaneously.

The Darkest Night is a slight cliché. I took the ideas from the first 3 cantos of Dantés Inferno. I mean… literally descending into the depths of hell? Grade A heavy metal lyric material.

Tonight was a concept I was playing with, about a woman being rescued from a broken heart. This is why, in the booklet that accompanies the CD, the illustration for this song shows a woman on her knees in tears, with a hand reaching down from above to guide her spirit back to happiness.

Fire, Desire was taken from some ideas I had after reading Emerson’s essays. I think it was either the essay on Nature or Compensation, I can’t remember which!

The songs have a couple of running themes, Loss and Redemption, and having the confidence in ourselves to act and to push forwards with our lives.

What are your experiences as a young rock band?

Sam Russell:
Everything takes more time that I thought, costs more than I thought and doesn’t turn out how I expect. It’s an expensive and exhilarating lesson at the moment!

What are your goals with the band?

Sam Russell:
To push myself to the extreme in terms of ability and composition, to make £1M a year, make my band the highest paid session players in the industry and deliver the most incredible performances.

Ambition isn’t a problem for me. We will have to see how many of those targets I can hit over the next 10 years!

Why do you really want to make it and what do you do to make it work?

Sam Russell:
I think of “making it”, in this context, in terms of financial success. Financial success with the band would allow me to re-invest heavily. This means better recordings, better live shows, better gear. The re-investment allows every aspect of the music, the show, and the experience for the fan to increase. On a selfish level, I want to be highly paid so I can do all the things I want to do, study with the best teachers and take care of those I value.

It would also be a lot of fun. Making this record, working with the other musicians, flying out to Germany to record with Doro; was the best experience I have ever had in my life. My goal is to be able to repeat that experience as my profession. Working like that was highly addictive. I have to have more!

Which song of your band should everyone know and why?

Sam Russell:
“Tonight”, because it kicks ass. It’s catchy, tells a story, and has some wicked cool shredding in it. Turn it up to 10, strap yourself in, and enjoy!

If you could support any band on tour, who would it be?

Sam Russell:
Iron Maiden. I gave Bruce Dickinson a copy of the album a few months ago but haven’t had the phone call… yet! They are an incredible live band and I would love to learn everything I possibly could from them.

Where are your upcoming shows?

Sam Russell:
Currently, they are planned for the UK towards the middle and end of 2018.


If you should convince a young person to listen to rock music, which song would you show him/her and why?

Sam Russell:
Surfing With The Alien by Joe Satriani. It’s exhilarating. It’s a rush. It’s the song that inspired me to push myself as a guitar player.

If you could have a fantasy dinner with three persons of your choice, who would you invite?

Sam Russell:
Ayn Rand, Aristotle and Yngwie Malmsteen.

It’s a hard decision – can I have a bigger dining table? If I could have a few more seats I would add Peter Westergaard, Tony Robbins, Bach and Steve Jobs.

If I could add a few more seats, all of the Victoria Secrets Angels.

And the guys that designed Dodge muscle cars in the 80s.

That would be on hell of a dinner party.

Thanks a lot for your time Sam! The last words are yours…

Sam Russell:
If you feel the need for a kickass heavy metal to drive fast to, hit the gym to, or give your partner the night of their life to; head on over to my website and buy a copy today! I ship worldwide, or you can get a copy on iTunes.

It’s awesome, you’ll love it. Whip out your credit card and grab a copy before they are gone!

HIER könnt Ihr direkt mal reinhören. Noch mehr Infos und Eindrücke gibt’s dann direkt auf der Homepage oder auf der Facebook-Seite.

Eure Ornella.
Long live Rock’n’Roll!

#supportnewmusic #comebackstage #longliverocknroll #newcomerscorner #comebackstagesupports

P.S. Du kennst auch eine tolle Newcomer-Band, die es verdient hat, eine Stimme zu bekommen? Dann bist Du HIER genau richtig. 🙂

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