Trusting The Liar. An interview with Sam Hughes of The Sammus Theory.
When you do something you love, and you do it for the right reasons, you will be happy no matter the outcome. When you do something to appease what you feel is what someone wants, you’ll lose interest and people will be able to see right through your efforts. The Sammus Theory is a band that began writing for radio, and saw some good success. They’ve been featured on MTV2, and toured with the likes of Sevendust, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, and Shinedown. Once it was time to focus on new material for their 2nd album, Trusting The Liar, the band decided to simply let the music do the thinking. Putting aside all the ideas about radio, and focusing on music as an art. Bringing emotion to the forefront and doing it all for the love of music. Guess what, it worked and the band has never been happier.
I’m very happy to welcome Sam Hughes to the Unsung Melody family today. Sam is the vocalist of The Sammus Theory. First off Sam, thank you so much for joining us today. You guys have a been a band now for a few years, so you have a pretty loyal fanbase across the US. You’re currently out on the Apocalyptic Takeover Tour. How has that been going so far?
It has been awesome. Everything about it has been really good this time around. You always have those weird moments on tour where you have your van breaks down, or flat tires, and all this other stuff. Knock on wood, nothing bad has happened through this year yet. So, we’ve been very, very fortunate to have a really smooth tour. The crowds are good, the people are good, and the shows have been really good. So, everything’s just going very smooth.
I’m assuming the tour name has a little something to do with the Mayan Calendar ending this year.
(laughter) Yeah, we’re kind of playing off the whole end of the world thing, even though I’m sure we’ll be here on December 22nd. (laughter)
You’re obviously supporting your new album out there, Trusting The Liar. How would you say this album is different than your debut album, See (it) Through?
With See (it) Through, we were trying to write specifically for radio and things. We just generally had a lot of things on our minds, while we were doing it. As a baby band, you come out and you go okay, we need a manager, we need a booking agent, we want to sign to a label. There’s all these things you want to lineup, and you want this album to connect with all of those pieces. As we’ve been going, we’re realizing, we do well managing ourselves, we don’t want a label, we don’t need a booking agent, because we book everything ourselves. We’re figuring out, that us doing everything, works out just fine. So, what we did with Trusting The Liar, we had actually just ended a management/whatever agreement, (laughter) with our manager of two years, and it didn’t end well. So, the album is based on that whole experience. What we did with that, was we took the time to write songs we wanted to write and do. I don’t know, it was different because it didn’t have those things hanging over it. We weren’t writing for anything else, other than what we wanted to write, and have fun with it. Just making music.
Your Time is the current single from you guys. Give us a little insight into that song. Does it have anything to do with the liars you just mentioned?
It definitely does. It’s a song about the music industry. Everything is changing. It has a lot to do with the sharks, if you will. The people who really take advantage of the new bands. The one’s who are still not quite sure what to do. So, they look for guidance, and they have somebody swoop in and take them under their wing, but they’re sucking them dry, and taking advantage of them. It has a lot to do with those people. We’ve encountered quite a few of them along the way, and we still do. We still have people come out of the woodworks, trying to offer us weird deals and things that just make no sense.
You guys are from the Phoenix area, I’m assuming the desert shots in the video were shot near Phoenix?
Yes. It was about an hour west of Phoenix. We found an old Army training ground that they weren’t using at the time. So, we went out there and shot the video in the middle of summer. Which was horrible, it was like 125 degrees. (laughter)
I would’ve picked another day I think. (laughter)
You know what, I wish we would have, honestly. The film maker that we were working with was really excited to get it done, and wanted to do it before we went out on the next tour. Which was the beginning of September, so we ended up shooting, and then we took off. (laughter) It was just one of those things, where you are like, alright, let’s just get it done. He ended up doing a really good job on it, but we were definitely miserable shooting it.
I heard you guys picked up a new bass player a few months back.
We did. His name is Brent Gillaland, and he’s from Memphis, TN. He actually played in a band called Joan Red. Who we had played with in the past. He had to quit Joan Red, and he went to get situated financially and stuff. I had been talking to him since the beginning of August of last year, and he wasn’t able to do it. So, we were like okay. So, we grabbed another guy and went out on the road, but it didn’t work out with the other guy. So, we ended up getting back in touch with Brent. (laughter) He learned all the songs and flew out, and a few days later we are out on tour together. It’s been pretty much a perfect match. He’s one of the dudes. (laughter) It’s really hard to find that. Especially if you don’t have a chance to hang out with someone over a long period of time and everything. You have to have them, where their personality fits and their playing ability is good, and they have to be a very well-rounded person to fit in with the rest of us.
It’s always good to have someone you like, when you live two feet from them. (laughter) It’s been just over a year since Anthony’s death in Joan Red, it was such a terrible tragedy and I really hated to see that. So, it’s good to see those guys picking up the pieces and moving forward. What does the rest of 2012 hold for The Sammus Theory?
We are just going to keep touring, like we usually do. Finish out the year, and come the whole Holiday season, Mid-November through the beginning of January, we usually take that off. We’ve done the Winter tours before, and it’s tough because there’s people shopping, and it’s kind of hectic all around. So, we take that time off. We are actually going to take time to start writing the next record. So, we are going to be putting everything together, and we’ll hit the road in January, February, probably back in March. Those are just tentative plans, but we are going to start working on a new album in March. We’ll be in the studio and start recording.
We’ve actually got some stuff laid out. There’s about five or six songs so far, but we want to be really prepared on this one. So, we want to knock out maybe 20 to 25 songs, and be able to pick from what we’ve got and really make them the best songs we can make. We still have a lot of work to do, but we do have a headstart.
Alright, I always end on a random question. You just can’t escape it, so here it goes. You have some really amazing tattoos, so I’ll throw you a really random question. You lose a bet and are forced to get a new tattoo. You have two choices on the design, Justin Beiber or a Unicorn; which do you choose?
I would definitely go with the Unicorn, because that, I can make up some sort of explanation. If I got a Justin Beiber tattoo, I would just be labeled as something bad. (laughter) I couldn’t live with that dudes face on me, ever. So, definitely a Unicorn. I could take the hazing on that one. (laughter)
Well, I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. The site and myself, wish you and the band nothing but the best. Hopefully, we can catch a show sometime soon.
The Sammus Theory members:
Kyle Welnel-Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jeremy Tabor-Lead Guitar
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