The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
The Rockpit 2013 Interviews THE SAMMUS THEORY





'We hear a lot of new music at the Rockpit. This year I'm getting a chance to interview some of the best 'new' bands I hear - The Sammus Theory from Arizona is one of those bands that have that something special' - Leslii



Thanks for taking the time to talk to The Rockpit



Thanks for having me!




OK then let’s get it out of the way – what is The Sammus Theory?



The Sammus Theory is the theory that every person has another side of them; an alter ego, if you will, that music brings out of them.




Tell us a little bit about how the band got together?



Well, I had just finished school in Phoenix, AZ and was sitting on a bunch of music I had written.  I put out the first Sammus Theory record that ended up being more of a solo effort.  It wasn't what I was looking for and wanted an actual band to move forward I took out ads on Myspace classifieds and found Kyle Welnel, our rhythm guitarist almost right away.  After that, we both put together the rest of the band and just went for it.




What did you guys grow up listening to?



There's a lot of rock in the band's blood ranging from  Led Zeppelin, Kiss, and Black Sabbath to Stone Temple Pilots, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie and more.  Anything with genuine feel in it basically.




You are a band that seems to have done it the hard way – on your own! What do you attribute you success so far to, just plain hard work?



It takes very strong people to do what we do.  We sacrifice a lot in our lives to be able to continue to do what we do and so it's not only hard work, but maintaining a strong drive and positive attitude towards whatever obstacles come your way.





Three albums in how do you feel you’ve grown as a band and how have things changed since the release of ‘Trusting the Liar’ in 2011?



I feel that with everything we do we move together tighter.  Each album has been a huge learning experience in not only writing but performance, working together, and decision-making.  Coming together in a creative setting with five people isn't always easy and being able to move through it without any waves is difficult.  It feels like we understand each other much more than we did on See (it) Through or Trusting the Liar.  In November 2012, "Entitled Anonymous" was just a thought.  By February 9th we were starting the first day of recording.  By February 24th, we were wrapped up and had it sent off for mixing.  It was incredible how solid and perfect the songs fell into place.  It came together in such a short amount of time and represented our sound perfectly...I don't believe we could have done that back in say, 2010.




There’s a full stream of the album up on the website at the moment, how is that working out for you?



Well, with internet these days, there's absolutely no veil to be lifted.  It's out there the second you publish it.  So with that in mind, we didn't want the standard "listen to a song here, listen to a song there" approach.  We wanted to put it online in a way that our fans could listen to the album in its entirety in the order we intended and experience what we did listening to the finished version for the first time.  It doesn't have a crazy amount of streams by any means, but if each one of those streams were from beginning to end, I feel we accomplished a lot.




What is the response so far?



It's been great!  There's always the worry that what we're trying differently won't necessarily sit well with fans, but then again we keep in mind that they started listening to us because we put ourselves out there with every record we do.  So it's been awesome seeing the latter keep true.




There are some great riffs and monster hooks on the album, tell us a little about how you guys write?



Well, this one was much different than previous albums.  Our method before was for me to write the songs (the main meat of them anyway), bring them to the table, then decide which will make the cut.  When we get into the studio, if someone isn't sitting well with what's there, they make suggestions to fit their style a little more, but minor tweaks.  What we did with this one had a much stronger impact on how it all turned out.  It still started the same...I sat down and wrote the majority of the material and Jeremy brought over some solid pieces as well.  After all the music was framed out, we collaborated with Evan Rodaniche (Cage9, Powerman 5000) on all the songs.  Him and I co-wrote a lot of the vocal melodies before we went into the studio.  When it came time to record, we all sat down and basically pulled these songs apart and evaluated if they truly represented everyone's voice (musically).  Each part of the tracking was more fine-tuned and there was a lot more attention to detail.  After we wrapped it up, we sent it over to Evan for mixing and he added all of the "ear candy" in there.  




Do you have any particular favourites on there? (Especially to play live).



"Wasted" is my absolute favorite live.  The crowd response has been insane and we all have a lot of fun playing it.




The single ‘Numb’  got a lot of radio play what’s next up from the album?



Well, in the next couple of weeks, we're going to be pushing our second single (TBA).  We'll continue touring on the album and pushing it as far as we can take it!




You’ve played a lot of shows for a relatively young band and shared the stage with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, Shinedown, Sevendust and others – what do you learn from these bands and who has been the most fun to play with so far?



I have to say that we not only learn showmanship and performance from all of these bands but it's also inspiring to get to watch the bands that we started out listening to and see how they function in the live setting.  I'd say Filter, Sevendust, and Avenged Sevenfold have been my favorites.  They are super solid musicians and incredibly tight.




Where can we catch you live over the coming months?



Right now we're booking our Fall run through the Midwest and East Coast.  We'll be posting up specifics in the next month or so.




Out on the road, for a triple bill and you can pick the other two bands – who would they be and why?



Filter and Sevendust - I think our musical styles and performances mesh all too well!




Is Hard Rock on the way back? Surely it’s the only possible saviour of the dire straits we find the music industry in these days?
I'll tell you what's happening...only my guess, of course.  In the late 70's and coming into the 80's, you had Disco swoop in and steal the show.  In order to try to stay above the tidal wave of one hit wonders, rock bands started incorporating disco elements into their music.  Then the mid to late 80's came...Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, and Metallica took it by storm.  They were all no-holds-barred rock bands with no club elements.  Fast forward to the mid/late 2000's.  Dubstep starts charting in the UK and makes its way to the U.S.  A lot of bands have incorporated it into their sound.  Now don't get me wrong...there are some very awesome parts to dubstep and when you mix it with rock it has a very unique sound (i.e. Korn ft. Skrillex).  But looking at how things went thirty years ago, it feels like we're in a state of deja vu.  As Dave Grohl said during one of his speeches, people will eventually get burnt out on "too perfect" and will seek the human element in music again, be it rock, funk, jazz, etc.  We'll just have to keep pushing what we do and see what happens.




If you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any album at any point in time just to see how the magic happened what would it have been for you and why?



Pink Floyd's "The Wall".  I heard that when I was young and remembered being entranced with how dark it was.  I'd love to see the process they had to developing some of those tones and what the thought process was behind those songs first hand.



What is the meaning of life? 



Whatever is most important to you. 




By Leslii Phillips July 2013




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