Sam Weber is a singer/songwriter, fronting a Victoria based (yet prone to wandering) roots rock band of the same name.
Monday Magazine’s Rae Porter caught up with Sam shortly after an intimate gig at Parksville’s Realm Food Co. to talk inspirations and aspirations, Victoria’s music scene, and tacos.
(RP) What inspires you, drives you, to make the music you do. Is any of that attributed to growing up on Vancouver Island?
(SW) When I’m writing a song I’m often trying to explain something to myself. Writing is so wonderful in that it can serve different purposes for different people. For me writing is how I deal with complicated stuff. If I can write the perfect song about something painful, doing that can make me feel alright. After that and in a performance context, I’m just trying to execute it in a way that feels the way I do when I’m listening to a Gillian Welch song or something compelling. I don’t think any of this is attributed to growing up on Vancouver Island in general, but certainly the nuance of my upbringing and lifestyle here has been impactful.
(RP) You’re known for spending a lot of time on the road; what brings you home?
(SW) We come home when the dates run out, haha. I love to call North Saanich home, it’s serene. I like that Victoria isn’t that big but still has a lot to it. The small business community here is inspiring and getting better and better all the time. I’m excited to see what happens on the island in a couple years. All that aside, touring and playing music for people still feels like the best thing ever so I want to keep doing that as much as possible – and there’s only so many times you can really play the island in a year so we usually end up off and away somewhere.
(RP)You’re a firm favourite on the Victoria concert scene. Do any of your past performances stand out as being particularly special?
(SW) Thanks for that. We had a really great time recently opening for Shred Kelly at Sugar Nightclub. It wasn’t even crazy busy but the sound in there is stunning now. I really look forward to having a music venue in Victoria of that size that can hold the bigger shows, but also be comfortable for shows that don’t fill the room and more just be a nucleus for the music scene where everybody hangs out. A place like that has been absent from Victoria since (I’m told) Steamers and that was before my time.
RP) Victoria’s music scene is feeling pretty energized right now; are there any artists or bands that are catching your eyes and ears?
SW) I’m excited to hear the rest of the new Current Swell record because they recorded with a producer in Nashville named Jacquire King that I idolize. And those guys are rad. Man Made Lake’s new record ‘Godless’ is really sweet. Bridal Party are crazy live. I haven’t heard their recorded music yet, they gave me a tape but I don’t have a tape player anymore. I want to produce a compact disc for them so they can be heard.
(RP)What five things can you not live without?
(SW)1. Any of my four acoustic pianos. 2. Baja fish burritos from La Taquisa on Blanshard. 3. Morgan Brooker, apparently [He assisted Sam in securing a grant from Music BC] 4. True friends and family. 5. All Points West on CBC