Sam Roberts Biography
Last updated: 11/21/2007 11:00:00 AM
Everything about singer Sam Roberts seems rock star ready. He enjoys a good time, he is crazy about sports and he lives for the road, whether it's with his band or as a world traveler. The music penned for The Inhuman Condition is witty, straightforward stuff reminiscent of all that was good about classic British and American pop - not too cool, not too specific, melodic and rocking, the type of music that makes you move.
Lyrically insightful and sonically rich, the buzz about Sam's music is coming straight off of the streets. The Inhuman Condition's lead-off single "Brother Down" has summertime written all over it, and in the tradition of great pop music, penetrating lyrics ("Everyone's saying that it's wrong to cheat but there's no other way to get your life on easy street") hide behind groovy beats that are layered over a party scene. The rambunctious anti-love song "Don't Walk Away Eileen" tracks a hypothetical affair with a "tough, hard-living woman." "Where Have All the Good People Gone?" is worldly, mischievous and anthemic thanks to its thunderous close.
Sam's comparisons run the gamut from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Liam Gallagher, Elvis Costello and Tim Burgess to Paul Simon and Beck. It's a diverse and eclectic set of references which helps to explain why a little-known artist from Pointe Claire, Quebec is getting adds daily across different radio formats. "There is no particular method to this at all," insists Sam when pressed about his songwriting. "People can't settle for 'I just write these tunes.' But in reality that's what it is."
Modesty belies his innate talent. At the tender age of four, he fell in love with the violin after hearing a stirring "Oh Canada" seven-inch purchased by his South African parents.
"I remember saying: 'I'd like to try that', so my parents went out and picked me up a violin. I took lessons until I was 20," he says. "The violin is for when I'm alone in my room."
At ten he got a guitar and Sam moved music well beyond his bedroom. By 15 he was writing songs and causing trouble with Mod-loving pals in Montreal. His first band, Northstar, got a fair bit of college airplay, a MuchMusic feature, and bummed around LA doing the demo rounds. Needless to say, all this reinforced Sam's commitment to music and when he disbanded Northstar in 1998, he promptly recorded the full-length and now very collectible Brother Down CD at home.
Sam decided to revisit that title track when work on The Inhuman Condition began at Jordon Zadorozny's (Blinker the Star) Pembroke studio in 2001. It was a leisurely session as songs were done gradually over the weekends of a spring month. Apart from Zadorozny's help on drums and percussion and Andrew Rodriguez' (Bodega) echo vocal on "Brother Down," Sam performed all vocal and instrumental parts himself.
It's a heady time for Sam right now. The media has unanimously heaped praise on The Inhuman Condition and Sam's searing live show was one of Toronto weeklies NOW Magazine and EYE's top picks during the city's North By Northeast music festival. An appearance at the renowned South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and touring the East Coast with By Divine Right has made the bond between Sam and his bandmates Dave Nugent (bass), Eric Fares (guitar/keyboard) and Corey Zadorozny (drums) that much stronger. Meanwhile "Brother Down" is exploding on three formats of radio from coast to coast. Naturally this has one major implication for Sam - lots of roadwork.
"I love touring," says Sam. "It's not just the playing, it is the whole mindset you get in when you are on tour. Having to get up for a show every single night of the week, reinventing yourself every day."
On the road, on the airwaves and on the move. Expect to see a lot more of Sam Roberts in the coming months.