Son Of Sam Biography
Formed only a year ago, following AFI's tour with Samhain and Danzig, SON OF SAM is the brain child of guitarist Todd Youth (Danzig, D-Generation, Murphy's Law, Agnostic Front, Warzone, Samhain etc.), vocalist Davey Havok (AFI), drummer London May (Samhain, Tiger Army, Dag Nasty), and bassist Steve Zing (Samhain, Chyna). The project began almost accidentally with May, Youth, and Zing penning four tracks one night out of simple boredom. The tunes, summoning elements of Samhain, The Exploited and 7 Seconds, with the hard-core drive of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, were anything but drab. "I think it's a mix of goth, punk, hardcore and metal. The music is dark, aggressive, melodic, and unpredictable," said May of the band's distinct sound. "Jackhammer drums, relentless bass, bone-saw guitar, and howling vocals. It's reminiscent of Earth A.D. era Misfits and Unholy Passion era Samhain." Havok was asked to write and record the vocals. Before long, four songs multiplied to ten and SON OF SAM (a name created by Youth as a tongue in cheek play on the modern pronunciation of Samhain) was spawned.
"I quit drinking and doing drugs and just didn't know what to do with myself," confessed Youth, who wrote and produced the entire record. "I went to London's house and just started writing."
With an all-star line-up, Nitro Records, home of such bands as The Vandals, AFI, Ensign, T.S.O.L., The Turbo AC's, and The Damned, took to the band immediately before even hearing a tune. The debut, appropriately titled Songs From The Earth, was recorded, mixed and mastered in only days at Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood, keeping with it a grass-roots, organic, basement-made edge. "I just went in and didn't fuck around," said Youth. "We did the record in ten days. Nick Raskulinecz (who engineered Marilyn Manson's Hollywood) engineered it and it was done."
"It was like a workshop," recalls May. "Davey upstairs writing, Todd downstairs producing, while Steve played bass, and I rehearsed backup vocals with the S.O.S. "hellfire choir" (Joey, Howie, Ricky, etc.). We had never played together as a unit and some of us were fighting jet lag, but we pulled it off."
"This was the fastest recording I've ever experienced," adds Havok." We produced it all ourselves. When I arrived in LA I believe the rest of the guys had only been recording for four days and had finished all the basic tracks. I had all the words and melodies written and immediately set forth on singing them aloud for the first time ever. Luckily, the rest of the guys were happy with what I had done. I had two days to finish all the leads and backing vocals and most of the stuff was done in one take. It was non-stop recording, but at the same time everyone was really relaxed and having a good time doing it.
The attitude was, we don't have much time, but fuck it, let's just go for it and have fun." Guest appearances from Danzig/Misfits/Samhain front man, Glenn Danzig (who plays guitar on "Stray" and "Songs From The Earth," as well as keyboards on "Songs From The Earth."), Howie Pyro (D-Generation, Danzig), Joey C. (Danzig), and Nick 13 (Tiger Army, Influence Thirteen) only further accentuate the band's nostalgic appeal.
"I'm not speaking for myself, of course, but all the players on the record have a long history of making great music," said Havok." We're playing a style of music that no one really touches anymore." The end-product relentlessly oozes with anthem-esque vocals, Anti-flagish back-ups and gang chants. "I think because of who we are and who we've played with, we are the band that other bands want to imitate," quipped Zing." We really just want to reach that market that missed out on the original Misfits and Samhain."
With ten tracks clocking in at only 30 minutes and 43 seconds, Songs From The Earth holds true to the old-school stylings of punk. "To me, doing this record was sort of a tribute to Samhain. Playing guitar for Samhain on the reunion tour was such an honor. I had forgotten how much I love and respect the band," Youth explained.
Tracks like "Everynight" spew forth an adrenalized barrage of savage build-ups and bulldance breakdowns, while "In The Hills" and "Purevil" invoke the perfect atmosphere for a resurgence of circle pits and stage-diving galore. Racy, raw, and haunting with a dark, Danzig-esque cape blanketing the entire offering, SON OF SAM hurls listeners back into the very bowels of genuine, punk-core evil.
Thanks to daniela r for submitting the biography.
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