Sam Gifford and The Innocent

Interview: Sam Gifford and The Innocent

After a dazzling performance at Nottingham’s own Albert’s that sent the crowd swaying and jumping, I caught up with up-and-coming indie rock band, Sam Gifford and the Innocent.

I read that you were a drummer for a few bands before forming Sam Gifford and The Innocent, do you miss sitting at the drum kit?

I don’t miss the drums but that’s only because I still get to play drums elsewhere, I’ve got a few projects where I play drums but If I’m brutally honest, I much prefer playing a melodic instrument for sure.

Would you say your better on the guitar?

*laughs* I’ll tell you what drums is probably still the instrument that I’m best at while guitar is actually the weakest one *laughs*. But you know I want to be a songwriter, so I guess you have to put yourself at the front and it’s harder to do that when you’re behind a drum kit.

So, you’ve never considered doing a drum and mic combo?

I have considered it yeah and I’ve sung in other bands when I was on the drums, but I like to move around! *laughs*

Tell us a little bit about the debut EP, do we have a release date yet?

I’m very excited for the release, it’s hard to say when it will come out, but we’ll be releasing singles one by one over the next few months, the next one is actually due very soon. We’ve been doing a lot of promo for that, music video and everything so yeah very excited to share it.

Have you been getting good reception so far?

Yeah, it’s been great reception so far I have to say, to the music videos they’ve been shared around far more than I’d hoped for when we made them. A lot of work went into them so it’s great to have people you don’t know from all across the world come back with such positive feedback it’s kind of surreal in a way.

Being quite young, if you don’t mind me saying, do you still tend to get nerves before shows?

I was talking to someone about this early today actually, from my first few gigs, well I say first few, for the first year of the band I used to be too nervous to eat on gig days I just couldn’t eat. I’m past that now but yeah, I still get a little nervous ten minutes before each show.

So what’s it like to tour at this age, is it a bit surreal still or have you gotten into the rhythm of things?

I mean some of my favourite artists like John Mayer, they were touring at this age but on a global scale, selling out massive shows. So, I don’t think it’s surreal, I wanna be where he was at, it’s something to aspire to but yeah we’re going to Germany in January so that should be awesome.

Is there anything you do to cope with the nerves?

We like to ‘pep’ ourselves up you know? Will, who was playing the gig today, he loves to go backstage and just slap each other’s faces to sort of get us in the zone *laughs* yeah to get us hyped up.

Coming back to the EP, are there going to be any surprises, any collaborations?

No collaborations no, it depends on what you mean by surprises. There’s certainly a lots of different flavours in there, like the next track we’re releasing is a proper indie rock track and then we go back to our alternative sound with the other to it’s a bit of a mixture.

Speaking of different genres, if you had to sum up your sound in a few sentences, what would you say?

I would say it’s alternative rock sound with a big focus on lyrical aspects as well as passion and delivery *laughs*.

Would you say you’re firmly in the creative driving seat or does the rest of the band chip in with ideas as well?

It tends to be that I’ll go home into my bedroom, write something on a piano or an acoustic guitar, I write all the parts, I record them onto a file and then send them off to the other boys but every time when we meet for rehearsals the boys bring something of their own into each track. Whether we turn it into an actual song or just when playing live, they always bring their own characteristics to their playing.

Was there any particular reason why you came to Nottingham?

Yes! Will Parry, he played the bass tonight, he actually got in contact with the venue and put on the gig itself so it’s all down to Will Parry tonight *laughs*.

Finally, you mentioned John Mayer, if we exclude him, who would be your dream artist to play alongside?

I would say Jon Foreman, the lead singer of a band called Switchfoot, he’s my niche. I’d pick him because I feel like he’s the artist that’s most influenced my song-writing and we’d have a lot in common *laughs* we’d get on well.

You can stream singles ‘Greater Good’ and ‘What you want’ on Spotify.

By Alex Mace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *