Spotlight On: Samson
By Staci Wolfson
With songs reminiscent of the gritty riffs of the Black Keys and the Dead Weather, Baltimore band Samson has been bringing an edge to venues like Joe Squared in Station North and Ottobar in Charles Village for the last year. On behalf of Julia Zirpoli (lead vocals), Dave Cavalier (guitar/vocals), Joey Joy (drums) and Aaron Walker (keyboard), bassist Numan Mian talks to CBSBaltimore.com about the band’s influences and music.
CBSBaltimore.com: How did Samson form?
Numan Mian: A buddy of ours sent out a Facebook message saying that his girlfriend Julia was interested in starting a band and needed some good musicians. Dave, Julia and I met up and just clicked on the vision of what we wanted this band to be. Dave’s primary instrument is the drums, but he wanted to play guitar in this band, so I asked Joey Joy to play drums for us. Joey and I played in a band together previously called the Go Home Clones and he seemed like the perfect choice for this band. Once the four of us got the ball rolling, Dave brought in a buddy of his, Aaron Walker, to play keyboard for us.
CBSBaltimore.com: How would you describe Samson’s sound?
NM: Gritty, sludgy, bluesy rock.
CBSBaltimore.com: If Samson’s music was an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
NM: I’d say rocky road.
CBSBaltimore.com: Who are your musical influences and the band’s musical influences?
NM: Some of my main musical influences would have to be the Foo Fighters, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, the White Stripes and of course, Led Zeppelin. [The Foo Fighters’] Dave Grohl and [the White Stripes’] Jack White are both just such extraordinary musicians that they can rock out on any instrument that they want. Dave Grohl played drums for Nirvana, sings and plays guitar for the Foo Fighters, and now plays drums for Them Crooked Vultures alongside John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin on bass and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age on guitar and vocals.
Jack White is equally as awesome considering the fact that he rocked out on guitar and vocals for the White Stripes and the Raconteurs and also plays drums for the Dead Weather. Both of these guys are just extremely well-rounded musicians.
As for the band, our influences would have to be the Black Keys, the Dead Weather, Led Zeppelin and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. These bands are Samson’s primary influences because they are all about riff-heavy, badass rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s rare to find these days.
CBSBaltimore.com: What band or musician do you absolutely hate? Why?
NM: The Bieber. Everything about him annoys me.
CBSBaltimore.com: What’s your favorite Samson song?
NM: It’s this song that Dave wrote called “Girl.” It is by far our most dynamic song. It can be extremely soft and melodic at one moment and then extremely badass/rocking at another.
CBSBaltimore.com: Where is your favorite place to play in Baltimore?
NM: So far, my favorite place to play has been Joe Squared ( 33 W. North Ave. Baltimore) because it’s got a great vibe. Also, free beer and pizza for band members is a big plus, too.
CBSBaltimore.com: What other local bands are your favorites?
NM: The Flying Eyes, Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band, Kenton Dunson, Old Man Brown, among many others.
CBSBaltimore.com: What else should local music fans know about Samson?
NM: We recently released an EP that will be out in the iTunes store soon. We’re heading back in to the studio to record some more tracks and we will be playing a lot more shows in the near future!