HEY SAM, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
I’m good, how are you?
I'M GOOD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUT ON THE ROAD AND YOU ARE NOW HOME FOR JUST A BIT BEFORE YOU GO BACK OUT. IS IT NICE TO BE HOME?
It’s very nice to be home. I get to catch a break from the many hours of driving in the middle of the night to catch the next show.
ARE YOU RELAXING?
Well, I haven’t left my bed in two days, so I guess you could say that.
THE BAND WAS OUT DOING DATES IN SUPPORT OF YOUR LATEST AND SECOND RELEASE TRUSTING THE LIAR. WHAT REGIONS DID YOU TOUR?
On this first leg of the tour we hit the Northwest region, which would include New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and then we came back home. We are taking a month off to kind of regroup and then we are going to hit the Midwest and the East coast.
WHAT TIME FRAME ARE WE LOOKING AT?
It will be the very end of August through probably the beginning of November. We are still lining up dates, so we have not announced anything yet. We are trying to get everything in place still.
YOU GUYS DID A FEW USO SHOWS HERE ON THE LAST LEG OF THE TOUR. HOW DID THAT GO?
It was insanely awesome because we got to hang out with the troops in their barracks out in the middle of the desert and sleep in cots. We got to go with them to shoot guns, they showed us what they do and told us a lot about their day to day missions along with the things that they do to train. It was very cool to see that, to be where they are at and to see what they do first hand.
THEY LET YOU SHOOT THEIR GUNS?
Yeah, 50 calibers, Whoo!
DID YOU ENJOY DOING THAT?
Oh yeah! That was fun. At one point I got to ride in one of the Humvee's while they were doing the gunning qualifications. I believe it is called a M19, but it is an automatic grenade launcher and Bill and I got to sit in on that one. They shot off these grenade rounds and it was pretty cool. Everybody was having a blast. We did this thing called “The Shoot House.” That was pretty ridiculous. They gave us guns, vests, helmets and we had to run through this house kicking in doors and shooting targets. It was awesome; we seemed to connect with everyone out there pretty well. We got a chance to spend one on one time with a lot of the soldiers.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS CONTEST YOU ARE IN TO GET ON THE UPROAR FESTIVAL. IT IS GOING RATHER WELL FOR YOU GUYS. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WIN?
Well, if we win, the grand prize package is huge. You get to play the entire Uproar Tour of 2012. That would be amazing because you hit all of the cities. It would be a great opportunity for us to see all of our fans.
WHAT DO YOU NEED PEOPLE TO DO TO HELP YOU OUT?
You can go vote once a day. Basically you can go to Facebook.com/thesammustheory and we have links up that you can click on. If anyone wants to be a part of it, all they have to do is go there, let us know they want to start voting, we will hook them up and get them in the voting group.
OK COOL, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ALBUM NOW. TELL ME ABOUT THE TITLE OF THE ALBUM. WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND TRUSTING THE LIAR?
The band has had its fair share of experiences with shady people in the music industry. We are starting to finally figure out who the people that are genuine and genuinely want to help the band are. There is the other side that includes the money grubbers and the people who don’t care about what you re doing, they just want to figure out how to manipulate you and get as much money as they can out of you. Our most recent experience was based on a falling out with someone that we were working with for quite a while. You are loyal to this person and then all of a sudden it just shifts and you find out it was this whole massive lie just to get some money out of you. It’s called Trusting the Liar and it applies to a lot of stuff. You can pretty much apply it to anything that is going on in your life if someone has done something shady to you.
YOU PRODUCED THIS ALBUM JUST LIKE THE FIRST. IS PRODUCING A PASSION OF YOURS?
Yes, I have a very good time doing it.
YOU ALSO PRODUCE FOR OTHER BANDS. WHO HAVE YOU PRODUCED IN THE PAST?
I did an EP for a band called 69 Sins out in Arizona. The big one that I am happy about is a band from Laredo, Texas called Broken Vision. That was a good time. The guys are really young and they have a lot of talent. I got to work with them and help them mold their songs.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE PRODUCERS THAT YOU LOOK UP TO FOR INSPIRATION?
Honestly, having the opportunity to talk to Brian Virtue was awesome. I know he has done Chevelle, he has worked with All That Remains and loads of other bands. Jay Baumgartner also, he has done a lot of great work. There are some things that Sylvia Massey has done that I am a fan of as well.
DID YOU DO THE MAJORITY OF THE WRITING ON THIS ALBUM?
Yes I did.
DOES WRITING COME PRETTY EASILY FOR YOU?
It does if the mood is right. A lot of the music that I write is basically a venting process. If I am having overwhelming feelings of any kind, it is a good way to vent. I’ll be the first to say that our songs are not happy, so if I’m in a great mood, then it’s probably not a good day to write. When I get this overload of emotion, then I can usually dump it out and get two or three songs in a day or two.
THE LAST TIME WE INTERVIEWED YOU HAD SAID THAT YOU DREW INSPIRATION FROM MARILYN MANSON. IS THAT STILL THE CASE?
On stage yes, absolutely. The biggest reason why I got into music was seeing that tape in the eighth grade and being in awe of how creepy this guy was. It was so cool, he could strike that fear into people. Being able to bring that emotion out in people is pretty intense.
YOU HAVE HAD TWO LINE-UP CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST ALBUM, A BASS PLAYER AND A DRUMMER. HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU GUYS?
A lot better, it’s been nice. Marshall the new drummer and Bill the new bassist came in ready to go, with the right mindset and a good work ethic. All of us work as a very tight-knit unit now.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY THAT THE BAND HAS EVOLVED SINCE YOUR FIRST ALBUM BOTH MUSICALLY AND AS A BAND?
I think musically we are more comfortable with what we are writing. I will put a song together and the other guys are a lot more comfortable now with joining in their ideas and helping to make the song. As far as our stage performance and our chemistry live I feel that we are closer. It is fun being on stage together because we are all great friends and we have great chemistry together.
YOUR BROTHER, BRYAN HUGHES, DOES ALL OF YOUR ARTWORK. WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE ALBUM COVER FOR TRUSTING THE LIAR?
When I told my brother about the theme of the album, he is big on doing faces of people and things like that, he basically wanted to stray away from that a little bit. He wanted to keep with it, but not as much. He thought about a predatory situation and in this case it is an anglerfish. That is the predator hiding in the background and then you have the light that hangs in front of it (esca) with the smiley face on it. That is like the lure saying “Hey! You can trust me. Come on in!” and the fish is waiting in the back to chomp on it. That is the metaphor for Trusting the Liar.
ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR A NEW VIDEO ANYTIME SOON?
Yes, at the moment we are in Phoenix and we have a good friend who is probably going to be producing a new music video for us at the end of August. There are also talks of us maybe doing one while we are on tour, but that isn’t set yet.
YOU ARE GETTING PRETTY HANDY AT MAKING VIDEOS YOURSELF. YOU DO A LOT OF THE VIDEO WORK FOR THE BAND. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m working on a USO show video. We got to hang out with the troops and we got to share our experiences with them. I was able to do a couple brief interviews with them about what it’s like being in the military. It was fun.
THE COOL THING ABOUT YOUR BAND IS THAT YOU ARE A "DIY" BAND. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DOING EVERYTHING YOURSELF?
I think getting the resources that we need. When you need something that is not quite in your reach, then you have to struggle a little bit harder to get it, rather than call on somebody who is already there. We don’t necessarily have all the resources to do what we need to do, but we can find it and we can get it. It’s a little bit of internet work and some phone calls or emails.
YOU ARE REALLY GOOD AT THAT KIND OF STUFF. DO YOU FIND IT TO BE MORE REWARDING DOING IT YOURSELF?
Absolutely! This is something where I think a lot of bands that just jump on with a label at the very beginning miss that process that is very crucial. You have to make sure that your business or your band stays afloat. You have to work hard, do a lot of things yourself and not rely on other people to do them. If you do that, chances are someone will drop the ball somewhere along the line and you won’t’ know how to pick it up and keep running with it. It is definitely good that we are going through this. We are figuring out how to do it all ourselves and keep it going.
YOU LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON ALSO WHERE YOU CAN’T ALWAYS TRUST OTHER PEOPLE. THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT PREY ON YOUNG BANDS. DO YOU GUYS CONSIDER YOURSELVES TO BE A BABY BAND STILL? I MEAN, YOU ARE ON YOUR THIRD NATIONAL HEADLINING TOUR.
I think we are hitting the next level. As far as being a baby band, I’d say that was when we first started touring and learning the ropes. It is extremely hard and difficult being green at everything. I think we are at the point where we are ready to move up to the next level of doing festivals and bigger tours. There are different groups; you are a baby band, then a regional band and then a national band. We will have to start over when we go to the next level doing festivals and bigger tours. We will have to start over and basically be the bottom bitch. At least we will go in with the knowledge of knowing how to do it right instead of scrambling around not knowing what to do. I think we have learned a lot, we know where we are going and how to do it.
THANKS SAM FOR CHATTING WITH ME. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD OR SAY ANYTHING?
I just want to give a huge, huge, huge shout out to all of our fans who are voting, playing our songs and helping us with this contest. I’m insanely amazed at how awesome our fans are. I don’t have words for it, it is pretty awesome!!