Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: SAM FENDER

The Newcastle born and bred singer-songwriter talks his new EP and gigging on the moon.

If you don’t already know Sam Fender, it’s time to crawl out from under your rock and get to know him. He has already supported Catfish and The Bottlemen, Ben Howard, George Ezra, Hozier, and Nick Mulvey as well as joining the soundtrack for FIFA 19 and being nominated for Sound of 2018 by BBC Music. An exciting future ahead, indeed!

His brand new EP “Dead Boys” was written from Sam’s past of losing a close friend and sends a powerful message as well as bringing more awareness to mental health and suicide in general. The music video and his live performances reflects the emotion and passion behind “Dead Boys”. We caught up with him to find out all about it.

What’s the inspiration behind “Dead Boys”?

It was written purely as a reaction to losing a friend to suicide, I knew two people who did it in the same year, one I was particularly close to. It’s essentially about the shock. Initially there was no real message, I was genuinely just singing about the abject confusion and hurt that comes with that type of loss although subsequently, the conversation has been raised, and that in itself carries a positive message. Like a lot of people, I use writing as form of therapy, “Dead Boys” helped me put that loss to bed.

Your new merchandise is brilliant, what’s the story behind the kebab shop?

Thanks! We absolutely love our bait. Newcastle is famous for its rowdy nightlife, most nights out end in the kebab shop. Seeing as a lot of my songs are about where I’m from, we thought it would be fun to our share our love of kebabs with the fans. My manager actually opened a kebab shop a few years ago and it won a national kebab award, I was meant to be at the ceremony but broke down in Doncaster or somewhere. It was a bit of a dream to create the Sam Fender chilli sauce, it’s naughty!

Tell us what happened to Dean (guitarist)? And how has your mate got on with replacing him?

Dean snapped his leg in a freak trampolining accident. We went to a trampoline park when we had some down time, Dean got excited, he’s like a greyhound when you let him loose. He sprinted into this trampoline course, dropped into a trench with a trampoline at the bottom, landed on one leg on a funny angle and that was that. Looked like the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan, blood and bone all over the place. He’ll be back soon enough, he’s a trooper. Joe has been incredible, he learnt the set in a day, had a couple run-throughs and off he went.

How was the UK tour?

It’s been incredible, finished the UK run, now it’s time to hit Europe. In Glasgow two girls started having a fight during one of the quietest songs. That was pretty hectic. A girl fainted in the front row at Newcastle which was pretty intense.

What musicians are you enjoying listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to Pinegrove, Big Thief, Kendrick Lamar and A Festival A Parade.

What are you getting up to outside of music?

It’s rare that I ever have time off, when I get it I’m just resting and seeing the people I love.

What are you hopes for the Magpies this season?

To not get relegated…

What’s next for Sam Fender?

Release my album and play a gig on the moon.

Photography and Words
Charlie Coleman
NEW NOISE: SAM FENDER

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