Interview: Flatfoot Sam

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Flatfoot Sam
Flatfoot Sam

We were lucky enough to catch up with Flatfoot Sam following the release of the superb single, ‘BoatHouse’. Read the full interview now!

Hi Flatfoot Sam, tell us about yourself?

Hi, my name is Jon, and my feet have nicely shaped foot arches.

What is your songwriting process?

I generally like to start with a nice emotionally-charged chord progression and then write a bass line under that and build the percussion around it. The depth of the track emotionally is important to me, and a lot of the better ones have quite a spiritual feeling to them.

Tell us about your latest release, ‘Boathouse’?

‘BoatHouse’ is written about an old lifeboat station in deep Cornwall in a cove well off the beaten track. It is a spiritual and special place. It is also where the track was written in Easter 2022.

It is about the relationship between earth, wind and water and all of the deep resonance that we as humans can feel when humbled by their enormity, often putting perspective into our own place in the world when our egos can convince us otherwise.

The track started off with a chord progression in FMinor, to which I built the bass line, breakbeats and percussion around. I take a long time with TripField bass lines to get them deep and meaningful. This one is a ripper. The breakdown features a tweaked classic bass sound called Lately Bass, from the Yamaha Tx81Z and was in ‘Everything Starts with an E’ by E-zee posse and other famous 90s bangers.

It was also in Whigfield ‘Saturday Night’, but we don’t tell people about this as they can stop talking to you. The Korg M1 piano gives a break from that old-school rave vibe.

You describe ‘Boathouse’ as ‘TripField’ in genre; can you tell us more?

The style of music is called TripField, which is a fusion of Trip Hop and Leftfield with a contemporary twist. Following on from the 1st TripField album last year in December, it is probably the only TripField single this year, but others have been and are being written for the next album, including some tracks with live vocals from Laurence Georgin from EOS for what will be the second album and will be released in 2023/4 following one or two more singles.

What’s the music scene like in Southampton?

The music scene in Southampton has always been pretty strong, to be fair. Venues like The Joiners, Talking Heads, and The Brook made sure live music was always in good supply, and newer venues like Engine Rooms and The 1865 have taken this into the 2020s. The underground music scene was strong back in the 90s and 00s with techno squat parties and decent boat parties too. It has suffered like everywhere since COVID, but it has tried – like with European City of Culture bid for 2025, narrowly missing out to Bradford.

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?

I hope my music conveys emotion and feeling. I would love people to lose themselves in it as I have over some albums since I was a kid growing up. Some albums stay with you forever and can take you straight back to a point in time. To be able to write music and for others to enjoy it is a huge privilege. Just gotta give up the day job now so I can do it full time!

Who are your musical influences?

My musical influences are vast and eclectic, but here are some: The Prodigy, Kosheen, Massive Attack, Leftfield, Ludivico Einaudi, The Cure, Portishead, Carter, early 90’s house and hardcore, Jungle, techno and trance. The Levellers, Mumford & Son before they lost the banjo.

Who are your non-musical influences?

It’d be wrong not to say your parents, wouldn’t it? Unless they were sh!ts, but mine were good influences. Boris Johnson (jokes). My best mate Reuben has been a big positive influence on my life.

What’s the best gig that you have ever played?

The best gig must have been playing Creamfields in Winchester in a huge big top marquee prior to handing over to Judge Jules. That was posh

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?

I guess one of the biggest obstacles for bands and artists these days is getting heard at all. I heard a statistic that there are over 8 million artists on Spotify, so getting a following can be hard. For bands, they have the added pressure of staying aligned musically and staying together as friends, so the odds are stacked against success for sure. Gotta keep believing and keep producing good music, and one day, something will happen.

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?

My advice to people starting out, which I still am in many ways, is to be tenacious sh!t and don’t give up. Believe in what you do and canvass independent opinion to check that it is working, don’t rely on your friends and Mum who will only ever say nice things about it! Be true in your sound and behaviour, and this authenticity will shine through.

What are your hopes for the next two years?

I’d like to grow my following and take the live project out on the road for a few festivals. As I mentioned, we’re bringing live vocals into the project too soon, so I am excited to see how that’ll work out.

FVMusicBlog August 2022

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