Today, we sat down with Sam Christie of Shanghai Treason to talk music inspiration, music listened to growing up and more. Be sure to check out his band’s music below on Spotify after the interview!
Here is the interview:
What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your surroundings?
Great question! For me yes; absolutely. When writing lyrics for Shanghai Treason I wanted them to feel Yorkshire, I planned to include Yorkshire dialect/phrases and name drop locations, landmarks and local characters from the county. That’s not to say I’ve backed myself into a corner, we have our debut album coming out sometime in the near future and we tackle all kinds of subjects but always try to draw on my own life experiences and surroundings for sure. I’ve been in a lot of bands over the years and have in the past tried to push into strange more ‘out there’ writing on occasion but it sometimes can feel disingenuous, it’s something that the listener would likely pick up subconsciously, as I’ve grown as a lyric writer I’ve increasingly focused on what I see around me, my own experiences and on what’s happening in current events.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
I remember the first gig I went to in my teens was to see Kings Of Leon on the ‘Youth And Young Manhood’ tour. That was a banging album (they went a bit commercial for me after that) but it hooked me in, the experience of a concert that is, that electric atmosphere. I was listening to a lot of 00s Indie at the time before my younger brother properly started to get into Punk, mostly American Punk like Rancid, NOFX, Sum41 and stuff, that kinda stuff is like a gateway drug haha, I started listening to it as well and before too long I very into bands like Capdown, Sonic Boom Six, King Blues, Flogging Molly, Inner Terrestrials, The Bronx etc… As I got into my 20s I started to push the boat out and got into all sorts from Funk & Soul to Drum and Bass but my tastes have kinda come full circle and I’m back into riffy punky guitar music in a big way.
Is there someone you looked up as a hero?
Yeah I’ve always looked up to inventive lyricists, some of my favourites are Tim Armstrong, Chris Hannah & Laila Khan and to throw a bogey one out there for you: Tunde Adebimpe (From TV On The Radio) love his stuff.
If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?
I’m a concert promoter by day so I guess I’ve always found a way to be involved with music, I can get my kicks onstage or offstage really. Booking tours, gig repping shows and promoting gigs if great fun. I used to work call centres and admin before that, hated it with a passion, I felt like I had to do something in music or I would just never be happy, I made the jump to music related work full time about 5 years ago, not looked back since and never been happier.
What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?
Don’t be afraid to go out there and fail tremendously, be brave, relentless, keep going, keep improving, arrange gig swaps, get out there and play every major city in your country, by hook or by crook, learn the business side of things or you’re going to come unstuck quick. Never stop being willing to listen and learn new things. And always have a laugh, don’t take yourself too seriously. In time… at some point… the music will come to you, if you’ve done the above, you’ll be ready to actually make a spalsh.