Sam Gifford and The Innocent

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Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Sam from unsigned band Sam Gifford and The Innocent to find out more…

Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
The band consists of myself (Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar), Jamie Steenbergen (Drums), Hannes Porombka (Guitar), Harrison Blackamore (Guitar) and Stephen Clift (Bass). The band came together after a series of auditions. I held auditions for each individual role and these guys came across best! We are based in North London, although I myself am from Hertfordshire and Hannes (Guitar) technically lives in Germany... The band name was originally ‘The Innocent’. As a 'good christian boy’, I was consistently labelled as ‘Innocent’ when I was growing up by my friends and by the people around me. This where the band name comes from, however, I later felt it would be best to rebrand with the new band name, ‘Sam Gifford and The Innocent’. This seemed most practical as the other members within the band have been quite interchangable over the past year.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
When I was growing up I was a huge Beatles fan, but as I grew up I became more interested in bands with great songwriters such as John Mayer, Switchfoot, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay.

How would you describe your sound?
I would describe our sound as quite versatile as a lyrical focus allows for more experimentation on the instrumental front. As we are a five piece with three guitarists, we often write simple, melodic parts in order to prevent overcrowding and muddy textures whilst similtaneously creating a large and full sound.

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What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Our debut single is called ‘What You Want’. This is a song about realising your potential and following your passion. I guess I was most influenced to write this song by my own personal hesitance to start my own band and write music when knowing the risks of working in the music industry.

What’s your local music scene like?
London is incredibly crowded and is probably the hardest place in the world to stand out as a band. However, you never run out of new places to play. In Hertfordshire (where I am personally based) it’s a different story as there a limited amount of venues which would be suitable for a five piece outfit. I try my best to make the most of my home county by playing solo shows at local events and fundraisers.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
For the next 12 months we look to be releasing new music and music videos whilst touring and hopefully branching out as far as Germany in the new year.

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) or John Mayer. I am most inspired by these two artists for the songwriting of Jon Foreman and the musicianship of John Mayer.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
There was this one time where I finished playing a gig in London and someone came over to congratulate me on the gig. Unfortunately this guy was pretty drunk and after shaking my hand, he went over to the corner of the room to... relieve himself... all over my guitar bag...

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
I think its most important that people understand we are incredibly passionate about our music and that we are working incredibly hard in order to ensure that our music is heard!

You can find out more about Sam Gifford and The Innocent at their website or via Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.