Blog Post

Interview With Samantha Grimes

Full Interview:

You can follow Samantha via linktree – https://linktr.ee/samantha_grimes_trainwreck

Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.

My name is Samantha Grimes and I have been a songwriter and performer for the past 20 odd years (I started young). I’m a lefty who plays guitar left-handed and upside down, which tends to confuse a lot of people. I find that my playing style, albeit accidental, truly allows for more rhythmic music and gives me a lot of versatility with my instrument. I’m from the Twin Cities, Minnesota and I’m told I have an Alanis Morissette vibe – which is a huge compliment. I also play piano, although I don’t play that upside down

One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?

My father was a DJ for a radio station back in the 1970s. He’d bring duplicate albums home and I spent my first few years listening to Foreigner, Boston, Pink Floyd, Queen…and the Eagles. I knew at five years old that I wanted to make music that made people happy.

Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?

I work with a producer named J. Christopher and we do all of our collaboration virtually. I assist in some mixing but he takes point on mixing the majority of the stems and mastering the tracks. During the pandemic, it was the only option to continue recording and releasing music. We found that it actually works really well!

What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.

I’ve always been a fairly ambitious person. Many of my formative years were spent being put down or made fun of, so I kept telling myself I was going to make something amazing out of myself. I put that determination into everything I do – including music. I also have a master’s degree in accounting, a beautiful family, and spent years cross-country mountain biking competitively. I want to keep doing things that make me feel alive and that make me a better person all around.

I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?

Whether it be mainstream or underground, I only strive to connect with people. I would rather have someone listen to my song and tell me that it resonated with them versus a bunch of people blindly listening without investing in the stories I tell. My biggest frustration is the live music scene. For so many years, I played out sparingly because local venues only wanted cover bands. I do not do covers unless it is a song I really want to play and engage with. Now that I am experiencing a little more notoriety, I’m trying to book well-fitting venues for the experience I want to give. I’m finding out though, that I’m too big for the little bars/clubs, but not big enough for the theatres and bigger stages. That has me in an awkward position. I just want to play my music to people who want to listen – preferably without a Jameson bottle being thrown at my head (that has happened).

Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?

Fran Healy of the 90s Britrock band Travis. I fell in love with Travis in my teens for Fran Healy’s lyrical ability and the way their music meshed. I was fortunate enough to meet the band several times and have Fran’s autograph on my favorite Martin acoustic guitar. Otherwise, I aspire to write music that touches people. I think of Peter Frampton or Glenn Frey/Don Henley from the Eagles.

One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?

The Twin Cities music scene is very lucky – we are surrounded by musicians who love making music. The pandemic, as I mentioned before, really challenged us to think outside the box. Doing live streams with virtual tip jars was huge for my band. The production and virtual partnerships forged with engineers, musicians, and myself to create some of this music was just awesome. The music scene has opened up and we’re out performing again for live audiences, but I still appreciate the time we had under COVID and what it taught me as a performer and writer.

I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?

The only reason my music is touching more people than ever is because of social media. I agree that it feels, at times, that we are all bombarded by social media…but I have to be thankful. My first EP released in 2006 and was printed and marketed in the old-school way. I only sold 1000 copies and then things sort of fizzled. Social media has truly opened up so many doors and allowed me to connect to people I never would have had the opportunity to connect with before. It also allows me to continually market myself and keep my image fresh. I have also met numerous people now deeply involved with my music through social media – so I have to be thankful for that as well!

Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?

I do create music often! I’m a songwriter at heart and will continually write and perform as long as I have the ability to do so. My next release is an infectious pop/rock track called “Believe” and that comes out August 26th!

I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?

70s girl at heart here – you can thank my daddy for that one. I could listen to some of those songs every day until I die and still appreciate them the way I do now.

If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?

I’d just boop myself right into Alanis Morissette. Everyone knows her music, she performs when she has the urge to and still sells out arenas – but she also has a private life and a family and I think that is an aspiration I can relate to!

What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?

I just received a text from a girlfriend of mine who is also an artist and she asked me how I keep the tenacity when it feels like the wheels are just spinning in mud. I would tell someone to take a hard look at what they want out their music. Usually if someone is entering the music “game”, the dream is to be paid to make music professionally. If that is the goal, then you have to keep at it and keep banging on doors. Also, probably wise to make sure you’ve got the talent to back it up. Lastly, surround yourself with likeminded people. I didn’t grow into my music all by myself. I align myself with good influences and positive people.

I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?

Thank you for listening and if you like what you hear, hunt me down on the interwebs because there is plenty more where that came from!

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