Forté chat to award winning soloist Sam Hanson, set to introduce his latest EP ‘Contagious’ live with his new band 10 HIGH FLY this month.
Hey Sam, thanks for chatting with us! How are you and what have you been up to, how did you bring in New Year?
Hey, I’m really well thanks! New Years Eve was a cracking night for me this year. Usually I’ll be playing a gig somewhere, but this year I went back to my home town Warburton in the Yarra Valley and played a card game called ‘Cards Against Humanity’. I’ve never found a game that goes so hand in hand with my humour. If you haven’t played it before, it’s not the most politically correct game in the world, but that’s the refreshing thing about it!
You’ve had a busy year since winning the K Rock ‘The Band’ competition back in 2015, how have things changed since then?
Winning the band competition was by far the game changer for me. My confidence grew 10-fold. Sometimes I feel like an imposter standing up on stage and playing my music, especially when I am supporting seasoned musicians. But winning and seeing so many people turn up and support me in the final was so humbling and encouraging. K Rock have been amazingly supportive of myself and my music, taking my EP on board and advertising it on air, gave me a stint on their live sessions on Saturday mornings for two months, and had a week of their ‘hot off the press’ section when the ‘Contagious’ EP came out in Oct 2016.
So in the short – winning the Band opened up so many avenues for me, especially ones which I feel I wouldn’t have had alone.
You are launching your new EP Contagious later this month in Ocean Grove. How has the process been getting the EP organised, what sort of things can be expected from the EP?
The EP came out late 2016 to coincide with the K Rock live sessions, but I’ve never had a live launch. I had to grab the opportunity when I could, and I’m glad I did. Contagious is something I feel so passionate about. I wanted to stay in line with my acoustic sound and build on top of that It took a while, but to have an EP that can be played with a full band and also to be able to strip it right back and play acoustically is great.
This will also be your first ever band launch with 10 HIGH FLY, will you continue solo gigs into this new year?
10 HIGH FLY is one of the most wonderful exciting things I have done musically. When we practice with the band, I get so lost in the music that I sometimes forget the words. My band members (Darren Roth on bass, Mark Mcloud on drums and Paul O’Rielly on lead guitar) do such a great job and take on my sound like they own it.
As for the solo gigs, I’ll never give them up. You get so much freedom when it’s just you, solo gigs have been so great for me. At this stage, the only way I can compare playing with a band and being solo is that if I bugger up in a band, stubbies get thrown at me from behind.
You have a few special guests at your launch, including Famous Will, The Mojo Corner Duo and Nathan Seeckts which is awesome. How did you get these guys on board, have you played with them before?
I’m so bloody lucky to have these guys play along side me. I have played with all of them one time or another in the last three years. I actually can’t believe I snagged them all for the launch. They are such accomplished musicians compared to me, and I love their music. To be honest, I thought I may have needed to offer some sort of incentive to get them to play if you know what I mean…
When & Where: Ocean Grove Hotel, Ocean Grove – January 22