Samantha Fish: Interview

Samantha Fish: Interview


Before her Manchester show at the Band On The Wall we sat down for a little chat with blues guitarist Samantha Fish.

We start off discussing tonights venue, Manchester’s Band On The Wall, as it is quite a historic placeI ran into a couple in a restaurant the other day and we got to chit-chat and she said she came to a concert here about 30 years ago and started going on about the place, so it seems pretty cool”.

Rather then ask the usual questions about influences we thought we would put a slight twist to things and see what you listen to when you are on tour:I go though ebbs and flows with music, sometimes you have a high consumption period when you are listening to a lot of music and at other times it’s nice just to be quiet because there is so much noise with the show, right now I am going back to the classics so I am listening to Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers, The Band, The Stones,  those are my kind of go to rock’n’roll.  But there is soul music and Americana, there is Leon Bridges who is pretty awesome, but generally great songwriters, great singers.  I am not consuming a lot of guitar these days but I do go through periods when it is all just guitar players.

Earlier today I was looking at some photos of different artists jamming together and was wondering whether you had any interesting stories about people you have jammed with? The one people always mention is the one time when I managed to jam with Buddy Guy for a minute and a half at a venue in Kansas City, that was pretty cool as I got up on stage with him and Jonny Lang.  I’ve jammed with Jonny, he is fun to play with.  But wow, the coolest one was Alice Cooper and Steven Tyler out in Hawaii, that was pretty special.

Have you every played with Sonny Landreth, I was listening to some of his music earlier?Yeah, I just played with him a few months ago out in Jamaica, he came and sat in on our show, he’s a freak of nature.  He is amazing, I don’t think there is anyone in the world who plays like him!

What’s the favourite ever gig you’ve played?  “That’s a tough question” she says, looking at me sternly, “you love certain gigs for certain reasons, Telluride out in Colorado is really magical.  We got to play the main stage at Jazz Fest this year and that was overwhelming and exhilarating, we played in Australia for the first time this year too and that was awesome.  Everytime you play a big festival is it like WOW, and sometimes you play small gigs where everyone is packed in and there is rock’n’roll thing happening and there is an energy that you can’t get anywhere else and that’s a really special gig, there can be just 75 people there and that could be the best gig you ever played.

What’s your favourite ever gig you’ve ever been to as a punter?that’s really tough too” and again I get the stern look! “I would love to have seen Stevie Ray Vaughan but, Tom Petty I think, I’ve seen him twice and that is a pretty epic show, he definitely serviced his fans.

We then move on to talk about her regular visits to the UK: I’ve been coming here since 2011 when I came over on the ‘Girls With Guitars’ tour a couple of times, been over with a couple of acts on a package kinda thing and I’ve been here with my own band a handful of times now, it’s like my second home away from home.

Fresh news from the Samantha Fish camp is that there is a new album coming out yes, on 30th August on Rounder Records, it is called Kill Or Be Kind.  Love and heartbeak are easily relatable emotions but I co-wrote a lot of songs with a variety of writers from Nashville to Los Angeles.  I wanted to do something that felt relevant to what I had done but introduce new textures and feels that I hadn’t touched on before, a different style of writing that I hadn’t done before, honing in on the guitar and making it not sound like a guitar at certain spots, finding new ways to use the instrument and keep it fun and interesting.  I think the songs and the material will be relatable to everybody.

Changing the subject a little, tell us something surprising about yourself that most people don’t already know? “{laughs} ohhhhhhh, we do this so much, touring, that we there is no way I can have a secret hobby that no-one knows about.  I am a crazy cat lady I guess! I have one cat so I can’t really be a crazy cat lady but I am crazy about that cat.

You have a cigar box guitar, is there a story behind that?  “Yeah, I first saw people playing those when I went to a festival in Arkansas when I was 17 years old, and I kept seeing these musicians playing these crazy little guitars.  Fast forward a few years and I got picked up to play that festival and I saw a guy selling them and thought I would pick one up as a souvenir, so when I got home and plugged it in and I thought ‘that is a crazy sound’.  Then it found it’s way into the show and never really left, it’s got a real gnarly sound.

Final question, mainly for the tech heads, what kind of gear are you using on the tour? I am using a Fender Deluxe, it’s not too hot like a twin.  Pedals, I use a limited board when I come out here because I don’t need all of those pedals anyway.  The guitars I have with me are the Gibson SG, Fender Jaguar, Delaney 512 and the Cigar Box guitar.  I am a big fan of SG’s and it’s all about getting them in the right colour, that sounds superficial but the white SG with the black pick guard always looks cool no matter what I am wearing, it just pops!

And with that Samantha Fish pops off to get ready for the show.

We would like to thank her for her time, it was a real pleasure speaking with her, check out the lead tracks from her new album below and remember that the new album, Kill Or Be Kind, is out on 30th August.


Catch her if you can at the remaining dates on the tour:

Samantha Fish May UK Tour with special guest Curse Of Lono

The Garage, London - Thursday 16 May (Sold Out)
The Haunt Brighton - Friday 17 May
O2 Academy Oxford 2 - Saturday 18 May
The Brook, Southampton - Sunday 19 May

Brighton, Oxford & Southamption tickets available via


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