• Phoenix

Hellfire Brittany Sits Down With Saving Vice to Discuss "Never Knows Best"

I sat down with Sammy Whelton from Saving Vice the other day with the intention of making them the first band for the new Artist Spotlight show. Unfortunately, technology is not always my friend and Skype did not interact with my system very well and the audio is unusable. I was so excited about this interview and didn’t want it to be all for nothing, so I have decided to post the transcript of the Interview so you guys can see what he had to say to my questions.

Me: How ya doin’ today Sam?

Sammy: What’s going on, Brittany? I’m doing well. I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for the kind words when you guys played Endgame. I listened to the podcast and it was awesome hearing how excited you were about the band and the new release.

Me: Dude that track was absolutely, fuckin’ killer and then when I got an email about the new single that had come out, and the video, I was so mad at Facebook because I like your page, and I follow it, but apparently it didn’t think it was important enough to show me. So I had some pretty rough feelings toward Facebook after watching that video. God, I mean honestly that video, just from the start really, really got me. The quote in the beginning from Perks of Being a Wallflower, I don’t know exactly why you guys picked that But it just got me, man.

Sammy: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is actually me and Tyler’s top 3 favorite movies ever and we kind of just thought that it was fitting to what we were doing with the song. So that’s mainly why we did that one.

Me: For sure, for sure. I think it definitely did fit in very well. Not just with the meaning of it, because at the time it was about how her character was putting herself in these relationships that made her feel small, and then he wanted her to be happy and it was the only thing that really mattered to him at the time. And then with the song that came out it seems like its a lot about the stuff that you go through in a relationship and the things that you put yourself through, because you don’t always feel like you deserve better. I could be way off base, that’s just how I read it.

Sammy: You know, you’re actually totally on point with that. It’s basically exactly why we wrote the song, especially all of us in the band. You know we’ve all been in that kind of relationship, and so have a lot of our friends. So we’ve seen it through every side and it was a great way for us to express those feelings and hopefully help out some people who are in those relationships.

Me: Now, I see you guys doing a lot of things that seem to reach out to people who are for lack of a better word, hurting. I saw that you guys did the stuff with the IMatter Festival, which was really cool, and I wanted to ask a little bit about that. What was it like being at that festival?

Sammy: IMatter is amazing! We actually played it in 2018 as well and being able to go back there and see all the old fans and all the new fans, it’s just a great experience. It’s for a great cause and for all of us in the band it’s definantly our favorite day of the year. Even if we weren’t playing it we’d all be there showing our support. It’s just a great time and there’s no way to really express it. You kind of have to go and experience it to really get what it’s about, but it’s a great festival.

Me: I’m definitely gonna have to try to make the trip out to try to go to that. I saw all the pictures and everything and it looked awesome. You guys are great with your fans by the way. I see so many bands who get to the point where they’re really starting to make a name for themselves, and then once that happens it’s jut like “Oh, we don’t have time” and then it’s forced fake smiles in pictures and that was not the case with you guys. You looked like you were loving every second of it.

Sammy: Yeah, we love our fans. We all know for a fact that we wouldn’t be where we are right now if it wasn’t for them. We’re never gonna be faking smiles or anything like that. We love all of our fans, more than they know and we’ll always have their back like they have ours.

Me: That’s awesome. Now I did want to ask a couple of different questions about the music itself before we move on to some of the other things that I have. First of all, I had the opportunity of course to listen to the song, and if I’m honest I probably listened to it about twenty or thirty times in preparation. Not just for this, but because I really liked it. I had it on repeat in my car so my son probably knows all the words at this point. How would you say the new music that you have coming out, and the music that you have coming out for your upcoming album differs from what you have released so far?

Sammy: This new album will still have the same Saving Vice vibe, but you’re gonna notice that some songs are much, much heavier and some songs are much, much softer. I think this upcoming album has something for everyone. The old fans that loves Colder than Dark, they are gonna still vibe off this new album but I think new album is also gonna get us a lot of new fans that weren’t as much about Colder than Dark.

Me: I could see that. It definitely sounds like from the tracks that have been released so far. It seems like the sound, while it hasn’t necessarily changed, it’s definitely matured. You guys are getting more comfortable with it, and you’re learning exactly how far you can go with everything and it’s showing. That last track was absolutely amazing. I loved Endgame. I love this song. When I did the thing for endgame, and I did the write up for Hellfire Radio, I went back and listened to everything because, unfortunately, I hadn’t actually listened to you guys until then. I was kicking myself the whole time I was listening to it, but there was a lot of stuff in the past, that while it is just as good as what you have now it is decidedly different. It’s not quite as mature, it doesn’t have quite as clear of a sound and it’s not quite as cohesive as what you have now. The cleans then were great and the heavys were great, but the blending, I feel, doesn’t really compare to what you are putting out now, between the music and the vocals and everything else.

Sammy: Yeah, it definitely all comes down to us maturing as a band. You know, I joined the band right around the time when colder than dark was released. So we’ve gone through a lot of changes. We lost the two guitar players we originally had. Robbie, who used to be on bass is now on guitar, we’ve got a new bass player and we’re all growing as a band and as a family. We’re definitely maturing in that aspect. It definitely was a big part of this album. It is definitely going to show in our music. There is a lot more maturity and moving forward is the best way to put it.

Me: I can definitely hear that when I listen to it, that’s for sure. As far as the writing process is concerned, I know that this particular track that you just released is a fairly emotional track. Even though it doesn’t really play as sort of a “Sad Boy” song, the lyrics are there for stuff like that, but you’ve managed to make it an absolute banger, without it being depressing. Which is really awesome, because most of the songs that I like, that are like that end up being kind of depressing and not always great for my overall mood. As far as writing is concerned though, I know that you guys go through a lot of emotions and things like that when you’re writing music. How much of this is stuff that has really affected you guys emotionally, versus words that you’re putting out there to tell people that you’re there and you understand what they’re going for?

Sammy: Well, we all have our own vices. We all project that negative energy and emotion in to our writing and we all come out feeling better because of it. I don’t think the whole writing process negatively affected any of us. It all comes out with big positivity.

Me: That’s Awesome. A sort of catharsis.

Sammy: Exactly.

Me: That’s good to hear. I know so many different musicians who fight with their own demons and a lot of them find that it makes it so much better to get it out there and share it with people. So it’s always good to see that it’s not negatively effecting people, but I know that it can, so I did want to ask that. The next question that I have for you is one that I’ve been asking most of the bands that I’ve interviewed. What is the one moment that you’ve had as a musician or with Saving Vice where you felt like you really impacted the lives of at least one of your fans?

Sammy: Absolutely playing IMatter this year. That was definitely the biggest one for me personally. That basically answered my question of why am I on this earth? Being on that stage, in front of all those fans at IMatter this past year definitely answered my "Why". It was an incredible experience and it really opened my eyes to what this band is and what we can do.

Me: That’s awesome! I really loved the coverage that I saw from IMatter. What they are doing there is incredible. I think so many people in this industry and the people who subscribe to it, so many of us have our own issues that we are dealing with. I don’t know if it’s so much that the music that we are listening to is because of that or because our community is so much more open than some of the other musical communities. We feel like we can talk about that stuff. But to be able to get that festival together and to really make that the point, that “No you’re worth something. You matter.” was incredible to me. And the fact that you guys were a part of it, made me love you even more.

Sammy: Thank you.

Me: You’re welcome.

Sammy: Like I was saying, we all struggle with our own vices. Personally, my biggest vice was drinking and I brought that up to the guys and a little while ago I ended up taking a break for a month to get my stuff together. My favorite part about Saving Vice is that were just a family. Were all there for each other. They’ve been my biggest support system. They have my back. Alcohol is definitely my biggest vice and this band has helped to save me from all that stuff. It’s just a really cool vibe we all have going on.

Me: That’s really cool. I love it when bands are so tight knit, that they are basically family.

Sammy: It’s pretty decent, because I’ve been in a lot of bands in my life and Saving Vice is the most diverse band that I’ve been in. Three of the members live in Vermont, I live in Massachusetts and our bass player is in New Hampshire but we still connect more than any other band I’ve been in so it’s really cool.

Me: Ok. I do have a follow question to that. With you guys being so far apart, is it hard for you guys to get together to do the practices and write the music and get together for tours?

Sammy: It’s definitely not easy but we make it work. We have a system set up. We all practice at our guitar players house in Burlington. Chase and Tyler both drive down since they are north of there and then me and my bass player, Kenjamin, we drive north up there. It’s about a two and a half hour drive to get there from New Hampshire so all in all it’s about a four hour drive for me. It’s definitely not easy but were in this for the long run and we make it work.

Me: Do you guys ever take breaks from what you do in your day to day life and get together for like a week or so to get stuff together?

Sammy: We usually tend to meet on weekends. Every weekend we’ll meet up, and then we do our own thing throughout the week. We have the band chat so were in touch every single day. We’re going to be doing a lot more touring so it’s looking like were going to be together a lot more.

Me: It sounds like you’re really looking forward to that.

Sammy: Oh absolutely!

Me: Well I have one last question for you before we go. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?

Sammy: That’s funny. Me and my girlfriend were just talking about this the other day. My answer would be a wolf. I love the wolf, it’s my favorite animal. I’ve got one tattooed on my stomach. I think they are amazing, so my answer is a wolf.

Me: Very nice! Well, I do want to thank you for doing this interview with me here today. I had a blast talking to you. I was looking forward to it all week. Is there anything you want to say to the people out there?

Sammy: I just want to say thank you guys for tuning in. If you haven’t heard us before, feel free to find us on Spotify, check out our videos on YouTube, and be sure to keep your eyes open for any shows that might be coming your way.

Me: Well once again thank you so much for coming on. And for all of you out there, be sure to check these guys out. The music they put out is incredible.

It was so amazing to sit down and talk to Sammy about Saving Vice and IMatter. I know I can't wait to hear the new album and with any luck we will get a first look in to that and I can do a pre-release review. If not, I know I will be reviewing it for all of you other Saving Vice fans out there. Since I was not able to put the Audio on the podcast, I still wanted to show you all how awesome they are so I have a few music videos below for you to check out, including their newest single, "Never Knows Best"