Sam Beeton is a talented, British singer/songwriter, who you might have seen supporting Charlie Simpson on his latest UK tour. I first heard of Sam when I’d read about the Record Club Format he was trying, I was really intrigued by the idea, that instead of releasing an album, Sam sends out a signed, personalised CD every month containing 1 or 2 tracks, and sometimes a video. So I subscribed and was blown away by the quality of songs he was sending out, like ‘What You Look For’ and the haunting ‘My Doll’. Predominately acoustic based, the songs have to be great and Sam really gets to show off his excellent singing voice. It was such a success that he is currently on season 2, so we thought we’d catch up with Sam so he could tell us all about it.
Please introduce yourself to our readers? I’m Sam Beeton. Pleased to meet you.
You’re on season 2 of your Record Club, it’s such a great idea, how did it come about? The idea for the record club came about as I was dealing with a tremendous back log of good material that had stacked up during a time which was characterised mainly by me having disagreements with a major label, so vast was the amount that to release an album out of nowhere didn’t seem right, so, coupled with my want to properly engage with my listeners, I decided to release the music as a year long monthly subscription. The use of physical cd’s through the post was something I liked as it echoed the days of fan club cassette tapes with rare or unreleased tracks on them.
You offer members of the record club guest list places at shows and do exclusive VIP gigs, how important is this close interaction with the fans to you? It is important because really they are the engine in the car that is the record club experiment, being able to engage with them in different ways is all part of it. Also these opportunities make the record club a more expansive experience than just buying an album
Whats your songwriting and recording process? I write songs, then record them. I have no process for writing, it’s a mixture of panic and reading. Recording is the same, but exchange reading for listening. Sometimes I throw 5 out of 10 things away before they’ve even left my head.
You released ‘Storyteller’ as a single in March, any plans for another single? No plans at the moment, although singles have to take flight by themselves somewhat, they gather their own momentum through the enthusiasm of other people. With the right support and a pinch of luck maybe the next will be bigger than the last, at least that what you hope as an independent artist.
How was the Charlie Simpson tour? Any plans to do a full UK headline tour? It was good, mostly packed audiences for the support which is always a help, I thoroughly enjoyed most moments of it. No plans as yet for this year for a tour though.
What are the best and worst thing’s about touring? Getting up at stupid o’clock to get to a remote tour stop after only having just gone to bed two or three hours previously, but that’s just moaning for the sake of it really, I think the upside is there is no downside, it’s the best “job” ever….as long as you have understanding friends and family.
What albums are you listening to at the moment? ‘Dark was the night’ which is a Collection of Blind Willie Mctell recordings, ‘This is the sea’ by the Waterboys and ‘Pink Moon’ by Nick Drake
What do you think is the hardest thing about the current business? The current culture of labels signing people who do millions of covers on the Internet over real artists with new and original voices and material is making it tougher still for a lot of great people to be noticed above all the white noise of YouTube views. Not only labels but live agents appear to be erring on the side of view count rather than quality and originality…this could make the future of pop as boring and predictable as yet another cover version of Bad Romance by Madonna Gaga. *runs off*
What does the rest of this year hold for Sam Beeton? Season 2 of my subscription format growing and growing and with any luck one or two tour support slots. I hope to write more than I can record and record more than I can write.
Whats the best thing about playing Wales? Getting to see my mates in The People The Poet and seeing words like Aragor and Arfan all over the place and having them stuck in your head for the whole time. Preifat.
Last one, it’s the random question we ask everyone, Who’s your favourite Batman actor? Oh Christian Bale probably.
Sign up to Sam’s mailing list here http://bit.ly/sbtrack to get a free track.
Head over to the Sam Beeton website for more info, news, videos and tour dates and to subscribe to Season 2 of the Record Club, and don’t worry if you’ve missed out on Season 1, you can buy a 22 track double CD called ‘The Record Club’ Sessions from his site as well, which includes favourites ‘Good Natured Child’ and the single ‘Story Teller’, so please take the time to check it out.