If you are in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and you haven’t heard about Sam McCullough yet, nows your chance!
Sam is an up and coming rock musician from Milwaukee who is getting his feet wet in the industry and looking to keep rock music alive.
I met up with Sam to chat music and where he plans on taking his music in the future.
Tell me a little bit about how you got started with music?
Linkin Park. My friend got me into the Hybrid Theory album awhile ago. But we always had music playing around in the car like Fleetwood Mac. They wanted me to play piano, but I didn’t have the attention span for it, so I picked up guitar.
Who would you say your musical influences are?
Linkin Park for sure caught my attention. I got into heavy music right away after that. I like a lot of the Ramones and, more current, As I Lay Dying…like heavy stuff. Oasis is also a really big one for me.
Since you’re influenced by heavier stuff, who would you say your favorite artists are?
Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, As I Lay Dying, Rise Against. Those would be my tops.
I’ve listened to the three songs you’ve released so far and “Fool” is my favorite. What is it about?
I was writing a lot of music at the time for the band I was in and I really just wanted that Rock and Roll vibe. I was watching a lot of the news and I was just going through a lot of stuff and I just started writing and out came the song. I didn’t have an intention with what the song is about, its just about everyone goes through a lot of stuff and just to embrace life.
Is that how the writing for the rest of your songs went? Just writing off life experiences?
Pretty much yeah. “Spotlight” is about living in the Middle East and just about being so far way from home and not wanting to be anywhere. But also about embracing the moment and just the feeling of “I’m gonna be alright” type of vibe.
Like the songs get kind of dark, but there’s always a positive message in the end that we can all learn from.
“Chasing Shadows” is about a girl. I released it after a breakup and it was actually about a different girl. But it turned out to work for both. It was just really about excepting that it sucks, but you’re better off for it.
You’re currently writing songs, are you planning on releasing an EP?
I wanted to get those three songs out in a short amount of time but close together. But I took a break because I moved out to Maryland. Since coming home I’ve got all this new stuff and I want to keep it all together and do a longer and bigger EP or like an 8 track type of thing. I want to do that by spring or summer.
Do you do everything yourself? Or do you have friends that help with the whole process?
I have the most DIY set up. I do everything myself and it just goes to show that you can make something out of something little. Money has never been something for me to just spend on a studio session. So I’ve just taught myself with everything, although I did have some people help me with “Chasing Shadows.”
As far as playing shows, are you reaching out to places?
I hit it really hard after I came back from Maryland. I did a few shows and just worked a lot with writing. I needed to get out everything that happened over the last year down. But I also just needed to practice these songs that I have and just work on them because it is just me. I want to have a band involved because the songs are fit for a full band.
Let’s throw in a few fun questions, if you were to have a mixtape that would explain your life, what songs would be on it?
I’d have to start off with a song by the Ramones, “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” because that was my favorite song in School of Rock. Then probably “Don’t Stay” by Linkin Park and probably all of Hybrid Theory. Bring Me the Horizon, “Sleepwalking” that was my jam since it was released. And definitely Oasis, “Live Forever” that song makes me cry.
Thats tough, thats a tough questions but those are ones that stick out to me for sure.
If you had the opportunity to build the perfect festival line up, who would be on the bill?
Liam Gallagher for sure because Oasis is broken up. Bring Me the Horizon on a separate night, Architects, As I Lay Dying if they are back together. The Misfits with Michael Graves, Rise Against and a lot of British bands. The Stone Roses, Courteeners, The Libertines. And then we’d just find people to play the morning.
Sam is currently working on more material to release with an anticipation date of Spring/Summer 2019.
Meanwhile Sam is set to play his next show on Wendesday, November 21st at the Three Lions Pub in Milwaukee.
Make sure you check out his music and if you’re in the Milwaukee area and need something to do before the Thanksgiving comas take over, hit up his show.