Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Samples Lead Singer Sets Sights on Solo Career

On April 7, 2008, Sean Kelly, the lead singer and last remaining original member of The Samples, thought it was time to call it a day. He wrote in a letter to his fans, “The long and winding road for The Samples has ended.”

It was indeed a long and winding road for the 22-year old underrated band from Boulder that has survived many management woes and band member turn-over.

In an effort to learn more about the man responsible for writing and/or performing amazing songs such as Feel Us Shaking, Did You Ever Look So Nice and Weight of the World, CE sent Kelly an email to find out what’s next for this alternative-folksy-rock musician with a distinguishable voice and refreshing candor. Of course, Kelly, who is as gracious as ever, obliged to participate in an interview with this budding blogger.

CE: Why did The Samples break up?
Kelly: I found myself putting so much into it and not getting an equal amount out of it. I feel that the business side of my music has perpetually been mismanaged by individuals whom know nothing about music or people but rather self preservation of themselves. My last management debacle was the end for The Samples. Trying to exist for 20 years going against the best wishes of morally insufficient business associates got me a bit worn down. That's how they work and some how tend to sadly win.

CE: What do you think is The Samples greatest legacy?
Kelly: Strength and perseverance while telling stories through song.

CE: What's next for Sean Kelly?
Kelly: I would like to make a really great solo CD and continue playing music as much as I can.

CE: When can we expect a solo album?
Kelly: I have just recently begun the process of recording and writing. I am always curious what my thoughts will come up with. I just channel ideas and then translate them into music.

CE: What do you think the hardest part will be in terms of transiting from a band to a solo artist?
Kelly: Having the focus on me more than I am used to.

CE: What's on your iPod?
Kelly: Cricket sounds on a loop.

CE: The Samples were always considered a Boulder/Denver band – do you come here often?
Kelly: Yes, usually several times a year.

CE: What Colorado bands should we keep our eye on?
Kelly: Whatever band that Heath Whitney is in. He used to play in Boulder in a band called 80 West.

CE: What is your favorite Colorado venue to perform at?
Kelly: Tulagi’s in Boulder! Unfortunately they took it down.

CE: Freestyle Questions
Colorado Bands: One Republic or The Fray? Both!
Barack or Hillary? Barack with Ralph Nader as VP
Law and Order or Grey's Anatomy? Grey’s Anatomy
Jay Leno or Dave Letterman? Dave

CE: Is anything you want the people of Colorado to know?
Kelly: Yes, a few things: Some of my absolute greatest memories in life took place in Colorado. I also wrote a song about my years in Colorado. It’s called “Wild River.” And The Samples gave the Dave Matthews Band their start in Colorado. (CE note: DMB actually opened for The Samples back in the day!)

CE: Any final thoughts on Colorado?
Kelly: “Although it’s a bumpy ride, it had the best scenery!”

“I feel a bit like Forrest Gump when he stopped running, turned around and said ‘I think I am going to go home now.’” – Kelly in his farewell letter to fans

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