Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interview With Sam "Sammytown" McBride From Fang & The Disciples

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass, Sammy. Fans will always remember you as the singer from Fang. But you have a new band now, The Disciples. Can you give us a little history on how the band got together?

Sam McBride: I put The Disciples together after I got outta rehab in Sonoma County. Wanted to have a new band with guys from up here. The drummer is Jamey Dangerous from Hammerlock and the guitar player is Justin from Diesel Boy

CM: Are there any plans for a new Disciples album or a possible tour in the near future?

SM: We recorded and have a CD we sell at shows. Did a music video its on YouTube called "Blessed are the Damned". Did a few dates with the Dead Kennedy's a few months back and are playing as much as possible.

CM: With you being in the new band, what's going on with Fang? Is the band still around?

SM: Yeah we just released Pissed Off Buddah. It's a CD with our 3rd 4th and previously unreleased 5th album. It's on Malt Soda records. We toured a bunch last year and are doing Seattle and Portland in July and hopefully LA in September. Can't tour as much this year cause we gotta work and shit.

CM: Fang's debut album "Landshark" is still one of the greatest debuts in West Coast punk history. When that album was released did you think it was gonna be as influential as it ended up being?

SM: Hell, we recorded that when I was 16 or 17 and  I didn't think I was gonna live to see 18! It blows me away where that record and the songs from it and Wild Things have ended up.

CM: Fang's influence on so many bands since has been undeniable. Who are some of your personal influences?

SM: William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Sex Pistols, Bad Brains, Elton John, Alice Cooper, KISS, Johnny Cash, The Dead Boys, Rick James..........

CM: "The Pissed Off Buddha" was finally released after sitting in the vaults for years. What too so long for it to come out?

SM: I really wanted to redo some of the vocals cause I was so strung out at the time a lot of it could have been done a lot better but I finally gave up on redoing it and just put it out with the help of Scooter and Malt Soda.

CM: With bands like Green Day, and years ago, Nirvana covering your songs, do you see a new generation of fans discovering your music?

SM: Music in the world has changed so much in the last 30 years it's hard to tell. There is no underground so the shit is out there and who knows if the economy gets worse and people start to get really pissed off again then maybe there will be a resurgence of music with balls and soul.

CM: Back in the 80's you, like a lot of others in the scene, were using heroin. And at one point you ended up in prison for 6 years. We all know the story as to why. Was it difficult coming back into the world after being away, getting clean and finding acceptance in the music scene again?

SM: That's a lot of questions in one. Anyone trying to reintegrate back into society after doing what I did and spending that many years in prison is hard. Prison doesn't tend to make people better. I struggled with heroin for years after I got outta prison and have been clean now for awhile. As far as being accepted by the music scene, well, some do, some don't. I can't change the past, I wish that I could and I live with the things I have done yesterday, today, and for the rest of my life. Music is music. Some people will like it, some will hate it. And if someone doesn't listen to something then they'll never know.

CM: I had the chance to see Fang in Chicago back in '97 and '99. The last time you had Jim Martin (ex Faith No More) on guitar. How did Jim end up joining the band?

SM: That was really bizarre. I needed a new guitar player because Billy had gotten born again. And there was this incident in Seattle where a guy got stabbed up pretty bad at our show which freaked him out so he quit. I got a call from Jim, he said he heard we needed a guitar player. I asked him if he knew someone and he said he wanted to do it. I said you wanna get back in a smelly van after doing stadium shows? He was totally down for it and we had a blast. Jim is the shit and an awesome guitar player and a righteous person all the way around.

CM: On The Disciples track "Red, White, and Blue" you got to play with Lars from Rancid. What was it like playing with him? And how did that come about?

SM: Lars is a friend and I asked him to produce a song for us. He helped us out and it turned out great. We were gonna do a music video for it but it never happened but that's rock and roll for ya.

CM: Is there a Disciples or Fang website that you wanna plug? A place where fans can get updated news on shows, releases and merch?

SM: The Disciples have a Facebook. And I used to use MySpace but it sucks now so I don't go on there anymore to update the Fang or The Disciples pages. I need to do a website but haven't gotten around to it yet. I post all the upcoming shows on my "Sam McBride" Facebook account

CM: I want to thank you again for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass, Sammy. It's been an honor getting to interview a true legend. I hope we get to see you in Chicago again soon. Thanks again and take care

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