Local lad done good, Sam Fender is on something of a roll at the moment. Driven by the success of recent single ‘Dead Boys’, a tribute to a friend who took his own life, Fender has enjoyed international radio play, appearances on Jools Holland, and invitations to tour with Mumford and Sons. Damian Robinson caught up with Sam to find out about life when you’re on a roll.
You must be happy with the success of ‘Dead Boys’?
It’s been amazing, to be honest. I’m always proud of my work but ‘Dead Boys’ has certainly had the biggest traction to date and it’s been great to watch it go. It’s a song from the heart which makes its success even nicer.
There’s a real meaning to the song, isn’t there?
Yeah. I lost a friend to suicide and wrote about how I felt. By accident, the song seemed to reflect how others felt about suicide, or how a suicide had affected them, and it’s gone on to have a great reaction from people.
Has it been bittersweet that such a personal song has become so well known?
At first, perhaps it was. I still think about my friend every time I sing the song but over time, I’ve seen the song in a more positive light, especially in the fact that it’s drawing attention to something that needs to be talked about. I feel that reaction has helped to, hopefully, bring something positive out of something so sad.
I love the video. Did you come up with its concept?
It came from the director. He had personal reasons to do the video, so I felt the song was in safe hands and that he would be delicate with it. I think he did a great job; it’s not too literal or too insensitive and I’m really proud of it.
How’s life when you’re on a roll and being asked to tour with Mumford and Sons and selling out the Newcastle University?
Life’s mad at the minute; I’m sat with my manager now and it feels like a dream to both of us. I’m proper excited for the Newcastle show as it’s at the end of the UK tour and it’ll be a great chance to see family and friends and celebrate the year.
And then what’s on the cards for after the show?
I’ll have a few days off over the New Year and then I’m back out on tour in Europe. The new EP is out shortly as well as the new single ‘That Sound’, so it’s important that we build on the momentum. I’ll stock up on port and cheese at Christmas then get ready to go again.
To find out more about Sam’s music and future tour dates, check out samfender.com. His Newcastle University date on Saturday 17th November is now completely sold out.