SAM C HARRIS
SO FOR WHO DON'T KNOW YOU I'M SURE THEIR'S NOT MANY :) WHO IS SAM C HARRIS? I KNOW YOU AS A MUSICIAN,MODEL,WRIT- ER & BLOGGER TELL US ABOUT HOW THIS WHOLE REPERTOIRE CAME ABOUT?
Well, when this angry young man left school in Reading I was scouted on a highstreet by a London modelling agency. I was fifteen and had fallen into model- ling which felt more like accidentally slipping into a tornado. All my friends were at college or working in shitty cafes to make bread and I was on cat walks and big shoots. It was a weird one because I realised my friends started to resent me for it and I couldn’t really blame them. I had and still have incredibly little interest in modelling but I would have been a fool to leave that agency. I was in this agency for a few years all while playing in awful punk bands screaming about political issues of which none of us had any real knowledge of. I was being thrown out of venues and bars with blood down my top regularly and having piss chucked at me on stage. Then the next day I’d be up at five ready for hair and make up and be on a six hour fashion shoot in a freezing cold warehouse. It was fucking strange. I got my degrees in The Academy Of Contemporary Music in Guilford while all this chaos was happening around me. That’s a hazy memory to say the least. I left the agency at about seventeen and studied film in college for a while. I decided I was going to be a film director but quickly realised I was actually better at script writing (hence the love for writing). I then fucked that all off and became a singer songwriter. I actually did really well and created a great buzz. I released an album where I wrote all the songs and played all the instruments on it (check it out on Spotify Dirthoney) that got real good reviews. People around me genuinely thought I was going to make it and I guess I did too. But like everything in life that I do well in, I just love to fuck it all up. I stopped doing the singer songwriting stuff and got into another London modelling agency and actually moved to town. I met the likes of Danny Mee who owns Love Sick and Haris Nukem within the first week and that became the circle I ran with. It was utter madness. The shoots would turn into 2 parties that lasted days and so did the events. Apart from when my daughter was born it was probably the happiest time of my life. In London, if you’re strange, weird, creative and quirky - you thrive. You’re like gold in a heep of dog shit. Anywhere else in the coun- try and you’re just seen as an annoying knobhead. Again, that year was a bit of a haze for me. I found myself living back in Reading and within the midst of keeping the party going met one of my dearest and best friends Alex Green. We drunkenly talked about punk music and the fact that we both did music before but it never really worked out how we wanted it to. We jammed a couple times then he brought in another one of my best friends James Harris. After a few jams we vaguely formed a band called The Crooked 45. The problem is, we were together for about a year but didn’t do any shows or release any music because we were far too busy partying. So, I guess to answer your question on how this all came about - it came about by my love of going on the piss.
WHAT WOULD YOU CLASS YOURSELF AS FIRST AND FORESMOST?
You know what, my ground work and soil of my soul is music. Like any musician, it’s just simply in my blood. I can’t shake it and it’s more or less all I think about. It’s the only thing I actually understand in life...I would love to say writer but realistically I’ve got to go with musician.
I'VE NOTICED YOU HAVE QUITE A STRONG OPINION ON HOW THE COUNTRY IS BEING RUN RIGHT NOW, HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN POLITICS AND HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
In a way, the country is being run very well by Conservative standards as the perfect dictatorship will be disguised as a democracy. They’re getting richer while we get poorer. It’s the Conservative way and we vote for it while kissing their feet. We know that the bully boys own the majority of our news outlets and media, they’ve twisted the Westminster voting system for their own favour, they’ve been caught out on mass propaganda mul- tiple times. It’s scary and none of the public seem to care. It’s like we’re completely happy to be lied to. It’s what we’re comfortable with. Existential from right wing philosophies, the country is a disaster right now. Profit will always be a priority over humanity to them. It will never change and when the ma- jority of a nation watches Love Island, it’s pretty simple to see how easily a nation will be conscien- tiously brain washed. The thing is I’ve never said that I’m into politics, I just (without sounding like a shit Batman) despise injustice. I remember very vividly get- ting into politics. I was fourteen and the country was just about to elect David Cameron. I really didn’t understand what people were arguing about so in student support (where I was sectioned in school for a week as I was a little bit too naughty) I looked up politics explained for young adults. It was fairly simple to grasp and my intel- lect didn’t have any perspective interference as I had no idea who my parents voted for. After researching the different parties and what David Cameron wanted to do I realised that everything that the Conservatives stand for I am repulsed by. Then my hatred for them just manifested further and further. The thing with the Tories is that to the untrained eye, on paper they’re brilliant. They use machia- vellian tactics as a political smokescreen. To put that simply, whilst they directly cause national austerity and spread the insane wealth imbalance in this country even further apart - they tell us that the economy is booming, we’re from Eton and born into wealth so you must trust us with your lives, remember we won the war, we’re the best, isn’t England so wonderful? we’re taking your hard earned money but don’t worry we’ll make you think it’s the foreigners and by the way isn’t England just the best country ever? We win the countries. Fortunately, when I was fourteen I read “the economy has never been better” as “the rich have never been richer”. To an extent I really do understand why people would vote for them. Who would you rather vote for? A party that causes severe inequality but says everythings fine and everythings wonderful, or a party that moans about the injustice of our coun- try and actively wants to change it for the better of the people? You want to go with the one that’s telling you everythings going to be ok. The mad thing is, when left wing politicians discuss moving towards a society with more equality, we as a nation actually think that idea is bonkers. I think because Tory austerity is so trivial, it’s what we’re used to. We think living in a society that helps everyone and actually taxes the rich so there isn’t such a vast wealth gap is “too idealistic”. It’s very upsetting. Then of course I read a lot about capitalism and that made my stomach churn even more. So to answer that question simply, it was when I realised bullies don’t disappear when you leave school, they run our country dressed in blue.
YOU'VE HAD PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS IN THE PAST TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU DEALT WITH THAT AND HOW YOU STILL DEAL WITH IT TODAY. I'M GUESSING IT'S PRETTY HARD TO CONTROL IN THE ENVIROMENT YOU FIND YOURSELF IN MOST OF THE TIME?
Yeah, it’s something that’s a constant embarrassment of mine. I very rarely talk about it but I was a heavy drug addict at sixteen. The thing is with drug or alcohol addiction is it’s a form of mental health that isn’t attractive to talk about. There’s so much judgement on it. I know that if some people knew I used to do smack, they’d shiver in superior judgement and disgust at my very existence. The bottom line is I was in so much pain. Perhaps a mixture of childhood trauma, complete alienation and despair. I was in a mental state of agony and I couldn’t articulate why. If I could see my sixteen year old self now I’d just fucking listen to him. People tend to cringe when they need to listen. I’d hold him and make sure he’s safe but I’d try and get out what he was feeling inside. It was a weird one getting out of it because I was essentially violently ill for about two weeks. I can’t particularly remember how it all came about but all I know is that it did. Someone said to me once “you’re just trying to fill a hole”, well done Sandra, who the fuck isn’t? I don’t know a single soul on this planet that isn’t trying to fill a hole within themselves. Some people go to food, shopping, fitness, mobile phones, relationships, social media, sex, plastic surgery, video games - I fell into drugs and alcohol. None of the others were sufficient enough for me. The problem with the common, every day addictions I just mentioned is that they are acceptable. Drug and alcohol addiction is a socially very unattractive mental health issue. I wish there was more understanding about it, I really do. I’d love to help people that are battling drug addiction. Luckily I’m out of it. Perhaps a mixture of having guns pointed to me, saving a live rabbit in an orgy and my heart stopping in a Mcdonalds in Las Vegas really doesn't make me get much of an itch for it anymore. I’m around drugs a lot and I never judge or care. You can take drugs and not hurt yourself - I’m truly a strong believer in that. Sometimes you cross the line and go into a black hole that seems utterly impossible to get out of. What I will say is if you find yourself saying “there’s only so much I can do, they have to help themselves” then you haven't tried to help at all. A drug addict can’t imagine life without a constant fix, they need the protection that they felt they never had. You could be a hero, you just have to be bothered to do so.
BEST GIG AND PHOTOSHOOT TO DATE?
That’s a difficult one. I guess selling out The Water Rats when I was about 19. That was pretty special. I was constantly playing shows around London with my backing band and this one show at The Rats had little to none promotion. It was all realistically just from word of mouth. I was so drunk from a few nights on the piss and I didn’t even make the sound check (the backing band did, bless their hearts. I do truly regret the way I treated them sometimes) and I turned up with some random girl I met in a bar down in Camden. I honestly am pretty sure I had vomit on my top. Well, back then it would have been a blouse as I did indeed dress like a bellend. I heard this crowd backstage and my backing band bowled on. For some reason, despite being the headline I didn’t think the crowd was for me. Then I walked out on stage and this screaming eruption happened. I STILL didn’t think that noise was for me. I could barely see the crowd because of the lights shining in my bastard eye’s. I said something lame like “I’m Sam C Harris, how the fuck are you” and then I finally realised the crowd was for me when I recognised some people who were pushed up against the stage. I jumped into the drum kit that night and the drummer never forgave me...he soon after got his parents to pay for him to go to Oxford. After the show we had this party that just never ever seemed to end. I remember thinking on the third or fourth night of not going home since the show and thinking ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and die early’. In retrospect, I’m glad I fucked being a singer songwriter off. Regardless, that show was pretty special. But the bitter sweet flavouring of that show is a month later I headlined The Rats again and only about forty people showed up. The promoter was incredibly disappointed in me and fucked a napkin at me that had a number for a rehabilitation centre. Those were the ups and highs. Also, Dirtyhoney’s E.P launch was pretty magical. Again, I didn’t really know how many people would turn up. Best photoshoot is difficult too because it normally tends to turn into a big party. If I have to put a pin on it, I would have to go with a Love Sick shoot in Ibiza and a CRMC shoot in Scotland I did. They just got silly. But the people around me made me sky high. Beautiful, wonderful, once in a lifetime company.
IT'S NOT BEEN THE BEST OF STARTS TO 2020 WITH THE DREADED "C" WORD. WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR YOU AND THE CROOKED 45 FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR AND 2021?
The rest of the year, we’re just going to be doing what every other band are doing and twiddle our thumbs. We released an E.P ‘Heathens’ out recently and we are still releasing singles from it now. We didn’t really get a full on, proper release with Heathens though for obvious reasons. I know that we’re all itching to make another E.P as soon as possible and just hit the road again. We love playing live and the atmosphere that we bring. I know there seems to be a common theme in my life but our shows just seem to feel like a party. There’s a lot of love at the bar after our shows. They’re never as ludicrous as the shows I used to play as a solo act and I know that’s the same for the band Alex and James were in before. That band did really well but they just kept partying and partying. In a way, it’s a perfect mix. We’ve had our time partying as if an existential entity was writing our autobiographies. Now what’s most important is the music and the journey...without sound- ing absurdly pathetic. We really do believe in our music. When we’re writing, Alex and I argue like two middle aged women in a post office, fighting over the last Daily Mail. But the paradoxical aspect of this is that when the song is somehow finished, we both love the finished product and are proud of it. It’s like the arguments need to happen in order to make our sound. They’re both like brothers to me and when you cut all the bullshit, our friendship is what holds us all together...and the pub I guess. The great thing about the band is that the world is constantly giving us inspiration for lyrics with how tits up everything has gone. In a way, political corruption is a blessing in disguise for us.
YOU JUST BECAME A FATHER TELL US HOW FATHERHOOD IS TREATING YOU AND HOW YOU HAVE ADAPTED?
Yeah, that was mental. I literally got a phone call one day telling me I was going to be a father. I did what any man would do and stood up to my responsibilities. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I genuinely never knew I could love to this level. She’s made me realise how juvenile a lot of people's problems are. My own problems included. She was born traumar free and now it’s up to me to make sure she’s ready and prepared to go out into the big bad world. Her mother and I seem to have been born in completely different solar systems but we both make it work.
WHAT LEGACY WOULD YOU WANT TO LEAVE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER?
That it’s ok to be weird and to stand out. I want her to know that life doesn't end at her doorstep. True happiness lies beyond snapchat filters, reality TV shows, relationships that you socially feel the need to be in, the current trend and social media followers. There’s a whole universe out there that is waiting for her and I can’t wait for her to show the world what she’s made of. To stay in comfort is to leisure in shackles. One of the biggest things I want her to know is that she must always have her mind open. Socratic knowledge is paradoxically divine wisdom. Be kind, be accepting, be tenacious, fight for your rights and most of all be ruthless in your dreams because there are a lot of people out there that will try and rip them away from you.
FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
London. It’s the only place that’s wanted me.
LAST THREE THINGS IN YOUR SEARCH ENGINE? AND BE HONEST :)
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