Chinwag with Me Vs Hero Vocalist, Sam Thompson

Me Vs Hero Vocalist Sam Thompson, chats to Danny Draper at the Tour Van Outside The Forum, Date: 7th May 2011, while Michelle Murphy grabs some stunnign pics.
On a lovely day before the Skindred show at London’s Kentish Town Forum, we got the chance to speak to Me Vs Hero front man Sam Thompson before he had to run off for sound check before their slot on tonight’s bill, supporting Skindred!

How’s it going?
Sam: Fantastic thank you! A little… Tired and a little hung-over. Other than that…

Big party last night?
Sam: It’s been long nights, big party nights. The Skindred boys are crazy and so are the Chiodos guys. I’ve been lead astray!

Strayed from the beaten path?! Is this your first big tour, in terms of playing larger venues?
Sam: Yeah. We did a tour with You Me at Six. We’ve been out with Elliot Minor before; I think we played the Forum with them. So not in terms of size as we’ve done similar stuff.
You’ve got your video, “Can you count suckers?” which was released at the end of last year. Was it a good laugh making a video?
Sam: Probably the best two of days of my life so far!
We recorded the video at my dad’s old house, he had a bit of money, he’s moved to Dubai now; just before he left, it’s this big house. We set up this big stage in the back garden, it wass probably the two hottest days of the year, so we had another guy called John Stone come down and do all the recording for us and stuff. We got all of our friends down for the video; it was like a “Warriors” theme video, like the film “The Warriors”. We got our friends to dress up as mimes and stuff, glam rockers…

What were the Yankee ones called?
Sam: I think it’s the Yankees isn’t it? Something about Baseball… fury…
Both: Baseball Furies!
Sam: Yeah that’s the one! So it was great, we got drunk for the whole two days. Our tour manager Danny who’s on tour with us now is actually on the cover of the album! He got so drunk! There’s a Cider called K, Special K. It just ruins ya! He had a few cans of that and was doing back-flips on this trampoline we’ve got. I think my brother asked him to do a front flip. So he stepped like this “big man”, does the front flip, overcooked it and face planted into the metal bar on the outside of the trampoline!


Sam: He broke his nose, lost two teeth. He’s got a big scar on his head. So the actual picture on the album cover is actually him with blood all over himself!

Right after during the first few seconds after impact?!

Sam: Literally yeah! I went and got him some tissue and he’s holding it there. Just before he went to hospital.

Ah, that’s a great story about the album cover!

Sam: Haha!

Your record, The Day’s that Shaped Our Lives is pretty damn good!

Sam: Thank you!

How was the process of getting it to a label to get it out there?

Sam: We actually did a self release. We’re working with a lady called Julie Weir, who does Physical Noise. But not with the label side of things. They do Lostprophets, so at the time when we wanted to release our record, because it’s only a small indie label, everything they were doing was focussed on Lostprophets. So it wasn’t really right for us to be with them at the time. So we decided to go with a self release, to see how it goes and just to get it out. To see what sort of feedback we get and then, if down the line we sort of hook up with a label with the next album or to re-release this album, if that happens. In fact! I believe we’ve just started talks with a label that I can’t mention.

No exclusives then?!
Sam: Yeah, it’s very secretive. We’ve just had a meeting with our manager who’s just come down.
Is it a UK based label or is it worldwide as well?
Sam: It’s going to be worldwide hopefully.

Very cool!

Sam: But we’re in talks with a few labels and stuff, so hopefully, on the second album we’ll have a nice release for it!

Brilliant news! I was going to say you have a very, sort of American sound, in a sense because of all the pop-punk and the hardcore crossovers, there has become a massive blend of styles. My question is; have you had a good response in the US at all with your stuff.
Sam: Yeah, we always, always, every time we post something on FB or I check out our Myspace pages, find there are always guys from America asking us to come out to America. You know there are shed loads of people in America, so it’s probably why you get more than you do over here. They seem to love it, I mean it’s hard to get pop-punk over in the UK, the thing that everyone listens to is Dance and Hip-Hop and R’N’B and stuff. That’s what the majority of people listen to, so we’re the outsiders. I think over there, rock music and stuff, is the norm!

Always in the College dorms!
Sam: Yeah! So yeah, we seem to be going down fantastic, we’ve yet to get over there; hopefully I think we’re in talks with sorting something out for the back end of this year, or the start of next year, to go over to North America.

But I think the kids have got it down in America. I wish we could swap it over!
If they could have our Chavs!

Yeah! Nice!

Sam: And we could have their college music and college stations!
I would gladly trade it for that!

Sam: Gladly!

What are your plans for the rest of this year after this tour? Are you going to be playing the Slam Dunk festival again?!
Sam: Uh, we’re not, no! I think three years in a row is probably the limit! We’re probably going to have to take three years off before we can do it again! I mean thankfully we’re very good friends with Ben, the guy who puts it on. So it’s worked well in our favour being put on for three years, it’s a great festival and now he’s doing Glasgow this year as well! So, we’re gutted we’re going to miss it but, I mean, it’s just not right to put us on again and we know this anyway. But we’ve got Sonisphere! That we’ll be doing for the third year… that’s on the Red Bull stage on Sunday. It’ll be really, really good, I think it’s about a 4,000 capacity venue, er tent! That’ll be sweet. We’re doing Heavy Fest, which has an amazing line-up this year. And we’re doing Boardmasters down in Newquay. We’re all really big skate fans; we’ve brought our decks on tour with us so we’re really looking forward to that one!

You mentioned the second album earlier; do you have any sort of plan on when that will be ready?
Sam: We’ve just started writing it. We’re a few songs in, we got load of different ideas we’re bringing together and stuff. We’ve pretty much just done two tours back to back, we’ve got a new drummer in so we’ve been working on making the set as best as we possibly can for the tour, so we really haven’t been able to do much writing. Other than on laptops at home and Ross and Bob have been working hard, writing a lot of stuff. Hopefully we’ll get a few demos out, put a couple on the re-release of Days… in the summertime. But hopefully start recording at the end of this year. And then have something out hopefully start of next year.

A new record deal…
Sam: Hopefully yeah! Fingers crossed. We’ve been through so many labels, offers and deals and stuff. We’ve had to look over it and say “it’s not quite right for us”.

You have to pick the right one.

Sam: Exactly yeah. We want someone who can really work with you well; it’s not all about the money or anything. And also you don’t want to have to give everything away so that we’re gunna be in debt for the rest of our lives or we can’t afford to live! But what’s happening at the moment is really exciting and really promising.

Looking like a very good next couple of years for you.
Sam: I hope so, yeah. The start of something big for us, we’re only a young band, three and a half years or something. I mean Skindred are headlining the forum, 2,500 people tonight and they’ve been going eleven years. We’re very young in that respect. Hopefully over the next couple of years…

Keep plugging away…
Sam: Exactly, that’s the dream isn’t it?!

Awesome, is there anything that you’d like to add?
Sam: I don’t know, keep checking us out, and keep listening to new music! Some people like to stick to their favourite bands and don’t check out new bands, but its okay to like new bands and new music. Have a good summer, come and check us out at one of our gigs, go and get a copy of our album, Days… and yeah, stay safe people!

Cool, thank you Sam!
What a lovely chap! Be sure to check out the review of the Skindred gig featuring Me Vs Hero and also to keep a tab on these boys, they’re going to busy over the next few years!