Written By Laura Curry
Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit creates rock ‘n’ roll music with a soulful, bluesy vibe. This Austin, Texas based trio riles up listeners with heavy instrumental breakdowns, intense guitar solos, emotionally-charged lyrics and Sam Pace’s deep, gritty vocals. The Pop Break had the chance to interview Sam Pace about his band’s powerful sound, their new EP Judgment Eve Pt. 1 and how they’ve evolved over the last couple of years.
Who is Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit? (Band members and the instruments that you play): Sam Pace on guitar and vocals, Seth Fasske on drums and Scott McIntyre on bass.
What year did you form as a band: 2011
I see that you guys are from Austin, Texas. How would you describe the music scene there? What’s your favorite part about it: There is a lot of support and fellowship between musicians. The scene is relentless – which has its pros and cons – but we love it.
There are a lot of instrumental breakdowns, guitar solos and powerful vocals and lyrics in your music. With that said, what elements do you think make up the signature sound of your music: Tough to say—maybe a soulful approach to heavy sounds. Tender and angry, something like that.
I’m imagining that at shows, people just instantly get into your music and start moving, especially with how spirited it gets at times. How does the crowd usually respond to the array of emotions expressed in your music: It makes them excitable and horny. Every time.
What inspires you to create and perform music: Never underestimate a man’s will to not get a job.
From rapture and judgment to the extreme idea of purging evil out of your body, are there any themes that you tend to come back to in your music? What are they, and what inspires these ideas and themes: Themes I suppose I come back to a lot are sex and anger. I really like to have one epic song on each album and one weird/silly song on each album—and those are often some of the most popular songs.
What is your recently released EP, Judgment Eve Pt. 1 about? What messages comes across to listeners in the songs of this EP: The album isn’t about anything as a whole. I’ve described it as a “Love and Anger” album because there’s a lot of both in the songs. These first four songs are pretty intense—that’s how they’ve been described to me. I just think the songs are fucking cool, haha. My approach is simple—just make it sound fucking cool!
From releasing Let the Big Dog Eat on your own back in 2011 and then The Feelin’ in 2012 (which was your first album as Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit), to Rapture in 2014 and then Judgment Eve Pt. 1 this year, how has your music evolved over the course of releasing these albums? What’s changed, what’s stayed the same: My talent level along with the band’s has been the biggest evolution. I was always confident in my songwriting – but it has taken many years to play guitar and sing the way I wanted to – I was insecure about those things for many years. But now over the last couple years, I find myself being able to do the things musically that I dreamt about doing 15 years ago. But I’m still broke, haha. So that’s the next hurdle.
What have been some of your favorite moments on this tour? Do any shows stick out for you as being particularly memorable: D.C. is always fun—we’ve got a lot of hometown shows coming up in the Midwest, those always get weird and wild. The favorite parts of a tour usually revolve around people. Old friends you see, new people you meet—hilarious, crazy or both. People are what make a working class band’s experience on the road special.
Thinking back, what is the best part about being a musician: Playing your ass off to a crowd that wants to party.
SAM PACE AND THE GILDED GRIT PLAY TONIGHT IN ASBURY PARK AT 8:30 P.M. AT THE OVERLOOK AT CONVENTION HALL WITH THE CHORDAES AND THE ONES YOU FORGOT. (The Overlook at Convention Hall is located on the second floor, overlooking the Asbury Park Boardwalk)