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A Dirty Dozen with SAMMY URWIN from EMPLOYED TO SERVE – October 2019

| 9 October 2019 | Reply


We get Employed To Serve guitarist Sammy Urwin to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

There is a strong positive message behind the latest record which the listener might not necessarily latch onto first time around. We have tracks on the album like the title track “Eternal Forward Motion” and “Bare Bones on a Blue Sky” that have quite a clear positive message, but we also have tracks like “Dull Ache Behind My Eyes” and “Harsh Truth” that portray someone at the end of their tether. I think one of the main points this album tries to make is that on the road to becoming a better version of yourself you are going to make mistakes and go through bad times again. There’s no switch you can flick that will ensure your optimism stays on all the time. You have to recognize set backs as being minor hick ups and not total failure. As for golden nuggets all I can say is “the owls are not what they seem”.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I think the earliest moment I can think of that would have inspired me to pick up a guitar would have been the discovery of bands like Papa Roach, Linkin Park etc. I was about 10 when Nu-Metal was at its peak. When I discovered bands like Slipknot and Rage Against The Machine that interest changed from a spark to an obsessive inferno that hasn’t died down to this day.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Slipknot was my first musical obsession. That band consumed my life when I was a kid. I had a copy of “Disasterpieces” that I would watch everyday after school and I would jump all over the sofas pretending that I was crowd surfing.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

For Employed To Serve I would say the strongest influences in recent years have been… Pantera, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, and Will Haven.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

We have just finished work on a collaboration and we got the exact person we wanted for the job. News on that soon.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I’d say we’re like Will Haven if they suddenly decided they wanted to make a Slipknot record. I don’t know really, it’s a hard one, I end up just calling us a “Metal” band even though that label to some may seem generic. I don’t like to think of the band belonging to any niche. We have such a broad spectrum of people coming to our shows and I want that to continue to be a thing. Some people have called us a Djent band in the past which has always confused me slightly. I guess the downed tuned guitars are the reason some people liken us to the genre. I’ve got no qualms with Djent, but it’s not an inspiration for me.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Having an outlet to be creative and just to have something to be passionate about. I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t got a burning passion to do something.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

There’s not been many instances when we’ve cooked together but since the band crash spot on tour is mine it’s been me who has rustled up some grub. Our singer Justine and Robbie our drummer are the ones to get the drinks. Rich is the guy who will pick the nearest guitar and start widdling away. He’s like a moth to flame.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I met Tom Morello at the Metal Hammer awards a few years back and that blew my mind. He’s a guy that I’ve grown worshiping. People like that almost aren’t real in your head, they’re like fictional super heroes. He was super nice and allowed me the time to tell him how much of inspiration he was for me.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I think walking dogs for a living would be nice. You’re outdoors most of the day and you get to hang out with dogs. That’s awesome.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I can’t think of anything massive I can thankfully say. I had a few opportunities present themselves to me at different stages during ETS’s existence and I’m very thankful I was persuaded to stay my own path and keep my priorities in check. I have Justine and my Mum to thank for that.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d probably go back and see Death record Human. Chuck Schuldiner, Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert and Steve Di Giorgio in their prime, laying down some of the most influential Metal of all time. This record not only musically was a revelation to me but also lyrically. I’ve always been a huge Death Metal fan and this record dragged me out of the rut of thinking all music has to be “brutal”. As chuck said himself “reality is far more brutal then a demon tearing someones heart out.”




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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