The champions of girl power introduced guitar virtuoso Sam Weber to the world of catchy hooks, and he isn’t embarrassed to say so.
“Oh god. It is too much of a hook to leave alone, I understand. I’m not ashamed by it,” he laments over the first album he ever purchased, the Spice Girls. “It was definitely my first musical thing, I was really into it. It speaks to the catharsis I get from the music I listen to and write. I have a very pop-driven musical taste and Spice Girls was definitely an introduction to a lot of those pop hooks. I haven’t jammed Spice Girls in a very long time, and I haven’t seen Spice World for that matter I guess I am overdue for it.”
At 12-years-old Weber had just ditched the structured piano lessons that confined his personality to be known as the kid always carrying a guitar.
Fast-forward eight years and he is one of the youngest people to ever be covered in a Guitar Player magazine feature, attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston on a summer scholarship, toured as guitarist for Juno-nominated indie rock act Jets Overhead, opened for Tragically Hip and Sam Roberts and has released his first full-length debut album.
“I basically decided one day I wanted to try guitar and really buckled down with it and dedicated myself to learn blues guitar as my foundation. Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer and the real wizards of that area who helped me define my own unique style,” said Weber. “I decided pretty quickly guitar was something I wanted to dedicate my time to. I would go to the grocery store with my mom and sit in the van with an electric guitar, which doesn’t really make any sense because it doesn’t make any sound, but I would sit and practice.”
Now the 20-year-old, who hails from Victoria, is touring with his release Shadows In The Road, making a stop in Penticton at Voodoo’s on Oct. 23.
Weber had a hand in mixing and producing, finalized most of it while at Berklee.
“I always want to have an artistic hold on what I am doing and hopefully make interesting music that people care about and I care about,” he said. “I think this record has a lot of potential and I want people to give it a shot and hear it.”
A powerful musician combining components of blues guitar with alt-pop sounds, Weber also has a strong grasp on performance and songwriting. But he doesn’t box himself in the singer-songwriter genre.
“When I think of that, it is chronological storyteller and I am definitely not that. My songwriting is about divulging more of a feeling than that. I would say I am more of a songwriter than performer though,” he said.
Shadows in The Road was released in August, but already Weber has about 50 songs on the back burner he is itching to spend more time on when he is done touring.
“I actually have a ton of voicemails on my iPhone. That is my version of scrawling, I pull over when I am driving and sing melodies into my phone. It’s kind of goofy. I don’t write at all with pen and paper. I’m not the glamorous Moleskine pencil and paper by candlelight kind of thing,” said Weber.
Evan Hillier, who played as a trio with Weber in a band called River, is touring with him currently on drums and percussion.
Catch them at Voodoo’s in Penticton on Oct. 23. Doors open at 5 p.m.