If anyone would have told me that my first in-person interview after the pandemic would be with the one and only Sam Fischer – I’d have laughed out loud, for quite a while. But here we are. My heart is still full after an amazing weekend in Montreux. Being able to enjoy a night out with great live music plus scoring an interview with Sam Fischer in Montreux probably is already the highlight of my year, hell, of my last 2 years!
Shortly after Sam was done with his soundcheck, I was able to go sit down with him for a quick chat:
Interview with Sam Fischer in Montreux
Hi Sam! Thank you so much for doing this! Welcome to Switzerland – how has it been for you so far?
Incredible, Montreux is absolutely the most beautiful place I’ve ever been!
Really? You’re from Australia though?
I know I’m from Australia and Sydney is incomparable, but this is just different. Like waking up and seeing the lake and the alps. I live in LA, and don’t get me wrong, I love LA! But it doesn’t have the alps and a clear blue lake in front of me when I wake up. It’s been amazing, the people are so kind, the cheese is so good! We’ve had fondue twice and we’ve only been here 3 days *laughs*
Wow, really? It’s too hot for fondue
Not if you’ve traveled for 20 hours. Fondue is good at any time, come on!
*insert discussion about cheese, raclette, fondue and fondue chinoise*
So this is your first time in Switzerland?
It is, and it’s so stunning. I don’t want to leave! We’ve been here for a couple of days, so we got to see things. We went up to the chalet, Claude Nobs chalet. Just stunning, it’s so breathtaking.
So with you throwing around all these adjectives, stunning, breathtaking etc. How would you describe your music in 3 words?
*Laughs* STUNNING, BREATHTAKING, CHEESE. Haha, no, it’s not cheese! My music is honest, soulful and it’s tasty, let’s do tasty, just like cheese, fondue. I’m trying to think of all the words I’ve said. If I would describe my music as stunning or breathtaking, my wife would probably just laugh at me.
There’s a headline tour coming up! That must be exciting – can you tell us a bit what to expect and how it feels to you?
Yeah! Not coming to Switzerland YET, I’m dying to come back here and I’ve not even left. It’s gonna be my first headline tour, so it means a lot to me. I was really nervous to put out tickets because I’ve never really sold tickets. It was weird really because all of my success happened during the pandemic, so I don’t really know the impact that my music has had on the outside world. It’s really encouraging to see people excited for the tour. They can expect new songs and great arrangements and live vocals – everything you’d want in a show hopefully.
I saw that one or two shows are sold out already, one of them being New York – how does that feel.
So crazy! So ridiculous, like being from Sydney, which really feels far away. When you travel and you get back to Sydney, it really feels like you’re on the other side of the world. So selling a show out in New York City, for a Sydney boy is crazy, it’s been wild!
A lot has happened this past year. Let’s talk about the collab with Demi Lovato – how was that for you?
They’re unbelievable! Demi is such a force of nature, they are such a compelling and honest person and their presence is so wonderful. Getting to collaborate with someone who I’ve grown up watching and listening to, was such a crazy thing for me. And also getting to write a song that meant a lot to Demi as well as myself and be able to give them a chance to share a part of their story, that they haven’t found the words to share yet, it’s just so cool. Like, having a song with Demi Lovato is so crazy to say, it’s awesome and I love the song!
Do you have any other people in the industry you’d want to work with?
OMG, Top 3. I’m just a fan of, I guess my colleagues. Ed Sheeran is kinda like my songwriting-god, I would collaborate with him in any way, shape or form if that’s him wanting me to make coffee or write a song. I think H.E.R. is like the Prince of our generation, she can do it all. She’s so mysterious, she’s so cool. And Jazmine Sullivan – she’s got the best voice on the planet. Just amazing!
Do you have a bucket list in regards to music – maybe a special venue you’d like to play?
Yeah, so I grew up in Sydney and my favorite venue there was the Enmore theatre. It’s the best! I’ve worked behind the bar for a bit and that was the way I was able to see free music – or rather music for free when I couldn’t afford tickets. It’s just an iconic place. I’ve weirdly never played a show in Australia. I’ve been over here the whole pandemic so I haven’t been able to go home, I’m dying to go home. The day that I get to sell out the Enmore theatre, I will feel like I’m doing something right. That would be special!
With all the interviews you’ve had to give recently, do you have a question you’d like to answer, but never get asked?
I think this is actually my first live interview in a year and a half!
And yeah, that’s such a good question! I don’t know.. I mean, music is my life, tennis is a huge passion of mine and Ash Barty is the Wimbledon final right now, so shout out to her! I’m always down to talk about things that are about what I do. But honestly, I’m a pretty open book, so whatever question someone wants to ask me, I’m down to talk about it.
I can’t really think of a question off the top of my head… Like how many hours a night do I sleep? It’s probably like 6 – not enough.
You write songs for yourself and other people. How do you know which songs to keep for yourself and which ones to “give away” to other artists?
It’s a tricky one… I feel like every new song that I write, that I love, I want for myself. But sometimes they just aren’t for me and sometimes they are for someone else. Whether it’s like not really my story… My life is not that interesting, I’m in a very happy relationship and things are going well professionally and there’s only so many dark mental health stories that people want to hear. Sometimes it’s fun to get inspired by reading poetry or listening to other people’s music. I feel like, if I can provide another artist with something that they haven’t thought of saying or a story that they’ve been trying to tell but just haven’t found a way to tell it yet – and they hear a song I’ve written and they want to cut it – I’m always down to hear what they do with it. And sometimes it’s like: Woah this is magic, you need to keep this song!
I’m a very honest writer, so my songs are very personal to me. So often times it’ll be a song that just doesn’t make sense for someone else to do. Songs are songs, I don’t take it too seriously, it’s not that deep. Some songs are really special to me – actually, “This City” someone, another artist wanted to cut the song and I said no – that’s MY song and I’m really happy that I kept it because otherwise, I wouldn’t be here right now.
Fan Questions for Sam
Kiara: What are you most looking forward to about touring?
Meeting the fans, meeting the people, like Kiara. She’s the most supportive! I can’t wait to meet her. Really it is meeting the fans, before the pandemic, it was so much fun getting to stand and the merch table and getting to hug everyone and getting to talk to them. And hearing about the ways the music has entered their lives. I wouldn’t be in this position without them. I’m really excited to play new music too, trying to test out songs on crowds. Just see their reactions. I think it’s really important for an artist to tour, test out songs and if the audience loses interest 30 seconds in, then you’re like, nope, not going on the album! Like, right now making the album is like shooting in the dark.
Aaliyah: What color do you feel best describes the mood of the album?
That’s a good one! I guess I’d have to say like a sherbet orange. Something that isn’t like too “in your face” but is distinct enough and colorful.
Irina: What was the best thing that happened to you during the pandemic (non-music related) I started therapy! I had shied from therapy for a long time. And I’ve always talked about how great it was but felt like a hypocrite because I wasn’t actually doing it myself. So starting therapy was a big one for me. I’m proud of myself for doing that, I think we should all be assigned a therapist at birth.
Quick Fire Round!
I will always go back to…
Last thing I do before going on stage…
Uuuuh a group huddle!
Being on tour means…
The best thing about Switzerland (which isn’t food)…
Montreux! The views, the mountains, the lake
Awesome! This was it actually, thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us! Looking forward to the show tonight.
Yes, thank you! Tonight is gonna be so good!
Sam Fischer in Montreux at the Jazz Festival
If you’re a concert and music lover, you can probably imagine how exciting this show was. Not just for us in the audience, but also for the artists. Dotan, the first act of the night, even shed some tears at some point (let’s just say, he wasn’t the only one 😐).
Apart from mother nature (huge thunderstorm hitting Montreux – and with the stage ON the lake, not a good combination) delaying the show by 2hrs, it was an amazing night. Dotan performed a bunch of sad but beautiful songs and made me cry the first time…
Then Sam Fischer. What am I supposed to say… It was a rollercoaster. I absolutely loved the energy on stage. I guess everyone what overwhelmed but super excited to be playing live shows again. The rain actually kinda stopped by the time Sam got on stage. It was the best feeling, seeing the musicians play their hearts out, made me even happier. Let’s just say, emotions were running wild and more tears were shed. But hey, this was my first live concert in 504 days. I’ve never gone this long without being at a concert, without being to forget all my sorrows and just enjoying the art of music. I sure hope this was just the beginning and that we’ll be able to experience more live music again.
You can find a few snippets from the show on our Instagram account, there’s a story highlight.
Check out a short snippet of the live stream:
Go Follow Sam Fischer
Featured image source: Frank Fieber