Me: Me too and it sucks because it's such a trivial thing but it is like the only way you can see rad shows and get drunk at them. But it's such a weird thing
somtimes. I do better at just being broke all the time than I do when I get paid a nice large sum of money. It's like when I get paid advance money from
one of my books, by the time I end up blowing through it, I've put myself in a worse situation than before I had the money. It's cruel and its reality and I
don't want the checks to ever stop coming but goddamn, I'm better off when they don't. Go figure. Hell, right now, I can't even afford a slice of pizza. The
only thing I ate yesterday was fucking Snickers. I'm running on fumes. Anything else…
Sam: Yeah. Last but not least the sauce. I maybe have fun getting drunk 1 out of every 100 times I drink. I may hold the world record for having to
apologize on Monday mornings. Yet I’m drinking right now.
Me: No truer words have ever been spoken, my man. On both our ends. So let's start with the hip-hop tip. How long have you been rapping and
Sam: Way too long like junior high or somewhere around there. I’m starting to have a strange suspicion that I’m getting too old to make rap tracks. I think
that’s why I have moved to punk rock music. I’m not trying to have someone call me Lewee Regal when I turn 30 you know.
Me: Okay. Honestly, I listen to all your shit and I think similar themes in the songwriting run through both, even when you fronted Lewee and the Regals.
Howard Street Blues is fucking genius. But I get your point. And Get Dead is destroying shit. You guys are really making a name for yourselves. Seriously one
of the best bands out right now. So back to rap, the emcee name is fucking tight. Was there a story behind it or what was the reason for going with that?
Sam: I went through a phase when I was tired of people saying things like, "That's Siiiickk"or "That shits dope". So I just started calling whack ass things
regal. "Peep that teal datsun, that’s regal son!" The Lewee part I just thought sounded funny.
Me: Nice. I'm working on my own hip-hop ep right now with Nick Andre and I'm working under the name Omar Getty. I think Lewee Regal is way better
than that. I've never been good with names anyway. Whether it's remembering someone's face after ten whiskey's or dead sober and seeing them on the
street or naming a project. Horrible with it all. Not trying to be an asshole, just can’t help it….Whatever…Anyway, so you rap a lot about being down and
out and the fucked up things in your life. Do the bad things inspire more creativity than the good? I know with me, after a long bender that ends horribly,
or a series of shitty days where I can't afford to even eat, when I sit down to write, the words just pour and drip from me. Like the other night, I fell out of
a second story window. It was fucked and I was hammered and it happened at the end of a shitty, shitty week and when I sat down the night after it
happened, I wrote one of the best chapters of my life. Is that how it is with you or do you even pay attention to shit like that?
Sam: I believe bad times bring the creativity out because it’s your brains release valve. A spill way for the soul if you don’t mind me getting too hippy. I
guess when things are going good I’m out enjoying life and am just not thinking about capturing that aspect of life. I’m kinda a dick that way. It’s selfish but
the good times are mine and my friends and not for everyone to experience. When things are bad there is something that compels me to remind people
that bad shit happens to everyone. It's one of those impose my burden on the world type of scenarios.
Me: Beautiful answer. Not to get hippy either. But I always feel like people can relate to each other more in bad times than the good. Exactly like you said.
The good times are for me and the people around me I give a shit about. And to be totally honest, I don't think a lot of people could get down and relate
to the shit I’m doing when I'm having fun and vice-versa, which is probably why the bad times feel like everyone's bad times. But shit. Mine sure inspire a ton
of creativity from me. Who are some of your biggest hip-hop influences?
Sam: It all is really. Good hip hop and bad hip hop. I can get a lil something out everything. Even the really horrible shit I can’t hate on because if your
listening to it they did their job. Like it or hate it is still a product of someone's labor.
Me: Okay. Throw some names out of artists that you are absolutely loving what they're doing right now?
Sam: To tell you the truth, not much hip hop at the moment. I have been listening to My Life In Black And White a lot. They’re recording their new album
right now so I’m excited to get my dirty lil hands on that.
Me: My Life In Black And White are awesome. Been getting really into them lately. But I wanna go back real quick about this one thing, this one song in
particular, Broken Ever Thus. I gotta talk about that song while we're rapping about your rapping. Fucking love that song, man. I was couch
surfing/homeless this past summer. So fucking beat-up and bruised and ruined and that song was like the soundtrack of my life during that time. Things just
kept on getting progressively worse for me. Fights. Falls. Girl completely disappearing from my life and bailing on me for weeks without any reason. Shitty job.
Sleeping in a garage booth at work some nights. Waiting on stoops until four in the morning only to get a phone call telling me that I couldn't crash. Dirty
motel rooms. Blacking out a ton on whiskey. Hell, the day I heard I had a deal for my new book, The Mission, I woke up on a hardwood floor in the Western
Addition, shivering cold, and the first thing I see are two eighteen year-old kids shooting speedballs and talking about the Rolling Stones. My life was a mess
and I remember I kept going back to that song and fucking absorbing it. It was perversely soothing for my brain. What was going on in your life when you
wrote and recorded it? I gotta know.
Sam: I was married for most of my early 20's. Shit didn’t work out so well and we ended up going through this nasty break up. I was couch surfing myself
and locked into one of my more impressive benders just on some fuck the world type shit. I think though that I needed to write about the time just for my
own sanity. Once I tracked it I immediately started feeling a lil more stable. I can’t even listen to it any more. I just wanna slap myself for being so busted
up. Definitely not Hood. Haha.
Me: I definitely know that feeling about writing something down because it has to come out. I'm doing a project right now sort of loosely based on that
period of hell this past summer and it feels fucking great to be spewing it out of me. And I don’t care what people think about it or if they’re gonna be
pissed because I’m writing a story similar to my life at that particular moment of it. It’s been therapeutic and it’s really good and I can’t wait to get it out
there. Thing is, after I sell it and it goes to print, I guarantee I won't even look at it again. That’s just the way it is…So um, moving along, where can people
buy or download your hip-hop stuff?
Sam: Good Question. I have no specific venue for that sort of thing. People if they want it they can just myspace me and request it. I’ll ship it out on the
honor system. It’s not like I won’t have their address.
Me: Okay kids. Ya get that?
Go to his myspace page at www. myspace. com/leweeregal.
Shit's dope. Listen to it and get at him about getting your hands on a copy. Alright. Let's move onto Get Dead. How did this band get together?
Sam: It was originally Lewee and the Regals but we had some line up changes. We got Mike the singer/guitar player from Splitting Seconds, then Timmy
Singer/bass player from the ballistics as well as Scotty the drummer from Ballistics. And our piece of resistance, J.P our new guitar player, from the Lucky
Stiffs. It’s a real who's who of degenerates. Now we call it Get Dead.
Me: The band is great, man. I remember when Mike gave me that first three song e.p. at Annie's when you played with The Hollowpoints and I got into it
big time. Hello Command and Stay Back and Only Human, now that's a great three song line-up. In fact, I was talking to a friend about Stay Back and about
this line in the song, second verse, that is one of the best lines in a song I've ever heard: "Perhaps I want this shit inside of me, I don't know how to act
without all this misery, and the problems and the pain and the regret and the heartbreak, it's a sick fucking way I find it all so comforting." I mean, holy shit,
like it pounds you right in the gut when you hear it. Even the Lewee and the Regals stuff was good.
All the kids reading this shit should go to www. myspace. com/leweeandtheregals and check out Howard Street Blues. A punk rock classic. But Get Dead,
with its current line-up, hands above most of the bay area punk bands right now. And so you guys just released an acoustic album, Letter's Home, in my
opinion, a fucking punk-rock masterpiece. How did that album come to be?
Sam: We actually set out to make our first record electric but quickly realized we that didn’t have the cash to make it how we wanted and its not like we
have some label footing the bill so we just did it DIY and recorded with our good friend, Josh at Hyde Street studios and banged the whole thing out in two
days. We called it Letters Home because most of the songs are about the road and all that it entails.
Me: Like I said, it's a fucking masterpiece.
And people can go to www. myapce. com/getdeadmusic and find out where to pick it up. And also, on a sidenote, Hyde Street Studios is awesome. First
time I was in there was last April when The Hollowpoints were recording. I’ve been in there a few times since with other bands and it’s always a good
fucking time. Just a quick blurb about the place. It’s legendary in the Bay Area…Okay. So the lyrics on some of your songs are incredibly honest and blunt.
How does the songwriting process work for you guys?
Sam: No process really. We don’t really take very long to write the stuff. It either just works or it doesn't. We try not to force anything and we scrap a lot
of shit if it gives us problems. All we need is some beers and a lil honesty and hope for the best.
Me: Good system. It obviously works. So you guys just got back from a tour with No Red Flags from Portland. How the hell did it go?
Sam: It was the best. Those guys are such talented musicians and they are all brothers. They are like family now. That was the second time we went out
with em. Last time it was with them and MDC last year which was a blast. This year we went out for about three weeks. Played the whole west coast
including punk rock bowling in Vegas then up to Seattle and Portland and some other northwest dates. Shit was regal.
Me: What was the craziest shit that happened to you guys on the tour?
Sam: There were a couple of hairy situations but I think the sketchiest one was in Seattle with The Hollowpoints. An ex girlfriend of one of the boys was
acting the fool at the show. While we were playing, Timmy caught a whole vodka cran on his bass and she had hit me with a hay maker from the side when
I was singing and split my lip pretty good. Later that night her boyfriend and her try and jump in the tour van. Timmy tells her to get the fuck out and the
boyfriend tries to sucker punch Tim. I ended up kicking this guy’s ass in front of the club and we left. Bout 9 the next morning the girl is on the
Hollowpoints front lawn claiming she had a pistol and the boyfriend is wielding a fucking chainsaw. He ended up cutting their half pipe to ribbons and leaving
without further incident. If you ever wondered who brings chainsaws to a fist fight, he lives in Seattle and is crazier than a shit house rat.
Me: Holy shit! A fucking chainsaw at nine in the morning. I seriously just spit coffee out of my mouth. I know the boys in The Hollowpoints pretty well and I
think I might know who the ex is you're talking about. Fuck it though. A chainsaw. Damn. Didn't I hear something about getting left in the Nevada desert
Me: So what was the best show on the tour?
Sam: Hands down it was our last show in Portland at the Horns Up Records showcase. Horns Up is the label we are currently on and Guill, the owner, has
really put together a great roster of bands. Everyone on it is awesome and it’s like one big family. If you don’t mind me name dropping, you have the likes of
My life In Black And White, Unfallen Heroes, My New Vice, No Red Flags, The AltarBoys, Majority Lost, MDC, and that’s just to name a few. The show was
just amazing. People wall to wall going ape shit. Just a good time all around. The northwest definitely has a special place in my heart.
Me: I love it up there, man. If people reading this have never been to Portland, they really need to get up there. Great fucking music and great bars and for
the most part, the kids are pretty alright. Plus some of the bands you just mentioned have a special place in my heart as well. That sounds like it was a great
show. But real quick, to go back for a second, before you guys left on the tour, I had the pleasure of seeing you play with The Excuse and you told me a
story about something happening in Santa Cruz the night before when you played with the Dwarves.
Sam: HAHA. Long story short, my mom showed up with her friend and my old babysitter who was hot by the way. I almost sealed the deal with her but
apparently my mom stole her jacket and boosted her car leaving her stranded in Santa Cruz. She was crying and shit. I was having to tell her not to worry
and that I’m pretty sure my mom isn’t gonna take it to a chop shop, but you never know right? So we gave her a ride back to San Jose on our way home
and she got her car back a couple days later I think. That’s my mom though. You could write a whole book on that lady's exploits. Apple don’t fall far!
Me: So basically your own mom cocked blocked you by stealing a car. I mean, really. What the hell else is there to say...it's kind of on par with wielding a
chainsaw on a front lawn at nine in the morning. Any idea at all what she was doing for those couple of days with the car?
Me: Are you still writing for Thrasher Magazine?
Sam: Nope. I guess I could but transcribing band interviews is a nightmare. I’d rather just skate with those guys and let some other sucker jock bands. Just
Me: It's cool, Sammy. I'll pick up your slack. But you are right about transcribing this shit. That's why I'm doing these by email over recordings. A lot quicker
on my end. Only thing I gotta do is put periods in and tighten up the grammar and capitalize some letters, dude. So anyway, cocaine and whiskey or beer
and pot. Whatcha ya got on this one? Or do you just say give me all of it?
Sam: All of it except for pot. For some reason that shit freaks me out. I have anxiety problems as is. For instance, o can be buck sober and sitting in line at a
grocery store and for no apparent reason i will get a flash of pure panic. I cant breathe i think im gonna keel over just a complete fucking freak out. Nothing
ever happens but its fucked up. Thats what weed does to me times 11. Yet i have no problems eating mushrooms like candy on tour. I have a time share in
the spirit world.
Me: My order: Whiskey. Coke. Beer. And wine. The point here is to fuck your life to up with this shit to such a brutal extent, that you got a tone of material
and stories that will serve you for the rest of your life. And here’s this thing, Sam. How much booze do you think you down in a given week? I ask this
because I'm looking around my room and the shit was spotless three days ago and now I can't move an inch without knocking over some cans and bottles
and ashtrays. Like what the hell. I did some major wreckage to my vessel over the past seventy-two hours and the thing about it is, I do this all time. I
guess, today, waking up sober for the first time in two weeks, it's just kinda funny and a little sad to look at and I know you do it up twice as hard as me.
So just wondering.
Sam: I try not to go all huge at home because of work and also the fact this city is so small. I have a tendency to go a little too big and break shit or start
fights and in SF the walls can definitely start closing in on you. But when we are out on the road or whatever you don’t have a choice in the matter. Its
dawn to dusk to dawn again. Every one had these horrible zombie fevers last time out and that was a minor speed bump. You just switch to bourbon till you
kill the fever. Them the rules.
Me: A couple months I got really sick. Fever. Coughing up black and red mucus. I was delirious. But it was my birthday coming up and I had tickets to see
the Heartless Bastards and I wasn’t going to miss it for nothing. So the night before, I decide the only way to fix myself is with a hot tottie. So I make one
up at the house. And then I make another one. And a third. And like that, the bottle of EJ is gone and I’m slamming though packs of smokes and blowing
rails and made myself even worse off than I was before. Didn’t miss the show though. Thing is, I don’t even remember being at it. But plugging on, what
other bands and projects were you doing before the Ged Dead and Lewee Regal shit?
Sam: Dreamy Meat Cleaver with my homies Babelfishh, Edison, Mildew.Cleaver league with those dudes plus Visitor, Home, Filkoe, and Evak.
Inner Dialogue with Aspect McCarthey and Dublin. (those guys are in shotgun wedding quintet now) I Did a couple joints with the guys from battleship
records and a handful of other random colab projects with people via the world wide web. Ill make German techno if its fun to do ya know?
Me: You gotta day job motherfucker?
Sam: Yeah, I refurbish server systems. I get em in, take em apart, tack wield some circuit boards and then BAM! My bosses slang them joints and on a good
week they open up the tab at the gold club. I think we have put allot girls named Destiny through college by now.
Me: The Gold Club. I saw Sydney Steele strip there a few weeks ago. You should go during their lunch buffet. Food is actually better than the strippers. But
we need to wind this thing down now. So what's coming up for Get Dead? Any tours or releases in the near future?
Sam: We are working on or first electric full length that will be coming out on horns up records hopefully by the end of summer. I am also releasing a hip
hop album with Visitor and Filkoe this summer on horns up. As far as touring goes, I think we are chilling out right now and working on making this album as
best as we can and then maybe Europe in the winter. But we always say that.
Me: Anything else, man?
Sam: Yeah! Snitches are a dying breed.
Me: There ya, go. Well thanks, Sammy. And again, you can check out his Lewee Regal stuff at www.myspace.com/leweeregal. And the get music at www.
[back to Media]
|©2007-2009 Jason Myers. All rights reserved.
|Over the last seven years since I moved to San Francisco from a tiny farm outside of Dysart, Iowa
Me: Well first off, I don't think it's fair that you're as fucking talented as you are. You got some sick hip-hop
stuff going on and you're fronting one of my favorite bands out right now in Get Dead. Is there anything
you can't do?
Sam: Those I think are the only things I know how to do. There is an endless amount of things I can’t get
right. So I'll give you the top few.
Me: Awesome. I was hoping you'd answer like that. Name 'em.
Sam: A. I can not keep a girlfriend to save my life. No matter how rad she is or how much I’m in love with
her or whatever, I just ruin it. Whether it's fucking around on them, or just being a drunk asshole for no
reason, I will find a way. That would be my main thing that I can’t do at all.
Me: See for me, I can totally feel you on one of your points. The drunken asshole part. I usually never fuck
around on a girl I'm with because I'm usually the drunken asshole to everyone else. But yeah, I've had lots
of relationships that went south because of my tendency to booze all the time and how I get when I do.
Thing is, if you wanna flip it all around, I've always said that the girl I wanna be with is the girl who makes me
feel better than the last best thing I wrote and I haven't found that yet. Not even fucking close. So I'm
gonna say, for my own sake, that they've failed too. But it's shitty to know that even when I am with a sweet girl that I care about, my alcoholism seems
to forever get in the way...so it goes, the life of people who love to drink. Give me another thing.
Sam: I have the worst ADD ever so I can’t sit still or finish anything. I can’t even believe we have full songs for Get Dead. You know I freestyled 80% of our
set up until a few months ago. Seriously. What a jack ass.
Me: Haha. Well shit, it sounds good so I can't fault you there. You guys gotta couple of songs that I think are absolutely incredible. Like, Stay Back. But
we'll dive into Get Dead soon enough. What else can’t you do?
Sam: Money. Anything to do with Money and I’m basically fucked.
...I’ve had the privilege to kick it and call as my friends some of the most talented motherfuckers anywhere around. Dusty Watson of Agent
Orange. John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees. Matt Jones of Master Slash Slave. Nick Andre, producer extraordinaire. Conan Neutron of Mount
Vicious and Replicator. And Jade Castro, rapper and producer and label owner. But if there’s one kid who sticks out of that extraordinarily
talented bunch, it’s Sam King, the lead singer for the band Get Dead, and brilliant emcee who raps under the name Lewee Regal. A couple of
weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing a series of interviews with this crazy motherfucker and it was one of the most gratifying experiences
I’ve had in some time. So here it is, the Sam King interview.