Sam Fender is a singer songwriter from North Shields. His debut album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ showcases Sam’s astute storytelling – taking us on a journey through everything from suicide to white privilege. Its heavy themes set against a sonic backdrop reminiscent of The Strokes and The War On Drugs. We chatted and photographed Sam in Newcastle […]
Sam Fender is a singer songwriter from North Shields. His debut album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ showcases Sam’s astute storytelling – taking us on a journey through everything from suicide to white privilege. Its heavy themes set against a sonic backdrop reminiscent of The Strokes and The War On Drugs. We chatted and photographed Sam in Newcastle to get some insights on his own mental health.
Hey Sam, what are your plans for today?
I’m going to have a chat with you; go do some photos and then have a rehearsal. Then pack my bag and go to bed.
Awesome. What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I’m reading a book called Sapiens, which is absolutely crackers. It’s about the beginning of mankind. It’s like pretty nerdy but it’s about the human race and there were loads of different species of humans coexisting at one time. There were about seven different types of human. So that’s been kind of boxing my head. What have I been watching on TV? I watched that Green Room thing. That was pretty brutal.
What are you listening to?
Oh oodles of stuff. But always always Joni Mitchell. I listen to Joni Mitchell all the time. She’s my hero.
What would constitute a perfect day for you?
I don’t know. Because there are different types of perfect days isn’t there? Cos like there’s a perfect day if I get loads of work done and then I’m happy with myself, then there’s a perfect day when I just lay may work beside and get lashed and have a great time.
But like an idealistic, perfect day. Something where you want to wake up and you can have like a blissful day?
Okay. Wake up in the South of Italy. That’s a perfect day. That’s where I’m going to go on holiday. Yeah, so I wake up in the South of Italy. I’d go to Franco for a pizza. If I had a boat that would be cool. That’s probably perfect like, having a boat, going round the Med, getting pissed. Just being like a Geordie swashbuckler, but in the med. With loads of red wine and carbs. That’s a perfect day.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful for?
I am most grateful for my friends because they are wonderful.
And I’ve got a really, really good group of friends, I know that’s pretty wet but – that’s really important.
You choose your friends so it’s important. And I think when you actually, when you find out, I think you go through a lot of phases when you’re growing up and you hang out with a lot of people who are total cunts probably. If you are lucky enough and you actually find a good set of mates who will actually stick by you for life, that’s the most important thing. And there’s nothing I love more then getting off to go see them.
Awesome. Complete the sentence for me: Ace mental health for me means . . .
What is good mental health? Is it being balanced? I don’t know. I actually struggle with that question. I don’t know what it is for me really. Just, staying busy.
Like, I think I get myself in a rut when I’m not doing anything. But, also I think it’s quite easy to go in on yourself and think everything’s against you. And I think what helps me is helping my friends. So if my mates are in bother or if anyone, I think just trying to adopt a more selfless life. If you start becoming more selfless and looking after the people around you, you will look after yourself. Like, just completely subconsciously, because you will be doing something good. You will feel good about it. As long as you are looking after other people, I think the universe will give that back.
What do you do to stay mentally healthy?
Do my music. It really is my therapy. I think just writing. Documenting what’s going on in my life. It’s kind of like a diary where I can unload all of the stuff that I want to talk about. And again, just looking after, it’s just the same answer really, like if you kind of try and make a conscious effort to be more selfless in your day to day life with even people on the street and friends. You know if you like smile, you know that thing where just smiling at someone a day, stuff like that. There’s a lot, you can adopt a lot of little habits like that and make it into your mantra and that makes you, probably makes you happy. I think so. I think everything’s just trial and error.
I think probably people will just be like ‘eat well, eat healthy food, set goals’, but I think that, was it someone saying that the main things that a person needs to be mentally stable is that you need to feel wanted or something or that you need to have a purpose? And something else. I think those things are pretty imperative to good mental health. I mean whether feeling wanted is somebody having somebody to love or having just being loved in return and purpose is well. I don’t know. You can get purpose from anything can’t you. Because even doing my music and stuff like that, that is purpose but it’s not like, I don’t think it’s as important as something like having a kid or something, that’s real. That’s purpose. That’s real responsibility. That’s life changing. I’ve got to guide this little creature through this shit storm. So, yeah. I think I would like to be good at that. That’s purpose.
Last one. Who inspires you and why?
There are loads of people who inspire me. I don’t know. I love all my singer-songwriters, stuff like that, but when you say who inspires, I kind of instantly on autopilot go to music because we’re talking about music all the time. But I’m trying to think of maybe someone else that inspires me. I’ll come back in like a week and answer that. I don’t know. I’ve got like all the wettest answers it’s really bad. Me mam – we’re best mates (joking). I really want to say the wettest answer ever but no I’m not saying that, I can’t say that. What have I become, who am I. Let’s move on. That’s the last one. I will think about it. We’ll come back to that one.