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Jason Beebout talks about SAMIAM’s last album and his life

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John B. Moore of AMP Magazine recently conducted an interview with SAMIAM vocalist Jason Beebout, who talks about the band’s last album “Trips” and what he’s been up to over the past couple years.

Obviously there have been some considerable amounts of time between the last few albums. Was that a conscious decision or did you just let time get away from you. What was going on?

It was a conscious decision in that we all had to go to work (laughs). We live pretty far apart. Sergie (Loobkoff, guitar) lives in LA. I live in San Francisco, and the other guys live in Brooklyn, so it’s kind of hard to get together on weekends to work on songs. We have to e-mail stuff back and forth and when we do get together we have to book some shows around it. Every now and then I’ll fly out to New York to work on some songs, or go down to LA to see Sergie, but it takes awhile to get things together and we are all really busy with other things. We can’t expect Sergie to take off work all the time for us, so things have to be right.

I’m assuming it’s gotten easier over the past few years though, with advances in technology, to be a band spread out across the country.

Absolutely, this record was brought to you by Garage Band. It would have taken a whole lot longer without it. It was all finished as far as the songwriting was concerned before we ever got together to play and that’s never really been the case before.

Was the writing any different with Trips than other releases?

No, some bands usually get together and someone has the lyrics and you add the guitar and everything else around it, but we’ve always done it backwards. Sergie usually writes his music and I try and write around it and make it fit… Cram it in if it doesn’t.

Are there any songs on this album that have been hanging around for a while and for whatever reason didn’t fit on other records or were these all written for this album?

As far as I’m concerned they are all new. I didn’t have anything lying around. I’m not exactly the most prolific lyricist in the world. Sergie and Sean (Kennerly, guitar), who knows with those guys… they could have written these songs five years ago and ripped them off.

Is there a general theme to the songs that make up Trips?

You know, there wasn’t at first – at least I didn’t think there was – but in retrospect, yeah, it all is kind of based around me losing my job. That’s what I wrote a lot about, my old employer. Sean did pretty well when he chose the name “Trips” for the record because that kind of sums it all up: traveling through life and traveling through different emotions and all that bullshit, but really that’s what it’s all about. I had a kid, I lost my job, all this stuff happened at once and makes you try and figure what you are going to do to move forward. It’s all a trip.

Are things working out now? Have you found a new job?

Oh yeah, I’m fucking doing great now. I’m about to open up a new bar in San Francisco. In this past year things have been fantastic. This record turned out much better than I ever imagined, setting up these tours… We started talking about tours awhile ago because I was broke and we get a little bored playing the old songs over and over, so we got together and started working on a record. At one point I thought, “Holy shit, I remember how to do this.”

This will be your first headlining tour in about a decade, right?

It’s been a while. We’ve always been a little hesitant about committing to things because we had other things going on that were making money for us. I couldn’t quit my job to be in a band, I had to quit my band to be in a job. But I can work whenever I want now, which is so much better.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

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