Interview: A Single Sit-Down: Cellophane Sam – The Gang’s All Here

cellophane sam

“The Gang’s All Here” is a new single by singer, songwriter Cellophane Sam. From the deserts outside LA, he grew up fairly isolated and finds a lot of his songwriting inspiration from those feelings of loneliness and introspection that he honed through his childhood. Last year, he released a five song EP called “Desire” full of intimate songs with spare arrangements led by his acoustic guitar and backed with piano and strings. The music shows a young songwriter finding his feet.

On his new single, the sounds are seemingly stripped back a bit and the lyrics and storytelling rise to the forefront. There is a greater intimacy to the song showing some evolution as a songwriter and producer.

In the song, “the gang” are his emotions seeking to distract or derail him as he takes time to think and reflect. He gives life to these emotions anthropomorphizing Loneliness, Jealousy, Anger, and Misery who “as drinking friends, are the only ones [he] needs.” He finishes the song with the admission that the embrace of these emotions is merely a “distraction” taking him away from something. But, what’s suggested is that within the distraction is something needed and worthwhile that makes life a more intelligible journey.

Brian Saude, the man behind Cellophane Sam, was kind enough to answer a few questions:

Can you give a couple biographical details pertinent to your persona as a musician?

Cellophane Sam: That’s an interesting way to frame that question. Very deterministic, I like it! I’ve had the privilege of a secure and well adjusted childhood which allowed me a lot of time for contemplation and artistic pursuits. My father is a master craftsman and my mother and older sister are visual artists. I’m not crafty and I can’t draw for shit, so I got stuck with music by default I guess.

What inspired the song?

CS: The idea was inspired during a mindfulness meditation. Every time I quieted my mind, my next thought would always be, “wow, look at you, you’re really doing it! You’re meditating! You’re so spiritual!” The ego can be so clever. I think I read someone brilliantly describe this phenomenon as the ego tapping you on the shoulder from behind. Originally I wanted to do something visual, like a short film or a play, but it was too expensive. I think it works as a song though; it’s more playful this way.

You anthropormophize negative emotions throughout the song. What is the rationale with engaging emotions in such a personal/familiar manner?

CS:I think it’s important to adjust the frame we view our emotions, especially negative ones. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having these thoughts or feeling. By imagining these “negative” thoughts as well meaning, albeit misguided friends; we remove the emotional charge. I think this allows us to gently distance ourselves from our thoughts and remember: we are not the thinker; we are the perceiver! 

This song is more stripped down than previous releases- a trend or a one off?

CS: That’s interesting, I don’t really feel this is more stripped down. I suppose it’s a bit more restrained, but that just has to do with getting better at this. Style is the last thing on my mind though. Every sound/instrument has to serve the song; I try to be very strict with that. Nothing “cool” or “edgy” unless it serves the song. As a result, this can come off as “easy listening”; a phrase which makes me utterly cringe. But hey, it is what it is.

#cellophanesam #singlesitdown #indie

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