Sam Williams has played guitar in Down By Law for about seven years now and has a recently started a side project called Psuedo Heroes. I caught up with Sam and asked him a few questions about…….. stuff and this is what i came up with.
Q: now, down by law how long have you guys been around?
Well, the band started in 1990. Dave is the only original member at this point. However, I’ve been in the band since around 1993, so I’ve been in DBL the longest, aside from him.
Q: how did you guys meet?
I was in a band called Balance, here in Tampa, FL. We opened for DBL locally and I met Dave briefly backstage. I soon quit Balance and decided I wanted to be in a band that was already touring with records, etc. So I wrote to several different bands basically asking them if they needed a guitarist. I wrote to Greenday and DBL, among others. Purely out of luck, DBL actually was trying out guitarists. So I flew out and tried out, and that was it.
Q: line up changes?
I’m not sure what your question is. Yes, there have been a lot of line-up changes in DBL over the years. All for different reasons.
Q: ok.you just fininshed a big tour of europe right. how did that all go?
Quite well. We didn’t expect it to be great there because we haven’t been there for so long. But it surprised us.
Q: how would you rate europe? a few bands have said it sux there.
Well, on what level? I mean, the shows there are usually good for punk bands. Especially Germany. Although DBL has always been the exception and our shows in Europe weren’t always the greatest. Like I said, we had a great time there on this last tour and the shows went well. So I’ll give Europe the thumbs up! Culturally, it’s very different. It’s got it’s ups and downs, just like we do. But every country is different, so it’s hard to generalize. One of my main complaints is the lack of 24 hr. restaraunts! It may not seem like a big deal, but it really sucks being on tour and finishing a show at 2am and starving every night.
Q: what is your favourite country to tour? and why?
I really loved Australia. And Japan. And even though the shows weren’t the greatest in Italy last time, it still remains one of my favorite places. And England and Canada.
Q: what happened with epitaph – why did you guys move to gocart?
It’s a really, really, really, long story. I think that the bottom line is that we were growing stale on them, (Epitaph) as they were with us. Go Kart just seemed cool.
Q: whats your favourite dbl release?why?
I like “All Scratched Up” the best. It’s was a very good time for DBL, as far as fan reaction and our relationship with Epitaph, so I always associate that time with that particular album. But besides that, I think that it’s collectively the best batch of songs we’ve come up with. The most consistant.
Q: your latest cd ‘fly the flag’ whats with that title?
Dave came up with it, and I’ve never discussed it with him. Although he’s really into supporting causes and being vocal about things, so I suspect it has something to do with that.
Q: now your new side project psuedo heroes.hows that all going?
It’s going well. We just did a show with Agent Orange that went great. I just uploaded some songs onto a page on MP3.COM. However, it’s under the named P. H., because there is apparently another band with the same name and they’re on MP3.COM as well. You can either type in P. H. to find us, or go to http://www.mp3.com/talisk
Q: whos in it? (who on what)
I play guitar and sing. Kevin Coss plays bass, (he used to be in the Pink Lincolns). And Carlos Velez plays drums.
Q: i hear youve got a split coming out soon with down by law on theologian when is that due out?
Yep. It’s 5 Pseudo Heroes songs, (a couple of which are on the mp3.com site). And DBL doing 5 weird covers live. We do “The Kids Are Alright” by the Who and “Whole Lotta Rosie” by AC/DC, among others.
Q: you had a record deal with united for a while there didnt you? what happened to that?
The day before we were supposed to step into the studio, the guy from United called and told me that he was taking a big job and was not going to do the label anymore.. I was really dissappointed, but I’m glad he told us before we actually recorded the thing. Another band on the label wrote me immediately afterwards, and they were really upset because they had just recorded a record for him and he was basically just going to let them sit in his room and collect dust.
Q: who are your favourite bands?
That could take days to answer. I listen to just about every kind of music you can think of, (except rap or hip-hop). My favorite kind of music is rock. But I also like Death Metal. My favorite bands include Thin Lizzy, the Who,Morbid Angel,the Doughboys, Stiff Little Fingers, the Doors, Dag Nasty, Government Issue, CCR.
Q: do they infuence your songwriting in anyway?
Oh yes, definitely. Especially Thin Lizzy and the Who. But I think that these influences are very subtle, the way an influence should be. I’ve never had anyone tell me that my material sounds like these bands. We get more comparisons to Husker Du, Face To Face and Samiam.
Q: you write all the lyrics for psuedo heroes right? do you write the music as well?
Q: my favourite psuedo heroes song would have to be down and out, whats that all about?
It’s an introspective song, (as most of my songs are) about letting yourself get depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts. But then the Euphoria you feel after cheering yourself up and realizing the possibilities your life holds.
Q: your favourite psuedo heroes song?
Hard to say. I don’t really like to jugde my own songs. But as a guitar player, I am sometimes very pleased with the chord structures I come up with. Such is the case in Pseudo Heroes and Down & Out. And most people seem to really like Down & Out. I don’t know if it’s the music or the lyrics, but I find that extremely gratifying.
Q: whats planned for down by law and psuedo heroes for the rest of 2000?
DBL.. I have no idea. The P. H./DBL split will be coming out in a few months. P. H. would love to do a tour, if we could find someone to open for. Other than that, we’re going to be playing locally a lot. We also hope to get a full-length record deal in the near future.
ok i cant think of anything else to ask. got anything you want to say? shout outs or whatever.
Let me think….. no.
Ok. for more info on Psuedo Heroes please visit thier site at
To contact Sam
Interview by :Jeff Burch – firstname.lastname@example.org