Singer Sam Weber continues to carve out his own richly creative niche with his latest disc Valentina Nevada, and fans can check out the results firsthand when the gifted artist performs on July 16th at Bo’s.
The guys are touring out east these days and will shortly be making their way to the west coast, where Weber is based.
Weber said that from the start, the plan for Valentina Nevada essentially was to largely reflect how the band sounds in a live setting and to keep things relatively simple as the recording process unfolded. Shorter stints in the studio lend themselves to sharper, far more ‘lively’ and raw recordings, and this project is not exception to that rule.
“It’s more something that’s in line with what we do in a ‘live’ show,” he explained. “That kind of musical freedom and collaboration is what our sound is all about – and what we really enjoy doing.”
Collaboration with his bandmates indeed provides some of the foundation of what defines much of Weber’s musical style.
“A lot of artists will go into the studio with a producer that’s really awesome, and the record (sometimes) sounds like a brainchild of the producer and not necessarily representative or in line with what the artist is like,” he explains. “That was part of our motivation in doing it ourselves. For better or for worse, I think it sounds that way, too.”
Ultimately, their commitment to their own vision has indeed proven the ideal path.
Valentina Nevada has been getting a great response since its release this past May, helped by the superbly entertaining video for the single Anybodys starring BodyBreak’s Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. Scores of listeners will remember the bright, cheery couple from their TV spots over the years in promoting active, healthy lifestyles.
The video gives them a chance to, let’s just say show some impressive acting chops and break character and really, it’s loads of fun from start to finish.
This is Johnson and McLeod like listeners and audiences have never seen them before – not to mention the tune itself grabs the listener from the very first note. All around, an irresistible lead-in to a first rate CD as well.
“The director we worked with just killed it – it’s so cool,” laughed Weber. “We were all floored by it – we were thinking it’s just hilarious.”
Hailing from North Saanich, B.C., the 23-year-old Weber has certainly caught the imagination of listeners across the world.
His debut full-length CD, Shadows in the Road, was the culmination of years already spent focused on touring and recording. Released in the fall of 2014, that project has been described as an album of ‘intense contrasts, emotional entanglement, and mercurial, enthralling arrangements.’
As to Valentina Nevada, things kick off with the smoothly crafted, lighter tones of Charlotte, leading right into the equally compelling I Wander Around in the Dark.
Ultimately, Weber showcases his striking sense of diversity as Valentina Nevada powers forward – other gems run the gamut from Good Love and Buddy to the dream-like storytelling sensibilities of Valentina. Weber’s music continues to offer listeners an image-laden sonic experience – cuts resonate with originality and imagination.
Weber credits his folks and family in general with offering a great place to grow in his musical giftings.
He started off with the proverbial piano lessons, and even though he had an exceptional teacher, that didn’t last overly long. Still, music was something that was always encouraged around the house – and when it came time to selecting a career path, that encouragement didn’t waver.
In the meantime, what Weber did find appealing during those earlier years were rock tunes on the radio featuring intense guitar solos – so when he picked up a guitar around the age of 12, essentially, a creative direction was found.
“I’d hear these epic guitar solos, and that’s what really hooked me. I realized also that what was engaging me was that those were brilliantly written songs – it was like a catharsis – listening to a great song. So playing the guitar was like a gateway into all of that, too,” he has observed.
A penchant for songwriting started to surface around that time as well.
And really, he’s never looked back.
Playing with a number of local bands would follow over those formative years, and his gift for songwriting continued to mature as well.
In 2012, at age 19, Weber was one of the youngest people to ever be covered in a major Guitar Player magazine feature. The prestigious Berklee College of Music also saw his potential, awarding him a summer scholarship when he was just 17.
The school went on to award him a scholarship that would have covered some of his educational expenses, but Weber’s artistic instincts proved too restless and he returned home to Canada to pursue his song craft.
Weber headed home and picked up where he left off – performing, writing and planning for a full-length CD. There’s no doubt he made the decision that was not only best for him, but best for listeners in general who find much meaning and inspiration in his artistry.
These days, he’s really right where he wants to be. “When we are out playing new songs live, it’s the most fun for us. And I think that energy tends to translate to the people watching.”