The St. Joseph music scene got a major shot in the arm today when the above poster started popping up on the internet. St. Joe mainstay Sam Blumer (aka “Tubby”) unveiled his latest musical project, Calling Nickelback. It is a loving tribute to the Canadian rock band performed by Blumer and close friends. I did an interview with Sam on the project and got some of his thoughts on it:
Vocals On Top: Sam! It’s great to see you again buddy.
Sam Blumer: Good to see you, thanks for giving me the opportunity to spread the word on my new project. (Sam gives me a high five at this point with a huge smile on his face)
VOT: No problem, I’m excited about it. So let’s jump right in, Calling Nickelback? Why?
SB: Well it started about 10 years ago when I first heard “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback. It was like a breath of fresh air from the music I’d been listening to. I had been listening to The Flaming Lips, Wilco and bands of that nature and I heard Nickelback and thought “Man, this is it for me.” I’d finally found that perfect balance of rawkness and good honest lyrics by an everyday working man.
VOT: That’s interesting, why did it take you so long to get this project off the ground?
SB: Well, I think it was mainly I had to learn the songs. I knew this was a project that I really wanted to do right away. Hearing those first songs off Silver Side Up was like hearing Sgt. Peppers for the first time, I was floored. I can play most music with ease but the complexity of Nickelback’s songs threw me for a bit. I worked hard but I think I can finally show how I feel about their music.
VOT: Rumor has it this isn’t a solo project, there will be others involved.
SB: Yeah, there is no way I could pull this off by myself. There will be a small cast of rotating musicians helping me.
VOT: Can you tell us who?
SB: I probably shouldn’t because the lineup isn’t solid yet. I will say my good friend Kiley (Bodenhamer) will definitely be involved, he was a founding member of our band Pompous Pilot with me and he jumped at the chance to do this. Also on drums is a close friend Mark Seek. Mark is a stand up guy and he said he would do the project as long as it didn’t conflict with Nickelback’s summer tour schedule because he plans to follow them around during all the Midwest shows. There are others that I can’t quite mention yet.
VOT: It gonna be amazing, so this is just a show?
SB: No man, this is a series of shows, starting in St. Joe but eventually I see going around to Harley dealerships in the area and playing, I get so excited just thinking about it.
VOT: So it is a series of shows?
SB: Yeah, each one will be a little bit different of course and hopefully I will have merch to sell as well.
VOT: What kind of merch?
SB: Well I plan to have all Nickelback albums available to buy at the show because that is what this project is all about, spreading word about this amazing band.
VOT: So not Nickelback songs done by you?
SB: No, not at the show. I have already recorded about 15 of my favorite songs and I have sent multiple copies the band’s management and lead singer Chad Kroeger to see what they say about the project.
VOT: Ok, big question: What is your favorite Nickelback song?
SB: There is only one that it could be, okay, maybe two: “Photograph” because I love looking at old pictures and reminiscing, the first time I heard that song it almost made me cry. The other is “Pants Around Your Knees” I just love the guitar in that one and I can’t get enough of the line “She didn’t get to the top by shaking hands” (laughs out loud.) I’d put the lyrics to that song up against anything I’ve ever heard.
VOT: Sam, I love the project and can’t wait to hear more about it, keep me posted.
SB: No problem man, this is just killer stuff and I can’t wait to unveil it.
Sam Blumer is the bass player and one of the founding members of St. Joseph rock band Pompous Pilot. He also loves April Fools jokes and probably won’t talk to me for a week after this.