southstate - Sound In The Signals Interview & Track Premiere

I recently had the opportunity to interview Sam of southstate ahead of the release of new song, “The Way You Leave Me”, which is out today. We are also excited to premiere the song at Sound In The Signals. Check it out and what he has to say about it below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Of course, thanks for having me!

Your new song “The Way You Leave Me” is really interesting stylistically. Can you tell me what your influences were when you were writing the song?

Oh yeah! Thanks for describing it as “interesting” and not “a total hot mess”. πŸ˜…

So it’s definitely a punk track at heart, but there’s a lot of r&b influence, specifically in the syncopated rhythms and the chord phrasings. The soul chords also help open the track up to more r&b influenced vocal melodies and some unique harmony arrangements.

For me, the most fun was writing the drum parts, because I tried to recreate the in-the-pocket feeling that Josh Manuel from Issues gets with his drumming, which meant writing the parts in my head and then running down to guitar center to learn how to play them on an actual drum kit. πŸ˜‚

It’s also got a lot of pop production elements that are currently popular with artists like Jxdn and MGKelly. 

Can you tell me more about writing and recording the song? What was the studio experience like?

This song actually started as a voice memo - I was singing the melody for the “take me through my wasted time” part in the shower, and I was like, “THIS SLAPS, I need to record this!” So, on the first voice memo you can actually hear the shower water running because I just popped my head out of the curtain to record the melody. 

After that, I started working on the rest of the melodies and rhythms while tracking the song. 

Once I got the song finished up, I sent the stems to a friend (Kevin @kingxxcold) who added the production elements and finished up the mix for me.

So, overall, it’s probably one of the more raw and less polished tracks I’ve put out.

Do you have a favorite lyrical or musical moment from the song?

Imo, the pre-chorus is the best part. The rhythms are super syncopated, the vocal melodies are tight, and the harmonies subtly build as the pre-chorus progresses.

For the lyrics, I was at Kroger grocery shopping, and a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me for the “lost in the playlists I liked” section, and I frantically typed up the rest of the lyrics. 

I really dig it because that section dives into my love of late night drives and my existential fear of wasting time that I could be using to create things.

I really like the artwork for the single. The colors are really eye-catching. Who came up with the concept for it and designed it? Why did you feel like it fit the song?

Thank you! So this album cover was designed by Daniel Hambright @ Elynia Productions. Usually, I create all the album art, but he’s a phenomenally talented guy, and I wanted to see what he was inspired to create. 

He picked up on the minimalistic album cover style we usually use, and picked really bold shades of pink, blue, and yellow for the color scheme. 

The colors are definitely a motif - I pick new shades of those colors each album cycle to represent each song, and so you can go through each single cover we’ve released and see the various colors that represent the vibe of each song. 

The flowers are also a motif we’ve used in a lot of our art because they represent passion, new life, and even death as they wilt and die. 

What’s coming up for you this year? Will we hear more new music?

Oh yeah! My goal is to put out a new song every three months this year (but we’ll see how that goes). I think the algorithms gods and such really reward constant content, so I’m giving that a try instead of focusing on a yearly album or EP. 

There will definitely be some shows in the near future (keep your eyes out πŸ‘€) with some cool friends. 

Also, my bucket list goal is to work on a song with blackbear, so blackbear, if you’re reading this, let’s collab. πŸ˜‰ 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Yeah! Thank you so much for having me, and taking the time to use your platform to help give this track a voice. I really appreciate it πŸ–€

Everyone reading this - please have a great week and make sure you take some time to do something that YOU enjoy (possibly even jam The Way You Leave Me).

I have some cool local band merch up in the southstate merch store, so feel free to grab something and help me create more music. 

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