Catching up with Overhand Sam
>>If you’re familiar with the Rochester music scene then you may have heard the name Overhand Sam once or twice. The man behind the overhand guitar style is Rochester's own Sam Snyder. Known for playing guitar in the ever-popular Rochester group Maybird, and his solo endeavor “Overhand Sam & the Bad Weapon; Sam has been pushing the reality of sounds with his lo-fi psychedelic/fuzz tones that you can capture from both groups. Sitting on an arsenal of ideas and creations since 2012 Sam has skillfully mastered the art of being original to his sounds and tone no matter what project he engulfs himself in. We had the chance to catch up with him during these trying times and get some insight to the mind behind the creative madness that is Overhand Sam.
Photography by: Teagan West
Rochester is the home to so many musicians and artists of all kinds and for Sam he finds that this city resonates with him because there is so much drive and inspiration within it. He calls it an “controlled ego”; and that whether the end product of their creation is good or bad people here are shameless and fearless when putting their art for the world to see. “Lots of other big cities tend to squish everybody into thinking they have to do something they would have done otherwise or that they are too broke to do it” when it comes to looking outside the walls of Rochester there hasn't been any real appealing place that has the same vibe and views for Sam.
“We have a community here and the fact that it’s pretty supportive and multi-generational is pretty cool. I've lived in troy and spent a ton of time in NYC but I've always wanted to be back here for those reasons”
As artists it's easy to get lost in the light of trying to strive for greatness or trying to make it big, but the majority of those here in Rochester are just being creative with all sorts of mediums with no true agenda lined up. Unlike bigger cities, Rochester is not bound to the social construct that if you are an artist you need to be striving towards riches and fame. It’s people with the exact opposite views who tend to see greater outcomes from within themselves and their work. Staying original while with all different groups and mixing and producing can be a handful for some, but Sam gave us some insight and tips to keep yourself humbled by each new experience that comes your way. “Your voice whatever that means is one of those things you can't do anything without it being you and I feel a lot of artists in an effort to be an individual they stretch themselves so far and if they didn’t try, they would succeed even better at their original goal”.
“I don’t really think about my originality because when you start a new project it's just something that’s going to come out naturally. The thing you need to take seriously is what you want it to do for you.”
We all have our own personal view on what success is for us, and there is no right or wrong answer because its defined by each individual. Sam has a deep passion for what he does and is clearly shown; “because there's less pressure here, sometimes people don’t take the part seriously when they put the music out. Were lucky here because we have a media publication like Floated which is really cool to have someone else help speak up for you. I’ve seen some really, really incredible records made in Rochester and just thrown up on band camp and then nobody really gets the chance to see it and there's nothing wrong with that it's kind of beautiful in its own way to just let something go like that. I kind of have this hate for that too because for me the definition of success is tied into how do you want people to perceive you and your art, and are they going to get the chance to hear it. I would probably make different art if I knew nobody was going to listen to it. I guess that’s maybe a bigger conversation”.We all have our views on the ever-changing beast that is social media and what it does for us. For Sam it’s kind of a love hate relationship. “I fucking hate social media sometimes and I say that because just like the next person I'm very addicted to just like staring at it and not even interacting with it”. To elaborate more on the reality of the physical aspect Sam told us how he dropped a couple singles the past year in a lathe cut record and mailed them out to friends and fans that span from across the country to over in Europe. He says “and that’s something you just won't get from social media”. In Portugal found this record shop that was all psychedelic fuzz metal rock and it was the coolest shop I've ever seen. “I think we need to not forget that there is a reality beyond putting music out digitally and look past the likes or streams that we might get.” Before the world turned upside down with the COVID –19 outbreak, Sam was lucky to
Weapon” once the world is able to return to a norm again. He told us that he knows people are going to be hesitant to want to go out in gatherings again. Sam's goal once this is all over with is to play gigs and be able to provide a relaxed and comfortable setting for those who attend. There is going to be a lot of tension down the road after the dust settles from all this and it’s ideas like those that are proactive and positive. With safety measures in place, we as a music community can strive towards a new normal. Check out these these two exclusive live performances set we put together for your entertainment!