Sawyer Path’s Alex Samson sits down with National Rock Review to discuss the new album, forming the band, influences, and much more.
Sawyer Path is a Canadian rock band that plans to take the rock world by storm. With their latest release Toxic Temptations, the band manages to bring every one thing you love about metal and rock and bring the best of both worlds. In this interview, we talk about the formation, influences, member changes, and much more. Sawyer Path will take over and once the listening and jamming starts, it will not stop.
NRR: So, you are Alex and you play bass for Sawyer Path. Can you let the readers know about the other member’s names and say their role in the band?
Alex: Well, our singer Sean Mackay, he’s been there since the beginning. Our drummer too, Pete Richards has been there since the beginning. The two guitarists have been playing for 13 years together, Olivier L’Heureux and Olivier Veilleux. We were once three and now we are a band and better than ever.
NRR: The brand new release from you guys is Toxic Temptations. I must say what a new sound you guys have. I think if rock radio was still a constant ongoing thing, I think you guys would have already exploded. What went into the process of creating Toxic Temptations verses your earlier release Escape My Demons? Was it easier or was there more pressure?
Alex: Well, we recorded another record back in 2013. That one, we weren’t that comfortable. With our last EP and Toxic Temptations we were very comfortable, yeah.
NRR: How did you guys approach the writing process to Toxic Temptations?
Alex: Well, that one was very different from Escape My Demons ’cause the other two weren’t there back then. With Escape My Demons, Sean and I basically wrote the record. We had help from another guitarist that was there at the end, but he didn’t last too long, but now on the new record, most of the writing, instrumentally speaking, with two new guitarists, it was very different. In the end, it brought out the best out of the songs.
NRR: Now I feel like the song “Rise From the Ashes” is a great way to introduce you guys because it has a little bit of everything that you guys have to offer. Would you be inclined to agree with that?
Alex: Yes! We noticed that too. Once we released the record, we noticed that on every platform that was the one that people loved. We made a music video to our song “Blind” because we thought that one would be the song that everyone loved, but “Rise from the Ashes” is one of our favorites too and it seems to be the one that everyone gravitates to the most. So, yes I would agree with that.
NRR: What was the story behind the name Sawyer Path?
Alex: My singer was a big fan of Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer was a fictional person in a book, it really inspired him, because he was living life by freedom. That’s what we are trying to do. Let everyone know that you can live by freedom to make your dream come true.
NRR: Can you personally talk about your influences and maybe a person that made you want to pick up a bass guitar?
Alex: Back then, I was going to school with Sean and I was like 16 or 17 and I didn’t even know what a bass was. I was listening to a lot of rap music at that time. Sean just told me one day, “I think you would be a good fit in our band” and there was a different drummer back then and he was listening to a lot of punk rock like Blink-182, Sum 41, and that kind of stuff. I borrowed a bass and I started playing and I found out it was a passion. From there our band was a lot more punk rock, then when Pete joined the band, that’s when we became Sawyer Path. Then it went to a little more rock and metal. Now, my influences are metalcore bands like Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria, I Prevail and that kind of thing. I also love Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains, and stuff like that, too. I even love Breaking Benjamin and Papa Roach. I listen to all of that a lot.
NRR: The album art for Toxic Temptations, did you guys have a lot of say in what it looked like, because I think it’s incredibly fitting?
Alex: It took us a long time to think about it. When we gave it to the artwork guy, we already had an idea of what we wanted it to look like, like a blue guy at the left and a red girl on the right, like a fire and ice kind of thing. We didn’t have a background, but we knew what we wanted. So we gave it to the guy and told him what we wanted and yeah, then he chose the background and we really liked it.
NRR: Have you guys managed to get to experiment with the songs live, and if so, what has been your favorite song to play live?
Alex: We played the album in its entirety when we had our launch party. I’d have to say “Rise from the Ashes” is a song that I really enjoyed playing live. “Through the Lies,” “Running out of Time” is a great one to play.
NRR: Alex, what was your very first gig and after you finished, what were your initial thoughts about it?
Alex: My very first gig, my singer and my drummer went to a music school. So, we got together and played a couple of songs there. My first big gig. I would say that I really liked the feeling. We were at Battle of the Bands kind of thing. We really enjoyed it. That’s where the passion really came out for us.
NRR: If Sawyer Path had an overall message or headline, what would it be?
Alex: It would be, follow your dreams and do what you live, because life is short and you have one shot. Get the best out of it. That’s what we do, we keep on working. We have been doing Sawyer Path since 2009 and it didn’t seem professional then, but we kept working and following our dreams and now look where we are at.
NRR: If you got to sit down with one of your favorite artists, what do you think would be one question you would want to ask that particular person?
Alex: Oh! That’s a good one, I think I would ask him, what it’s like to be touring for such a long time, or how did you get to where you are doing 200 shows a year, how do you live and do that with wife, kids, and everything. I think that would be my question because I’ve always wanted to know how people manage touring with a life.
NRR: What’s in the future for you guys? Are you maybe planning a big US tour?
Alex: We have never played in the US since now, only in Canada. To go overseas it would have to be a big tour, but, of course, we would love to play there. That’s always a dream.
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