Sam Forrest talks new Sewage Farm, Sorry Kisses and the legacy of Nine Black Alps

By Dom Smith
By March 7, 2023 Features, Interviews, News, York

In our latest Band Spotlight, we chat to Sam Forrest of Sewage Farm about the band’s new EP, ‘Mould’, as well as current creative inspirations.

S] How are you today, mate?

I’m ok, although I have conjunctivitis in my left eye. Apart, from that I’m listening to the radio (WFMU), drinking tea and looking out of the window at grey clouds.

S] How are you feeling about the release of ‘Mould’, and what does it mean to you? 

It feels good to finally get the songs out there because we recorded them in 2019 and then the pandemic hit. the recordings had been sat around for a few years and rather than relearn them, we thought we’d just mix the basic recordings that we had, and release them. It means that we can now get on with coming up with new songs which is always the most interesting part of doing music.

S] How has working on this Sewage Farm EP challenged you in new ways as an artist?

It has given me a chance to release a record that was very basically recorded in a live setting. This is actually much more liberating rather than overdubbing vocals, and trying to make things sound professional. As a result, I had to let go of things like vocals that were a bit off, getting the lyrics wrong and so on.

S] ‘Broken Bridge’ is available to listen to now, lyrically, what experiences and ideas went into that?

I wrote the lyrics in about 20 minutes. I am not sure what they are referring to, but I had a mental image to draw from. Some kind of town (possibly Selby) at night by the river, cluttered with litter, desolation and so on. The song was originally really slow but we realised that it would be good fast.

S] What’s the process like when building stuff for Sewage Farm, compared to your other projects?

I usually build up a big collection of songs, and then get together with the other guys and we fire through them fairly fast. It quickly becomes obvious which songs are going to fit and which won’t. The whole concept is simplicity and volume.

S] You know I like this one, so I’m going to get you to write it down…how do you define success now?

Just being able to keep on making music. There are more obstacles to this than you’d think. If I manage to record a song without hating it, it feels successful. Plus, it’s nice having new labels like Safe Suburban Home offering to release the Sewage Farm EP, I’d like to think that I don’t need other people’s validation, but it helps.

S] What about legacy, do you think much about the legacy of your projects like Nine Black Alps, Sewage Farm, and Sorry Kisses?

I think the word ‘legacy’ might be a little extreme for what I have accomplished with these projects. The best thing is to see that people still listen to music I’ve created all over the world. Even if i don’t know who these people are, it’s still a cool feeling.

S] Is there a message that you’d like to share with the people that have supported all of your musical endeavors up until now?

Just ’thank you’ and I am glad that the music I make makes some kind of sense. Plus I’d like to apologise for having basically written the same song for the past couple of decades.

S] What people, places, and things are inspiring you right now, in 2023 – think movies, locations, and more?

I’m really liking living in East Yorkshire, I moved here a couple of years ago and there are lots of places to explore, as it feels a bit more remote and forgotten about than other places. Other than that, I’ve been listening to endless amounts of Bevis Frond, Tony Molina, Dinosaur JR, Sonic Youth, and Neil Young. These, along with lots of newer shoegazey bands like True Widow, Lunation Fall, julie, Monte Terror, Gnoomes, Mad Honey, Winter, Special Friend, TTSSFU and Sustains. Plus there’s lots of good things coming out of Scandinavia like Frokedal, Hater, Misty Coast, and I was a king.

I often have locations in my head when I write songs. I wrote a song about Hull at night recently, but have also mentally travelled everywhere from Los Angeles to Andalucia in my songs. Despite all of this, the majority of my songs are just me complaining about the fact that I’m complaining.

S] Can you give me a “nugget” of advice that you’ve received from someone in your life that you carry with you every day, that you find useful?

Elliott Smith told me to keep writing music which I have tried to do.

S] Is there anything that I’ve missed that you like to plug?

Uh, one of my bands – The Sorry Kisses, had a mini-album called ‘Hang From A Star’ out last year.

S] Thanks for taking the time to answer these! Have a cracking day!

Likewise, thanks!