A new bassist, a new EP and zany lo-fi music videos… I catch-up with Sam Lambeth, frontman of alt-rock three piece Quinn.
Where did you find inspiration for the video accompanying your latest single, Summer’s Gone?
I often come up with zany ideas for music videos. Luckily, by this point, Samm and Andy kind of know what to expect and just go along with it. I’d like to think those that know Quinn are both aware that off-centre videos are part of our shtick. If it’s good enough for Bjork…
One of my favourite music videos is ‘Heartbreaker’ by Metronomy, so I wanted to riff on that a little by having a member of our band be inconsolable and down, and have the other members try and cheer him up. It’s a bit more cobbled together than I would like as we have to film them ourselves – no one is really game to hold my iPhone, so that means it’s a very lo-fi project. We had more time to film our best videos – ‘All the Lazy Hipsters’ and ‘Amanda Knocks’ – and I think it shows.
The original music video was me being pregnant and Samm playing the dad, and I gave birth to Andy, signifying his newfound role as bassist. Funnily enough, the lads actually did baulk at that one.
What was it like to gain such great radio coverage with your previous single?
It was amazing. I was extremely flattered. I knew ‘Amanda Knocks’ had potential to be our biggest single, but I never expected Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music to come a-calling. Radio 1 still has quite a currency, so to squeeze us in between Stormzy and Swifty was a real honour. No news on collaborations with them, though. 6 Music, though, that’s something else…that’s integrity. I’ve grew up listening to that station. We all, as music fans, owe them so much.
As a band you guys have achieved so much since we last spoke – have there been any particular highlights so far?
It’s been a busy year and there have been plenty of highlights, but I think the general reception to our second EP, Crush, has been amazing. I just had this feeling that I was onto something good all the way through recording. But I’ve had that feeling before then produced some absolute stinkers.
The press and the people on the street have not only given it good reviews, but offered really detailed insights into why they like it. That’s what’s been great for me – people have obviously listened multiple times, put their own investments into it, and offered individual insights. That was always what I wanted. Crush was designed to provoke nostalgic and wistful memoires, and it achieved that.
I think reactions to our live performances have also been great. I wear make-up, generally make myself look a bit androgynous (it takes time), and people really dig it.
What can we expect to see from Quinn in the new year?
I moved to London a couple of months ago and it’s made things a lot more difficult, sadly. We can only rehearse when I’m back, and also can only really gig on a weekend (ideally a Saturday). Now, in order to be offered Saturday slots, you’ve got to be able to guarantee big crowds. And we can’t guarantee that. So at the moment I’m a little sad, a little worried. But I know we’re gonna pull through and 2018 will be smoother.
Quinn is my identity, so it’ll never die. At the moment we’re a bit dormant but we’re a beast. We’ll be feeding again in 2018, I’m sure of it, so I hope our fan club don’t do anything drastic.
Catch Quinn playing Mama Roux’s, Birmingham for their ‘Merry Quinnmas’ gig on December 21st. More info here.