Interview by Chloe Rech from Texas
Sam Becht, better known by his project name and Instagram handle, @sambekt, knows how to bring life and authenticity to everything he does. His social media followers know that to be true, and those who get to see him live know it even better. As someone who’s seen Sam play, I have never found myself so amused at a concert. While touring with the band Remo Drive in summer of 2019, I saw Sam perform at Barracuda in Austin, Texas. Decked out in his signature stage attire of gloves, a Harley-Davidson muscle tank, and a single banana, I found myself being drawn to his strangely contagious energy. A fan ever since, I was able to get to know him better recently…
CR: You’re clearly passionate about drumming. Has it always been like this? What drew you to it?
SB: I started drumming when I was about 10 or so. I grew up around the music my parents played like Peter Gabriel and U2 — I wanted to replicate the drumming I heard.
What’s your drumming style like and what inspires you?
My drumming style is influenced by artists like Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band), Zach Hill (Death Grips), and Stewart Copeland (The Police). I’m inspired by fellow musicians I have the pleasure of collaborating with. I like to complement off energy I’m feeling in a musical group. I typically play with gloves on to protect the skin on my hands!
Who have you drummed for?
Bands such as Remo Drive, Oolong, Jank, Cyberbully Mom Club, Coping Skills, Stippling, and Mochi Robinson. I am currently working with Remo Drive and Oolong on new music, as well as releasing new music under my solo project “Sam Bekt”.
That’s an impressive list! How have those bands affected your solo style and what have you learned from them?
Every band I’ve worked with has helped shape and inform my solo music in different ways. I take influence and experience from all of it.
Why did you switch out the ‘ch’ for ‘k’ in Becht?
Simply for pronunciation purposes! My whole life people have mispronounced my last name so the ‘k’ is just the way it’s pronounced.
How would you describe Selfie, the album you released under your solo project?
Selfie is a tape where the majority of it was written and recorded while I was working 9-5 at this manufacturing plant. I would lay down tracks for instrumentals at my apartment then write the lyrics and melodies at my desk at work. It’s my commentaries on modern social-isms like the comparative nature of social media. I drew my inspiration from artists like Jon Bap, Orion Sun and Citizen Cope. My favorite song on the record is either “Seasonal” or “Switzerland,” because I feel those two are closest to how I want future songs to sound.
What does the future look like for Sam Bekt?
I want to practice and play more when I have time! I’d like to tour and network more with other artists that sound like I do and get out of my usual comfort zone. I’m dropping a limited tape run deluxe version of Selfie with Albuquerque label Purse Records. It will have two recently made bonus tracks on it.
Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome as an artist in the music industry?
Sticking true to my dream and believing in myself while others around me have doubted a career in the music industry being possible.
So you want to network with bands that sound like you. What bands would those be?
Currently I’m trying to position myself less in the band scene and closer to the likes of artists such as Roy Blair, Verzache, Johnny Utah, Jon Bap and Still Woozy.
I might have lost my mind when I saw you do your banana bit at a Remo Drive show this summer. What’s with that?
I eat a banana and throw the peel into the crowd every set, it’s just what I do.
You have a small kombucha company, named after your nickname ‘Boochie Boy.’ How did you develop such an intense devotion to kombucha and where do you want to take Boochie Boy? What’s your favorite brand?
My favorite brand of kombucha is probably Health-Ade. They have the best flavors like Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber and Pink Lady Apple. I actually love how people associate me with it! I think it’s a very nutritious and tasty elixir. Boochie Boy will continue to be brewed and sold in small batch releases while I nail down my recipes and prepare for wholesale opportunities. Look out for it in your local cafe or bottle shop!
I can’t help but laugh every time I see someone with a “Meatballs in the car, get me a napkin. Meatballs in the dark, anything could happen” bio. Where did that originate and how do you feel about it?
I’m very thankful for the love and support! It came from a little poem I wrote randomly one night in my notes app and posted to my story. People liked it and it spread like wildfire. Everyone making it their Instagram bios, there wasn’t much original context to it… pretty much just my brain coming up with random thoughts… I was just coming from a restaurant where I did in fact eat spaghetti and meatballs.
Of course, I have to ask: what’s your advice for aspiring drummers?
My advice is to listen. Listen to the musicians you’re playing with, while you’re playing. Every good drummer always fits with the group they’re playing with. Once you have that down you can develop your ‘style’ of fitting.”