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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


For most independent bands, the term
do–it–yourself extends only to covering the
financial costs of recording and manufacturing
of an album, and doesn’t account for the
extensive help received from producers,
engineers and others along the way. Local
rockers Samsara, however, can truly lay claim
to the DIY title with regards to their recently
completed self–titled six song debut cd. The
band, consisting of vocalist Shelley Potzold,
drummer Scott Corman, guitarist Nick Kruppa
and bassist Ed Orso, handled all aspects of
the album’s production themselves. The
recording, mixing and mastering were all done
in–house and even the artwork came courtesy
of Potzold, a fine arts student at the University
of Waterloo. The result is an impressively
coherent debut, and an effective document of
the band’s jazz and blues–inflected classic
rock sounds, all recorded at Corman’s home
studio.
“ I love technology,” explains Corman. “I love
recording music and using computers to do
that, so it was an opportunity for me to improve
my skills and also get everyone else involved in
the process, too, so it wasn’t just one person in
the band calling the shots. We all had an active
role in what the levels (were) gonna be and
how we mixed it down and everything like that.
And everyone actually learned the software,
and learned the technology behind it. And you
have to do that to be in a band nowadays. Even
if you’re in a studio it’s good to know what the
engineer’s doing, so that you’re not going in
blind.”
“ It was more of a challenge,” adds Kruppa.
“ We thought we could, so it was like ‘why not try
and see how well it turns out?’”
“ We did it,” continues Corman, “just using
inexpensive recording equipment that almost

anyone could afford. It’s not out of most bands’
reach; it’s just the organization behind it, and
the planning.”
As if to signify the band’s internal unity, each
song on the album flows directly into the next,
connected either musically or by transitional
sound effects.
“ I think we had the idea to hook one or two up,”
says Orso, “and then we just decided that
since we’re doing one or two, let’s just make
the whole album flow.”
“ Looking at each song individually,” says
Potzold, “we wanted to sort of tie them all
together so that it’s actually like a piece, so it’s
actually one long song. And so when you look
back and listen to it, if you put the album on
from start to finish you actually get a complete
tune.”
“ It makes it continuous and consistent,”
continues Corman, “which kind of goes with
the artwork and what we’re trying to be as a
band philosophy.”
Surprisingly, given the assuredness of the
band’s debut, the current incarnation of
Samsara has been around since only May of
this year, when the four broke off from an
earlier, more expansive version of the group.
“ We used to have seven, eight members,”
explains Kruppa. “It was sort of a different
approach that we took. It was like a jam band,
more open, because there was so many
different people putting into the band. Now with
us four, we’re basically on the same page and
we all think somewhat alike, so we try to keep it
tighter.”
Indeed, while some songs on Samsara flirt
with the jam band aesthetic, the band’s varied
influences and refined songwriting smarts lift
them well above the often formless noodling of
that particular genre.
“ The band went through a huge evolution,”
says Corman, “and we went through all the
growth associated with that, trying to figure out
what we all wanted. And the four of us kind of

gravitated together naturally and wanted a
smaller, tighter feel to the band with more
consistency and better songwriting. The
songwriting’s a lot more structured now, for
sure.”
Adding to the band’s unique dynamic are
Potzold’s sometimes biting lyrics, which
provide the band with an effective sardonic
edge. “I write about, you know, parodies of
mankind,” she says, “ironies and
contradictions. I’m very sarcastic in my lyrics.”
As for their immediate future, the four are
agreed upon a plan of action.
“ This (album) was step one,” explains
Corman. “Step two is release it with a party and
play like crazy and we’ll probably be doing that
for the fall and the winter. We’re trying to use a
pull strategy, just make noise and have people
come to us and have people offer us ways of
advancing our own careers. That’s the method
we’ve chosen instead of just blindly sending off
press kits and hoping someone bites.”
The band are also avid students of their
musical forebears and, according to Orso,
some Pete Townshend–style antics may be in
store at their upcoming cd release party at the
Wax in Kitchener.
“ You might see a guitar shatter on the stage if
you come, so come…just stick to the end.” - By Neil McDonald - Echo Magazine


Discography

Samsara- From the Palindrome 2005
song list ( yes the titles are letters and numbers!)
t
L
Q
8
4
10
G
s
R
P
I
J
O

Samsara - Self Title CD - 2003
- Tracklist -
1)Sugar Crisp
2)No Time to Wake Up
3)Lucid
4)Energy In Motion
5)Far Too Deep,
6)Against the Flow

Crankspiv Recordings Compilation Volume VIII
- The tune "Sugar Crisp" appears on this compilation -

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Samsara is a synthesis of four musicians, Ed, Nick, Scott and Shelley, drawn together by a shared passion for music. Their philosophy is to stay true to their musical integrity. “Music for music’s sake!” raves the lead singer Shelley Potzold. With their roots firm and growing Samsara continues to write catchy and challenging songs and have people talking, bopping and dancing everywhere they go.

Their music has a rock’n’roll soul but often flirts with other genres like Jazz, Swing and Blues, creating a melt in your mouth sensation for the ears. With female jazzy and aggressive vocals infused with classic rock and a shuffle beat back bone, Samsara has created a style all their own.

Samsara’s live show is an energetic fiesta of rock. With their contagious grooves and catchy hits the audience can’t help but dance and song along.

These rockers have just completed their debut full length album, entitled From the Palindrome in honor of the studio they recorded in. In only two days the band worked their magic, playing their hearts out in a live off the floor recording with no over dubs or edits. The band wanted to make an honest record and it is exactly that. The quality of the recording is superb and has the vintage warmth that is foreign to most ears of today. From the Palindrome is a timeless record and a must have for everyone.

Currently Samara is preparing for an Eastern tour at the end of August to promote their new album. In the meantime you can catch Samsara rock’n it up at the Molson Indy and many shows in Guelph, their adoptive parents.