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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Sam Varga

Thank you for talking with us Sam! Did you always want to be a musician? Was there one moment when you decided? I had a job working in Lynchburg Tennessee at the Jack Daniel’s distillery. It was some of the greatest times I’ve ever spent in my life. Everyone there is so special and kind and honestly became like a true second family for me. It’s kind of a backwards feeling but I just remember realizing how happy I was….and then I got scared. I realized I could spent my entire life there and be happy. And in that moment I felt music slipping away and I became terrified. And I realized that I needed to move on and really give music a chance.

What is the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given? Dean Purificato. Legendary Bass Player and local nashville sex symbol. “There’s only two kinds of people in this town. Those who are here to have fun and those who are here to work.” I was having entirely too much fun when he told me that, and I feel like it really changed my course.

You recently released your new single. Tell us about the writing process. My girlfriend Kalie, who’s an amazing artist/songwriter in her own, started writing a song at the kitchen table and not to be one up’d, I got the guitar and instantly starting humming on something. I realized half way through that I was humming ring around the rosey but instead of admitting it and laughing it off I doubled down and said it was intentional. The next day we wrote an “emo ring around the rosey” with another co-writer, who was equally as confused until I showed them the chorus.

Is there a family member that is credited with getting you Into the music field? My parents were obviously the first, and to this day the most supportive. But, I have to credit my Aunt Kealy. I was listening to the whatever my sisters were in the car at the time until she brought me home AC/DC’s live album. That changed course for me big time. That got me into guitar and rock. And then, a few years later, my sister Katie brought me home Senses Fail and Saosin….and that's what got me writing music and into the emo scene.

Do you have a musical mentor? How have they influenced you? Right now I’d have to say Dan Swank. He’s touring right now with one of my all time favorite (pun intended) bands All Time Low. He’s a monster. Since we’ve met, I’ve been really inspired by his work ethic and his tenacity. He’s also brought something out of my music and myself that wasn’t there. He’s changed a lot for me, and that room has become really special to me.

When and where do you do your best writing? When I’m hungover…..I don’t have the energy to overthink/second guess. I’m just vulnerable and it all just spills out that day. Looking for healthier substitutes to reach that catharsis.

Do you have a favorite place to eat in your hometown? Irish Rover in Louisville, Kentucky. When I was coming back and forth from Nashville to Louisville, I would always tell me family I was getting in an hour later than I was so I could go to the Irish Rover and sit with the owner, Mr. Reidy, and shoot the shit, drink Irish whiskey, and have some fishcakes.

One place you’ve dreamed of dining? In a hot air balloon over Bagan Myanmar, or in a hut somewhere in the jungle of South East Asia having noodles and cobra whiskey.

If I was a bartender what would you order? Either a tequila shot and a draft beer or a whatever whiskey/bourbon I was feeling that night with a big rock and an orange twist.

Favorite Wine? Ernie Els South African Cab or blend. F* me up, it's good.

What is your favorite dish to cook? Shrimp/Steak/Pasta. Hear me out. It’s been a rough week. You have no Saturday plans. All you’ve had is granola and the espresso that gave you faux anxiety all day. So you hit the abandoned gym in your apartment complex. Come back up and you have that one Kroger ribeye (because you didn't have time to go to Porter Road Butcher that week (the best), frozen shrimp, and forgotten noodles in the back of the cupboard. What you're gonna wanna do is throw the shrimp in the skillet with olive oil, lemon pepper, and cayenne, the steaks going on the skillet with a hunk-o-butter, Montreal seasoning, and bit of Worcestershire, (4 min each side/flip every 2). Then throw the pasta and the shrimp into the steak skillet to make em dirty as hell. Eat that with glass of bourbon. Feel like a man. Go to bed with heartburn. Saturday night saved.

Finally if you could share a meal with four people living or dead: who would they be? Jim Carrey, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Colbert, my late Grandfather. Jim for the spirituality/comedy, Lincoln for the words, Stephen to distill Jim and Abe’s wisdom into a comedy bit I could comprehend, and my Grandpa to nod quietly until he realized he knew one of their distant relatives.

With just three short years in Nashville, Sam Varga has already established himself as serious writer and dynamic performer. Coming up in the fast paced punk scenes of his high school days and the Blues of Austin TX, there is an edge and energy that makes his songs stand out in Music City. He has quickly come up through the writing ranks and can frequently be seen playing staples in town such as Whiskey Jam, Buscall, and The Listening Room. His first year in Nashville saw the release of his debut single “Sex & Whiskey” and the release of his EP “Light Me Up.” He released his newest single “Fall Down” on September 16, 2021.


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