Sam Tucker, Student and Musician

Sam Tucker

Age: 19

Year: Freshman

Major: Business Administration and Management: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

Hometown: Amherst County, VA

Why VCU?

I wanted to go somewhere I could play live music, with in-state tuition. Richmond’s a cool city with several bars and venues so VCU worked out!

What’s your favorite place in Richmond?

I haven’t gotten to fully explore the area yet, but Belle Isle’s really cool. Coming from a small town, there’s not a lot of music venues so I like a lot of the different ones here.

How are you involved at VCU and/or in the community?

Well, every semester I pay this fine institution thousands of dollars to further my education and that keeps me pretty involved. I don’t have much of a connection with the community at this point but my band just started playing shows here so that’ll build.

What do you do in your free time?

Average college stuff like eating food, sleeping and hanging out with friends. When I’m not in the city I like to aggressively ride high-powered dirt bikes. I’ll try to write new music when I’m feeling inspired enough.

How long have you been singing and playing music?

I got my first guitar when I was 8 or 9. Been grinding since then.

What instruments can you play?

Guitar is my main thing, but I can play bass and drums too.

Tell us about your band:

It’s called Flight Club with an “L”. We needed a name and that one stuck! We play different kinds of rock music but I usually describe us to people as “pop punk, blues, rock” if that makes any sense. I’ve known the drummer, Toney, since tee-ball and we’ve been best pals for years.

Any upcoming shows?

Yes, three actually! I’m doing an acoustic show Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Camel, opening up for Will Overman Band. On Friday, Feb 27, the full rock band is doing a show at Club Infuzion and Wednesday, March 4, we’re opening up for Born Cages and Dreamers at Canal Club. We have tickets available online and at the door. Come on out!

Where can people find your music?

We have a few demos on our Soundcloud, but we just recorded an EP that we’ll be releasing soon. We’ve been handing out free copies to help promote our upcoming shows. You can pick up a copy from me on campus or at one of the shows.

Do you have anything going on independently?

Other than the acoustic stuff, not currently. But I’m always coming up with new ideas and I’m always down to jam with people.

How do you get past writer’s block?

It depends. A lot of times I can’t and I just give up. Usually my best ideas come in moments of creative inspiration and I’ll have a good idea of what I want to do pretty quickly. But whenever I’m having bad writer’s block, I usually try to write in terms of the listener. I’ll ask myself, “What would I want to hear if I was hearing this for the first time?”

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t really have one defining inspiration but my Dad’s always been a big influence. He’s a former musician and taught me guitar when I was first starting out. He always wanted me to do things for myself and not to grow up having to work for someone I don’t like, doing a job I can’t stand. He’s really intelligent and I learned a lot from him. I also get a lot of inspiration from battling generic pop music and people’s capacity for being assholes to each other.

What’s your favorite music-related memory or experience?

This January I got VIP tickets to see Four Year Strong at The Broadberry. I got to hang out with them on their tour bus and jam with them for about a half an hour. These guys are some of my biggest idols so it was all a little surreal. I was fan-girling pretty hard.

What’s the hardest part of being a musician in college?

Trying to balance education, growing up and your efforts to establish a music career.

How do you respond when people knock music as a career?

I usually chuckle and agree. There’s enough musicians out there trying to be stars that the idea of one person achieving such fame can seem a bit absurd. But still, someone has to be that person. I’d rather be him than the guy knocking him for it.

Last song you listened to:

Happy Days by Closure in Moscow

Best show you’ve been to:

Bustle In Your Hedgerow (Led Zeppelin cover band) live at Lockn Music Festival around 2 a.m. The festival is about 15 minutes from where I grew up and their show started late. Craziest musicians and fan energy I’ve ever seen.

A word of advice:

Whatever you do in life, make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day, say “I’m proud,” and mean it.