Arts & Culture / Mosaic / September 26, 2013

He’s in the band: Sam Hart brings metal, heart to the masses

Sophomore Sam Hart discusses working on his solo album, which has been in production since 2007. (Robert Turski/TKS)

Sophomore Sam Hart discusses working on his solo album, which has been in production since 2007. (Robert Turski/TKS)

Even before sophomore Sam Hart knew how to play the guitar, he was working on his solo album.

The album began in 2007 when Hart, who already played the organ, purchased a synthesizer that replicated guitar sounds. Since then, Hart has learned guitar and has been fixing, creating and recreating, finally releasing an album earlier this month.

“I’ve been working on it for a third of my life right now, so it’s good to be done. I could’ve just taken the old stuff I did and just recorded over it, but then you get more experienced and you want to change it and you go from calling it done to not done and this time, I just said to myself, ‘Hey I made a hundred [CD copies] and we’re not going to change it anymore.’”

Hart re-recorded over half of the album last month and self-recorded, produced and engineered the album at Knox in both Kresge and his own dorm room.
“I do it myself because logistically I feel like it’s difficult to work with other people, because this record is so set in stone. And I like the feeling of being at the controls and engineering it myself. It’s a hobby of mine.”

The album falls under heavy metal genre, though Hart does not want the genre to impede any opinion of the album itself.

“My goal in this thing was to make it more listenable to people with other musical backgrounds. You shouldn’t have to be a metalhead to listen to this record, so I think there was really a mission accomplished there. It’s something anyone could listen to,” Hart said.

The album is the product of Hart’s experiences in both high school and at Knox. It bears the influence of Hart’s background in the Knox College Choir, a music theory class he took in the winter and a general interest in metal music from the late 1980s. He considers the album varied.

“I tried to make every song substantial in meaning and diverse. There’s a few songs that are mostly piano and voice. There are some songs that are just acoustic and voice.”
Hart’s passion for his album is met by his general passion for music and guitars. This summer, he practiced for five hours daily.

“I wouldn’t consider myself insane or anything. I know how to play fast, and I know how to play what I want, but beyond that, it’s just sort of a musical thing. I’m really proud of this record.”

Hart owns three guitars at school — one was purchased from the Czech Republic, one he considers his “girlfriend” and the third was reconstructed out of old parts.

“I just slapped [the parts] together. You can tell it’s been abused.”
Now that he’s produced, recorded and released a full length album, Hart has plans to continue making music, and help others on campus with their own interest in music.

Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot.

Twitter: @KateMishkin

Tags:  Czech Republic guitar Knox Colleg Choir metal music theory Sam Hart vocals

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