Samantha Fish in black leather jacket, hand on guitar headstock

Samantha Fish brings 'Kill or Be Kind' on the road, sells out the Troubadour, Los Angeles and drops in for a quick chat with rockwest

When did you know you wanted to play guitar professionally?

I picked it up at 15, and I couldn’t put it down, but I don’t think I thought about playing professionally until I was 18. I wanted to do it, but it felt like a long shot, to be honest. I’m from the midwest, so practicality is kinda the word of the day. Playing music for a living didn’t seem like a feasible thing. But, I started to feel that I could do it, and decided to pursue it when I was 18.

You grew up listening to classic rock, how did the blues come into play?

All the classic rock guitar hero’s are blues nerds, they love the blues. All of the guys that I dug into, like, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Mike Campbell, those guys all loved the blues. They were paying homage to the blues, so I started to listen to who they listened to, and then I started to listen to who those guys listened to. That leads you back to the Delta, where everything started.

Samantha Fish Kill or Be Kind Album Cover

Your 6th and latest studio album, Kill or Be Kind is out now. What makes it different from the rest?

I think it’s my most expansive effort. Production wise, song writing wise, I really stretched out and took a lot of chances. I started working with different writers, I co-wrote more on this album than ever before, which was a cool experience, because you get the best out of all these different writers, and yourself this way. It’s an exercise or test in growth, you learn a lot. I wanted to make an album that crossed genre lines, yes, it’s rooted in blues, but it touches on these other sounds I grew up listening to, like R&B, Soul, Pop, and Rock and Roll. I didn’t want to be placed in one solid category. I wanted the ability to make some new sounds, and an album that was guitar heavy. It’s my first record, where I’m the only guitar player on the whole thing. I got the opportunity to layer, and get really creative, there’s different textures on the album, that you wouldn’t even know was a guitar part. I wanted to utilize it in ways that are unique and different.

Do you have a favorite place to play?

Oh man, it’s amazing how all the different regions of the US, feel like different countries, the vibe is completely different, from the midwest, to the west coast, to the east coast and the south. I love playing in Europe, the first time I played in Europe I was completely in awe, I never thought I would have the opportunity to go and tour a place like that. I’m a kid who grew up in Kansas, playing music didn’t even seem to be a reality, and getting the opportunity to play in a country where I’m speaking a foreign language, and we’re all connecting in a special way is fun. We went to Australia for the first time this year, it was uncharted territory, and it was amazing.

Is there a career highlight that stands out to you?

Playing with your hero’s, and actually having them want to play with you is a cool experience. I had the opportunity to share the stage with some incredible musicians like Buddy Guy, Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper. This weekend, I got to play with Anders Osborne at a music festival, he’s fantastic, he’s an incredible guitar player. As a guitar player, to go out there, and feel confident in yourself, and share something musical, and not be restricted by insecurity, you feel like you’re making a music moment happen. It’s conversational, that is always such a good feeling, and a highlight. It over shadows, some of the accolades.