In recent years, local lo-fi, slacker-rock duos such as the Crocodiles and Nathan Willams’s Wavves have set a trend in San Diego’s music scene of forming bands with fewer members. And now solo musicians are picking up more than one instrument and taking centerstage.
Sam Lucas’s solo project Samhears cites influences such as Radiohead, David Bowie, and the Pixies. Lucas decided to go his own way after becoming disillusioned while searching for a drummer.
That decision came in 2009 when Zack Wentz, drummer and singer for garage-rock duo the Dabbers, suggested that Lucas abandon his search and play drums himself...that is, in addition to guitar, bass, and piano.
“I find it easier to be a one-man band,” says Lucas. “I don’t have to pay for a rehearsal studio or coordinate schedules or deal with a crap-load of equipment. And I don’t have to try and convince anyone to play something I wrote. I don’t have to explain why I’m changing a song or adding a part. I don’t have to make sure everyone feels happy.”
For Lucas, no longer having to compromise artistic vision is key. “My songs are very precious to me. They are how I interpret my surroundings, and they are my voice. In the past, I couldn’t compromise them with other musicians...that’s why we usually ended up drifting apart.”