Artist You Need To Know: Sam & Bill are Bad MotherFolkers
This week I was lucky enough to sit down with the up and coming NYC comedic music duo Sam & Bill.
With their flawless blend of seemingly benign folk music, comedic lyrics, and fearless attitude, they are quickly becoming a local favorite in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs.
The duo, composed of comedians and actors Sam Haft and Bill Bria already have a local hit. A searing parody directed against MRA’s called “Yes All Men”. With a purposefully nostalgic 1980’s “We Are The World” vibe, the duo comedically tear apart the movement’s misogynistic and racist leanings bit by bit.
Me: So Sam & Bill, who does what?
Sam: I play guitar and I sing, and Bill sings, and he also is a master dancer.
Bill: I have a mastery in dance. Not an actual Masters. But a mastery. I can also play the tambourine as well.
Sam: We haven’t even explored the tambourine yet.
Bill: I would say that we haven’t entered our “tambourine phase” yet. But, we’re gonna get there.
Me: So, you’re the “Bad MotherFolkers” of NYC?
Bill: We created that name because we didn’t just want the Instagram handle of Sam&Bill and also to brand ourselves.
Sam: And we’re often juvenile with our comedy so we wanted to make that folk pun.
Me: So when did you two meet each other?
Sam: We met in 2008. We were both in the same sketch comedy group called “American Candy” based out of Brooklyn. And we didn’t immediately get along.
Bill: When Sam and I first met we were rehearsing for a sketch we were both in, and Sam was incredibly late, and he smelled terrible.
Sam: Also, Micheal Jackson died the night of our first show.
Me: So it’s as if he sacrificed for your show!
Bill: The show was not worth it.
Me: So the show didn’t go well?
Sam: It was okay. But not worth Micheal Jackson dying.
Bill: I mean, the whole audience was just on their phones the whole time (laughs.)
Me: When did you decide that you were going to play music together?
Bill: Well, we did a sketch in this group that involved Lady GaGa. And Sam did a few solo songs for American Candy. We were both doing music separately in that group, and we were taking the train home that night, and I believe Sam was playing Poker Face on his guitar. And I just started singing along with him.
Me: Did the other passengers start leaving the car or were they into it?
Sam: Surprisingly, they were into it.
Me: And that’s the true NYC way to know if you can start a band.
Bill: And initially we were just playing as friends, we had no intention of it becoming an act of any kind. And one night Sam just suggested that we hit up a musical open mic and do what we were doing in front of an audience. And you know, being shameless and craving attention I definitely said yes to that.
Me: So you’ve made this amazing new music video.
Sam: It’s a song called “Yes All Men” and it’s a response to the brand of internet men’s rights activism that’s started in the last few years.
Bill: And we thought it was necessary because of their own particular special brand of whining and believing themselves to be an actually oppressed group.
Sam: Because they are the whiniest people on Earth!
Bill: And they all call everyone else snowflakes?!
Sam: So we thought, why don’t we throw this in the most obvious genre of music for oppressed groups: charity singles.
Me: So like a “We Are The World”?
Sam: It is exactly that. It is a “We Are The World” for people that have never needed it less. And to our credit, the MRA’s have really not liked it, so we know we’re doing something right.
Bill: We actually did a show in D.C. where we called ourselves “The Orginal Cucks of Comedy”, so I think that’s a good synopsis of our brand.
Me: So what are your immediate future plans?
Sam: We’ve just released our debut album called “Sam & Bill Are Huge”, and we’re recording two Ep’s in the near future.
Me: Who produced your album?
Sam: It was produced by Andrew Underberg, who is awesome. He actually produces a lot of “K-Pop”.
Me: What’s “K-Pop”?
Sam & Bill (in unison): Korean Pop Music.
Me: Get the fuck out of here (laughing.)
Sam: He writes and produces a huge amount of that stuff.
Me: So you’re a folk duo doing parodies about MRA groups produced by a K-Pop producer.
Sam: It’s a beautiful cocktail.
Me: So when is your next EP coming out?
Bill: Hopefully in July because it’s going to be our holiday album.
Me: July 4th?
Sam: But it’s not going to be a July 4th holiday album. It’s going to be a Christmas holiday album that we are releasing in July.
Me: Does your debut album have a theme? Tell me about some of your songs.
Sam: “Pool Party” which is a surf rock horror song, and what else do we have on there?
Bill: A song called “Fuck The Audience”. That was actually the first song that we wrote because we just needed some intro crowd work to let the crowd know that they were looking great.
Sam: And we have a song called “Tinderella” which is a 90’s pop ballad about dating in the digital age, and guys being creeps on Tinder.
Bill: We have the ballad of “Blank and Blank” which is an audience abuse song.
Sam: We basically find a couple in the audience and try to break them up with the song. And we have a Doo-Wop song called “Find Me My Girl” which is about being sad and lonely.
Sam: Like, willing to fuck a KFC bucket desperate.
Me: That was my 20’s.
Bill: Oh and we have a country song!
Sam: It’s called “If Jesus” it’s a whimsical fantasy song about like “what if Jesus was a farmer?” “What if Jesus was a porn star?” And it goes into some very strange places.
Bill: And after that is “I Don’t Know What Sex Is” which I consider our magnum opus.
Sam: It starts as a 90’s boy band song, but then becomes a metal song, and then kind of a Radiohead song.
It’s kind of about not knowing what sex is, but it’s also kind of about wolverines and climate change.
Sam: And the last song on the album is “Yes All Men.”
Me: So where can listeners find your stuff?
Bill: We actually made it to number one on the best-seller list in the comedy section of Amazon for one day!
You can find all tour dates and social media connections to Sam & Bill right here on their website.
Without further ado, I present you the music video “Yes All Men.“