Speakeasy with Sam "Fat Sammy" Clevenger 

How would you describe the music of About the Fire?

I term it as “What happens to some of the punk and HC kids when they are preparing to turn 30.” I find it to be a fairly eclectic mix of punk, hardcore and metal ... with a truly personal twist on the lyrics.

What new and exciting younger bands have you seen lately?

There are so many that are really good. The bar has definitely been raised on great Indy music in the past couple of years. To name a few, I guess I would say Angelville, Spicolie, Mind’s Eye, Seven Degrees from Center, The Jabs, The Slurs, America Owns The Moon, The Human Condition, The Dream Is Dead, Harakiri and my personal fave of all local bands, Project: Bottlecap. Man, P:BC is exactly what I think a band should be, hooky yet heartfelt and melodic without too much cheese.

Yo, you lost like 95 pounds. How the hell did you do that?

I lost 35 right after I stopped drinking, then I switched from regular Cokes and Red Bulls on my bar ventures to diets, then I started the Atkins diet and lost about another 60. I am weaning myself from it right now but if I start to gain again, I will go back on it. I also was working out when I started the diet. Weights and some easy cardio.

Is About the Fire working on an album and who will put it out?

We have just recently completed our first full-length, which is due out on Happy Couples Never Last Records this spring. It has been a long time coming but I really think it will be worth the wait. At first, I wasn’t sure if all the things I had in my head would translate well to the recording but most everything came off without a hitch. It is somewhat of a concept album, weaving my personal experiences over the past few years into a tale of someone else and his coming of age. It’s kind of about me and it’s kind of not. Kinda strange.

What would you want non-fans to know about the Indianapolis music scene?

I want everyone to truly understand how much better the scene is here and now than it EVER has been any time that I can remember. I want the musicians and fans alike to take pride in that fact and also to embrace it and make the best of it. I have been told numerous times over the previous year by people from other scenes/cities that Indy is steadily gaining a reputation as a scene to be reckoned with. You know what? I fully believe. I hope everyone gives their full balls into making this the scene we always knew it could be and help one another out, instead of cutting throats.

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