david samples: the artist: part II

(Continued from Part 1)

     Assembly Line Gods are well-known in Springfield for being a marketing machine. Their shows are some of the biggest in the scene, and they have earned the respect of their fellow musicians and the love of their droves of fans. When they start playing, the crowd is sucked up to the stage, throbbing in simultaneous movement to the music, screaming out the lyrics when Samples holds out his microphone.
     “I think that Assembly Line Gods have made it this far because everybody in the band has some sort of secondary weapon,” says Samples. “They have some sort of secondary thing that they’re good at besides just playing an instrument or being that instrument onstage. Bronson and Carson (Underwood) both are really talented computer technicians. They’re very intelligent people, and I think that they’ve always brought that. One thing I’ve always brought is kind of an art director’s perspective. Because there are things that I do that they can do still. And Bronson has thought of most of our logos because he’s always had a great ability to take a whole bunch of things and say, this is kind of like the one common denominator. He’s really good at thinking of that one logo idea, the one thing that looks like everything, but it’s one thing, if that makes any sense. My specialty has always kind of been making up the back story, making up the universe where everything is taking place in. So if it were Inception, I would be the Architect,” he laughs. “Let’s not get into that though.”

     Samples' goals as an artist have to do with furthering the idea of art as a science project.
     “Something that’s really been on my mind lately is how marketing is changing and people’s attention to TV is turning into attention to YouTube. And people’s attention for the news is turning into attention for YouTube. We’re living in an exciting time for arts and for media. I want to experiment more with viral marketing and stupid videos and the effect that has on people and why that works on people’s brains. Why does it work on my brain? Why will I sit there on YouTube and watch the same video over and over again? I’m probably the guy that gave “Climbing in your Windows” 11 million views. Why? To me Assembly Line Gods is another means to understand that. I think that if you can understand that sort of stuff, that to me is like the holy grail of being an artist, like understanding what really makes people tick.

    “That’s another reason why it’s so fun to try and entertain people with art, because you can’t possibly ever know their experience of it, and the way that they hear your song will always be completely different from the way you wrote it. It might be really close, but it’s always going to be just one off. I think that in itself is a reward. Just the fact that you’re never going to know what your work is going to mean to somebody else until they say, ‘Does it mean this?’ And it’s like, ‘No, but that’s a lot cooler that what I thought of.’ 
     "Some people think that art is here to convey a message and I think that it is, but when you think that you’re here to convey your message, then you have to be careful and ask yourself how worthy is your message really. You’re one out of one hundred billion humans that have occurred so far. So I think that you’ve got to just focus on your work and creating work and being better at creating, and then if it means something to someone else… The idea that I created this just for me and it’s about my idea and it’s only just for me and screw everybody else, that sort of thinking has it’s place, but at the same time, that obviously means that you have a problem. There’s some sort of weakness going on if you have to be using that many negatively charged particles in what you’re saying. If someone else comes up and says it means something to them, and it’s completely different from what I thought, then mission accomplished. It makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger.

     “I feel successful in that we’re doing our thing. We’re doing what we love and then there are other people like you, you’re doing what you love, and you come and you write about us. We do shows, it helps you, it helps us. That to me is success is when there’s a community of artists starting to all light up and do stuff. That’s a form of success. I think another form of success is when someone comes up to you and you can tell that they thoroughly enjoyed what you gave them. When that happens and it gives you that feeling like you’re a part of something a lot bigger, you’re a part of the machine that night, the good machine, the entertainment machine, the human machine… That’s success.
     “We can be born with a love for something. I think I was born with a love for art and that’s why I spent so much time trying to make myself better. The people who are exceptionally talented are the people who just love it so much that they spent so much time on it. I think talent and love are the same thing in a way. Talent is just a form of love. Talent is mutation of love.
     “I think you’re better off focusing on what you love and not focusing on what you hate. Even in those times when it seems like it’s completely worthless and it’s not very inspiring and it doesn’t really seem like it’s good for anything, you’re going to do it impulsively later on. You can’t escape it.”

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Reproduction prohibited, permission only
Copyright 2011, all rights reserved
Photography by Tyler Hutcherson
Copyright 2011, all rights reserved


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