Sam McCormally of Fellow Creatures on Trusting His Gut and a First Song That Has Been “Lost to History”

May 10, 2016

Tell us about your tour vehicle.

We were delighted to discover we can tour successfully in a Honda Odyssey. She’s a true workhorse, never given us any trouble, except one time, early in our relationship, we set off the alarm on a Sunday morning in Brooklyn after a show, and it went off continuously for an hour and a half while I sprinted to every nearby bodega so I could to find a replacement battery for the clicker. The neighbors were pissed.  Turns out there’s a button under the steering column.

How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?

I vascillate wildly between the following philosophies:

1) Guys, let’s go to a grocery store and get stuff for ants on a log, it’ll be cheap and delicious and healthy.


2) Oooh, a Roy Rogers! I’m gonna get extra pickles!

I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve said both of these things on the same day. So, in other words: touring can be really tiring, and eating a delicious meal can be really comforting. So basically, I have no good advice on this topic. I have from time to time tried to go for a run every day on a tour between getting into town and load in, and that is wonderful when I can pull it off.

What are some of your big gear costs?

I’d say my biggest gear costs are keyboard stands. I suck at putting them in the van. I probably lose one a year. They’re like $50.

Where do you rehearse?

We practice in David’s house. (Drummers have it so easy). And he lives with an Irish band, who have occasionally had rehearsal at the same time we do.

What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?

When I was 12 I wrote a song called “Jack and Jill.” It was a song about…I think how I was confused about liking girls? Something like that. Fortunately, only the title remains; the words are lost to history.

Describe your first gig.

Are you trying to embarrass me? Fortunately, I’m unembarassable. My first band, Three Times Nicely, played a battle of the bands. We placed 4th of 4. One judge did not even write any comments; he just drew a diagram of how you thread your guitar cable through your guitar strap so you don’t unplug your guitar accidentally.

What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?

Current day job: I teach music at the Siena School, a school for bright kids with language based learning differences. The kids are awesome, although I did get into an argument with one of them as to whether Prince or Bruno Mars was cooler.

How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?

Past 5 to 10 years: It’s…more? As for the next 5-10 years: well, I’ve got a reverse mortgage on my mansion, so fingers crossed!

What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?

I wish I’d trusted my gut more often. There have been times where I felt like I should make one decision but other people have said, “no, it’s fine the way things are, don’t change anything.” And mostly, I look back and think, “I wish I’d done what I wanted.”

That said, I’ve also sometimes worked with people who demand to do things their way but have no idea what they’re talking about, and those people suck.

Fellow Creatures is a swampy indie rock band from swampy Washington, DC. They like guitar synths, vocal harmonies, and putting pickups on toy pianos. They emerged from the composted remains of Ugly Purple Sweater in September 2014.

Their debut album, the self-titled Fellow Creatures, was released on April 6th.  Connect with the band online and on the road.