Without a shadow of a doubt, Sam Clark must be one of the hardest working men in the business. Not only does he have all the endless line learning for his character Ringo in Channel 10’s ‘Neighbours’, but he’s acting, rehearsing, gigging and in the middle of it all must find time to promote his music releases and have a personal life. Thankfully Ringo is shouldering some of the load, even taking to premiering Sam’s music on ‘Neighbours’ on the singer’s behalf.
We caught up with Sam recently and found that he doesn’t mind one little bit.
“Ringo’s stealing all my thunder, stealing all my time, yeah. He makes it quite hard for me at the moment, but at the same time he’s spreading my music out to a whole bunch of people too, so there’s pros and cons with it all. I always said I was tentative of mixing the two together because they are very independent of each other in my life. So I always wanted to release the music independently of the show and I did that with ‘Broken’. I’ve been lucky enough that ‘Neighbours’ is still interested in having me play, so I’ve played a couple of tracks already this year and there’s a few more coming as well.”
We joke that perhaps over time Ringo could premiere Sam’s entire album to the Neighbours’ viewing audience. He laughs.
“Well I’ve been lucky enough to have two tracks of mine played on the show, ‘Send Me A Sign’ being the first and one that’s called ‘Devastated’ that will be coming up in a couple of weeks. But the rest of the songs will just be covers or a few muck around bits and pieces,” he says.
And with Neighbours still getting sold to countless overseas markets including the UK, it gives Sam a ready made audience for when he decides to release abroad.
“I’m actually looking at taking some time off from the show again at the end of July and hopefully taking a little bit of a trip over to the UK for a number of months if possible. I’m looking forward to playing as much as I can and getting out to as many venues as I can, whether that be schools or pubs or whatever. I’ve still got to work out the finer details of it, but yes, looking to head over there in August, which should be good.”
Sam’s role in Neighbours recently presented him with a unique challenge – to write a song that encapsulated the feelings and emotions of someone else entirely – his character Ringo. That song is his latest single.
“Well ‘Send Me A Sign’ debuted via my alter ego on Neighbours. It’s a song that I had to write obviously in terms of myself, but also to fit into the show. That was an interesting experience because I’ve never really written for anyone other than myself. It was quite an interesting challenge for me to write a song with a particular person in mind and a storyline that couldn’t be controlled by me. I think I’ve done quite well in keeping true to myself, but also creating something that works for Ringo and for the show.”
Fans of the singer will be enamored with the clip to ‘Send Me A Sign’, in which we get not one Sam Clark, but two.
“Two Sam Clarks and a Ryan Moloney in there for all the Neighbours fans. My parents are also in the clip and as many family members and friends – my girlfriend, my housemates – as many people as we could get to help out. I tried to get my sister in as well. I was going to get her and her boyfriend down to play the role of the kissing couple on the bus, but she couldn’t make it down, unfortunately.”
Sam is about to release his third single ‘Devastated’ – it’s a track that also gets it’s premiere via the Network 10 soap, but it’s coming a little sooner than everyone expected.
“It was another song that they wanted to suit Neighbours and so it was the second of that songwriting challenge. Initially timeline-wise, that song was coming a month and a half later than what it actually does, so there was going to be a bigger gap between the second and third singles, but Neighbours lied to us. Bloody Ringo wrote a second song a little too quickly. ‘Devastated’ is different again from the first two singles, so I’m looking forward to having that out there.”
Sam’s new (as yet untitled) album drops presumably later in the year, but he’s wise enough not to make any promises when it comes to his music.
“I learnt from spending this short time that I’ve had working in the music industry not to say anything about dates until that date has almost come really. Because it’s just so unpredictable what’s going to happen with the timeline. I do have a timeline meeting coming up in the next couple of weeks when my management returns from L.A. and we’ll try and lock something down in terms of when the album will be out. But hopefully in the not too distant future, we will have the first album out and available to buy.”
Sam’s also been spending sporadic weekends on the Gold Coast meeting with his fans during some mini-shows at Movie World. He says it’s also a great opportunity to meet with people that might otherwise not know he is a musician as well as an actor.
“Movie World have been wonderful to us so far. They’ve been very supportive and are happy to have us play there on the main stage. So it’s just getting it out to another set of ears that haven’t heard it before. One of the main challenges is educating people to the fact that I actually play music, so they know to look out for it. So many people don’t know that I sing or play and that’s another reason why Ringo is now singing and playing as well. Movie World has helped that immensely and we’ve started to build up quite a good little Queensland fan base.”
Sadly for fans patiently awaiting gigs in other states, it’s a waiting game, with Sam confirming there are no live dates lined up for the time being.
“At the moment, there’s absolutely nothing lined up. Simply because we’ve just come off the back of ‘Broken’ and the tour we did there, then we had to shoot the video clip and record the last two singles and now we’ll probably have to put the finishing touches to the album and then be on the promo trail for that. So for the moment there aren’t actually any gigs lined up, which is kind of a pleasant break.”
And with all the line learning, rehearsing, filming, the recording, meetings, more rehearsals, press duties and the alter ego, we don’t begrudge him having some time out for one single moment.
Sam’s singles ‘Broken’ and ‘Send Me A Sign’ are available now.
His debut album is due when it’s due.
Catch Sam on ‘Neighbours’ – weeknights at 6:30 on Network 10.