A chat with guitarist, Sam Williams

Bruce Blowers – BB
Sam Williams – SW

BB – How long have you been a part of the worship ministry here at New Walk?

SW – Since before the first service. I started out as the sound man. And then I was moved on stage as lead guitarist. It’s really amazing to see how far it’s come. I remember my first meeting with Gary and Jacob. They made quite an impression on me, and I knew that they were going to do something great. Or rather, God was going to do something great with them.

BB – We’ve noticed that you seem to have a different guitar every couple weeks. How many guitars do you own? How do you have so many?

SW – At the moment I have six, which is less than people probably think. It’s a bit of an optical illusion as I typically just trade out different ones from my line up. And I go through phases where I’ll get rid of several and then get several more in a very short period of time. I would probably have a house full of guitars if I were rich. But actually, if I have more than six, I find some end up sitting and not getting used. And I think if a guitar is owned, it should be played. So I think six is the magic number for me. Unless I win the lottery.

I always have my eyes out for deals. But many of the guitars I have are through endorsements that I have from certain guitar companies that either give me free ones (once in awhile) or sell them to me at dealer cost. At the moment, I’m endorsed by Reverend guitars, and I really love them for a lot of reasons. I have a blue, sparkly one that I always get comments on that may be my favorite one to use at New Walk. In fact, New Walk was the first thing I thought of when I saw it’s brilliant paint job.


BB – Tell us about your family.


SW – I have been married for 13 years to my [almost] high school sweetheart. I say almost because we had a class together. But I was a grade below her, so she didn’t talk to me. Although she keeps telling me she tried to say ‘hello’ once in art class and I ignored her. I totally don’t believe her, though. Anyway, we sort of re-met after we both graduated.


We have fraternal 6 year old twin girls that couldn’t be more different. One is little and the other is very tall. One has curly, light hair… the other has straight, dark hair… etc. They are named Miley and Samantha. Samantha is sort of named after me. And when they were first born, my wife wanted to switch the names because the one named Miley was bigger… hence, more like me. However, it didn’t take long for it to fix itself, as Samantha grew to take after me.


In any case, I wanted a little girl. So when I was told we were having twins, it was nice to hear that they were both going to be girls after I was revived with smelling salts. [Laughing]


BB – What are your hobbies?


SW – I am pretty much the hobby king. At least, I used to be. I used to be heavily into video games. I have also always been a collector of various things. I used to really be into Japanese animation when I was younger. I collected Japanese toys. At one point I collected vinyl records. But at some point I [and my poor, defenseless wallet] made a conscious decision to focus whatever buying power, spare time and energy I have into music. Particularly guitar and guitar related stuff, which I can never get enough of. The way some people are into sports or cars, I am sort of obsessed with amplifiers and guitars. So that has become both my hobby and my work.
That being said, the hobby that took precedence over all of my others and still holds a special place in my heart is collecting comic books. I still have a tremendous collection of around 2,000. I haven’t bought one in quite a awhile. But I still have a couple of boxes that I have yet to sit down and read. I still attend comic conventions once in awhile. I still love the imagery of superheroes and could spend hours in a comic shop. I think it’s a uniquely American art form. To me, it’s like the visual art equivalent of rock music. Simple, energetic, and even profound, at times.


BB – Lastly, What songs best describe your work ethic?


SW – Wow, cool question. I’d have to say “Takin’ Care Of Business” by B.T.O., based on the title alone. I’d apply that to my work ethic as a husband, father, and musician as those areas in my life are where my work ethic is at it’s best.
Or maybe the song “Reaching For You” by Lincoln Brewster. Again, not so much lyrically. But I have obsessed over the solo section of that song for several hours because I think it’s so great. At one point I had learned it note for note, which took a very long time. Which, in a round about way, illustrates my work ethic as a guitarist as practicing a lot… which includes the somewhat tedious task of dissecting sections of songs, sometimes… ┬áis something I typically try to do. Even when I don’t feel like it.

Otherwise it would probably be “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles. Just kidding! [Laughing] Great song, though.