SAM GJOKAJ


1.0 How long have you been ON-WE? Officially its been almost 3 years.  We just passed our 3-year anniversary as a band.  I remember the date because our first show was 07-07-07….oh yeah, jackpot!
2.0  How did it start? How did it become a band? I had been in and out of bands/projects since the late 90’s for a while and I met Bridget back in 2003 at an open mic while in BBMT. After listening to a self-produced demo she had done, I thought “I have to be involved in a band with her.” She was quite unique, had an amazing voice/sound and had recorded everything on her own.  We wrote and jammed from our first days together but never had organized the music enough to create a band around it because we were seriously involved in other bands at the time.  I went to an O’Callaghan Christmas party with Bridget and met her brother, Brian O’Callaghan, in 2006.  He played bass and I thought this was a great opportunity to start “the band.”  We played several shows before we had a drummer or a complete line up.  Once we had enough material, we recruited the rest the band and, in a matter of months, began playing out.  Sometimes you just have to go for it instead of waiting for the right line up or moment.
3.0 How has the Chicago scene changed since your days in BBMT? The scene hasn’t changed much but my fans have; they’ve grown up.  There is this new demographic that we are trying to capture while enticing the old at the same time.  Chicago has always been a great launching ground for local music if you have the right material, vibe and look.4.0 Why do you do this? I do it because I am addicted to making music – it is an instinctive part of me.
5.0  What are ON-WE’s immediate plans? We are working on incorporating more of an electro vibe with a rock & roll edge because I write on the guitar and so hear guitar in our compositions. I like pretty melodies and ambient sounds but like a bit of grit too.  Its a signature dynamic that I like and strive for no matter what I’m involved in. I like walking that tight-rope of tension in my arrangements; it mimics life which has no constants and can change on a dime.6.0  Are you guys planning on releasing a proper ON-WE record?  We are and will soon. I think our aim is to release something we have no regrets about.
7.0  Does a band need a shared philosophy beyond the music to stay together? I’m not sure that the a shared philosphy keeps a band together.  I know that you have to keep things fun, creative and be mindful and respectful of others involved. That will give a band the staying power they need to persevere.
8.0  Why do you always wear black, Sam? I am a big fan of Johnny Cash and of the path not taken, could be part of black allure.
9.0  When you think about artistic purity, is there any room for pop music? Not unless you are creating the music that becomes popular.
10.0  Will robots ever conquer rock music? They just may if they can tap into what makes us human.  Humans can be as predictable as they are unpredictable. The path we choose is decided by what some call ” the human factor.” Maybe there will be a mathematical preset in the future for this but I doubt it will make great music ~
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