Roanoke, Virginia’s The Young Sinclairs first appeared in the pages of PARASITES & SYCOPHANTS over three years ago. The band is back and set to release their new odds and ends digital LP “Don’t Believe In Demos Vol. 1” (Planting Seeds Records). Sinclairs vocalist/guitarist/primary songwriter Samuel Lunsford sat down with P&S for a detailed look at his musical beginnings: the formation of his 60’s psych/indie band & Virginia based collective – the Magic Twig Community –to highly successful tours with The Brian Jonestown Massacre & The Lovetones – to last summer’s sudden mental breakdown.
As an introduction, tell us where your interest in music began. Did you grow up in a musical family?
I grew up in a VERY musical household, with the biggest of these family influences being my older brother, Joseph: my parents bought him a drum-set when he was 6 or 7, and he kept it in his room and would bang on it all the time – the folks were kind enough to let him play those drums pretty much whenever he wanted, within reason. He was amazing even back then, and he still is. He is also a brilliant guitarist and a badass rock & roll vocalist – excellent songwriter and arranger, too. My mother, Carol, plays the piano (among other things) really well and can sing like a bird – mostly classical and gospel and a little folk music – she is classically trained, can sight-read sheet music, and has perfect pitch. Her mother was a Baptist minister and brought her up singing in the choir and even tried to push her to eventually be the musical director of the church, which she never did. Also, both of my mom’s brothers, Michael and Terry, are great drummers. She even had an uncle named Reed who was a somewhat legendary big-band jazz drummer locally. My father, John, played clarinet in school – later switched to sax – he also plays a little guitar and can hold down a beat on the drums pretty well. He is self-taught and therefore kind of shy and self-effacing about his abilities, but he is a very creative thinker and has a deep love and appreciation of music. He always had a huge and very diverse collection of albums and CD’s – I can remember being a very, very little boy and flipping through his vinyl and kind of being mystified by it all. So there was music around me everywhere from the beginning – being played, being sung, or being listened to on the stereo – it has just always been there.