Sam Tinnesz posing
Photo Credit: The Dwyers

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Tinnesz Chats About ‘There Goes The Neighborhood’

Sam Tinnesz first took the music industry by storm in 2015 when he released his debut single, “When the Truth Hunts You Down.” Over the past several years, his work has garnered support from millions of listeners from all over the world. Most recently, Tinnesz released his sophomore album, There Goes The Neighborhood, which follows the release of his popular single, “Spaced Out,” in collaboration with Nick Wheeler. Between his songs’ addictive beats and punk-driven vocals, the “Play with Fire” artist has undoubtably been making his mark on the music industry for quite some time now. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, Sam Tinnesz opens up about his latest album, collaboration process, and more.

You recently released a brand new album, ‘There Goes The Neighborhood.’ How long was that project in the works and are you happy with the reaction it’s received from listeners thus far?

I started writing these songs during the heat of 2020. I couldn’t write my typical empowering vibe songs and the world was too dark to write my dark cinematic type stuff. There was a switch in me that flipped and I knew the only way forward was a totally new direction. I spent about three years writing the songs that would eventually make the record and about four years total recording them. It was a dream process because for most of it, the world was shut down and I could fully focus on the art. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how the reaction was going to be taking such a sharp left turn but, to my surprise, everybody took the ride with me! I was really stoked that by the time I put the record out, the whole music scene had shifted to really loving rock music in general. It felt like it all was meant to be.

There are a few collaborations featured on the album! What was it like to work with Bryce Fox, Nick Wheeler, and Dashboard Confessional? How did this album’s collaboration process differ from when you’ve worked with other artists in the past?

My favorite thing about making music is collaborations. I love how when we mix our personalities and our musical perspectives we always get something that we wouldn’t have gotten alone. Each of these collaborations happened in different ways. With Bryce, I had an A&R from Atlantic in Nashville connect us. He told me he thought we would really get along cause our music had some similarities. I knew I recognized his name but forgot that he has been in my “related artists” section on Spotify for a long time! We met up and had a meal and showed each other what we were each working on. I knew in that moment that we would probably be in the studio soon after because we totally clicked and became good friends quickly. The song we wrote and recorded together, “Loser,” was one of the very first in the vein of There Goes the Neighborhood and was a real lightbulb moment for me that this sharp left turn and new sound was 100% what I needed to chase.

The collaboration with Nick was totally different. I have been a huge fan of All American Rejects since I was in high school, so getting to have him as part of my new record was surreal. I wrote a song called “Spaced Out” with a few friends and in the chorus I mention the Rejects. I jokingly was like “Wouldn’t it be sick to get someone from the band on this song?!” Little did I know, Nick Bailey, who was one of the writers on the song and has written for everyone from MGK to Demi Lovato, knew Nick from AAR! He sent a text and all of a sudden that ridiculous idea became reality. Nick recorded additional guitar parts on the song and when we got the parts, we were all blown away! He has been everything I hoped he would be; super kind, extremely talented and hilarious.

The song with Dashboard Confessional is a bit of a longer story. Basically, we were on the same management company for a hot second while I was in the band Wave & Rome. Our management connected us and we really hit it off. He was showing me his then latest record and I was showing him the finished EP that the band had. After that initial hang, it would be years and years later where I would bump into him at a skate park while filming for some video content for There Goes the Neighborhood. He asked me what I had been up to and I filled him in on my solo career. I sent him what I had so far for TGTN and he was like “Dude! This is so good and totally in my wheelhouse! Let me write for it!” I was not about to say no to Chris from Dashboard, especially since he is one of my favorite writers in the rock/emo scene. We got together with a producer named Seth Mosley and wrote “Bittersweet” in just a few hours. As we were recording it, I leaned over to Chris and said “You know what would make this song even better?! If you sang and played a bit on it!” Surprisingly, he was down after riding the high of the moment of writing this really rad song and the rest is history. I will forever be grateful for his kindness and over the top willingness to be a part of the music video and the song in general. He is a good friend and I can see us making music for many years to come.

Most of my collaborations in the past were with peers or people I have known for a long time. This was the first time meeting heroes and strangers and creating music for my album. It was an amazing experience and I plan on repeating it for the next album.

Going off of that question, are there any artists or bands that you would love to work with in the future?

I’d love to do something with Weezer or Eve 6!

What track on ‘There Goes The Neighborhood’ was the most difficult to master and complete?

“Spaced Out” gave me a run for my money. It took adding Nick Wheeler from All American Rejects to really make the recording feel finished. I had been mixing and remixing it over and over and I think driving my producer and mix engineer insane. It just never really felt like it was done and had everything it needed! When we got Nick’s guitar parts it was like it unlocked something for the song and I could finally let go and let it be done. Some songs are like that for me and I have to follow my gut. In this case, my obsessive personality paid off because having Nick on the song would have never happened without me stalling so much.

Are there any songs in the vault that did not make this album – but might be on a future project or released as a single?

Yes. I’m glad you asked! I have one that I wrote with Nick Bailey and the legendary Sam Hollander. Sam has written songs like Fitz and the Tantrums “Hand Clap,” Metro Station “Shake It,” and so many others. The song is called “Good Feeling” and it’s a fun tongue in cheek tune about finding your self confidence and refusing to change your mind about yourself. We are gonna release that song and some acoustic versions and remixes for a deluxe album at some point.

Do you plan on going on tour or performing anywhere soon?

Yeah! Got a few US dates coming together along with UK/European run. I have lots of artist friends asking me to come out, so I’m hoping some of those work out as well!

What else can fans look forward to in the near or distant future?

A few mind blowing collaborations are coming – I can’t wait to share them! Over 2023 and beginning of 2024 I am most likely going to be releasing at least one or two a month. It’s going to be wild. I also have a new side project called Villain Society that I am really stoked on. There will be a whole new EP of songs for that project as well.


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Written by Alessandra

Alessandra is a music journalist from New York who loves to speak and write about music of all different genres. She has interviewed artists such as Alesso, Surf Mesa, and Neon Trees.