After five failed attempts at starting a band in high school, Nathan Golomski and Andrew Vogel gave it another shot and started a ska band called Samuriot.
Golomski, senior audio production major and Vogel, senior jazz tech major, have been best friends since kindergarten and have gone to the same schools ever since. Once they came to Webster University, they felt they finally had the resources to start a band.
Mike Belaska, junior music education major, went to high school with Golomski and Vogel, who graduated a year ahead of Belaska.
Belaska, Golomski and Vogel were in a jazz band together for a year before Golomski and Vogel graduted and came to Webster. The two tried to start a band at Webster, but had trouble finding a guitarist. They called Belaska, and he agreed to join.
The name Samuriot came in early 2009. Golomski and Vogel tried to think of weird names, and the word “riot” stuck.
“One of us said, ‘Samurai Riot,’” Golomski said. “Then we both looked at each other and said in unison, ‘Samuriot.’”
Tyler Jensen, a junior music education major, was not an original member. He joined Samuriot a year and a half ago.
A friend of Jensen told him that Samuriot was losing their drummer Alex Eckhoff because he was going to school in California. That is when they began looking for a replacement.
“A friend of ours had worked with Tyler as an orientation leader and recommended we give him a call,” Golomski said. “We had Tyler audition for us. He sounded good and, frankly, we just didn’t feel like listening to any other drummers, so we told Tyler he was in.”
Pete Weigel, senior audio major, met Golomski and Vogel when they played in the Ultimate Frisbee club together. Golomski saw Weigel playing stand-up bass in jazz combos and asked him to join.
Samuriot performs ska music, which is derived from Jamaican reggae and is combined with jazz and rhythm and blues. Golomski said the easiest way to spot ska music is the upstroke guitar. He also said there are often horns in ska, but not always. He was introduced to ska in grade school when his brother played a CD by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
“As a kid playing trumpet, I thought playing ska would be the only way playing trumpet could be cool. Now I realize it just makes you a bigger loser,” Golomski said. “But ever since then, I have loved ska and Vogel has always shared that love.”
The rest of the band also shares the love of ska music.
“We play it because we enjoy it and we think other people enjoy it too,” Belaska said.
Weigel added, “The thing I really like about ska is that it just sounds very positive.”
Samuriot has dabbled in other genres of music and have played a variety of shows. Golomski said their repertoire includes classic rock, alternative, pop, funk, jazz and more.
Samuriot has completed their first music video titled “Girl With A Real Job.” Golosmki explained the meaning behind the song.
“When I was still a music major, Vogel and I would always joke how we’ll never make money as musicians, so we’re going to have to find women with real jobs to support us,” Golomski said.
Weigel talked about the concept of the video.
“We were trying to figure out how to make the video more interesting than just having us play,” Weigel said. “Nate was suggesting having band members playing in strange places. I thought it would be funny to have us popping up and ruining some guy’s dates. From there it morphed into us following him around and ruining his whole life.”
Jensen, Weigel and Golomski said that Samuriot has an album in the works.
“We have about 12 songs that are already recorded,” Weigel said. “We are currently just fighting scheduling to get it laid down.”
Q & A with Samuriot
Nathan Golomski: NG
Tyler Jensen: TJ
Pete Weigel: PW
Who are some of your musical influences, individually and as a group?
PW: As a group, most of us are big ska fans. Reel Big Fish is the obvious influence, but there are a lot of other groups we like, too. If you ever see us play one of our longer shows, we do covers by the Wallflowers, REM, Tom Petty and Cake. The nice thing about Samuriot is that we all have different musical backgrounds, but we have also all been playing music for a long time.
What gets you pumped before a show?
NG: I don’t really get pumped up or psyched up or whatever for shows. I don’t have a ritual or anything. Usually, before a show, I just try to be as relaxed as possible. I might make a sandwich, play some video games. We try to give high energy performances, so I make sure I just chill out before hand. The switch flips the moment I step on stage.
Where do you see Samuriot five years down the line?
TJ: I have no idea where Samuriot will be. Three of us are graduating in like a month. I know that we do want to keep it going. I think we want to take this past college. We want to at least get this album out. Right now I think we’re thinking more short term.