Local artist profile: Sam Edmonds (Earth Cadet)

October 22, 2023 BY

Subtle Seattle sound: Hard guitars, angsty mal-adjusted lyricism and a laid-back slacker aesthetic? Sam reckons he shares a lot of influences with a period of music we used to call grunge! Photo: SUPPLIED.

THIS week we chat with Sam Edmonds – singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, label owner, and the founder of Bendigo Vinyl in Hargreaves Street, who’ll be performing as Earth Cadet at Handle Bar tomorrow night supporting Nat Vazer.


What initially motivated you to become a musician?

An identity thing I think. I wasn’t great at sports at high school but got around some chords on my dad’s old guitar really quickly. It seemed to impress other kids my age more than my terrible drop punt or shaky jump shot. It was something I could do alone in my room, and imagine playing with others in front of huge crowds and being adored. You know, standard teenage yearnings of the budding ego. I’d say my motivations are a lot different now!


How would you describe your style?

It’s a little bit 90’s rock. Accessible grunge? A little more Foo Fighters than Nirvana if that makes sense? That time was such a melting pot of hard guitars, angsty mal-adjusted lyricism and a laid-back slacker aesthetic, but it disguised real skills in songwriting. I think I share a lot of influences with that time and it spits you out somewhere musically similar. I love the major key melodies of Paul McCartney and adore a guitar solo, but also love the storytelling in modern folk singers like Phoebe Bridgers and Andy Shauf.


Which other bands or musicians inspire you?

So many! I run the record store Bendigo Vinyl here in town so I’m always hearing something that grabs my attention and spins me around. The Beatles are a constant touchstone. There’s two Jeffs for me as well I think about constantly. Jeff Buckley is one, for his amazing voice and intricate approach to guitar. Jeff Tweedy from Wilco is the other. I get a lot of stick for this, but I think Fountains of Wayne might be one of the best post Beatles pop bands ever. I get inspired a lot by newer artists as well.


What are some highlights you have from your career?

It’s been interesting, I’ve been playing in bands for my whole life and I have plenty of highlights from those days – playing the Corner Hotel in Richmond and Northcote Social Club were really cool moments. Those venues are hallowed ground. You feel the weight of the artists that stepped on those stages before you.


How can people check out your music online?

Search Earth Cadet on Spotify or Apple Music. I’ve got a single up there called Ubiquity that came out last year which is a shoe-gazey style rock anthem. I played and recorded everything except drums on that one and mixed it myself, which was a real test and highlight for me. Check it out! Of course… there’s a lot more on the way… keep your eyes open.


What would you say to young regional aspiring musicians who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

It would be to work hard in every area, not just your songs. Promote yourself and your music, spend some time planning out how you do what you do. I’m just starting out but have big plans, and most of them aren’t about how to write or record the music. If you want to cut through, you have to be able to put the time into playing the game a little. Networking, social media, building relationships. Come talk to us at Bendigo Vinyl if you want to know where to start or need any help along the way.