The Sam King Band, a local UNH music group, was formed last year by members Sam Johnson (vocals), Ian Sleeper (guitarist), Cory Persson (guitarist), Charlie Weinmann (drums), and Alex Philbrick (bassist). Since then the band has transitioned from a blues cover band to an indie-rock group, changed their name to Heads and Tales, and recruited freshman Tom Sattler as the new bassist.
The Sam King Band was initially formed by Johnson. After seeing Weinmann, Sleeper, and Persson perform at UNH’s The Grind, Johnson decided that he had to get together with the talented musicians.
Despite his sudden urge to play music, Johnson didn’t have any desire to form a band when he cam to UNH as a freshman.
“I had no intention of making a band,” he said. “I was originally a chorus and choir kid. I even wanted to be a doctor.”
After officially meeting up and recruiting Philbrick as their bassist, the five musicians decided on their name at the very last minute before the show. By taking Johnson’s middle name, King, The Sam King Band was born.
Weinmann, Persson, and Sleeper all started out as blues musicians. Johnson, who is an indie-rock fan, showed the other band members some of his favorite music, and they were all instantly hooked.
The Same King Band originally played outside of the popular UNH convenience store, Wild Catessan, after a performance at the UNH Prom. The members started seeing immediate popularity, and even found that they had “groupies”.
They eventually wanted to seek larger venues, and were able to perform at UNH’s Hi-fi festival and May Day parade.
The band members admitted that they were very pleased with their first year together, but they decided one night that the name Sam King Band focused too much Johnson.
“It wasn’t my intention by any means,” Johnson said. “I actually didn’t really want the name.”
While discussing the name over a campfire, they all agreed on the name and Heads and Tales, inspired from lyrics from “The Scientist,” by Coldplay (“Chasing our tails…”).
After the 2011-2012 academic year, Philbrick moved to Nashville, Tenn. and enrolled in Belmont University to study music. Sleeper decided that his friend, Sattler, would be a good fit for the band, and asked him to join.