Samantha Stollenwerck: An Interview

May 02. 2005 | By Jason Jurgens

“I write pop songs but there’s this element of letting go,” says Samantha Stollenwerck, as she zips out the window and races towards a lurking meter maid. I immediately make two observations: 1. She didn’t use the door and 2. She doesn’t look both ways when she crosses the street? “That was close,” she sighs and hops back in through the window. I’m pretty sure she could have talked her way out of the ticket. To pimp a line from Jerry Maguire, Samantha had me at, “Are you Jason?”

Without knowing it the singer/songwriter with a Joplin-esque tongue exudes an enviable coolness caught somewhere between devilish spontaneity and Aphrodite charm. One thing is for certain: if she can’t break in through the front door, she’ll hop in through the window.

Owl: Where does the name Stollenwerck come from?

Samantha: It’s German. I think it means mine-shaft worker or bread maker.

You describe your music as “Cali Soul,” what does that mean?

Refreshing pop rock, with an element of soul. As Ali G says, “Kinda dark, kinda light.” There’s a jovial quality to my music. I want to make people feel good.

Who would you love to share the stage with dead or alive?

Paul Simon. He is so ethno-musically expansive. He draws from so many different cultures. He’s larger than the American landscape.

What is most played in your Ipod?

Kings of Leon
Beck
Ray LaMontagne
The Black Keys
Keane

You recently played SXSW, what do you think of Austin, TX?

Austin is a Quentin Tarantino movie…everyone is a liberal stoner cowboy. It’s such a cool city, with an artistic mindset. People there treat musicians with respect.

That said, how do you feel about the SF music scene?

The SF music scene is great. The mindset of people here keeps me inspired. I am more of an organic player and people allow me to be who I am! The venues here are phenomenal. You really get this counter-culture, anti-corp. vibe.

What does the future hold?

Hopefully many albums, many songs, lots of collaborations with different musicians and work for some non-profits.

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