Recently I caught up again with Bee Gee offspring Samantha Gibb, the daughter of the late Maurice Gibb, for an extended interview. Our second full interview following on from our conversation in 2017 (that interview – which you can link to here – became the most read post on Roxborogh Report for 2017 and one of the five most-read articles I’ve ever done) just goes to show there’s still a huge amount of interest in what the children of the brothers Gibb are up to.
If you haven’t read much about Samantha before, she’s a musician in her own right and is also producing other artists now too, including a Miami band of brothers (sound familiar?) called Chase The Jaguar.
In this latest interview we talked everything from just why she believes so much in Chase The Jaguar, whether there’ll be another Gibb Collective album, what life in Ohio is like having moved from Miami, what Bee Gees songs she’d most like to cover and her thoughts on the Bee Gees’ blockbuster album, Spirits Having Flown, 40 years since it topped international charts in 1979. Samantha also reminisces about her experiences traveling with her dad and uncles on the Bee Gees record breaking One Night Only tour of the late 90s, plus her memories of taking to the stage with her uncle Barry for his Mythology tour a few years ago.
The interview took place over email and has had small edits for grammar and flow. Several song clips are included.
Many thanks to Samantha and please visit chasethejaguar.com and facebook.com/chasethejaguarmusic for more. Enjoy the interview! And read to the end to hear a beautiful, extremely rare song from Samantha’s dad that she too has only recently just discovered.
Update On Life In Ohio:
TR: How have you been surviving the crazy cold winter? What’s it been like in Ohio? Missing Miami!?
SG: It has been pretty cold this winter but we are hanging in there! We are still very happy in Ohio. Our son is loving his new school and we always make time to go down to work and visit Florida so it works out well for us. Miami is a wonderful place but just not where we would want to live right now. Columbus really works for us and it’s been so good for me and my family the past four years that we have lived here.
TR: Last time we spoke you mentioned a desire to have some land and own some animals – why was that important for you? How is the little farm coming along?
SG: We actually moved recently closer to town and our son’s school. We loved our land but it was very far out and made school and play-dates hard to work around. We still have some land and definitely plan on more animals in the future.
TR: What do you love most about parenthood?
SG: The stages are awesome! Watching him growing and changing and becoming his own person literally month to month. It’s truly incredible. Oh! And of course, the cuddles!
TR: Your dad was a champion paintballer; outside of music and motherhood, what other passions and hobbies do you have?
SG: I really love the outdoors and being on the water. We do a lot of biking and kayaking, well, when the weather permits (lol). We have an indoor bike that works out well through the cold seasons. We also invested in a swim spa last year which has been amazing and allows me to swim year round.
TR: You and your cousin Peta have become much closer in recent years – how much do you feel you can relate to each other given the nature of being from a famous family but also having to deal with loss and the double-edged sword of fame?
SG: We definitely relate on some things but, I think we have found that we still had very different backgrounds growing up. It’s been really interesting learning about each other and our experiences.
TR: Having grown up in a famous family, how have you feelings about fame changed over the years?
SG: I believe fame can change people. It’s a beautiful thing to find success with music and tour the world. You just have to find the balance and stay grounded. My dad was really good at that balance, especially in the later years. He understood what was important and taught me the same.
TR: What was the best part about being a child of the Bee Gees?
SG: Being able to travel and explore the world with my family. Watching my father work in the studio and perform on stage. Doing what he loved. There were some amazing and unforgettable times I am extremely grateful for.
Chase The Jaguar:
TR: What does the rest 2019 have in store for you?
SG: I am really excited about 2019! In 2018 my partner Lazaro Rodriguez and I started working with indie rock duo Chase The Jaguar consisting of David and Sebastian Fox – two brothers with incredible talent and sound. At the beginning of this year we also signed them to our record label, M.E.G. Records. I feel 2019 will bring great success with these guys and I’m so excited to be going on this journey with them.
TR: With Chase The Jaguar a band of brothers, was that something that appealed to you given your dad and uncles?
SG: It definitely appealed to us. What I love about the boys is that there is this natural connection and banter between them. Even when they play. They are so in sync with each other. I do think being brothers helps with all that.
TR: Tell us a bit more about your connection with Chase The Jaguar and how it all began.
SG: We started working with the boys last year. Laz produced their EP and really helped them hone their sound. We have all known each other since we were kids and have played and sung together before so it seemed natural to add some background vocals to some of the tracks when the boys asked. We are working with all aspects to help them and their music get out there and heard.
TR: Chase The Jaguar are described as an indie rock band, but it sounds like they’re capable of some songs of real ethereal beauty too. Why do you think they’re an act more people should know about?
SG: David is a very humble and honest songwriter open to other writers and ideas. He’s not afraid to try new things. Both David and Sebastian outside of Chase The Jaguar are incredible classical guitarists and performers which when blended into indie rock creates a very unique sound.
They’ve just released their first single and video Never Let You Down and will be releasing more songs and videos all the way up to their official EP release early this Summer. They have a show in Dusseldorf, Germany this May and touring is in the works. Stay tuned for dates!
TR: You mentioned your creative partner Laz – in what ways do you collaborate? As songwriters? Producers?
SG: Laz and I run and own M.E.G. Productions which umbrellas over M.E.G. Media and M.E.G. Records. We started the company back in 2004 and have worked together as songwriters, performers, and producers for over 20 years.
TR: How much of a following are Chase The Jaguar getting?
SG: The numbers are growing! They love connecting to their fans and performing so they enjoy doing videos and putting themselves and their music out there
TR: Back to Miami, what’s the music scene like there now?
SG: DJ’s rule the town. I think hip hop is definitely dominating right now which is also why it has become a home for a lot of rap stars. I think indie synth is on the rise too. Not a lot of rock down there.
Other Future Music Projects:
TR: Will there be another Gibb Collective album?
SG: Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be another Gibb Collective album. It was a really beautiful thing that thankfully came together but to do it all again would take a lot. It took Laz and I over 2 years to complete which also took us away from other commitments in our business and life. Right now we are focusing on working with Chase The Jaguar and then with other artists as well as our own music in the future. Now, if someone came a long and said they would take on all the management an such for another album, well then, I would definitely be on board: )
TR: There are so many more Gibb songs you could cover if you did a sequel! I’d love to hear you do acoustic-based remakes featuring harmonies from other Gibbs of songs like South Dakota Morning, Railroad, Blue Island, Ordinary Lives, Then You Left Me etc. What are some Bee Gees songs you’d potentially like to cover if there ever was a sequel?
SG: There are so many! Where to start. I always did love Blue Island. Heart Like Mine was a favourite of mine too. Lay It On Me, Nights On Broadway and World; Wildflower, which we actually did a cover of and may release as a single in the future; Don’t Forget To Remember, Trafalgar, How To Fall In Love Part 1, Islands In The Stream, Lonely Days, The Only Love, (Our Love) Don’t Through It All Away, which was obviously sung by my Uncle Andy. Then there’s And Sun Will Shine, Wish You Were Here, Holiday, and of course, Spirits (Having Flown) just to name a few (lol).
TR: I understand you and your cousin Spencer are potentially collaborating on a project? That sounds like a great idea! What can we expect?
SG: Yes! We are going to be working together. We already started writing together and it just flowed so naturally so we knew once we started that we needed to do more. Both our schedules are pretty hectic but we are hoping to put something together by Christmas time.
Spirits Having Flown’s 40th Anniversary:
TR: The Bee Gees blockbuster LP Spirits Having Flown is 40 this year and it’s an album widely hailed as the one of the best the brothers ever released. Would you rate it as their greatest ever studio album?
SG: I think it is definitely one of the greatest! That album and Bee Gees 1st are two of my top favorites.
TR: In a sentence or two for each, give us your thoughts – what you like or love or admire or what strikes you as being especially unique or clever or meaningful – about the three different number one hits from Spirits: Tragedy, Too Much Heaven and Love You Inside Out.
SG: Tragedy is such a strong a powerful song with synths that drive you through. Too Much Heaven is angelic. The harmonies are so beautiful and the lyrics make me feel a connection with the world. Love You Inside And Out has that cool funk style. Love how the chorus comes in.
TR: The title track on Spirits is an extraordinary song and that 90-second instrumental fadeout is so stunning and – appropriately so – quite spiritual in its beauty. As far as the production on a Bee Gees song, that may be as good as it gets for me, even down to that badass little drum roll on the intro and the “Oh yeah! 1, 2, 3, 4…”. What does that song mean to you?
SG: Spirits has always been my go to song when I go out for a run and just want to appreciate the world around me. I agree with you on the production. Just an incredible song and perfectly executed.
TR: Living Together is one of the funkiest Bee Gees songs – are you drawn more to the uptempo Bee Gees songs or the ballads?
SG: I am really drawn to both. I truly don’t have a specific preference.
A Rare Maurice Gibb Solo Song:
TR: I recently discovered your dad’s song I’ve Come Back which was the flip-side of Railroad back in 1970. I’ve always loved Railroad, but somehow missed I’ve Come Back. What a song! It’s really a cinematic, minor epic and I wish the brothers had re-recorded that when they reunited in 1970. Is it that a song that’s ever resonated for you?
SG: It’s pretty new to me as well! Came across it not too long ago and just loved it. Maybe that could be another cover I can do in the future.
Touring With The Bee Gees And On Barry’s Solo Tour
TR: It’s 20 years next month since the One Night Only tour wrapped up in New Zealand and Australia. You travelled with your dad and uncles on that tour – what are some of your memories of it?
SG: That was the first time I had ever been over that way so it was a really amazing experience for me. The shows were incredible too and the crowds were so full of energy. All around it was an unforgettable trip. I remember traveling to different islands in New Zealand and how one in particular didn’t have any poisonous or dangerous bugs or plants*. I thought that was so cool! (lol) In Australia we had a huge gathering with all our family over there and it was huge! That was a really special moment for all of us.
It was also around the time that my brother, Adam, Lazaro, and I had our band Luna Park so we got to have a photo shoot all through Sydney, on Oxford Street and Town Hall Station. That was really fun!
TR: It’s now a few years since Barry’s Mythology tour and the biggest crowds you’ve ever sung in front of – what were the nerves like singing in front of 15,000-20,000 people?
SG: That was mind blowing! I was actually surprised that my nerves weren’t all over the place. I had a very strong sense of calm. I kept thinking of my dad each time I would get on stage. Felt like that energy carried me through the performances. I felt him around me and that was calming.
TR: How did you choose the songs you sang on that tour? Did you and Barry have several that you considered that you didn’t end up performing?
SG: It started with Uncle Barry asking me to sing How Can You Mend A Broken Heart with him for a show he did in Florida before the tours started. From there we talked about trying to do some of songs that were done by female vocalists. I had already done a cover of If I Can’t Have You so that seemed like a natural choice. Then Heartbreaker which was so much fun to cover! I had an idea for a version of You Win Again and Uncle Barry really liked it and asked if I just wanted to do it. He then added it to the set for the UK and US tours.
*Both New Zealand’s North Island and South Island, as well as the country’s other smaller islands, are devoid of snakes and all the other scary creatures that Australia has!