Sam Fender on his worst touring habits and new album progress

Before he took to the stage at the BRITs 2022, Fender and his mates told us how they've "come a long way from egging the Co-Op"

Before he took to the stage at the BRIT Awards 2022, Sam Fender caught up with NME to tell us all about his habits on the tour bus, and how his new material could be inspired by Tom Petty. Watch our full video interview with Fender and bandmate Dean Thompson above.

Off the back of his successful year following the release of acclaimed second album ‘Seventeen Going Under’, Fender was at the London ceremony where he was nominated for Album Of The Year, Artist Of The Year, and Best Rock/Alternative Act.

“I feel quite restricted,” he said of his suit and smart attire. “There will be no kung-fu tonight. Definitely no dance moves. We only came here for the meat raffle. I’ve said that line four times now, I need to stop and pack it in.”


Attending the red carpet with his guitarist and childhood friend Dean Thompson, Fender told NME: “It’s such a special experience this time around because I’ve got the band with us. I wasn’t allowed the band last time, which was annoying. Now I just put my foot down. It’s my name on the tin, but we are a band you know? Me and Dean have been best mates since we were 12, so it’s a special night for the two of us.”

Sam Fender (C) and his band attend The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images)
Sam Fender (C) and his band attend The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images)

While we had an audience with him, we had to ask Dean what Sam’s worst habit was on the tour bus.

“I’m having to choose my words carefully or we’ll be getting a new guitarist tomorrow!” he replied. “Dirty socks, or Snus – he leaves them everywhere. I can follow a trail to where you are.”

Fender then replied: “Aye, there’s a trail of nicotine that you can just follow wherever that trail leads. [Dean is] the most perfect human being on earth. He can’t let anything lie for two minutes without cleaning it.”

Last time we spoke to Sam, when ‘Seventeen Going Under’ was named as NME’s Album Of The Year for 2021, he revealed how he planned to spend his Christmas in his studio in North Shields working on new material. Did that go according to plan?


“Christmas was absolutely mental – it nearly killed me off!” he replied. “It was cracking, I lost two weeks. We’re not rockstars. It’s just our pals.”

Beyond beyond partying and “doing the Louge”, he has been spending a lot of time listening to Tom Petty – which may yet rub off on his upcoming third album, expected in 2023.

“We don’t really have chats about [writing new song],” Fender added. “We just do it and let it happen naturally. Whatever I’m listening to at that time tends to bleed into it. I’ve been listening to a bit of Tom Petty, so it might sound like Tom Petty. Who knows? It’s a while away so we’ll see.”

Watch our full interview above, where Fender also discusses hanging out with Fontaines D.C. and Lewis Capaldi, and his plans tonight for “a horrendous blow-out”.

Check back at NME soon for more interviews and more the BRIT Awards 2022.

Fender will be performing at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Tuesday March 2, alongside Griff, Rina Sawayama, BERWYN and Chvrches featuring special guest The Cure‘s Robert Smith – with more to be announced. Tickets are on sale now and available here.