Voodoo Queen Digital Magazines Interview with Sami Chohfi Of Blue Helix
All questions answered by Lead Vocalist/Songwriter/Guitarist Sami Chohfi
VQDM: Hey Guys! Introduce yourself and how has the tour been in Brazil?
Sami: We are a 4 piece band from Washington State. Marco Bicca on drums, Arman Birang on Guitar, Brandon "Wolf" Gebhardt on Bass and I am Sami Chohfi. I sing and also play guitar.
The Brazil tour just finished on 3/31/18 at Wild Horse Music Bar in Sao Paulo.
It was perfect in every way. We had the time of our lives and it truly was a dream come true for us to tour Brazil.
VQDM: How did Blue Helix come to be?
Sami: I started the band in 2008. I met Arman and Marco on a musician dating site called BandMix.com. LOL.
Wolf and I met when I was a waiter at a restaurant in Bonney Lake, WA.
VQDM: What made you choose the path you are all on now, and have you always had the support there?
Sami: All of us started loving music very early on. It has been a part of who we are since we were kids. Marco has always had very strong support from his family in Brazil. He is a multi-talented musician who also can play the piano. He has been playing all his life. Arman was encouraged by his uncle to pick up the guitar, and bought him his first instrument. Wolf's dad is also a musician so it runs in the family. I myself, was inspired by seeing a video on MTV from a band called Nirvana. It changed my life entirely. Music was all I had to heal me and shield me from my difficult childhood.
VQDM- How do all the unique personalities being from other countries contribute to the creative process of the music?
Sami: I don't feel it contributes to the creative process, however it does contribute to how we get along. Marco and I being Brazilian understand how to communicate and treat each other with respect and patience. Brazilians are raised to be respectful and caring to everyone. I think thats a special dynamic we have. Wolf and Arman are very easy to get along with. The band is full of great guys. I am very lucky to be able to play with my brothers. No matter where you are from we all are influenced by the same great artists. From Rock to Metal to Acoustic Rock, our connection creatively stems from our musical influences.
VQDM: Lets talk about the new song Anti-Social Butterfly. It has a strong message behind it. What inspired the song and the album?
Sami: I wanted to write a song and create a video that empowered people who have suffered or do suffer from any form of Bullying. I was bullied in school, bullied by my father and suffered a lot growing up. I felt this was an opportunity to connect with an audience that truly understood what it is like to feel powerless, or weak. Then to overcome adversity and persevere In life being the ultimate reward for your pain.
The entire album is about overcoming self-doubt , personal fears, and learning to love yourself again.
Anti-Social Butterfly is saying, "We have had enough". No more running away from life. No more doubt, no more fear.
VQDM: What would you say to any of those bullies now?
Sami: Thank you. You made me who I am today.
I feel people who bully others are suffering deeply. This is why they have to lash out on others. People who are abusive generally are abused themselves.
To feel power over someone else is a primitive way of dealing with your own short comings in life. You have to know, and believe that you don't have to take abuse. You have to stand up for yourself. Seek help from friends or loved ones to address the issue, so they can help before it leads down a road where there is no way to make a u-turn.
I had music, it is the reason I am not a serial killer ;)
VQDM: What excites you the most about being a musician?
Sami: Performing live to people who truly get what you do. The energy from the crowd, the look on there faces. The connection in there eyes.
This recent tour in Brazil made me realize even more what it means to connect with people. The power to speak through melodies, and tones transcends language barriers. Music feeds the soul. It makes your heart beat. It fills you with love and hope. Playing for people makes me feel those emotions.
VQDM: Funniest mishap you could share with us that has happened to you?
Sami: On the first show of the tour, I started a song in a completely different tuning than the rest of the band, forgetting to switch guitars before the start of "Despair". It was a train wreck, but the band pushed through, I made fun of myself to the crowd, because I was so excited about what I was saying to them about how I wrote the song, I spaced.
I made sure we restarted it and did it the right way. Since it's a short tune, I felt the crowd deserved to hear it in all its glory.
They laughed with us, and it was a great memory.
VQDM: what is the biggest change in the industry that you have noticed in the last 10 years?
Sami: Where to begin. Cars don't have CD players in them anymore because of digital downloading and streaming devices.
You tube artists can make a living playing cover tunes, or doing gag songs, or even doing tutorials on how to play songs or instruments.
Cd stores are pretty much gone, I used to love going to Sam Goody to buy cds. Now I support ma and pa shops.
There are more bands then ever and even known bands are not making a lot of money. However anyone can get there music out to the world, but the issue is there is so much free music, and low quality music out there, that not a lot of people will never get to hear yours.
VQDM: If you hadn't been born in this century, when and where would you of like to have lived?
Sami: I would like to have lived before computers were created. Simple life, no distractions.
VQDM: What was the best film ever made?
Sami: Fight Club, hands down.
VQDM: What is a song or band that you are currently abscessed with right now?
Sami: I dig Ego Kill Talent from Brazil a lot, and love the latest Cornell solo album Higher Truth.
VQDM: What is your opinion about today's reality talent shows like American Idol, The voice etc. ?
Sami: Watch the Anti-Social Butterfly video. We touch on that there.
VQDM: What inspirited the band to go to Africa?
Sami: The band didn't go. I did. My wife was doing work there, and I went with her. Of course I found a way to play music and mingle with the people. I bring an acoustic everywhere I go. All my songs are written with an acoustic.
VQDM: What can we expect from Blue Helix in 2018?
Sami: More shows, new songs, and of course setting up a second tour in Brazil. It is my Dream to have the band break in South America.
I love the people there. They are so loving.
We want to tour in Europe as well. They love Rock!
VQDM: Any Shout Outs?
Sami: To my band, they are all asleep and in different parts of Sao Paulo right now, getting ready to fly back to Seattle tomorrow.
I love you guys, thank you for sharing my dream with me. Marco, Wolf, and Arman you are the greatest!