This week, I continue my series highlighting the members of the Satellite Syndicate. The Syndicate is a collection of artists who are pushing music to new boundaries in 2015. A beat collective, that’s here in RVA and stretches across the country. Both digital and in your face, the Syndicate is growing a strong fan base in RVA and online.

Today let’s meet Sam Roots AKA .oldneon. #WESEEIT



Sam Roots aka .oldneon


I was born in Vancouver, but grew up in the 757 area of Virginia. It sucked but definitely gave me a unique perspective on the beauty of grime.

What role do you play in the Syndicate?

I am basically one half of the visual element of the Syndicate. While Jefferson designs most of the posters and packaging, I provide live visuals at the shows and edit music videos and live performance videos. I also make music, which serves as more of a soundtrack to the visuals I create.

Weapon of choice:

I have a bunch of pieces of gear that I have macgyvered into one. Basically, I use this old school video mixer from the 90s that allows me to live edit two video signals with effects and transitions. I use that with a VCR with either a bunch of tapes I’ve made or movies/videos I’ve stumbled upon and this piece of software from my computer that allows me to mix and edit footage and graphics I’ve made. it’s all about bridging that gap between new and old school to create something not quite digital, but not quite analog.

First thing you do in the morning?

Mentally plan out an ambitious breakfast before realizing I only have 20 minutes before work.

Favorite place to make music?

I have arranged all of my gear so that I can make videos and music from the edge of my bed. It makes me look like a mad scientist, especially when I get that impulse to work at 2am in my undies.

First movie you ever called your favorite?

Back in high school, I was a pretentious ass and would say that There Will Be Blood is a perfect film [even though it’s true].

Your favorite sample?

I definitely owe Lou Rawls some royalties.

Name 3 albums that define your attitude?

Feels by Animal Collective because I am all about the power of instinct and raw emotion
Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins because I am ethereally eclectic
Operation: Doomsday by MF DOOM because I am a villainous troll who doesn’t give a fuck what people think.

Most played out slang word used in RVA?

Any slang that people say because of Drake.

3 AM…where you eating?

Whatever my delirious mind thinks is a good idea to combine with my rice/veggie/beans mix in the fridge…or just Christian’s Pizza with the squad.

If you could Quincy Jones – DJ Khaled any record you wanted – who would play on it?

Panda Bear: vocals/drums
DJ Harrison: keys
Kevin Shields: guitar
Charles Mingus: bass

It would probably just sound less like a song and more like a wave of sound.

One night in any town in the world…where do I find you?

Amsterdam or Berlin playing music and visuals til dawn as I ingest good Beligan ale and people’s company. Realistically though, I’d prob just be making shit in my room.

Be sure to follow .oldneon on Twitter, Soundcloud, and Facebook #WESEEIT

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