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The Midnight Shivers 

Sixty seconds with Samantha Crain

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Indy: You grew up in rural Shawnee, Oklahoma. So what was a fun Saturday night for Shawnee teenagers?

SC: There isn't one. You had to go to Oklahoma City if you wanted to have any fun. So I spent a lot of time at home with my parents, playing board games and doing homework. I got to be very good at Trivial Pursuit.

Indy: And you're part Native American, right?

SC: Yeah, the Choctaw Nation. My great-great-grandfather was on the Trail of Tears, and that's when the family relocated ... When our particular part of the tribe relocated, they became pretty much a Christian group.

Indy: Where are you at now, spiritually?

SC: Well, I grew up Southern Baptist, but I've studied all religions. But a lot of my songs are rooted in that fire-and-brimstone imagery that's prominent in the Baptist religion. Because when they use a biblical image, it's gonna be a pretty fearful one, like telling the congregation, "Fear God! Appease Him or He'll send you to the depths of hell!" I really love that.

Indy: So you also love dark writers, like Flannery O'Connor?

SC: Oh, yeah! I gobbled up any literature that was thrown my way in high school. And that's when I started writing short stories and reading books outside of school, which was totally unheard of in Shawnee.

Indy: And music college kicked your career into high gear?

SC: I was there with 30 other kids my age, and they all wanted the same thing — to mastermind a plan to take the world by storm. So for six months, we were coming up with all these great ideas and music and words. And by the time that was over, we were all sick of each other. But it gave some of us the courage to just do what we really wanted to do.

At the hi-dive in Denver, June 7.

  • "A lot of my songs are rooted in that fire-and-brimstone imagery."

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