This is not your dad's one-man band.
Sam Klass's music is an off-kilter mash-up of genres.
With a barrage of beat boxing, overlapping delays, octave pedal depth and volume swells he creates, largely, improvisational funk/rock/jazz fusion tunes.
The whole thing seems tricky — Klass credits his move from Pennsylvania to Toronto at 15 as the catalyst that helped hone his chops.
'I didn't want to waste a bunch of time and money playing dead white people's music'—Sam Klass
"It gave me time to endlessly sit in my basement and play because I had no friends," he laughed.
He started at McMaster's music school in 2005, but left after only one semester because he felt he was "ahead of the game" and didn't fit in with the student body.
"I didn't want to waste a bunch of time and money playing dead white people's music," he said. "I felt like a classical cover artist."
Getting his first loop guitar pedal at 18 proved to be an integral part of creating his sound. Loop pedals let a guitarist play a riff, record it, then play it back endlessly.
"I just got hooked on it," Klass said. Originally, he used it as a tool to practice. But then he started applying it to songs he was writing.
"It just became really integrated into how I was creating."
As his live show is largely improvised, they're usually different every time.
"Because it's a one-man show it allows me to be really versatile," he said, but adds that a drummer occasionally joins him onstage now too.
Klass generally feels out a crowd, tries to get an idea of what sort of thing they're into and goes from there.
"I try to keep every show different," he said. That can mean some improvised 90s pop tunes, or something like "Heart of Glass" by Blondie.
It's not your usual rock show. But Klass is just fine with that.
"People are usually looking at me weird," he said, "but they're doing it with a crooked smile."
You can listen to Sam Klass' latest record Fluid Identity on his website, here.
Catch him on Thursday, Nov. 8 at Club 77 with Gramatik, The Human Race, Defunk, and Hachey the Mouthpeace.