I played an iconic rock star in huge movie – now I’ve teamed up with a Foo Fighter for my new single, says Sam Palladio

HE played his punk rock hero Joe Strummer in the box office smash hit biopic Bob Marley: One Love.

Now Nashville and Humans star Sam Palladio, 37, is focused on his own music career and the release of his swaggering new single Tennessee.

Sam Palladio released new single Tennessee yesterday


Sam Palladio released new single Tennessee yesterdayCredit: Getty
The Brit actor is now based in Nashville after starring in the hit US show of the same name


The Brit actor is now based in Nashville after starring in the hit US show of the same name

The riotously rocking production, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt, is a star-studded affair from top to bottom.

Lead guitar duties are handled by none other than Foo Fighters axeman Chris Shiflett, while the Spaghetti Western music video features Vampire Diaries star Candice King and Nashville’s Jonathan Jackson.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Sam said: “I wanted to create a tune that sort of tipped its hat to my kind of American experience.

“I’ve had that riff in my back pocket for a couple of years. I’m not much of a lead guitar player or anything but I had that riff and I was [like] ‘oh, man, something will come of this’. So I kind of brought that to the session, plus that kind of chorus idea for Tennessee.”


For the past decade Nashville has been Cornwall lad Sam’s home and he became a big TV star as aspiring musician Gunnar Scott in the country music drama Nashville over six drama-filled seasons.

So it only seemed right to pay his respects to the city on his debut record.

“Nashville itself has been an incredibly welcoming city and a place I’ve felt inspired and safe,” said Sam “And so a little bit of the storyline is kind of almost like retreating from the light Hollywood back to the south to find my southern girl and burn some fires down there.”

The storyline has fire in its belly and so does the guitar work with audio flames sparking from the frets of Foo Fighter Shiflett.

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Sam says: “I’d met [Chris] through a dear friend of mine Danny Rowe, who grew up with Chris.

“So I ended up going to a bunch of Foo Fighters concerts with Danny and meeting Chris, the sweetest guy in the world. And so when I was putting this track together and thinking I think this needs a ripping solo. We need some fuzzed out guitars. Kind of like a Foo Fighters… Well maybe Chris [laughs]. So I just called Chris and he was like ‘I’d love to’.

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“And then sent me back all these incredible guitars and this guitar solo that was like a one take untouched perfect combination of a sort of alternative sound but a little bit of country in his picking which is what he does really really well.”

Tennessee is a dramatic gear-change from Sam’s previous release, Something on my Mind, a touching tribute to his mum Sally who died from a brain tumour in 2018.

It prompted Sam to step away from acting for a year as he grieved his mum and came to terms with the loss.

He says: “That was a huge thing in my life and very monumental. I took a year to just deal with that process and then I realised ‘okay, I’ve got something different I want to sing about and something that is really very close to home’ and that’s when that kind of conscious decision came to go to the UK, go back home go to Cornwall, write with British collaborators, and I suddenly felt very British for some reason and wanting to honour my mum.

“This whole record is about my mum, honestly, so it’s a funny thing it took so many years, but then I feel like now I have something I want to sing about and there’s so many other shades on the record and so that’s why it took so long.”

Sam, left, played The Clash's Joe Strummer in Bob Marley: One Love


Sam, left, played The Clash’s Joe Strummer in Bob Marley: One LoveCredit: Instagram/@sampalladio
Sam as aspiring musician Gunnar Scott in Nashville


Sam as aspiring musician Gunnar Scott in NashvilleCredit: Getty


This year Sam’s career came full circle when he hit the big screen as the late Clash frontman Strummer.

In the flick, which grossed more than $177million globally, the band give Bob Marley his first taste of snarling punk after his arrival in London.

Inspired by The Clash’s chaotic real life performance at the Rainbow Theatre following the release of their debut album, Sam tore through a rollicking rendition of White Riot and had great fun doing so.

His casting as the socially-conscious musician came 13 years after he portrayed Strummer in his first TV role in Kathy Burke’s episode of Skyanthology Little Crackers.

Reflecting on his cameo in One Love, Sam says: “I was just happy to make the cut, man. That day is one of those where I was very fortunate to be a very small part of a wider story.”

Sam had worked up a powerful speech for Joe to give from the stage, but when it came time to shoot the scene he learned it had been cut.

He said: “So there was originally a nice little chunk of text that I’d worked on at that concert sequence where Joe’s giving a bit of a political speech to the crowd.

“Bob’s in the crowd absorbing the 70s punk rock ethos that’s happening in the UK at that time and it was one of those where I’d turn up to set and ‘okay here’s your scenes for the day.’

“It was a little bummer but like I said I was pleased to have made the cut eventually and I really enjoyed actually the physicality of it.”

Music is very much at the forefront of Sam’s plans. As in independent artist he’s put a great deal into his debut album both creatively and financially.

He describes the upcoming release as “genre-fluid” with elements of Britpop in there as well as the country music he’s associated with.

Outlining his aspirations for the year ahead, he said: “I’d love to hit the UK festival scene this summer, next summer, kind of just get on the road and I’ve got some great supporters at BBC Radio 2. If I could get a couple of these tracks on the radio awesome.


“I’ve already collaborated with someone on this album who’s one of my all time favourite musicians so I feel pretty good I’ve ticked off one of my favourites right out of the gate so maybe I’ll do some touring with them.”

After a decade honing his craft, it finally seems it’s Sam’s time to shine.

Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett, left, plays lead guitar on Sam's new single


Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett, left, plays lead guitar on Sam’s new singleCredit: PA