Daniel Smith (Country)

Written by Jonny Havoc

Daniel Smith
Posted Sep 1, 2006.

At the moment, my drummer (Dave) and I (Daniel) are busy finishing up an album we’ve been working on since March so it’s not so much a band, so to speak. That being said, we’re looking to eventually find a bass player once the album’s done so we can do some shows and sell some t-shirts. (A band is nothing without t-shirts… Oh, and stickers. That’s important too.)

What is music to you?
Music is a great way to meet girls with, um, loose moral standards.

What is the best thing about music?
The best thing about music is, it’s probably the only job in the world where you can show up drunk to work and act like a complete retard and not get fired.

What is the worst thing about music?
Dave Matthews

What do you want to see happen through music in the future?
Well, once the album’s finished we’d really like to start whoring ourselves out to film and television. You know, like maybe one of the songs would make a good car commercial or something. I think being in a car commercial is probably the single greatest artist achievement in the world.

Does being involved in playing music make you miss out on anything?
To be honest, all the drinking definitely takes its toll on your short-term memory but the great thing about that is, you don’t really remember it since your brain’s all mushy and stuff.

What other instruments can you play?
For recording purposes, Dave takes care of all the drums and percussion and anything else that helps liven up my otherwise boring songs. After that, I’ll throw like a million tracks of guitars and vocals down. The beauty about the recording process is, a particular take may sound like total garbage in and of itself but if you throw a thousand more takes on it, it hides the fact that you’re a terrible guitar player. I’m all about quantity over quality.

What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
When I was in 3rd grade I bought a copy of Destroyer by Kiss. I remember that my grandmother freaked out and said that Gene Simmons was the devil. After that, I bought every album I could get my hands on.

Other than that, the stuff that really got to me when I was a kid was Floyd, The Doors, The Police, Rush, Sabbath, The Who, stuff like that. Oh, and The Beatles.

Is there a venue or area you would like to play that you have not played before?
I’d love to play The Beacon Theatre since the sound there is phenomenal. Also, it’s on the larger side but still has an intimacy to it. Some of the best shows I’ve been to, like Tori Amos, Cake/Counting Crows, and Ben Folds/ Duncan Sheik were there.

What is your favorite venue or area to play shows?
If you’re talking Jersey, there’s Maxwell’s and then there’s everywhere else. No contest, really. That being said, there’s a local place in Hawthorne called Shortway’s that’s an awesome place to play since you actually get paid and you can play as long as you want. The problem with playing in Jersey is, cover bands pretty much killed the scene for original bands years ago.

I mean, you can’t really blame the club owners since they’re there to run a business. Really, you have to wonder why people would rather go see some hacks play songs you’ve heard a million times rather than go see something new. But whatever, we all know that most people are like cattle and will go along with the herd every time.

So basically, the people who don’t want to shell out 5 bucks to see an awesome new band like The Bronze Episode (http://www.thebronzeepisode.com) or The Dark Brothers (http://www.thedarkbrothers.com) in some small club will eventually end up paying like 50 bucks to see them in some huge venue.

How was your first show?
Geez, I think Dave and I played our first show around 1986 at the place called The Rat Trap. Pretty fitting too since it was the size of a janitor’s closet. At the time we were like 17 or something. I don’t remember anyone throwing rotten produce or eggs so I guess it went fairly well.

Where was your best show?
I guess that’d have to be the time my old band opened for The BuzzSTICKs at Irving Plaza. We borrowed Ween’s sound guy, Kirk Miller, for the night and at the end of the set Keith Morris came out and sang some Circle Jerks/Black Flag covers with us.

What religion are you and does that have an effect on your music?
None of the above. I think religion has it’s place but then so do fart jokes. Come to think of it, they’re petty close on the scale of social importance.

How did you come up with your band name?
Yeah, um, we’re still kind of working on that so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to email me.

Did you have any previous band names?
We had a band called jesusnixon that we broke up last year. There’s actually still a myspace page up with free downloads if you’re bored or something… (http://www.myspace.com/jesusnixon)

What would you say to a kid who has no faith in himself?
Welcome the club.
Oh, and join a band. That helps.

Who do you one day want to play a show with the most?
Personally, I’d love to play bass for Sinead O’Connor.

Why do you play music, what makes you strive to be heard, why would anyone want to hear your music and what you are saying through it?
To be completely honest, because the music industry is such a horrid business, the only good reason to play music is because you love to do it. Well, that and the getting chicks thing.
As far as striving to be heard, we’re well past that whole, “Look at me! Look at me!” stage. I mean, the whole thing just reeks of being starved for attention. That being said, it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while and, personally, I think the best thing about doing something original is the ability to affect someone and maybe provoke them to think or feel something.

Any funny or interesting stories?
Sure. Keeping with the “being in a band = getting chicks” theme, it happens that a few years ago we were playing a show at Shortway’s, which turned out to be the night Dave ended up meeting his wife. Then, about a year later, I’m playing his wedding and I end up meeting his photographer, who turns out to be the most fantastic woman on the planet. (Not to mention the fact that she’s incredibly beautiful.)
Moreover, she’s such an awesome photographer that she’s somehow able to make me look, um, “less unattractive.”

If you guys could open for one band, who would it be?
I’m not sure what Dave would say but I’m gonna have to go with The Cure. Better yet, a triple bill with Radiohead.

What do you wish for your band to be in 5 years?
Hopefully dead of a drug overdose. That way we’ll be legends or whatever…

What is the best thing about being a band?
Aside from the chicks?

How old were each of you when starting to play instruments?
I started playing bass when I was 15. I guess the guitar playing/songwriting thing started a few years after that.

Where have you been playing lately and how has your response been?
Lately I’ve been doing some solo acoustic shows. Due to the fact that I’m usually pretty drunk, I’m not really sure about the response. Then again, using the rotting produce theory, I guess it’s going okay.

What inspires you to play?
For awhile there I would watch a certain film, like Donnie Darko or Requiem for a Dream, and pick up a guitar and out’d pop a song or two. These days, my girlfriend inspires me to no end.

Have you ever been on tour, how many and how did you go?
My old band, Shirk Circus, did a few tours back in the 90’s. I’m going to respectfully decline to give out details in order to protect the guilty on this one though.

Your latest CD, what do you guys think about it and what do your fans say about it?
Well, so far it’s been an awesome experience and hopefully it’ll be done pretty soon. (Especially since Dave and I want to start working on the next one in the fall.) Right now, we’re at the point where we’re bringing in guests such as Mike Carroll of Islands ( www.myspace.com/islandsband), Josh Silverman of The Dark Brothers, and Rob Karten (formerly of Styx) and, after that comes the mixing and mastering and packaging part.
Then, it’s time to start selling t-shirts to support our habits!

Contact Info: jesusnixon@hotmail.com

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