The Smith Street Band

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The Smith Street Band

The Smith Street Band is one of those bands that you hear and from the very first moment you are hooked. With an energetic stage show and some killer tunes, they are definitely developing into a special live experience. With two studio albums under their belt (The Smith Street Band and Sunshine and Technology) as well as an EP entitled Don’t F*ck With Our Dreams, this is a band on the edge of super stardom – although you would probably say that they have already made it after just one look at their CV. In the lead up to their first show of the tour, I caught up with lead songwriter and frontman for the group, Wil Wagner, for a chat.
“The past couple of months we have been having a bit of downtime after the last tour, which has allowed us to recharge the batteries and get back into the rehearsal space. We toured last year on the back of Don’t F*ck With Our Dreams and all of those shows were fantastic. We’re all very excited to be doing another lap of the country before trying to make a mark on the third release.”
One of the headlining bands for Pushover festival this year, Wagner feels that having the opportunity to perform an all-ages show is quite a refreshing change for the band, as all-ages gigs are becoming a rarity more and more these days. “Because of different laws and stuff, it’s hard to get an all-ages show on a tour, and this is probably one of the biggest that we could be doing.
“It’s a good thing to support and a good thing to be a part of. It’s also at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl which is cool because we are playing on the same stage as The Pixies. I hadn’t thought about it yet, but now that you mention it, I’m kinda shitting myself,” Wagner laughs about the first show of the tour.
Over the years, The Smith Street Band has been lucky to support an incredible array of artists. Given the chance, they’d love to collaborate with Luca Brasi and The Bennies on the Pushover bill because it would be “one hell of a party”. A pun on The E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen’s infamous group, when it comes to talking about influences, ‘The Boss’ is definitely the main driving force behind Wagner’s songwriting.
“The E Street Band are f*cking phenomenal man, and on top of that is the greatest lyricist and frontman in rock history. I love Springsteen’s lyrics and how that everything is catchy without being overtly catchy. Everything is smart without trying. He seems so authentic – and the man’s a genius. That’s all there is to it.”
After this tour, The Smith Street Band is heading over to Europe for a run of dates and then they are back into the creative process for the third record. If you haven’t been to check this band before, I highly recommend that you head down to Pushover.
Chatting about the support slots the band has been lucky to fill over the years, one of the main highlights was supporting Frank Turner: “We played at the Fillmore in San Francisco and it was a definite pinch yourself moment. I’ve watched many music DVDs of band’s playing in these iconic venues of which now we have shared the stage.
“I don’t really have any goals or ambitions for the band, and we originally just wanted to be able to play to a room of 50 people. Things have definitely snowballed a lot since then and I can’t wait to see where our music develops to next.”
When&Where: Reverence Hotel – March 8 and Pushover 2014, Melbourne – March 10
Written by Tex Miller