Name, where are you from?
Dan Smith, Middlesbrough, UK
Describe your style in three words?
Heart and Soul
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Madness, Alexandra Palace, September 28 2013. My first time seeing them, but have been a huge fan since I was a young boy studying my Dad's records and taking note of the most obscure details. I was working at the immense London Tattoo Convention like I do every year and left early to make the gig. The whole place erupted when they came on and I remember the 2-Tone projections on the ceiling of the palace before they came on. There wasn’t a person standing still in the whole room.
If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
The original New Order because of nostalgia and the impact that they had on me. So strong. Also, all because they’re one of me and Davey favourite bands and around the time of Pummel, would have been a magical time.
Which Subcultures have influenced you?
From the youngest age it was the Mod and Punk culture of England. I was born in Middlesbrough but moved to NZ at a young age, so always felt a huge connection to that. When I was old enough to search for music myself I gravitated towards more aggressive punk, and American hardcore, notably the Straightedge scene. To me, rejecting the grip society has on us by force-feeding social behaviour norms like drinking and drugs was the punkest thing I had discovered and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Joe Strummer. His outlook was unique and his lyrics had substance and were thought provoking. His demeanour always seemed super approachable but you don’t really know what someone is really like until you’ve sat down with someone for a while. It would be great to just have a normal conversation.
Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
There's a venue in Providence, Rhode Island called Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (now called The Strand). It was just this venue that has such an atmosphere inside that it's kinda indescribable. I've only played there once but it's always stuck with me. It has so much history and that part of the East Coast is so beautiful.
Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Honestly, I couldn’t pick one. I’d have to send it out to all the people in bands slogging it out and dealing with what life throws at you when you’re in pursuit of living your dreams. It's not easy and can often bring complete turmoil since living as a musician trying to make it really compromises all other aspects of your life unless you’re at a financial level that makes those problems not as drastic. You always hear of the success stories in documentaries and movies etc but you rarely hear of the band that struggled for years and dissolved…despite having amazing tunes. I’d say it's harder than ever now since there is so much oversaturation in music, so to anyone who pushes through on a daily basis… I salute you.