Mr Smith are a five piece British band and, established over ten years ago, they’re still going strong. Not only are they musicians but they’re innovators too. They are the first band to ever have released all of their music through a free smartphone app.
I managed to catch up with the band for a short interview.
Hey there; thanks for agreeing to this interview, have you any opening words?
Not really… except to say thanks a lot for the chance to speak to you, and a big welcome to anyone new to the world of Mr Smith! It’s a cool place to be! I’m Gav, and I’ll be answering all questions on behalf of the band so 80% of what I say does not reflect what the others think! Huh, that was quite a few opening words wasn’t it? I’ll try to keep the rest down to a minimum! I’m not good at that.
So, Mr Smith was founded in 2002, talk me through the name?
There are 3 of us that started the band, and we had a name that very few people could really spell or pronounce. We headlined a gig in Kentish Town years ago and the band’s name was spelt astonishingly badly on the promo material, so we figured it was time to make a change. If anyone manages to spell ‘Mr Smith’ incorrectly, then they need to go and see my old English teacher, Mr Smith.
Why did you choose to get into music?
Personally I was forced into it by Tom, our guitarist and founder of the group. Dirk is in the band because we threatened to kill his cats if he didn’t join; and the twins are here because they have very little else to do.
What’s the best part about being in a band?
The weird and brilliant feeling when you’re playing something new, and it just clicks. That, and the similar feeling you get when playing live and getting the ‘groove’.
What about the worst part?
Organising 5 idiots to meet up at the same time.
Of your own songs and covers, which is your favourite track?
We did a cover of ‘In For The Kill’ by La Roux a while back, which was great fun. Also, we played Girls Aloud’s ‘Love Machine’ in a medley with Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ which went down well. My favourite Mr Smith song hasn’t been released yet, but of the stuff that has I’d have to say ‘Love’, for many reasons. It’s a very light-and-dark song both musically and lyrically. Also, we always made a point of not having the word ‘love’ in a song because it’s corny and cliche… so on this we went the other way and the word appears in 12 times in every chorus. Oh we do have a laugh!
If you could choose a maximum of three, minimum of one, who would you say your biggest musical influences are?
The Beatles, The Kinks and Monty Python.
What’s your favourite album by another artist?
Ah albums… they were good weren’t they? Again, it’s just me talking here but Just Jack – All Night Cinema. I got it because I loved ‘The Day Died’, and the whole album is just awesome. Incredibly catchy melodies with some mind-blowing lyrics.
What’s the first song you ever remember hearing?
Eleanor Rigby, weirdly. It was for a school play I think.
What is one outrageous fact that hardly anyone knows about you?
We’ve got identical twins in the band… but they’re not just twins, they’re two thirds of a set of triplets! Their sister is the best looking one.
Other than each other, if you could choose any musicians – living or dead – who would be in your dream band?
I’ll pick a 5 piece, because that’s what we are so:
Freddy Mercury because he’s the best there ever was.
Paul McCartney on bass because he was amazing and wholly under-rated as a bass player
John Frusciante for the funk
John Squires for the seamless melody on guitar that fits perfectly with every song he ever played.
And probably Chad Smith, because I’m not that familiar with the art of drumming.
Our thing is embracing technology. We designed and created our own smartphone app through which we release our music. And we do it for FREE. Mr Smith will never charge you for a song and we firmly believe that the whole music industry will soon be doing the same. It’s current, nobody else does it, and it really just makes sense. [plug] http://www.mrsmith.co.uk/app [/plug]
Quick fire questions, now. This one is growing infamous on Delirious Antidotes – what colour socks are you wearing?
Black. 6 pairs for 5 quid they were.
What form of public transport do you prefer?
Train… but I hate public transport.
Main course or dessert?
Weapon of choice?
Gold or silver?
Ice cream or sorbet?
Collectively, how many tattoos do you have?
4 out of 5 have none. Rob’s got a couple, including a good one of his Granddad’s hands holding an old-school Olympus camera. They actually sent him a free camera and featured him in their corporate magazine. I know, that’s a bit odd.
What about piercings?
Not sure… I’m gonna say Rob and Jim probably have a couple. They definitely had them ones that make your ear-lobes big, at some point.
Thank you for agreeing to the interview and good luck with your upcoming gigs; looking forward to hearing more music from you guys! Have you any parting words?
Well thanks for the interview primarily, and we’d really love it if your readers would give the app a try. We’ve had an amazing response to the idea and we genuinely think it’s the way forward. We’ve no doubt that in a few years time someone else will be doing it and it will be the norm, but it would be great if people could get on-board with the group who came up with the idea first!
Remember that you can check out Mr Smith’s app, and the other interviews at Delirious Antidotes; you can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being interviewed for this blog. Thank you again to Gav; it was a pleasure to interview you!