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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Interview: St. Louis Drummer Chad Smith Ready to Reunite with Geezer Butler's GZR

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM

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Clip of a Smith drum solo from the Journey tribute "Stone in Love," taken at Family Arena, November 25, 2007

What did you do after Anacrusis? I left Lex [Luthor] to join Anacrusis, and then London Calling. After London Calling I worked with Mike Safron's incarnation of Pavlov's Dog, then the Eddies.

You have a lot of ongoing projects. What do you do at Dale's? What are some of the other groups? I currently work in St. Louis with the Stingers and the Edicktion. I teach at Dale's Music in North County. Son of Echo is a side project involving GZR's Pedro Howse.

Stingers and Edicktion are cover bands, right? Yes. I still work with both. It's blues-based rock, St. Louis pub music. Keeps me in shape and buys some groceries. I really like to get into foreign situations where I can pick up new angles and approaches to drumming.

I've been playing with the Edicktion since last summer, with [Chuck Berry's] Greg Edick on bass, learning how to approach blues from a traditional viewpoint.

I've been with the Stingers for a couple years. It's a three-piece [that] can play at low volume, but still rock. That band really helps with dynamics.

What's the Son of Echo and Black Storm material like? Son of Echo and Black Storm are both byproducts of Pedro Howse and I working on new material together for GZR. Inevitably, some of the music isn't suited for GZR. Black Storm is evolving from the riffs suited to a classic power trio, blues based, like Hendrix and Cream. Son of Echo is an eclectic mix: big production, strings, etc. It's basically an experiment at this point.

How often do you have to explain you're not that Chad Smith? Not as often as him! Actually, not that often. It's mainly just when RHCP Chad is credited with Anacrusis or GZR. I've generally worked in heavier music, so most people would question L.A. Chad doing something like that. I know he gets asked about my stuff -- I think it's funny.

I've never met him, but I'm pretty sure he's sees the humor in it. I've had my name since birth -- I like it! I have yielded slightly by using my middle initial with Richie Callison, "Chad E. Smith." It's like the [early Spinal Tap band] New Originals, not to be confused with the Originals.

Chad Smith talks through his musical timeline:

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