An Abbotsford musician, songwriter and producer releases his debut album this month.
Alex Smith, most likely best known for drumming in the Vancouver band Dead Soft, releases a self-produced solo effort titled Hot Nothing on Sept. 29.
Smith said the album is eight tracks of “raunchy, hook-filled, pushed-into-the-red rock and roll.” It comes out via Vancouver indie label Blew//Rose on platforms everywhere.
Smith has always been a songwriter and has been playing shows since the age of 14. He started out in his high school’s drama room and eventually made his way into clubs in Manhattan and L.A.
Through previous projects – including Dead So (Arts and Crafts) and Wishkicker – he played and toured alongside Parquet Courts, The Dirty Nil, Daniel Romano, and The Breeders.
Songs he helped write were featured in TV’s Letterkenny and Dirk Gently. But they were never songs he wholly penned himself. After awhile, he sensed he needed a change.
“I wanted a project where I didn’t have to compromise with anyone else, something entirely selfish,” he said.
After a gruelling tour behind Dead Soft’s last record, Smith settled back in the Fraser Valley. He found himself longing to pursue the art he never had time for. Could he make his own records again, despite his mounting self doubt and anxiety?
“I needed to do this for myself. Despite loving the bands I’m in, I’ve put myself on the backburner forever. I had too much music in my head, and it needed a place to go because it wasn’t fitting in where I’m used to playing a supporting role,” he said.
Halfway through completing his first solo effort of beautiful songs with lush production, Smith plugged his drum machine directly into his eight-track and slammed the signal into the red.
It became immediately evident that this was the true direction of his first solo record. Channeling Jay Reatard and early Misfits records, Smith recorded the entire album DI’d into his cheap eight-track, pushed into constant peaking.