Tuesday 20 May 2014

***SECRET SMOKER exclusive interview***

GenresPunk Rock / Screamy Hardcore / 90s Emo / Post-Hardcore
Related artistsBilly The Living, We Are The Living, The Human Record, The Jenaset, Code Duello, Brown Leaf Vertigo, Four Square, Sad Idea, Whimee and Girl Scout Heroin.
CountryBaton Rouge, USA
Years Active2010-present
Song: "Mt. Failure" (unmastered)
Album: "Alarms And Controls split"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Protagonist Records / Adagio830 / Hungry Ghost Collective
This post's artist is from the May 2014 Mix. This is track #27.
You can download the May 2014 Mix#5 right here or get the new June Mix#6 here.
For fans of1.6 Band, 400 Years, Bear Vs. Shark, Lincoln, Current, Cursive, Braid, Small Brown Bike, Hot Water Music, Q And Not U, North Of America, Hoover and The Exploder.

SECRET SMOKER seems as much like a temple frequented in order to transcend genres, negativity as well as preconceived notions and ideas about music as it is a band has been around for 4 years now. They put out a killer record last year entitled 'Terminal Architecture' that is a textbook for honest, intelligent, engaging and passionate punk music.

The band has 2 new releases coming out before the end of the year; a split 7" with Alarms And Controls (that I/Zegema Beach Records will be helping put out) as well as a new full-length on Protagonist Records. They have already recorded 4 new songs which I've been jamming for a few months and are the perfect extension and continuation from what they did with their last LP. I've also heard a demo from the forthcoming LP and it's ridiculous.

Okay, let's quickly talk about 'Terminal Architecture' before delving into Billy Thompson's SECRET SMOKER interview, linked below. First, these guitar riffs are in a league of their own. They're not necessarily laden with solos or insanely fast, but they are beautifully constructed, original, catchy and dissonant all at the same time. The end of "Volume Diss-course" is a prime example with swirling guitars that border on something you might have heard on the legendary City Of Caterpillar LP. The vocals are at the forefront as well. The lyrics are excellent and eloquently discuss topics from different perspectives and don't sound cliched in the least. Billy really hits a lot of different styles, including full on screaming, gruff yelling, crooning and whatever you would call "Hot Water Music"-singing. The last half of "Sight In Sound" is an excellent example of the band's ability to sing with emotion, not necessarily perfection, as Mark takes the vocal lead on this song. The track is the winner for best sing-along and really brings bands like Hot Water Music, Cursive and Bear Vs. Shark to mind. Expanding on that, I think SECRET SMOKER could be likened to Cursive in the fact that they are putting a very new and fresh spin on punk and rock, as well as emotive hardcore and screamo. The bass riffs rarely copy the guitars and do their own thing, making the music fit together very nicely.

I have yet to read a negative thing about the band, so chances are you (whoever you are) will like this. Check'em out! If you're still on the fence read this interview I had with Billy (vocals/bass) of SECRET SMOKER. He also has started recording his own solo material under the moniker Billy The Living, which you can and should listen to here. He's one of the most honest and inspiring people in punk right now. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

OMSB - Which bands would you recommend checking out?
BILLY - All of them. Listen to everything open and without ego.  If you don’t like it now, come back to it later and retry. I still shudder to think that I missed so many great records when I was younger because I wanted them to fit into what I wanted at that time. This was great a mistake for me when I was young. I wanted music to reflect who I was which is a consumerist self centered unenlightened vacuum.  There is no change or dynamic when one approaches music that way.  Now I try listen to everything open. There is no product identity associated with it. There is no genre identity attached to it. My preferences are always changing.  I like honest music.



2012 - Virginia On Duty / We Are The Vulture / Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! split cassette

2013 - Terminal Architecture 12"LP

2014 - Alarms And Controls split 7"

2014 - NEW 12"LP (currently untitled)


(2014) SECRET SMOKER - "Mt. Failure" unmastered (from 'Alarms And Controls' split)

(2013) SECRET SMOKER - "Volume Diss-course" (from 'Terminal Architecture')

(2013) SECRET SMOKER - "Bench Drop" (from 'Terminal Architecture')

(2013) SECRET SMOKER - "Sight in Sound" (from 'Terminal Architecture')


SECRET SMOKER additional links


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