Vents Magazine Interview

Hi Scott, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi Rafa, I have been staying busy, promoting my album and recording.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Sum Of Life”?

I have been playing this long before I started writing songs with lyrics. It’s kind of like a fiddle tune where it has 2 parts that repeat. It started out as just a fun song to finger pick and later when I started recording, realized That it had potential for some pretty soloing.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

No not really. As I played it over time, I found myself reflecting on my life and relationships, places I’ve been.

Any plans to release a video for the single or any track on this album?

Yes! I’m am working on that now someone. The plan is to combine live performance with animation.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

I wanted the Sum of Life to be the title track because It had a ring to it. I didn’t think it would be so popular which usually why a song is picked for the album title. I wasn’t thinking about that, I just liked the name. It had meaning.

How was the recording and writing process?

One of the top experiences of my life. It had been on my bucket list to write songs and record in a studio. Now a days, so much is done in home studios. I wanted the synergy effect of working with other people in a professional studio. A lot was created by input of others. I also wanted to get plugged into a community of good musicians.

The writing process was magical. Once I started writing, the flood gate opened. It was a creative Journey of discovering melody lines, rhyming methods and story ideas. My wife was one of my main subjects Lol.

Known for blending different styles together, does one shines the most depending on the lyrics’ theme?

Do I have to pick one? Blue Guitar Slinger was written about the late Johnny Winter. He was a hard subject to come up with material to write. In the end, I was happy with how the words fit together. Like a puzzle. The Best Gift was written about my kids and I felt like I captured some key Moments for my wife and I. On Payday, I wanted to write a tribute for us working folks that kicked a little. That is one of the songs that I thought my rhyming methods shined.

Does the Bay plays a role in your music?

Pretty big, I grew up in the hay day of the Bay Area musical scene. I feel lucky to be in the main area that Bill Graham put on shows. There was always Something going on. Being able to see free show in Golden Gate Park with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship was a great time. The Sons of Chaplin were one of the main highlights because They played so often and were great!  Bill Chaplin went on to play with Chicago. Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukenen, David Nelson and Steve Kimock are the biggest influences on my playing from this area.

You listed some legendary musicians to help you out – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

One of the great things about the Bay Area, is that there are many great, famous Musicians around that are more than happy to do studio work. Most of the artists are part of the Studio E community, with the help of Jeff Martin (the owner) I was able to connect with all of the artists.

What did they brought to the table?

I had to work and apply pressure to get David LaFlamme. I wanted his signature violin, which really paid off. Nina Gerber is one of a kind and made such a great performances. She usually plays beautiful acoustic guitar, which she does on The Sum Of Life, but she performs rare electric rockin’ slide guitar on Over it Soon and Messing with Reality.  Mitch Woods, who plays on Payday and the World is Strange, we got on a total whim. He was so much fun to work with. The drummer is Vic Carberry who played with Tommy Tutone on Jenny Jenny. Is a big part sound success for the album along with bass from Jeff Martin. Vic’s nickname is Vic the Click for his impeccable timing. On Keyboards, I had Giovanna Imbesi. Giovanna Plays with, The Joy of Cooking, Yanni and Andy Summers. She played the kicking Hammond organ  on Eclipsing Moon and grand piano on The Best Gift.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not yet, but I hope to soon.

What else is happening next in Scott Smith’s world?

I’m in the middle of recording the next album. I have David LaFlamme on a song named Igniting the Flame, where he performs a wild solo that Takes you back to the old Fillmore days. Nina Gerber more slide on a southern rock tune, Drop Kick it. And I have David Grisman on a song I wrote about the Grateful Dead, called Skeleton and Roses.