Spike T. Smith
independent / session
Spike t. Smith could well be described as a British Josh Freese with regards his varied & colourful drumming career to date. Probably best known for his work with massively influential singer MORRISSEY, with whom he toured & recorded with between 1999 & 2003.
Spike played previously with punk legends THE DAMNED before being poached by the above-mentioned singer. Before this spike cut his teeth playing for hardcore/dub reggae crossover act WARDANCE, recording two albums & numerous singles & extensively touring Europe in the mid 90’s. There have also been many sessions that spike has contributed to & many remixes.
More recently, an album with British rockers SONA FARIQ. THE MOTIVATORS (featuring Alain whyte & Gary day of Morrissey) Chinese pop singing superstar I Ching & new projects WHY NOT NOW & ATWAR (featuring ex prodigy guitarist gizz butt).
There is also much touring in the pipeline; both in Europe & America where spike is an in demand player.
In-between all this spike has taken part in a number of clinics demonstrating his wide-ranging styles & influences & also runs his own drum school.
-What is it you like so much about playing Pearl Drums?
I have played pearl drums for 20 years now. Their consistency & quality in sound is an important factor to me, especially when you have to use different kits on tour. I have found this to always be the case. Also, I have always found Pearl hardware to be second to none & very easy to get on with.
-Which Drummer or band influenced you most into playing Drums?
When I first started playing, it was Rat Scabies of the Damned. At that time he was playing pearl & that was my introduction to them. It was amazing to end up playing for them years later. Of course there were many other drummers I liked too, but at the time he was the main man for me.
-Who in your mind are the drummers of tomorrow?
I’ll have an answer for that tomorrow. I can’t think of anyone who springs to mind today! :-)
-What do you like most about being a drummer?
I love the energy levels required for performing as a drummer. Being the rhythmic pulse is something else I always get off on & I have always loved the challenges I’ve faced when playing different styles of music. Infact, that’s one of my favourite things about playing drums.
-What is the worst thing to happen to you during a show?
This is an easy one. When I was playing in my first band at a local gig I jumped up in the air in a middle of a song. As I did this I knocked the top off my rather flimsy stool leaving essentially a spike to then land on. In quick thinking I tried to stay standing using the drums to balance me. It ended with me & the drums collapsed in a heap on the floor with the whole audience laughing at me.very embarrassing.
-What do you practice and for how long?
This changes all the time. Quite a lot of my time can be taken up learning songs & the parts required for them. Recently I have been focusing on improving my double pedalling as I’ve noticed the standards for this have gone up a lot in the past few years. I also enjoy working on my jazz drumming. I find this helps a lot with technique but in a musical way. Then there are the usual independent routines & rudiments of course. I try to keep on top of it all time permitting. As for how long? This changes all the while. All I can say is, as often as possible.
-What is your best advice to a young player wanting to make it in this industry?
The usual. Work as hard as you can, not just on your playing but on networking too. This is a very important part. You want & will need people to know you exist & are available. Too many young people now think music colleges will get them work at the end of their course. These places are great for your education but do not insure you a career in music. This is down to the individual! Of course a bit of luck is involved too but the more you can help create that luck the better. Anyway, if you really love it, it shouldn’t feel like networking. Gigs, studios, rehearsal rooms should feel like the places you want to be, otherwise, why bother?
-If you had the chance to play drums for another artist who would it be?
hat would be Bad brains for sure. I’ve loved them for years. No means no are a great band too. That would be another hot seat for me.