Chad Smith: My Life in Music
When we asked Chad Smith to talk us through some of the music that shaped his life he gave us a right old mixed bag.
Yes, we expected Sabbath, Rush and Hendrix to feature, but the Chili Peppers man had the odd surprise up his sleeve, as you'll see as we delve into the music of Chad's life.
The song that reminds me of high school
Rush – '2112'
“That would be the whole Rush 2112 album. I would listen to that in the parking lot. I used to smoke a lot of pot with my friends who were in my band. I was in 10th grade and they were in 12th grade. I would get too high and never actually go into class, so I got kicked out of that school. How do you get kicked out of school when you don’t even go?”
The song that I first performed live on the drums
Jimi Hendrix – 'Fire'
“My brother played guitar, and we had a band and we would play songs of the day, which were ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Rock’n’Roll’ by Led Zeppelin and ‘Fire’ by Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t play that like Mitch Mitchell. I played it like a total hack, the same fill every time. A recording of that is on my DVD, from the Elks Club, 1972. It’s so bad. It’s really horrible. I take any feeling out of it.”
The song I wish I'd played on
Black Sabbath – 'Supernaut'
"I always thought that middle drum solo was two drummers. In ‘Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple there were two drum kits and I could hear that, but I always thought it was two drummers in Bill Ward’s solo section. It’s not – it’s just him. There’s some percussion, some congas and shakers, but just his drum set. I could never play that very well, but I like it.”
The song that is an undiscovered classic
The Monkees – 'I Wanna Be Free'
“The great Hal Blaine played on all those records. Neil Diamond wrote songs for them. It’s a real sappy song. I used to sing it to my brother, over and over, and he hated it – ‘Shut up!’ That was dear to my heart, since I could annoy my brother [with it]. I could probably still do it to this day.”
The song that sums up my drumming
Wu-Tang Clan – 'Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing To F' Wit''
“I played on a Wu-Tang track, it’s a remix of ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit’. Tony Morello plays on it and I got to play on it. It makes me feel good when I listen to that, like, ‘Yeah, that’s good!’ It has a good sound, it’s clean and powerful.”
The song that makes me want to dance
Earth Wind and Fire – 'September'
“I’m not going to be on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ any time soon. I’m a terrible dancer. I have decent rhythm. I have to have a few cocktails. I like Earth, Wind and Fire, that’ll usually do it. They’re a great funk band. ‘70s funk will get me on the dancefloor. The Meters are too funky. I’m a real dorky dancer.”