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“I picked the anniversary album, but to me, any Vital Information album could do. Steve is one of the best drummers out there. Like a lot of people, I first knew of Steve from Journey – I even went with my mother to see the band play the Escape tour. I was a fan of his playing in Journey, but once he started Vital, even more so.
“Neil Peart is my favorite all-time drummer, but Steve Smith is my favorite modern-day drummer. He’s the one I’m inspired and influenced by the most. Every time I see him live, he kicks my ass; every time I sit down at a drum kit next to him, he kicks my ass. I’ve been lucky enough to take a couple of private lessons with him in New York, and I always get so much out of those times when we’re together.
“He’s a good friend and just astounds me to no end. He’s the perfect example of a drummer who never rests on his laurels and who always keeps learning more. He could stop playing today and still be better than most drummers. But no, he practices two hours a day. You gotta respect that.”