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.
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.”