The following interview was conducted via email in February 2007:
Smith Curry, best known to Kid Rock fans for his stint playing the Dobro in Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker band, took a few moments to talk exclusively to Extreme Kid Rock about his history, what he’s been up to since leaving TBT and more.
1. How were you approached in joining the Twisted Brown Trucker band?
SMITH CURRY: I taped a television special late in 2002 with country singer Sherrie Austin and the bass player on the show was Aaron Julison. He mentioned that he was going to be playing with Kid Rock in the future and late in 2003 he introduced me to Bob [Kid Rock].
2. Having learned and mastered playing several instruments at a young age, did you have a certain song that you played that truly showcased your talent to family and friends?
Not really a particular song, but I do remember playing Jeff Beck’s “Freeway Jam” for my high school when I was in 10th grade. Jimi Hendrix was always a fave.
3. Is there a review in particular you’ve received from the press that has truly inspired you to work harder to reach greater success in the music business?
It’s always nice to hear good things from the press; one review from the famous critic Phillip Elwood in the San Franciso Chronicle early in my career helped boost my self esteem. More important is the praise (or criticism) you get from the musicians you look up to.
4. The shape of your arms clearly shows you enjoy spending time in the gym. Can you tell us about your workout schedule and routine?
I do a lot of rock climbing and mountaineering (see smithcurry.com for some photos), but I also spend a lot of time in the gym, especially when in Nashville. The hard part of staying in shape is when you’re on the road: plenty of alcohol around, and hard to find a gym!
5. During the 04 tour both you and Aaron Julison were the two newest members of TBT. Did you receive any pointers or advice from Kid Rock or any of the band members that helped you perform at your very best at your first show?
Well we rehearsed for quite a long time (especially by Nashville standards) before the first show, so I felt pretty prepared. However, I wasn’t used to the concussion bombs the pyro guy was setting off, so I was jumping out of my skin every time one of those massive explosions blew up.
6. What is the best solo you can cut on any instrument?
The best solos are the ones with the most feeling and emotion. Many of my favorites are small compostions that fit inside a song like Skunk Baxter’s in the Steely Dan song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. Having said all of that there’s still nothing like somebody just totally shredding: Jimi Hendrix’s Machine Gun on “Band of Gypsies” being a good example.
7. Do you have any favorite hang out spots in Nashville?
Usually if I’m out in Nashville, I’m either playing music, or watching friends play. For a small venue “The Basement” and “The Family Wash” are great, “12th and Porter” is a good one too. A little bigger with a lot of good music is “The Mercy Lounge”. For just plain drinking, “The Blue Bar” “The Red Door” and “Loser’s” form what is known as the Devil’s Triangle!
8. Can you tell us your favorite memory of being in a Kid Rock tour bus while on the road?
One night Wes, lead singer of “Puddle of Mudd” was partying (HARD!) in the back lounge with us, when he asked me “Hey man…..Do you live in L.A.?” I said no, I live in Nashville. A minute later he asked again, “Hey…..Where do you live….L.A.?” Again I told him Nashville. A minute later, I shit you not, “Hey man, do you live in L.A.?”
9. What are your thoughts on the impact the MySpace website has had with the music industry?
The entertainment industry in general is in a HUGE state of flux right now, and MySpace is just one more facet. I have seen the devastating effects of downloading and copying songs on the studios and musicians here in Nashville, but I also think it’s fantastic how the web has given power back to individuals. Anyone can set up a MySpace page and get their music out there.
10. Finally, do you have any current projects you would like to mention to our visitors?
Some of the recordings I played on last year are doing very well on Country radio right now….I have a pedal steel solo on Jason Aldean’s current hit which is in the Billboard top 5, and my Dobro is all over Billy Currington’s current single. The project I’m most excited about however, is my psychedelic rock solo record “American Idle” which is about 3/4 done (it should be finished, but I’ve been so busy playing other people’s music). Keep checking back at smithcurry.com for a release date!