Now that their new album ‘Throw Me In The River‘ has been released, it is time for The Smith Street Band to take it on tour locally. As I’m sure you are well aware, they are bringing out The Front Bottoms and Apologies, I Have None for an almost completely sold out run of dates that commence this Wednesday night at The Brisbane Hotel in Hobart. There are still tickets available for the all ages Sydney show on Monday 24th November at The Factory Theatre. Everywhere else has hoisted up the sold out sign. If you are yet to grab the album, you can order physical copies  through Poison City Records [Here] and digital copies through iTunes [Here]. After the tour wraps there will be a special underage show at The Reverence Hotel in Footscray on Saturday 6th December. That show will also feature The Bennies, Fear Like Us and Rockenspiele. This week in The Hotseat we catch up with Lee from the band to answer our questions. Expand this post for his answers and a reminder of the tour details.


Name : Lee
Band : The Smith Street Band
Job In Band : Guitar
Website Address :

Hometown : Melbourne
Hometown is best known for : I’d hope it was known for a great music scene but it’s probably known for arrogant hipsters, a terrible public transport ticketing system, a shit ferris wheel and an obsession with a sport that no one plays anywhere else in the world. GO PIES!
Best venue in your hometown : The Reverence Hotel
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Definitely At The Drive In at The Hi-Fi and Big Day Out in 2001.. Definitely changed what I thought a live show was and could be forever.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Probably playing the Arthouse Hotel’s last show ever with Fitzy’s and my old band The Hawaiian Islands. That was definitely a show that felt like a real honour to be asked to be a part of. Being the second last band to ever step on that stage made me feel like I had made the right choices in my life by playing music and being accepted into a great scene of people.

How did the band first come to exist? I think Wil just wanted to start another band after his last one fell apart. He was talking to Chris (who I was living with) at The Arthouse and they started jamming. Tom and Jimmy joined on guitar and bass and they started playing shows and recorded ‘South East Facing Wall’. I met Wil in 2008 when he was recording his first album ‘Us Boys Run’ with Fitzy and when Wil broke his collar bone he asked me to fill in and play guitar at the Poison City Weekender in 2010. I had a blast and asked if I could keep playing, and a few weeks later Wil called me and asked if I was serious and would I actually wanna join, so I did and they haven’t gotten rid of me yet. Then Fitzy joined maybe a year later or so and we became the 4 piece we are now. Long story short. We probably all met at The Arthouse… liked music… played the correct instruments to make a traditional rock band… and didn’t hate each other!
How long has the band been going? 2009 maybe? I’d check Wikipedia but that’s probably all wrong.. according to that Fitzy’s name is James!
Any particular story behind the name? Wil was living on smith st at the time. I think it was just a piss-take/homage to bruce springsteen and the E street band as we were known as Wil Wagner and the Smith street Band in the beginning.. but when we kinda solidified as a proper band and not just a backing band, so to speak, for Wil we dropped his name and just became The Smith Street Band.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… We just released our 3rd album ‘Throw Me In The River’. It was recorded over 5 weeks or so at Sing Sing Studios in Cremorne with Matt Voight and a holiday house we rented in Forrest, Victoria with Sam Johnson and our buddy Jeff Rosenstock from Bomb the Music Industry. It’s 11 tracks and hopefully it’s the best stuff we have written so far!
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? It feels like we create new personal achievements every time we go on tour or release a record or write a new song. I get blown away by everything that happens to us all the time. From playing the first show to releasing a record, to selling out shows and going overseas and getting to tour with amazing bands. Everything has been a great personal achievement!

What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? My brother used to sing in a choir and always played guitar and piano so I was always around music and always had instruments in the house. But the thing that made me decide I had to start a band and not just be an audience member was when I saw Days of Iris play a show at the Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne (I think they were supporting The Nation Blue) and they just blew me away. I think seeing a local band play such amazing songs with such passion and honesty made me realize that’s what I needed to be doing.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? At The Drive In! Omar definitely opened my eyes to a new way to play guitar. I grew up playing metal so everything was always so precise and rigid but he made me realize you can get loose as hell and actually play with some feeling; and that music is a lot more than perfect playing and technique.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? My first proper band (I’m gonna skip my nu metal band in high school) was called Left Hand Cuts The Rright. It was a post hardcore/screamo band.
Most prized music related item you own? Definitely my black squire jagmaster.. I’ve had it for almost 15 years now and it has been a part of every band I have done in that time. It’s the only thing I own that I would care about losing.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Sleeping or watching cartoons mostly
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Knowing that I’ll be playing shows soon and hanging out with friends (and hopefully some free beer!).
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Knowing that I’ll probably be getting on a plane soon that may not have movies for me to watch and possibly having to get up before midday!



When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Bacardi breezers and vodka cruisers! People are a lot happier when they have coloured drinks in their hands.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? China and Europe for sure.. China is absolutely insane in the best possible way. And Europe is just so hospitable to bands that it’s always an amazing experience wherever you go! I was born in England and it feels very much like home when I’m there.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? There has been so many.. 2 of the most memorable would probably be the first time we played in London. We had no expectations going into the show but the place was packed out and people were actually singing along and knew who we were. That was amazing to travel to the other side of the world and have people actually know and like our band. We also played a show in a lecture theatre at a university in China. Words can’t really describe that show, but it was weird as fuck. I think all the students were forced to go for their course work and I think they thought we were Green Day or something.
Got a favourite song to play live? I don’t really have a favourite.. I’m just happy if I don’t make a mistake
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? I vomited on stage at the Brisbane Hotel in Hobart last time we were there cause the manager gave me a shot of whiskey on stage (I don’t like shots much!! But I don’t think anyone saw anyway, so who cares.
Any pre-show rituals? Drink the exact amount of beers that will make the show fun without impairing my ability to play.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? I think the hardest thing about touring is completely self inflicted. It’s all the booze and not sleeping that makes things extra hard, but that’s my own fault and I’m not going to complain about it.

Last song you listened to? Something off Caves new album “leaving”
Last album you picked up? Doe – First Four.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Devon Williams – Carefree.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Doe, Caves, Apologies I Have None, Stockades.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Australian Album launch tour throughout November and then we do New Years Eve at NYE On The Hill.

You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? I would love to do something like Emperors ‘Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk’. I’ve always loved black metal for it’s orchestral qualities and dark melodies (and satan!). I think taking the blast beats out and toning down the distortion you could be left you with some beautiful music possibly! Ha ha.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? I would probably want Bjork or Postal Service to cover an album. I guess just hearing the albums with all the guitars and drums being replaced by keys, samples and drum machines would be sick. And hearing what Bjork or Ben Gibbard would do vocally would also be rad.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Probably wouldn’t be a particular band but rather an era of a band.. I would love to have seen The Smashing Pumpkins back in ’95 for The Mellon Collie tour.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? I really wanna play in our friends kitchen at Astbury Castle in London.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Iron Chic! I love that band so much and the music is easy enough that I wouldn’t need to practice too much (I’m lazy). I don’t think I would get sick of the songs no matter how many times I played them either.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band? The Bennies and Apologies I have none, because I know we would have the best time together. And that’s all that matters!

Got any final words? Our Australian tour starts this week for the release of our new album ‘Throw Me In The River’ that just came out through Poison City Records.

19th – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart [18+] w/ This Is A Robbery SOLD OUT
20th – The Gov, Adelaide [Lic/AA] w/ Grenadiers SOLD OUT
21st – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane [18+] w/ Kiri SOLD OUT
22nd – Manning Bar, Sydney [18+] w/ Oslow SOLD OUT
23rd – Zierholz @ UC, Canberra [18+] w/ Pinch Hitter SOLD OUT
24th – Factory Theatre, Marrickville [Lic/AA] w/ Fait Accompli
26th – Corner Hotel, Melbourne [18+] w/ Fear Like Us SOLD OUT
27th – Corner Hotel, Melbourne [18+] w/ Max Goes To Hollywood SOLD OUT
28th – Corner Hotel, Melbourne [18+] w/ Foxtrot SOLD OUT
29th – Rosemount Hotel, Perth [18+] w/ Flowermouth SOLD OUT
30th – Railway Hotel Beer Garden, Fremantle [18+] w/ Grim Fandango SOLD OUT
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].

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