Los Angeles dandy rockers SMASH FASHION recently released their fourth full length, ROMPUS POMPOUS. Once more the band delivers everything you ever wanted from a rock'n'roll band: great vocals, brilliant guitar playing and a rock steady rhythm section.
The songwriting of Roger Deering is at its finest and what you get here is instant Powerpop, Glitter and boogie classics.
Time to talk to the man himself.
Among other very interesting things, he reveals that the band has a full box of cover songs already recorded. So damn it boys, do NOT hesitate any longer, the next record MUST be this all covers album!!!
Smash fashion is a high energy rock ‘n’ roll band out of Los Angeles California. Purveyors of decadent psychedelia and atomic power pop with the feather boa!..The beginnings of smash fashion go back to 2004 -2005..With quite a few starts,stops,heartbreaks and broken bones. There’s been a few lineup changes over the years. However the concept and direction remains the same, to be a multi dimensional rock ‘n’ roll band that incorporates 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll into our sound.Classic rock ‘n’ roll with the rocket up its ass!
The lineup on our latest LP “Rompus Pompous “ is myself -lead vocals/rhythm guitars...Lloyd Stuart Casson-Lead /rhythm guitars...Repo Kauppila-Drums/percussion and Scarlet Rowe-Bass
2)About the latest full length record, Rompus Pompous, what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of over dubs?
It’s actually A little of both. All basic rhythm and drum tracks were recorded live... with a scratch vocal, which we sometimes kept ,well as some lead guitar which we sometimes kept,depending if it caught the vibe of the song. Some songs we put a lot of overdubs on and others we didn’t. Each song was treated differently, as most of the songs on the record have their own vibe and identity...Some went through different incarnations in the overdubbing process to reach their final destination.In other words,some were more torturous and some were as easy and as smooth as a gravy sandwich to track!
3) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analogue Studios?
Well there’s a couple of realistic factors that come into play here...1) tape is very hard and expensive to come by now...2) Analog tape machines and studios are getting more and more scarce... 3) it’s much more practical, convenient , and economically feasible to finish tracking using the digital format.There are plenty of plug-ins, so you can strive for a more analog sounding result. Our record is a little bit of both -some analog and digital on top. I believe we achieved our goal, in not having a over compressed ProTools digital sounding record. I personally can’t even listen to a lot of modern records, as the compression takes away any dynamic in the sound. A lot of modern records all sound like they’ve been recorded the same exact way. I think the” Rompus Pompous “ record sounds warm and lush, and it breathes... and no auto tune anywhere in sight! Now, if we had the money, space and time, I’m sure we’d love to make complete analog recordings and records... now if some smart label would put us up in a mansion in the English country side.... hint hint
4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved one way or another?
I’ve always been the primary songwriter... yet I’m well aware that it's guys individual talents that really help the songs shine. That’s why chemistry and playing with people whose company you enjoy is so important in a band format. We all have respect for each other’s talent and what we’re each capable of bringing to the table. Being in a band is like being married to three other women! It’s a lot of give-and-take and patience from everybody... it’s not always easy, but having 3 other people having your back is nice... as sometimes it really feels like us against the world!
5) About the new record” Rompus Pompous” can you explain the title? And what’s the connection with the artwork on the front cover?
“ROMPUS POMPOUS “... is a song I had for a bit... it was originally inspired by a story I once read about Michael Jackson attending a party of Freddy Mercury’s and how outrageous it was... and how fame and power can disconnect one from reality and perception... but with the political climate being as such here in the States, it morphed lyrically somewhat into the present. About narcissism and selfie culture...we are in strange times and it’s gonna get even more weird.
The cover has symbols and references to outrageousness hence the bold graphics that just scream-Loud!....
6) Smash fashion as been described by some people as a glam or glitter band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there was way more than that?
This seems to be a never ending dilemma concerning us... it seems nowadays people need to put a tag
on you for marketing reasons.In actuality were just a high-energy rock ‘n’ roll band. Of course glam and glitter are component of what we do. But it certainly doesn’t define who we are sound wise.
Because of the simple reason that glam and glitter mean different things to different people...The stuff that does influence my songwriting comes more from 70's glitter not 80's glam...Bowie, Queen,
T. Rex, The Sweet , Roxy Music, etc.... in the 80's ,while hair glam was popular, I (and Stuart and Repo) were more involved in the punk scene... I didn’t pay attention to it... I didn’t connect with that scene as I found most of the music too one dimensional... it didn’t swing and wasn’t weird... I found it boring ,a bit too dumbed down... so, are we glitter/glam? Kinda... in the sense that we like dressing cool... but our influences and sound cover a bigger spectrum... and I do feel the tag hurts us at times... it stops some from investigating into us further... they see the “glam” tag and skip over us... glam is not a dirty word goddamn it!!SMASH FASHION IS A ROCK'N'ROLL BAND
7) Do you have a new video on YouTube featuring a Track from the new CD?
We do... “Runs In The Family”... a dity that concerns murder, mayhem and dying bloody....watch loud!
8) What can concert goers expect at a Smash fashion gig? Are you playing any famous covers songs?
First and foremost ,I would hope that anybody attending a gig of ours is there to have a good time... Because that ultimately is what we are about... We’re at the point where we have a pretty deep catalog.. so we can pick and choose from a lot of really good songs...Lots of guitar heroics from Stuart...lots of hats ,scarves and cool guitars!
As far as covers, they come and go out of our set... we’ve covered songs by ABBA, Elton John, The Saints, Dramarama, The Dictators, Rolling Stones, Golden Earring, Nazareth and many others over the years... as a matter of fact... we have a lot of those tracked and in the can for a possible all covers LP... we shall see if we ever decide to put it... and by the way... we do have a new 7 inch single ready to go for record store day 2019... so drop into our Facebook page to stay tuned... and if you dig it , buy our records!
9)Anything you would like to add?
Remember, rock'n'roll is a vicious game... but we like it!Cheers!!!!
Here's the band's homepage : http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/news
And the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion