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The Smith Street Band Interview

On the back of their success in Triple J's hottest 100 with 3 songs included and their 2017 album More Scared of You than You Are of Me, their fourth studio album, The Smith Street Band are in the midst of a truly national tour of Australia, visiting venues all over the country from Darwin to Hobart.


We catch up with Wil Wagner..


Where are you today?

I am just at home we have had the last couple of days off so I have just been sleeping really.

We are about 15 shows in and have about twenty to go in this tour.

So you will be peaking when you hit Cairns

That was always our plan to peak when we hit North Queensland

How’s the tour been going?

I think it’s been my favourite toque ever, the crowds have been huge and the two supports on the tour have been fun to watch and hang out with and the band is playing well and everyone is having fun…sometimes tours can be trying but this has not been one of them.

When was the last time you played in Cairns?


You will be hitting many regional areas in Australia, do you see this as important to take your music to those places?

Yeah absolutely especially in a country like Australia where there are 4 or 5 big capital cities but there are so many little pockets of the country that so many bands don’t go too and are so beautiful, like why would you not go to Cairns for 3 days if you could, why would you not go to Darwin…for us as people we get to go swimming, we get to go see the great barrier reef and all this fun stuff.

It’s really important to try and get out to as many places as you can and hopefully it means that whenever we tour Australia it means we can do more than just tour Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane…it’s an amazing country to travel around and experience…we have played in the central coast, we played in Dunsborough in rural western Australia and Mt Gambier…we have played in all these places.

People will come up to you after the show and say “I don’t think I have ever seen a band here this is so sick” and so you can really feel that on stage too. People are really appreciative that you have come and we are always really appreciative that they have made the effort to come out and see us. It has been awesome.

You say the crowds have been good in number but also great crowds do you think part of this is because you are going to places that are often overlooked not just by international acts but also local musicians?

Yeah totally but that’s true for everywhere we play across the world, you find you play in these big cities like London, Berlin and New York and there’s a million other things going on and everyone there has been to 5 shows this month already, but if you do play in places bands don’t go very often there is this level of …you have come so we all have your back, you get a lot of people coming up and saying ‘ I have heard a few of your songs on JJJ but I didn’t really know it but thought I would come and check it out…it was great it was really fun…you get lots of people coming to your shows from different angles whereas if they were living in Melbourne…

Also I don’t like the cities, I live 1.5 hours outside of Melbourne in the country, I have only just moved out here but I kinda don’t ever want to live in a city again… I think when we get out to the regions I can relate to people more than those in Sydney or Brisbane.

You spoke about Triple J, you have featured in the hottest 100 how do you feel about that?

Yeah it’s amazing that’s one of those things that I very clearly remember hearing a lot of the bands I grew to like on the hottest 100 and mum and dad getting the compilation cds and that being on in the car. It’s an Australian institution the hottest 100 and to have any kind of association with it is amazing, I think we have had songs in it the past three years…but just being involved in the last couple is an amazing and exciting thing and we are always honoured and humbled to be a part of it.

It was very exciting this years I was sitting in the park with some friends and our songs would come on and everyone would look at me and say this is so good…it was really exciting.

When was the last time you were in Cairns?

I reckon 18 months to two years ago, I think we played at The Jack, before the new album came out…a very long time ago, it’s between a while between drinks.


What can we expect at your Cairns show?

Especially if we haven’t played somewhere for a while we will always do stuff from everything, there might be someone who has been listening to us from the first album who has never got to see us and there might be someone who has only heard of us from the most recent single so we like to have these people in mind when we are writing a set list.

We do a couple of songs off each and maybe a few more off the last two records. We try to do a career spanning set because I have seen lots of bands who have released four or five albums and no one is ever going to write the perfect set list but it frustrates me when you see a band and they just do the last two records or just the old stuff and none of the new stuff…we try to keep everyone happy when we write the set list but its nigh on impossible.

The rest of 2018 sounds very exciting for the Smith St Band with will having been writing new material and headed into the studio at the end of the Australian tour with the hope of a new album released before the end of the year…along with a European support tour with “Someone” for 3 months



The Smith Street Band Play The Edge Hill Tavern on Saturday 21st of April (SOLD OUT) and Sunday 22nd of April

Tickets avaliable HERE

You can check out the Smith Strret Band on their official website