Steve Smith of Dirty Vegas Tauks the Tauk
If you have ears there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Dirty Vegas and, by proxy, Steve Smith. The British trio, made up of brothers Ben and Paul Harris and Smith on vocals, took the airwaves by storm with their house hit “Days Go By.” The club banger popped off and eventually landed them a Grammy for Best Dance Recording of 2003. We’ve hosted the boys at the beach house numerous times, but this time around the band’s lead vocalist is going it alone. With a new solo album in the works, Smith will be performing an acoustic set on Friday evening as well as a live percussion/DJ set on Saturday joined by Nelleke. In anticipation of his two Labor Day Weekend sets, we chatted with Smith about the current culture of EDM and more.
This isn’t your first rodeo with us, but this time around you’ll be doing an acoustic set. Tell us a bit more about your personal sound.
Yes, as part of Dirty Vegas I have great memories of playing MBH. We have played our DJ/Live percussion sets by the pool, and last July 4th weekend was one of our highlights of the year. This Friday I will be playing solo acoustic, but with a twist. I have been working on a new show for my solo tour that’s rolling out this Fall, which includes myself looping up live percussion and electronic pads. I will be playing versions of DV tracks as well as solo tracks.
You have a new solo record dropping in the near future. How does it differ from your previous work with Dirty Vegas?
This new EP that I am releasing is more chilled than DV music. It’s more suited for sunsets on the beach rather than 2 AM in a nightclub! After I play Montauk, I head off for 2 shows in Ibiza and then dates in the US and UK. This EP is different in the fact that I booked the dates before the music was actually finished, so the inspiration has been about the fact that I’m going to be traveling in the future. I think travel is such a huge part of our lives, whether it’s walking through a major city or a walk along the shore. This has always been a great source of inspiration for my writing.
What place most inspired your new solo effort?
I have been scribbling away (as always) lyrics for this new solo project as well as new Dirty Vegas songs. This year we have had shows in places such as Italy, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. I find I use the travel to/from these shows as a good time to write songs. There is always nerves when traveling to a show and fulfillment when coming home from them, so I feel I get a lot from these times. One place that has been great for the new music has been Ibiza, so much of what made me want to become a musician came from the music that has generated from that Island. I go back there every year and it’s always on my mind.
Craziest music related memory. Go!
We’ve had some crazy things happen over the years like finding out HRH Prince William is a fan, Madonna personally asking us to remix for her. But hearing your name called out at The Grammys will be something to bring the goosebumps out.
You’re one of the pioneers of EDM. How do you feel the genre has changed (for better or worse) in the last decade?
I feel the scene has changed in so many ways, it’s now global. The internet has brought new music (especially Electronic) to everybody. There are some bad points in the EDM world, but many good points that will help it continue to be a credible music genre like blues, rock and hip hop.
Who are some of your favorite newbies we should keep an eye on?
I’ve been listening a lot to Rufus Du Sol, Elderbrook, Kiran Ghandi and still loving the Bob Moses album.
Describe the first time you heard yourself on the radio.
Haha! It was December 2000, Music legend Pete Tong played ‘Days Go By’ for the very first time on BBC Radio 1. Paul Harris from Dirty Vegas called me to say switch on the radio as the track will be played in the next 10 mins. I was stuck in traffic in London, and after the song finished I pulled over and found the nearest pub for a celebratory pint.
Steve Smith is performing at the beach house on Friday September 2nd at 5:00 PM and Saturday September 3rd at 1:00 PM.
Peep the rest of our calendar and RSVP here.