Alex Smith will be in town on Sunday 19 October 2014 with his mates from the band Moving Pictures to perform their seminal album, Days Of Innocence in its entirety.
The show to be held at Lizotte’s Newcastle will showcase the album that spent 7 weeks at the top of the Australian Album charts in 1982 and spawned the number one single “What About Me”. Dan Beazley chatted with lead singer Alex Smith ahead of the show about the album, vocal health and ‘That’ song.
You’ll be performing Moving Pictures’ 1981 “Days of Innocence” album its entirety at Lizottes on the 19th. Why now?
ALEX: The album was important for us obviously, but I think it was important for a lot of people. When we play the songs from it,people know all the words, (better than I do) . I Think it was a matter of the time and place just being synchronous, it resonated in people and they remember that.
How did having a ‘signature song’ like ‘What About Me’ effect the career of Moving Pictures?
ALEX: “What about me” changed everything obviously….but…we were kinda doing alright before it, filling venues and touring constantly. The album went gold before ‘What about’ was released. It was after it came out that things went completely ballistic. We did countdown and the world turned upside down and inside out.
How did you and the band feel when (Australian Idol runner up) Shannon Knoll had a hit with “What about me”?
ALEX: The Shannon thing didn’t bother me….. I have lived in London for the last 21 years, I didn’t even hear it till I came back. Good on him. I have sung it with him, he is a great guy. Garry and Fran wrote a classic song and he chose to do it….great call.
From all reports you’re still a prolific songwriter. Do you have your own recording set up at home, or do you still prefer to head into an established studio?
ALEX: Yes I record at home…. Very basic…I’m a crap musician and technology is a mystery to me. I’m not computer savy or digitally literate.every now and then I send the guys discs of stuff and we talk about it.
Has your song writing and recording process changed as technology has evolved?
ALEX: Technology scares the crap out of me ……. I can’t even use a mobile phone properly.
Given online distribution is heavily geared towards the sale of ‘singles’, do you think albums like “Days of Innocence” are a thing of the past?
ALEX: I still believe in albums.
How have you kept your voice is such top condition? Do you have a vocal health regime?
ALEX: Yes….. When we first started touring again I really struggled. I hadn’t sung loud music for twenty years. I started working on drills and trying to get my range and power back. I remember when we finished the days of innocence album. Charles Fisher (the producer) said that I Had really made a rod for my own back. So when I started trying to sing like a 21 yr old again it was hard.
I feel that this time The 3rd tour of the reformed pictures I am starting to feel that I am singing a lot better. If you ask singers ,one of the things that really gets to them is the fear of not being able to sing (and that is what I had) that fear kinda paralyses and chokes up your throat. Like a self fulfilling prophesy. This time around I feel great I am physically fit, my head is in a good place and I am surrounded by the best friends I have ever had.
I try to do warm-ups and drill everyday ….but in a relaxed way. I am not in my twenties I am in my late fifties…… I Am straight , sober and happy if that is a regime I’m happy to have it.
When you first listened to the 2000 remaster of “Days of Innocence”, what did you think? Did the remaster bring out anything that hadn’t been there before or suppress things that were?
ALEX: I hadn’t even registered the remaster……..
Any chance of guest appearance by local artist Dave Carter during your show at Lizottes?
ALEX: From what I understand Dave Carter has another gig that night!! the traitorous bastard!! How dare he forgo the opportunity to bask in my Glory!!!! blood will be spilt and honour will have to be defended. Ps he is a genius.