tom smith


structural mind located for thirty years or so in the deepest South of Georgia and Florida, is the lynchpin of an extraordinarily muscular sound-grouping under the moniker To Live and Shave in LA.  The comparison made in To Live and Shave's Wikipedia entry to the Fall is apt; in many ways, Tom Smith is America's Mark E. Smith - thoughtful, righteous, linguisically thorough and culturally cognizant from the bottom looking up in a way that the up can never be, looking down. 
To Live and Shave, active for the past 15 years and named after a Ron Jeremy porn-parody, issued two monumental full-lengths at the end of last year, Horoscopo: Sanatorio de Moliere on Blossoming Noise, which presents a miasmic collage of recordings, and Noon and Eternity on Menlo Park which presents the new repetoir of the current live band, including Rat Bastard, Don Fleming, Ben Wolcott, Marc Morgan, Andrew WK, and sometimes Thurston Moore.
The questions I sent Smith were written under the influence of beer, so I am grateful that his replies were sent back without the questions included.

1) History / Overview

I began recording in 1975. Found my voice in '78. Boat Of (1979-83); Peach of Immortality (1984-91); Pussy Galore (1985-6).
Followed the sounds in my head south to Miami in '91. Met Rat right away, Ben in '94. We're still here.
Throughout, constant accretion and synthesis.
2) Performance
I just open my mouth and it happens. Always has. Lots of influences, of course. Didn't feel comfortable singing in public from '84, but Don Fleming pulled me out of my shell for an EP we did in '91. Thank you, D.
3) Howie Stelzer / Technique
Howie was doing quite well on his own when I met him.
Process and technique are the least significant aspects of the cycle. Tools are tools. That noted, I work with goals in mind, and those goals shift, warp, flatten, soften, explode outward, etc.
4) Sex
If ardor is mutual, steam is a given. Sounds like you need fresh vegetables and a change of surroundings.
5) Politics
I don't read pop zines for any sort of analysis.
Bush is a fucking piece of shit. America is wrong.
I love music more than anything. .