The first ever article I wrote that was published in magazine was about Music and Gender (you can read it here : http://issuu.com/freeqmagazine/docs/freeq-magazine-pilot-issue) and I still stand by it being one of the best articles I have written. This article caused a band from Nottingham to get in touch with the editor and ask if I would write a feature about them. Considering this was my first ever published piece, I was honoured and in shock. The fact that a band got what I was trying to do meant so much to me.
The Smears are three fearless and fucking incredible musicians from Nottingham. My feature on them can be found here: http://issuu.com/freeqmagazine/docs/freeq-magazine-goat-issue-2 Everything I wrote there is still relevant. Still true. I will always regard them as being one of the VERY FEW bands that keep up a Punk feel to their music, and of a course a brutal kick of Riot Grrrl to their music too. Everything about them is aggressive, pure, passionate and real. A lot of musicians put on an act just to sell records. Honesty and heart are worth more than a fucking platinum plaque.
For me, I always believe that regardless of the genre; music should come from a place that the listener is afraid to go, and the band/singer guides them. They unleash all the pain,fury,loss, ANYTHING/EVERYTHING for you. They grab your hand and drag you through it. This is why I have so much love and respect for Courtney Love, Shirley Manson and Patti Smith. I regard them as the three most important musicians of all time. They are strong females who do it THEIR way. They do it their way and what you think doesn’t fucking matter. Their lyrics are sheer poetry and come from a place that most would call dark, or a place most would be afraid to go near. However, why I adore these three mind-blowing and inspiring musicians is for a different article entirely. But, staying with the purity of it- I am going to try to tell you why The Smears are one of the most important bands around.
For the life of me, I cannot remember the first song I heard by them but it was when Myspace was still thought of as being important for music. Maybe it still is. I played their music constantly when I was told about them, so I could really feel where they were coming from and think of questions that weren’t typical. Never settle. Never accept “typical.”
Their music should leave you quivering in a ball but wanting more. They should make you want to start your own kind of riot. Their music is there to bring out all the fight in you. It makes you feel 60 feet tall. Powerful and untouchable. It makes me so sad and fucking angry when people say “Oh the Spice Girls were an important band..etc.” That just pisses me off. There is NO depth to their music. Nothing. There is NOTHING empowering about them, nothing at all. It ballsed up music greatly. If you want a girl band (but please don’t define them by gender) that can truly inspire people to pick up an instrument and start something that is so fucking needed- The Smears are right there. They pick up where the likes of Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile left off.
If I was 14 years old and I heard The Smears every part of me would just bin everything off around me, start playing the guitar and maintain the teenage angst in my bones and turn it into something truly powerful. That’s all you can do. Rage should NEVER consume you. I believe that anything and everything can be morphed into a form of art. If you’re sad; turn it into a poem. If you’re happy; turn it into a self-portrait.
Get riled up and let it all out. Scream, shout, bleed, cry, fight,fuck, believe, whisper; just do something. Music should make you feel like you can do anything. It should give you the self-belief that carries you through. Although at times it is so much easier to just be full of self-doubt. Trust me, I know. I know what it’s like to feel like you are not good enough to do anything, To not be good enough for another. But the truth is, we are ALL good enough. Other people are just cowards. Music should be the backbone to all you feel. That’s why I love The Smears.
The Smears go beyond being a band. Just by listening to them you can tell they have a gang mentality. It is the three of them against EVERYONE. You can either get behind them, or get the fuck out of the way. I suggest you do the former. It is safer, a lot safer. They are loud and you cannot control them. The music is bold and in your face. They have the raw vibe of Hole’s Pretty On The Inside (their best record.) No other band has really captured that feeling. I am not comparing them to Hole, I’m just saying they capture that atmosphere. The Smears are just phenomenal.
Thrive off proving people wrong and do something from the heart. That is pretty much what I get from listening to The Smears. I got that from them when I first heard them, and I still get it now. When a band can hold your attention like this; you must never let it go. Ever.
Maybe I haven’t said enough about The Smears but I think it is fairly obvious that I love them.