The Smith Street Band: Critical Mass

The Smith Street Band
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Unless you're talking about solar panels, you may think sunshine and technology don’t mix. Melbourne five piece The Smith Street Band get right to the heart of the matter on their new LP, Sunshine And Technology.

“It’s an interesting thing,” drummer and vocalist Chris Cowburn says. “Wil [Wagner], the chief songwriter of the band, writes all the lyrics and a lot of his themes weigh in on those two topics — how technology is something at the forefront of our lives, like everyone has an iPhone and that sort of stuff, and how it’s really easy to forget something really simple like going out and hanging out in the park with your friends and enjoying that sort of simple stuff. 

“There’s a lot of those themes in the album,” Chris continues. “It’s a bit of a battle in weighing up what’s more important and what’s really important. I think sunshine is more important but you obviously need technology to a certain extent.”

After a lengthy bidding war between several Aussie labels, Melbourne's Poison City Records snagged the follow-up to 2011's much loved No One Gets Lost Anymore. The folk-punk sound that charmed the likes of Frank Turner, Fucked Up and La Dispute is still present on <>Sunshine And Technology</>, but it's been refined.

“Some people might be surprised there’s no acoustic songs on this album,” Chris reveals. “This album is a lot more band-focused. That wasn’t intentional, it’s just kind of like a natural progression. We’ve got a really solid lineup of five dudes and everyone has a really strong opinion and as much as that can kind of clash sometimes, it makes a really good and creative writing process. So when we were doing the album we had heaps of ideas going around and I think it just felt more like a band album.”

To celebrate the release, the five-piece are embarking on a nationwide tour around Australia with US band Restorations. “I’m really looking forward to that,” Chris says.

“I’ve Skyped a bunch of times with Jon [Loudon], who’s their singer - there’s technology creeping up on you again,” he laughs. “They’re really amazing. They’re really loud. They’ve got three guitars. They seem kind of similar minded dudes to us, you know, there’s no ‘rock star’ bullshit or any of that. We’re totally privileged that we get to do this and I think they seem the same. We’re just regular dudes... if we weren’t doing what we love, we’d just be working shitty jobs.”

Sunshine And Technology is released on August 24.

The Smith Street Band Tour Dates

Fri Aug 17 — Brisbane Hotel (Hobart)
Sat Aug 25 — The Tote (Melbourne)
Thu Aug 30 — Enigma Bar (Adelaide)
Fri Aug 31 — Rosemount (Perth)
Thu Sep 6 — X&Y Bar (Brisbane)
Fri Sep 7 — Great Northern (Newcastle)
Sat Sep 8 — Annandale Hotel (Sydney)
Sun Sep 9 — Phoenix Lounge (Canberra)
Sun Sep 16 — Poison City Weekender (SOLD OUT)

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