Spanish outfit, Smile, creates music that encapsulates the essence of a life carefree and by the sea. Carletes Sáez chats with the lads as they lead up to the release of their 3rd album, ‘Out of Season’, which is set to be out this October.
Tell us a bit about Smile. Who are you? How long have you been playing and what were you doing before this project?
Smile have been playing together for a very long time. I started writing songs before I even knew how to play the guitar. Dani and Ferdy joined Smile after they quit playing with their own Mod band called The Gravestones. Javi and Josu also played in other bands before becoming a part of the family.
Since then, how are things evolving for the band?
At the beginning, we just played at local bars and pubs. It wasn’t until our first album was released by a small, independent label that we started playing bigger venues and took it more seriously. With our second album we managed to sign a good deal with a strong management company and things kind of took off from there. Our third album will be released in October, and we can’t wait to start playing the new songs!
What is your connection with surfing and the sea?
Surfing is an endless source of inspiration and is present in most of our songs. Without it, Smile wouldn’t even exist. It’s where we celebrare the good and forget about the bad.
What have your influences been? How have you managed to find that unique sound and vibe that Smile has?
I guess our sound comes from mixing all the different styles of music we listen to. The 60s, early 70s, indie 90s and lots of new stuff. I think it’s a great time for music, there are so many good bands.
Tell us a bit more about your new record…what can we expect from it?
In the new record we have tried to get away from our comfort zone and come up with fresh ideas that hadn’t been used in the past. I think it sounds more contemporary than anything we’ve done before. We’ve put in a lot of hours in the studio just trying to fix the songs in a more unconventional way, the drum beats, the voice effects, the bass sound, the guitars…
“We kind of declared an open war on stupid summer adverts with terrible surf images by creating true surf videos with real surfing in them.”
Do you have any fun or interesting event or story that you have experienced during the recording of the new LP you’d like to share?
Part of the album was recorded at Quiksilver’s Drop In Studio in France. We had a friend filming the whole process while we were there. We went to the beach one day just to film a song with a nice sunset in the background, and these kids who were there kind of liked the song we were playing and asked us who we were. We said, “Smile”, and they answered, “The famous Smile?” We couldn’t stop laughing!
How does it feel, knowing that each day you have more and more people listening your songs? I feel it has all been pretty viral…
It’s great. The more people that like us, the better. We do try to update our Facebook and Twitter constantly, not only with news regarding the band, but also with images that are somehow strongly related to the band. It’s about showing our fans who we are, where we come from and what we represent.
Of course the videos we did for the ‘Seasides’ EP helped a lot too. The ‘Perfect Holiday’ video has been seen by more than 10 million people, which is amazing.
Yes, talking about your videos, I think they’re great! Very original and have that ‘do-it-yourself’ touch that makes them so much fun to watch. They fit perfectly with the lyrics and music. How do you achieve this?
We came up with the idea of making five new songs, each one with a video. We kind of declared an open war on stupid summer adverts with terrible surf images by creating true surf videos with real surfing in them. We called some good surf friends to see if they would like to collaborate with the idea and they were stoked to help us out.
What are your dreams or future plans for the band?
Our dream would be to live off what we like to do most, which is playing music and surfing, but we are quite happy at how things are working out for us right now. We will be touring Spain all next year and hopefully we will build a bigger audience as we go along.
How about playing in Australia? When can we expect to see you in the near future?
Oz sounds great, but very far too. Things need to change a lot before we even dream of going to play Australia. If we do come, it will be a dream come true for sure!