INTERVIEW: Roots Rock Veteran Nate Smith

Hi Nate, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi Vents, been good. Hope the same for you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Oak Tree”?

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Sure. Sussin’ around with a gal… things got a little crazy. Addictions, chemicals… what are you gonna do? Sometimes the sweetest people – and the sweetest connections – can be shrouded in addiction as fragile folks try to cope with an un-fragile world. I guess the song sprang from some anger as one has to let go of the great pearl that’s trapped in a shell of dysfunction that won’t let it out.

What made you want to tackle on this dark theme?

Songs happen to me most of the time from whatever’s going – whatever is going on that matters.

Was it easy to balance the dark aspects with the, say, uplifting tone?

I have no idea. It’s rock and roll. Struggle can be complex right? Its hard to say no sometimes, even when you know you should….

Any plans to release a video for the single?


How was the recording and writing process?

It’s a very simple structure – and a very simple expression. Intentionally. No need to dilly-dally. Recording was a rock and roll blast! I love the folks that I get to play with in the studio! Mark Rains engineer at Station House Studios in Echo Park, CA / Ted Russell Kamp at the Den Studio in Highland Park, CA / Jaimie Douglass on drums / Kyle Mann engineer (and bass on this track) at Speakeasy Sound Studios in Burbank, CA / Dave Way mixing / John Greenham mastering. These are brilliant and amazing people.

What role does LA play in your music?

Access to folks like those listed above.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

I have quite a few songs that have emerged over the last months. Weird little buggers. No idea if they’re any good. I’m a tree standing in the middle of a storm – wind blows from here, from there – rain – sleet – what have you…. Songs come in from all angles – up from the ground even. It happens to me, rather than me happening to it. You know? So, we’ll see what lands and makes sense…

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I don’t know… maybe: Tree Standing In The Middle Of A Storm – Ha!

Any plans to hit the road?

Would love to. My band got famous and are on the road all the time backing some big acts out there… So, I’m working on building a live band to get that going.

What else is happening next in Nate Smith’s world?

Being a single dad. You know – dishes, laundry, soccer…. Loving it.

Listen to “Oak Tree” here:

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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One comment

  1. Besides being a great musician and songwrter, Nate Smith is a great human being who always comes from his heart.

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