Shoot The Shit with Kye Smith (LRF)

June 15, 2013 | By

DIWireless_ShootShit_KyeSmithYep, it’s that guy who played a drum cover of every Fat Wreck Chords release. And we get the inside scoop on it all right here in this ‘Shoot The Shit’ interview.The video went viral. Mr Fat Wreck himself loved it.

OK, let’s get straight to it. Describe the process for putting together the Fat Wreck Release medley including the original idea.

I had put together a Blink 182 drum medley a while back and found it pretty different and fun playing everything all mixed up and out of place so I decided to chuck another one together, but I couldn’t decide which band to do next. My pal Stu mentioned doing a Fat Wreck one which immediately seemed the logical way to cover all bases and pay a bit of a tribute to my favourite label at the same time. From there I came up with the stupid idea to cover every single Fat release ever, but after taking a closer look at the catalogue I realised that was crazy talk. From there I narrowed it down to cover every full length (no EPs/7s) excluding releases like live albums, best ofs, rereleases and compilations.

I spent a couple of hours a night after work going through the catalogue and my collection and cutting all the snippets into place. By the time I got to about 1998 in the catalogue, the medley was already about 15 minutes long so I realised that if I didn’t want this thing to go for two hours I would have to be brutal and cut it all pretty tight, which is why there are some releases that might only have a hit or two in there.

When it was all cut together and tightened up I chucked it on a CD and listened to it in order on repeat for about a week to get it stuck in my head in the right order before giving it a play on the kit. It was pretty difficult playing some of my favorite songs ever in such short snippets before quickly cutting to something else at first because I had these songs engrained in my head and had a tough time not wanting to play the rest of the song, but after a few days it all kind of just became more natural to play the medley in order.

How long have you been working on it?

Maybe about a month? Like I said, the medley took a few weeks just to cut together. Then about a week listening and learning the medley in order, a few days practicing to it, a few hours to shoot and a couple of days to edit.

OK, so how many takes to get the final video?

I only had a couple of cameras available so I had already realised beforehand that I would have to run through it a bunch of times to get more than 2 or 3 angles in the final video. But on the day I planned to originally shoot, everything went wrong. Cameras slipped off mounts halfway through tracking, the computer kept failing while recording the audio mix and to top it off I broke every drumstick I had left. So after running through it about 3 times I still had no footage worth using. I decided to give it another go a few days later and everything just kind of fell into place so I only had to run through it 3 or 4 times for different angles then picked the best audio take out of the lot.

How the hell did you pick which parts to play?

I’d be lying if I said I owned every single release in the medley, but I got to have a pretty good time discovering some new bands I might have overlooked over the years. I’ve spent a lot of years playing along to most of these bands so for a lot of the releases I already had a pretty good idea of a part I wanted to include. For the ones I wasn’t so familiar with, I used the sample song on the Fat site to get an idea of what they were like and then went to Last fm to get an idea of what songs people like most from the release and went through and picked a part from there. It was awesome to go back through some releases I might not have heard for a long time and to get into some new bands along the way.

What were the toughest bands/parts to get right?

I tried not to pick the most far out, crazy drumming parts from each release because I knew that I would already be pushing the boundaries of how much I could remember in order, plus, amber ale and fast food has really done a number on whatever fitness I had going over the last year. But there were a lot of tempo changes that took a bit of work. Going immediately from say Against Me! to Propagandhi is always going to be a bit of a mindfuck.

The video went viral. Any weird or unexpected responses from different parts of the world?

Oh man the whole response was weird and unexpected. I had no idea that so many people would find something like this interesting so when I saw it go nuts getting shared around I was blown away. The response from the bands included in the medley has been completely surreal as well. To see so many of your favorite bands from all over the world tweeting/posting something you have chucked together in a rumpus room is pretty mind-blowing to say the least.

Getting a thank you comment on YouTube from Fat Mike himself (unless it was some elaborate hoax account) kind of sums up the craziness. I was like ‘man what are you talking about, I need to be thanking you!’.

Any new offers to join bands after this? Serious or otherwise?

I got a nice tweet from Gordy Frenzal the other day asking if I wanted to fill in for their show in Newcastle so he could drink. But I’m gonna call bullshit on that one because everyone knows he can drink and drum just fine.

Your regular drumming job is with Local Resident Failure. How did your bandmates react to the vid? 

I got a message from Dal one morning after he saw it saying ‘dude, your the only guy I know that would cover every fat record ever, you twat’. So yeah, support and stuff I guess.

You have said you discovered a network of other people doing drum covers and posting them online. Any awesome stuff you can recommend from other drum nerds on Youtube?

These days a new song can be released and an hour later there are 50 drum/guitar/vocals covers of it on Youtube, some really awesome, some not so much. You can always tell who is really into what they are playing and who is just trying to be the first guy to cover that song and get a million hits.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the guys who are playing it because they love the song, not because they can get some sick arse angle of a stick trick halfway through playing a kit smothered in triggers and samples. I guess it’s a bit of a cliche but Cobus is a guy I have been watching for years and he always seems to be stoked on what he is doing. Also as far as other covers go, check out Jenn Fiorentino – acoustic Propagandhi covers that could make a grown man weep.

Favourite drummer of all time? You’re going to say Travis Barker…aren’t you?

I grew up on Green Day and Blink 182. They were my ‘gateway’ bands so Tre Cool and Travis Barker will always have a sentimental place. But I think favorites overall would probably be Gordy Frenzal and Dave Raun. They have had a huge impact on the way my drumming has been shaped over the years. Sometimes I just straight up rip off Gordy’s fills. LRF did steal our name from a Frenzal song as well though so I guess there’s some kind of trend going on there….

Kye plays drums in Local Resident Failure. The video in question is below.

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