I have an affinity for the elusive and the alluring. It’s not uncommon for me to get my hands (and sometimes ears) dirty with anything that borderlines the sinister that threatens to seep into your darkest desires. The sounds and melodies that are just out of reach but so tempting to touch. Such is Jmzs Smith. For the past week the e. coast has been dark and dreary, stormy, thunderous and electric. There was no perfect soundtrack (not to mention more sweet discovery) than Jmzs Smith and his erotic, earnest, sultry, tugging-at-your-sheets tunes. It’s enough to give you goosebumps. Once or twice my breath escaped me. When I think I’ve had enough I find myself longing for more. It’s wonderfully provocative. The stuff rainy delirious nights are made of. Enjoy.
Ditte: You’re based in New York City now, but where did you grow up?
Jmzs Smith: New York. I wasn’t born here, but have been here most of my life.
D: What was the first thing you learned about yourself upon moving to New York City?
JS: You can’t always get what you want.
D: “Girls”, your latest effort, has the feeling of rain tapping on a windowsill, the feeling of autumn leaves falling at your feet and the feeling of fog looming just over the horizon. How did you intend it to feel?
JS: The feeling of being hung over and staring at the napkin from last night with a phone number scrawled on it, trying to remember what she looked like.
D: You’ve ambitiously released your LP “Heartbreaking Woman” on reel to reel, which is fitting for the mood and tone of your music. It peaked my curiosity; how have your fans responded to it? Do you own a reel to reel player? How did the decision come about to release “Heartbreaking Woman” on reel to reel?
JS: The response was great. People were very keen to get the tapes. I do own a reel to reel machine; I was at a vintage store in Brooklyn and there was a gray tolex mystery case in the back, it opened up into a japanese reel to reel machine from 1967, that had never been used, even had the factory tags still on. No one knew much about it or if it worked. I bought it, plugged it in, the tape started recording and I was obsessed with the sound. So releasing it on tape was a natural progression.
D: What is your affiliation with PlaztikMag?
JS: I work with them closely to supply the soundtracks.
D: If I’m not mistaken, you’re a photographer too? What do you try to capture in your photography and what do you find most engaging about photography?
JS: I enjoyed taking photos a long time ago. Now it’s just force of habit.
D: What comes first- the melody or the girl?
JS: Vodka and regrets.
D: Who/what are your musical influences?
JS: Early Stones. Serge Gainsbourg. The Stooges . Iggy’s Bowie produced Berlin albums
D: What inspires you?
JS: Scotch. Late nights. Old Playboys. 7 day weekends. Guitar pedals . A girl with bangs.
D: Have you ever thought of covering Suicide’s “Girl”? I think you’d do it up wonderfully.
JS: I had never heard the song before; now that you suggested it I looked it up and I think that’s a good idea. I really should do a cover.
D: Where can we catch you playing live?
JS: I’m planning on playing some shows in Williamsburg over the summer. Dates will be posted on my site & twitter.
D: I once had a conversation about garters vs thigh highs in my office with my supervisor. She voted garters and I voted thigh highs. So I ask you: garters or thigh highs?
JS: In a perfect world I could have both. In an imperfect world I’ll settle for thigh highs during the day and garters at night.
Jmzs Smith’s EP Girls is available for digital download and on cassette tape at select record stores.
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