Randy Smith's interview
by Philippe Archambeau - July 2002

Can you introduce the band members and how you met them ?

Ronnie Farrell : vocals
Johnny Barnes : guitars
Randy Smith : guitars,bass,backing vocals
Bob Bird : guitar
Chris Turbis : piano & Hammond organ
Chuck Radek : drums
Jessica Tilton : background vocals

Can you tell us about the band 's career since '87 and about your brother who was one of the founding member and to whom the album "Above the law" is dedicated ?
Johnny Barnes, Bob Bird and myself started a band together when we were about 13 years old. At the time I knew all the leads to Freebird, pretty impressive a 13 year old you would think, but very common where we're from. Nevertheless teaming up with Johnny and Bob would later strengthen our friendship as my older brother Jimi Huges (same mother, different father) decided to start his own band after dealing with differences in musical genres from attempts with local musicians accompanied by Chuck Radek on Drums, The Smith & Wesson Band was formed.

After several years of local notoriety we decided to get involved in the Hollywood scene where we didn't exactly feel like we would fit in, but we went over well with the style of music we introduced to the listeners. I guess people didn't know what to think of us in LA, but it didn't stop us from being noticed by up and coming producer at the time Jay Baumgardner. Jay took us in to his studio NRG and we began recording our tunes seeking a record deal.We landed a deal with Polydor thru Left Bank and released our debut album simply entitled "THE REGULATORS", changing the name of Smith & Wesson to avoid possible litigation with the gun company. A tour followed. After just the first leg of the tour tragedy struck when my brother Jimi was shot and killed. Long time loved leader of the Regulators was gone just like that. There is just to much contaversy involved in his death to go into it deep, but let me say Jimi loved life and his creator who provided it."We were like ants when you scatter their trail". Recovery from that may never come but we had to push on, push on in his name.

So we started writing right away, first of course came sweet sustain. That one just kind of fell out. It was easy to write, but very difficult to perform and record. especially the remix, let me tell you it's a good thing we had a little extra time for that because I think Jimi himself, at least in spirit mixed that one, talk about flying faders. Any way we did remix and remaster the record and we added a bonus track for Europe called "Lead Foot". We recorded "Lead Foot" in our own studio with some young special guests, a band called "Dreamkill" I am managing and producing. Be on the lookout for these guys their coming out rock solid with a great new sound a bit different than the Regulators.We also add some new added guitar parts and background vocals by the lovely Jessica Tilton. We met Jessica when we were looking to add some female vocals to our act. She was the one no doubt that at least I was looking for, I fell in love with her right away. thus completing the current line up.

What about your first album being re-released on Polygram ?
We are planning to re-release the first record we did on Polygram as well as some past masters including Jim. Also we are ready with a whole new batch of tunes for the next record. We will have to see when will be the next possible release for that.

How was the extra song "Leadfoot" recorded ?
We remixed and remastered the album at our studios in LA, we refer to as the Regulation station. That's also were we did Leadfoot start to finish.

Why did you change the album's name ?
To give it a fresh start and a new look for the people of Europe.

Who are your main influences ?
I would have to say Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Foghat, plus many more.

How do you explain the fact a californian band became one of the most successfull southern rock bands ?
That's a tough Question. we never considered ourselves to be southern rock but I guess our way of life and our influences just shows that must have made the difference in a LA based rock scene.

What is your best memory on stage ?
Skynyrd in New England, Allman bros in New York, and deffenantly Sturgis many times

Who is your favorite bass player ?
Paul McCartney, Flea is today's best in my book.

Which kind of gear do you use on stage and in the studio ?
63 Fender Precision, and Am amplification.

Did you plan a tour in France, or in Europe ?
Plans exist for a tour in Europe next summer if you all would have us, we would really like to be there.

Imagine you'll spend the rest of your life on a desert island. Which albums would you take with you ?
Another tough question. this time I will have to say Skynyrd "One more from the road", "Frampton comes alive", Clint blacks greatest, Travis tritt. ahh to difficult to say.


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