(Chris Smith at Bad Animals Studio, Seattle, on assignment for RAW during recording of Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown.’ Photo: Lisa Johnson)
Chris Smith has been a writer and editor for his entire professional career. At least as important, however, is his life-long immersion in the various facets of the music industry.
A fan of heavy music since the early 1980s, Smith turned his love professional via a 1986 stint as stagehand at London’s famed Marquee Club. Years as an aspiring bass player or front man in local metal combos gave way in 1992 to his first paid music journalism gig, starting off at the top of the hard rock mountain as a US-based scribe for Kerrang!
Smith paid his dues for the first year or two writing live reviews and short news items. Feature assignments eventually started coming, however, and the very first full-length article he did for K! was based on an interview he conducted with Doug Pinnick in the run up to King’s X beginning work on its ‘Dogman’ album. The two have remained in touch ever since.
Freelance assignments from Raw, B-Side, and the Houston Press became regular parts of Smith’s schedule as did programming and co-hosting Houston’s last commercially broadcast heavy metal specialty radio program: Rock 101 KLOL’s “Stagedive.” Booking local festivals as well as managing local bands and producing their records also became part of his repertoire.
Smith remains in touch with many of the managers, musicians, agents, and record and radio people he met over the years and still enjoys playing matchmaker between them when the opportunity presents itself.