on Bo Diddley

"Say you get together with the group, and we're all trying to be friends with each other, they'll all put, like, Pavement, Sebadoh, REM on.  I'll put bloody Bo Diddley on."

on Hey! Bo Diddley, 
"This is the best music ever - just one drum and guitar, out of tune and dead simple. I finally managed to get hold of his 16 Greatest Hits album the other day. It's marvellous. He's very influential but never gets much credit. The Stones just pinched riffs off every second song of his. I met him a couple of times. I lived in Chicago for six months and he lived just around the corner. He was the local sheriff of the borough. He wore a badge. It was surreal. He's a great guy - a real hero."


on Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

"It's freeform with discipline",
Smith describing Captain Beefheart's artistry.

Smith, on Dropout Boogie track from the album, Safe as Milk,
"It's hard to choose a Beefheart track because I like them all. This is early, dead short, and very simple for him. I was 16 when I first heard him. I bought Strictly Personal, which was a budget album. When you're at school that's all you can afford and then I took it from there. I like the way he kept trying really hard despite never getting recognition and then just stopped. His music is so well worked out, he did things with guitars that no one else has ever done. He'd get the drummer to play along to the main riff, which is really revolutionary stuff. He was tagged with that '60's sound but that wasn't him at all. I think he suffered from the Zappa connection too; for me the two of them are polar opposites."



"Personally, I think it is Strictly Personal. The one he (Don Van Vliet) didn't like..." 
Smith, asked which of Captian Beefheart's records he thinks was their best
Interviewed at Green Man Festival, Wales, August 2015




Smith,  on Orange Claw Hammer from Trout Mask Replica, 
"This is just the Captain singing with no backing. It's a really good poem about a sailor who finds his daughter. It's very moving, very emotive. Trout Mask Replica's a fantastic album but probably not the best introduction to Beefheart. It tends to drive people mad when they first hear it."

on CAN

  "I've liked CAN since I was about 13 or 14. I got into them through listening to Peel. Ege Bamyasi is an underrated LP, and it's recorded very well. I like the way it's open-ended. Damo's a good mate of mine – he actually sent me a tape when I was in Tokyo. He doesn't believe in making records any more. He's one of the few heroes I've met. He's still the same."


on Father Cannot Yell, track from album Monster Movie,
"I'm into Krautrock. At one time it was the only music I listened to. This is an early track before CAN got hip. They were surprisingly rock'n'roll when they got started. It was a case of anything goes with them; they were not afraid to experiment."

on The Velvet Underground

on the group and Lou Reed, "....Old Wave"

From an interview in 1999, about a 'song that evokes the best summer of your life', "I like summer very much, because I never go out in summer. Once April starts, people go out like dogs, so I stay in. Summer is hell. There are a few songs that remind me how horrible summer is.

"[I] like White Light/White Heat. It says it all in one minute thirty seconds."


on the track I Heard Her Call My Name,
"I like this tune. It's off the White Light, White Heat album, which is their best LP. They were really pissed off at this time and everything is drenched in feedback. Mo Tucker is in her prime and it contains the best guitar solo ever. It's written by Lou Reed and I used to think he was the bee's knees. I like the way he changes all the time although I don't like what he's doing now. But I do have a lot of respect for him."