Levi Smith

Levi Smith

BandRockPop

Biography

"In my opinion, there is very little bad music...but there are plenty of terrible songs." He said this with the tone of a man that knew he was in for an argument or two. "Think about it--I bet you've heard at least one tune on every music channel that made you stop folding clothes just to listen. However, there are always a few songs that ruin it for the entire genre...they're the ones that become hit singles. Then they turn into the bad examples people use to discard the validity of almost every style."

Levi Smith sounds defensive because, above all, he is a music lover. He is moved and motivated by almost everything he hears, a fact reflected in the diversity of his set lists...or more often in the absence of set lists: "When I get in front of people, a playlist starts to take shape in my head. The only problem is that it's set to shuffle. If something Justin does on the drums really lights me up, or if Trevor pulls out some rare theatrics, it might make me want to go a different direction for a while. What good is a band if the members don't take advantage of one another? Ha! I know that sounded sleazy...but I don't want to re -word it. Let's just let those words fester in your mind for a little while."

Another issue he hates and loves is labeling. "I play a wooden guitar and have some songs about girls and sing playful lyrics occasionally. One would be hard-pressed to find a band where these factors aren't involved. As soon as I sell music under my name, though, I become a 'singer/songwriter'. There's not much wrong with that title in and of itself, but it carries with it certain connotations that I feel no obligation to. Why do they feel the need to re-name the wheel whenever a certain model or type becomes stylish? Whenever one enters into an experience with certain expectations, it inevitably affects their reaction. What we're trying to do now is seep into certain demographics and use every assumption as fuel to power our little entertainment extravaganza."

His reluctance to embrace the term singer/songwriter is understandable. The heady mix of past greats and countless contemporaries make the moniker impossible to live up to and impossible to avoid. As a semi-misfit in his playing field, Levi finds his home at the place where Tonic and Dave Matthews convene to sing Simon and Garfunkel songs with Third-Eye Blind. Levi is drawn to evocative lyrics and strives to match wits with the likes of Brand New and Cory Branan. Inspired by the pop culture surrounding him, this 22-year-old writes with the gut-wrenching honesty of Marshall Mathers, the offbeat wit of comedian Conan O'Brien, and the masterful nuance of actor Edward Norton.

In short, Levi Smith wants to do as a songwriter what Jerry Seinfeld did as a comedian--capture the seemingly insignificant moments that fly by, yet shape who we are: the joys, the battles, and that inner-monologue that will plague us forever. He wants make you cry, and laugh, and drive recklessly; to be creative and interesting without becoming artsy and inaccessible. His balance of tentative confidence and self-depreciating humor might persuade you stay out way too late, and his songs just might make you put the laundry down.

Drummer Justin Lentz, 28, joined Levi after stints with other bands fizzled and college seemed redundant. He shares his fervor for music and draws from a very deep well of complementary influences. Levi agrees: “Justin's just right. His strengths are my flimsy tendencies, and his musical background meshed with mine is an interesting combination. Plus, the music industry hadn't met its quota of bald drummers until he started playing.” With a solid, laid-back groove, he provides an ease and fluidity to their style that anchor each note far from pretense.

Trevor Wiggins, 20, plays the bass. He didn't start, however, until he heard that Levi and Justin were looking to add such a musician. The years he spent as a drummer and guitarist in previous bands--he's tried metal, classic rock, acoustic pop, and even post-grunge--turned out to be the perfect preparation for his current role. To say that Trevor is eclectic and experienced is an understatement, especially to those around him: “That kid knows more stories than any man twice his age...in 10 seconds he can kill a mood in the best of ways...I've begun to look forward to our time in the mini-van. Plus, he can play bass like he was born strapped to it,” says Levi. Shaped by rock legends from Led Zeppelin to Dave Grohl, Trevor brings grit and driving energy to the sound that has become Levi Smith.

If you want to know more, you'll have to come to a show. Besides, the fine points of their past--what lies behind--are trivial compared to where they are and where they might end up.

“Lay me to waste--my history's in the way of what I should become.”

Lyrics

Bitterness Is Sexy

Written By: Levi Smith

"We can still be friends"
That's the consolation prize you gave me in hushed tones over gourmet coffee. And I mean no offense, but you were quite a waste of time and money not to mention dignity so don't get me wrong I want you to be happy, as long as it's with me

One day you're gonna want me, but it'll probably be too late by then.
One day you're gonna want me, at least that's what I say to all my friends.

Alright so here's the plan, you go ahead and keep your options open while I stay here and lose all hope in love. Don't you understand I am lonely but I need another friend like you need another compliment. Oh, don't get me wrong, I want you to be happy, as long as it's with me.

One day you're gonna want me, but it'll probably be too late by then.
One day you're gonna want me, at least that's what I say to all my friends.

Thank you for leading me on, it's nice to feel attractive, don't you agree? So I hope someone hears this song that thinks bitterness is sexy.

One day you're gonna want me, but it'll probably be too late by then.

*enter the choir*
One day you're gonna want me, at least that's what I say to all my friends.

That's What I Meant By Goodbye

Written By: Levi Smith

Interstate 37 is paved with good intentions. I'm probably 50 years from heaven, but I'm fifteen miles from hell, with two lanes to myself.

So thank God for Derek and Jesse pouring out their hearts to me, side by side in my backseat. They never let me down, so I don't need anybody now.

I did my best to pretend that I'm going to see you again. I may cross your mind, before I cross the state line, but if I don't call, don't be surprised: That's what I meant by goodbye

Just cuz I don't know where I'm headed, that don't mean I'm lost. I'm an empty can kicked across an empty parking lot. This is all that I could ever want.

I did my best to pretend that I'm going to see you again. I may cross your mind before I cross the state line, but if I don't call don't be surprised: That's what I meant by goodbye.

I didn't say I'd see you later, cuz I know that I might not/
Yellow lights are yellin' at me, on the edge of town, but one cold night in Corpus Christi is not enough to make me turn around, much less make me settle down.

I did my best to pretend that I'm going to see you again. I may cross your mind before I cross the state line, but if I don't call don't be surprised: That's what I meant by goodbye.

Close Enough

Written By: Levi Smith

With morning hair I lie and stare at the time through glassy eyes. I'd love to stay in disarray, but the sun had the nerve to rise.

And I smile proud to please the crowd do you think I look nice? All I wear is my despair beneath the days disguise.

I say what I mean, but I never mean what I say. Am I alive or just awake?

You will never know who I really am inside. You only see what I can't hide. And if you even see that much, then stop right there, that's close enough.

Can you stand to be around me that makes one of us. I don't deserve your company and I don't deserve your trust.

I say what I mean, but I never mean what I say. Am I alive or just awake?

You will never know who I really am inside. You only see what I can't hide. And if you even see that much, then stop right there, that's close enough.

Say what I mean but never mean what I say am I alive or just awake I've got time if you don't mind, here's one more cliche. I'm so close yet so far away.

You will never know who I really am inside. You only see what I can't hide. And if you even see that much, then stop right there, that's close enough.

Discography

The One with Bass and Drums - 2004
The Songs that Might Take Us Somewhere - 2005

Set List

Our set list can be as short or as long as it needs to be. Ideally, we'd like to play for an hour to an hour and a half. We feel that this time frame gives us enough time to hit you with the best of our songs and elements of our show.