Los Angeles 4 piece THE CHELSEA SMILES were formed by former D-Generation /Danzig guitarist Todd Youth.
With a classic rock n roll sound and influences ranging from the 60s to the Stooges and even the New York Dolls the Smiles have just finished a UK tour supporting Wednseday 13, their new album is out now on Demolition records/DR2.
There’s a ton of cool harmonies on the album-what sort of influences are you drawing from?
"I’m a sucker for all the old girl groups like the Shangri La's Ronettes, which I probably would never had listen to if it weren't for the Dolls and The Ramones, and I am crazy for the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson is a genius, Cheap Trick, the list could go on forever."
L.A has always been more of a glam scene and you definitely have a Detroit or a Radio Birdman sound?
"Well remember, I live in L.A. but I'm still a New Yorker!!!!!!We've never fit in with the L.A. scene, if you could even call it a scene. We're not some 80's left over’s like your Bang Tango's or Faster Pussycat’s, we don't fit in with the Silverlake Alt. crowd(sorry I'll never grow a beard!) but that’s a good thing, it’s what makes us stand out in this cesspool of bullshit in the city of angels. Most bands get together to get a big record deal etc. and I don't work that way. I’ve always loved the music that has come out of detroit, not just the stooges or the mc5,but how John Lee Hooker, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, so much great stuff has come out of that city it's got such a rich musical history."
Have you ever heard of the football hooligans the Chelsea headhunters?
"No, I'm more of a soccer fan myself!!"
How have the UK dates gone?
"They've gone and went!!!!I’m back home in sunny California, but man it was such a great tour, we didn't no what to expect from Wednesday's crowd, but by the end of the set we had em!!!!!"
What happens next for the Chelsea Smiles?
"We've got some stuff coming up here in the states, and we should be back in the U.K., if all goes as planned sometime this fall."
Eugene Big Cheese
Live photos: copyright Monnshady photography