of Costa Mesa indie stalwarts Smile.
"The best thing about it is that there are no rules or
boundaries," singer/guitarist Michael Rosas said. "We could hear a
drum fill and end up falling on the floor laughing about it ... and
then a song could end up being based around it."
Smile, which had been signed to Atlantic Records and toured across
the country, disbanded a few months back after 10 years. In its wake
were several disappointed fans, but Satisfaction -- Rosas, vocals and
guitar; James Fletcher, drums; Matt Fletcher, keyboards; and Aaron
Metcalf, bass -- should dry any remaining damp eyes.
"I was the only original member still in the band, and it was time
to start doing something new," Rosas said.
Although there are some inherent nods to the foursome's former
incarnation, the sound is freshly laden with busy keyboards,
Ringo-esque beats, big bass fills and Rosas' unmistakable voice --
think Ray Davies meets Rivers Cuomo.
"I think it's pretty difficult for any band to say that the
Beatles are not a big influence whether they like it or not," Matt
Fletcher said. "We're all big Beatles fans so that's going to come
The songs were written under no deadline, just a flow of
creativity sparked by the new endeavor. However, when the band was
offered a month-long residency at the musical litmus test that is
Detroit Bar, pressure reared its head.
"We're just trying to get comfortable playing these songs
together," Rosas said. "I was still writing lyrics right before we
went on stage for the first Detroit show."
Monday will be the finale of the band's Detroit run, which has
been steadily growing in popularity each week. Last week, the group
broke the attendance record for residency acts, drawing more than 200
Some of the fans are from the Smile contingent, but many more have
been converted by word of mouth regarding the live show.
"We thought we were going to be playing for 30 friends or so, but
it has turned into a lot more than that," Matt Fletcher said.
At this point, the idea is to break through the Orange Curtain and
hit up L.A. hipster haunts like Spaceland and the Derby.
Last week the group headed into the studio at For the Record in
Orange to lay down three of its new tracks.
"We just kind of recorded it live," Matt Fletcher said. "We're
trying to get more shows and the only way for us to do that is to get
a demo out there."
The disc should be available at Monday's Detroit performance.
* PAUL SAITOWITZ is a news editor. He may be reached at (949)
574-4295 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* WHAT: Satisfaction
* WHEN: Monday
* WHERE: Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St.