Tim Smude is a guitarist in the band Hitfaced. He has a degree in networking and computers from Rochester Community and Technical College.
Check out Hitfaced’s website for performance dates at hitfaced.com. Tim Smude will be performing with Hitfaced on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 at the North Star Bar in Rochester.
What sparked your interest in music?
Growing up, if I told my grandparents that I was bored, they would make me do chores. So I found a guitar in the mudroom of their house, and I started plucking at the strings. It was intoxicating for someone my age. At first I didn’t know what instrument it was, but I knew I wanted one. That year, my parents got me a guitar for Christmas, and I’ve been playing one ever since.
Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
Back in the 90s, we were opening for national bands that were our heroes back in the 80s. Warrant was one of those bands. I used to have long blond hair like Joey Allen, and the night we opened for them, Joey was sick. People starting asking if I would sign their cd, thinking I was Joey. I tried to explain the situation to them, and they started arguing with me about who I was. So, I ended up signing all these cds. I still think about it to this day because there are probably a couple hundred people out there who have fake Joey Allen autographs.
Top two artists at the moment?
Butch Walker. He is the most famous non-famous person in the world. Everyone has heard dozens of his songs, but they are done by someone else like Pink or Taylor Swift. So when he releases a CD, he doesn’t really care if he makes money or not because he has already made his money from the other artists.
Breaking Benjamin. I always thought they wrote really solid and thoughtful material. I liked them from the start. Then I went and saw them live, and I loved him. I just completely let go and enjoyed the show.
Strangest thing you’ve ever seen an audience member do?
We were playing Marilyn Manson’s song “The Beautiful People,” and this guy jumped up on the stage and ripped his shirt off. He broke his beer bottle on the speakers and then started cutting his chest with the beer bottle. It was the craziest thing. We kept playing, but we did manage to get in touch with the bouncer, and he took care of the situation. The guy was young and seemed new to the whole bar scene because he was surprised that he was getting thrown out.
Kindest words from an audience member?
We were on tour about seven hours away from home, and I got a call from someone who said a long lost friend of mine took his life. So that night at our gig we dedicated a song to him even though no one knew who he was. We didn’t know it at the time, but his cousin was in the audience that night. He told me afterward that the pain he felt inside was released when we played that song.
Show rituals or superstitions?
The major thing for me is preparation. It drives my band nuts because I want to get to a show as early as noon. It leaves a huge hole in my afternoon, but I still do it. There is always something breaking down, so I just want to be prepared.
Best show you’ve ever seen?
I had completely resigned myself to the fact that I would never get to see KISS live, but I did get to see them when they performed their first reunion tour. I grew up such a KISS fan and only saw their concerts on video, so seeing KISS live was something I never thought I would experience. I’ve always felt like I was born 5 or 6 years too late.
If you had to outlaw one song from ever being played again, which would it be
Even the things I don’t like, I appreciate and I see the appeal for other people. When it comes to art, there is a place for absolutely everything. That being said, I’d rather not have to play “Enter Sandman” again. But I did find out recently that if I don’t listen to that song for ten years and then I hear it unexpectedly on the radio, I can enjoy it. Apparently I love it only once a decade.
What makes you stand out as a musician?
I would put the talent in Minnesota against any other place. To stand out here, you have to pay attention to the details, pay attention to the little things. If you do that, people will notice that there is something different about you, even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. It amazes me that Rochester is so ridiculously talented. I know at least 10 to 15 people so talented that there is no reason why they shouldn’t be famous.
What’s the connection between music
There are two things that will take you back: smells and songs. If you smell fresh grass, it will take you back to some childhood memory. Music is the same way. If you hear a song, you are taken back. Sometimes I don’t know if I like a song because it’s a good song, or if I like it because it reminds me of that moment in my life.