Interview with Randy Smith of the Regulators
WITH RANDY SMITH
Can you introduce the band members and how you met them?
Ronnie Farrell, Vocals
Johnny Barnes, Guitars
Randy Smith, Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals
Bob Bird, Guitar
Chris Turbis, Piano & Hammond Organ
Chuck Radek, Drums
Jessica Tilton, Background Vocals
: Can you tell us about the band's career since '87?
Barnes, Bob Bird and myself started a band together when
we were about 13 years old. At the time I knew all the
leads to Freebird, pretty impressive for a 13 year old you
would think, but very common where we're from. Never the
less, teaming up with Johnny and Bob would later
strengthen our friendship as my older brother, Jimi Hughes
(same mother different father), decided to start his own
band after dealing with differences in musical genres from
attempts with local musicians. Accompanied by Chuck Radek
on Drums, the Smith & Wesson Band was formed. After
several years of local notoriety we decided to get
involved in the Hollywood scene where we didn't exactly
feel like we would fit in, but we went over well with the
style of music we introduced to the listeners. I guess
people didn't know what to think of us in LA, but it
didn't stop us from being noticed. Noticed by up and
coming Producer, at the time, Jay Baumgardner. Jay took us
into his studio NRG and we began recording our tunes
seeking a record deal. We landed a deal with Polydor thru
Left Bank and released our debut album simply entitled
"THE REGULATORS" changing the name of Smith
& Wesson to avoid possible litigation with the gun
company. A tour followed.
Can you tell us about your brother who was one of the
founding members and to whom the album "Above the
law" is dedicated?
just the first leg of the tour tragedy struck when
my brother Jimi was shot and killed. Long time loved
leader of the Regulators was gone just like that.
There is just too much controversy involved in his
death to go into it deep, but let me say Jimi loved
life and his creator who provided it. "We were
like ants when you scatter their trail."
Recovery from that may never come but we had to push
on, push on in his name. So we started writing right
away, first of course came "Sweet
Sustain." That one just kind of fell out. It
was easy to write, but very difficult to perform and
record. Especially the remix, let me tell you it's a
good thing we had a little extra time for that
because I think Jimi himself, at least in spirit
mixed that one, talk about flying faders. Anyway, we
did remix and remaster the record and we added a
bonus track for Europe called "Lead Foot."
We recorded "Lead Foot" in our own studio
with some young special guests, a band called
DREAMKILL, I am managing and producing. Be on the
lookout for these guys they are coming out rock
solid with a great new sound a bit different than
the Regulators. Also some new added guitar parts and
background vocals by the lovely Jessica Tilton. We
met Jessica when we were looking to add some female
vocals to our act. She was the one, no doubt, that
at least I was looking for. I fell in love with her
right away. thus completing the current line up.
What about your first album being re-released on
are planning to re-release the first record we
did on Polygram as well as some past masters
including Jimi. Also we are ready with a whole
new batch of tunes for the next record. we will
have to see when will be the next possible
release for that.
The album's release on the Swedish Record
Heaven label has a great sound. Were you
involved in the remastering?
How was the extra song "Leadfoot"
remixed and remastered the album at our
studios in LA, we refer to as the
Regulation station. That's also where we
did Leadfoot start to finish.
Why did you change the album's name?
give it a fresh start and a new look
for the people of Europe.
Who are your main influences?
I would have to say LYNYRD SKYNYRD,
BAD COMPANY, FOGHAT, plus many
How do you explain the fact a
California band became one of
the most successful Southern
a tough Question. We never
considered ourselves to be
Southern Rock but I guess our
way of life and our influences
just show. That must have made
the difference in an LA based
What is your best memory on
Skynyrd in New England,
Allman Brothers in New
York, and definitely
Sturgis many times.
Who is your favorite
McCartney, Flea is
today's best in my
Which kind of gear
do you use on stage
and in the studio?
Did you plan a
tour in France,
or in Europe?
for a tour in
summer if you
all would have
us, we would
really like to
the rest of
your life on