Q & A with The Fed Pennies’ Jake Smith

As if opening for Ozzy Osbourne in 2008 wasn’t a big enough notch to have under their belts, the luck of Halifax band The Fed Pennies got infinitely better last month. The band walked away from the 2011 edition of the East Coast Music Award with the honor of having won the Loud Recording of the Year Award for their latest opus Brain Disaster. The Fed Pennies also had the distinction of having their song “Buzzing In My Head” selected to be a part of Sega’s 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The Fed Pennies Jake Smith recently took the time to speak with the MusicNerd Chronicles, sharing with us, among other things, that living on the wrong side of the tracks ain’t so bad after all…

Where do you currently call home?

I live in Bedford NS , it’s actually in the ghetto near train tracks and on the other side of the tracks are really nice expensive houses. So I guess I live on the wrong side of the tracks.

Why do you live where you do?

It’s cheap and the people on our street make me look well adjusted by comparison.

What is occupying your time these days?

The Fed Pennies are working on some new material and we are going to be releasing an online single called “Little Dead Riding Hood” which we are doing a video for as well. With the way the industry is now we may just release singles moving forward. We met a tour/booking agent at the ECMA’s from France that really liked the band so we’re starting to put the wheels in motion to get the band over there. It’ll probably take some time to put everything together but we’re working hard to make it happen. The summer is starting to look busy with festivals and shows and then we’re gonna do a mini tour of Quebec and Ontario in the fall.

First record purchased and at what age?

When I was 7 years old, I bought Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” at a yard sale with my allowance money. Later on, a friend’s brother got me into Ozzy, Motley Crue and other rock bands. He had everything and was a great influence on me as far as my musical taste goes.

When did you start to play music?

I started playing guitar when I was 14.

If we took a look inside the bedroom of a 13-15 year old you, what posters would have been on the walls?

Metallica, Megadeth, Ozzy and GNR. I had a Motley Crue poster with the band all covered in blood standing in front of a giant pentagram. It was so cool. My mom got freaked out and made me take it down though. I had a few Lita Ford posters too. I used to put up all my posters with toothpaste instead of tacks and when we moved I spent 3 days scrubbing dried tooth paste off the walls.

What three records could you not live without?

Very tough question. There are tons of other records but these three popped into my head:

Alice n Chains -Dirt

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks

Who or what is getting too much attention these days?

The internet

Who or what is not getting enough attention these days?

Family, friends and interacting with people that are in front of you.  Everybody’s got their nose stuck in the latest piece of technology, texting away and we’re forgetting how to have normal conversations. Also, American Idol and all the shows with singers over singing and hitting really high notes.

What has been your most memorable show?

Opening for Ozzy at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Worst career moment thus far?

It’s been pretty good so far with this band but I played in acoustic band a few years back that got booked to play a punk show. The other bands friends started throwing garbage at us. It was classic and I probably would have done the same thing. I used to play in punk bands too and still carry a bit of the punk attitude with me so after we played we went backstage and de-tuned all the other bands guitars and pissed on their drums.

Most extravagant rider item?

A bottle of Jack Daniels. We’re not an extravagant bunch. We’ve also had chips and M&M’s.