Dallas Smith reflects on his rock roots and ascension to country music super-stardom ahead of his return to St. John’s on the Some Things Never Change Tour
In 20 years, Dallas Smith has gone from an – admittedly unexpected – platinum selling rocker, to one of Canada’s most in-demand and celebrated country music stars. The journey from point A to point B was not without its twists and turns. “It was a sink or swim kind of deal for myself,” begins Smith, reminiscing on the 20th anniversary of his rock-outfit Default’s platinum selling album The Fallout.
“In September ‘99, I just started singing with that band. I’d never sung in front of anybody before, just goofing around. And then like two years later we had a platinum record in the US, which is just insanity.”
Reflecting on those still-green days as a much-demanded frontman – Default’s breakout single Wasting My Time rocketed up the charts across the globe – and Smith admits there were lessons and truths he has since learned he wished he was armed with then.
“It was an amazing time in my life, I just wish that I had a bit more of an ease into it where I could have, as a front guy, as a vocalist, I could hit the ground running a little bit more as opposed to just like, f**k, here you go,” he shares candidly.
“It was an incredibly wild, unpredictable, adventurous time that I had with some really good friends and I made some great friends along the way. And it really taught me a lot,” he shared.
He’s gained knowledge about the business side of things, he added, and learned things about himself along the way. “I’ve learned not just about the business but who I am in the music business and what am I willing to take on and what’s important to me and the balance of family life.”
The life of a rocker
The life of a rocker – then or now – is far from easy, as Smith admits the life of a road-warrior took its toll early and often.
“I was married during the early parts of the Default stuff. We were gone for like three months and then we were home for a week and then gone for four months. That’s just the way it was pre-social media and pre all these other ways to market. All of that stuff falls victim in the name of your career. It’s those kinds of lessons that I think, not only about the music business, but about how to survive as a human through this. I take everything from that time of my life.”
Fast-forward to 2022, and Smith is a chart-topping country-music star and a multi-time CCMA winner, including 2021 wins for Entertainer and Single of the Year.
Smith credits his Default days for helping him acclimatize to the, honestly, more rock-based era of country music we find ourselves in today.
“The sounds of rock, what I liked and what I loved, it was a little more few and far between on rock radio and stuff. And honestly it was a natural transition for me to go back to a lot more of the guitar driven stuff and a lot of that was in country music,” Smith shared.
“If you look at the country festivals now, it’s what the rock festivals looked like 15, 20 years ago. It’s the same kids I’m playing to… It’s all guitar driven, beer drinking, let’s go have fun music. That’s just always kind of what I’ve really been into. I always loved music that pulled at the heartstrings and told a great story. And I mean, that’s country music. You just line up a great voice with a great story. And it’s all organic musically. I feel way more at home here more so than ever.”
Back to The Rock
Smith heads back to ‘The Rock’ on his cross-Canada Some Things Never Change Tour alongside James Barker Band, Jojo Mason, Shawn Austin, Kelly Prescott and Manny Blu, touching down at Mary Brown’s Centre on June 14th.
“That’s a great part of the country, man. I love being out there. Don’t get out there enough. I always say that,” Smith admits, preparing fans for the festival-esque lineup that will descend on St. John’s in short order.
“We’re pumped to have this many artists on this bill. I’m friends with a lot of these artists, most of them. We’ve all been sitting around doing nothing. So it’s time for a lot of us to get back to work. And it was nice to be able to put a package together like this show has a lot of musicians, a lot of artists, a lot of crew and get back out there and make the most of it. It serves us well, but I think it also serves the fans well too. You buy a ticket and you’re getting a big lineup.”
Expect surprises and – most importantly – the return of the power of live music on show-night, Smith shares. Because, whether tearing the house down at a rock show or kickin’ it country, Dallas Smith always delivers. Some things, do indeed, never change.
“We’re just going to get up there and have fun and hopefully we can see and we can feel that pent up release that needs to be happening from music fans because we definitely are feeling it here and can’t wait to go out.”
For more tickets and more information on Smith and the June 14th tour date visit: dallassmithmusic.com and marybrownscentre.com