The Smart want to make you look like a dick. But don’t worry; it’s nothing personal.
How are they going to do this, exactly? With a silent live show, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia. Expanding on the concept of silent raves — events that make even the most rhythmic of participants look a little peculiar, as they wear headsets and dance along to music only they can hear — The Smart's silent show will see the band playing to 600 audience members with the power to take control of the volume.
"It could either go really, really well or really, really bad," frontman Jeremy Allen laughs. "We'll just have to take a risk... It's an idea we've been carrying around for a while. We've been trying to come up with something to top our 3D show from last year, because that worked so well. Our manager had done a silent rave before, so when someone mentioned a silent show, he ran with it and said, 'yeah, we can make this happen'."
Jeremy is well aware how strange the audience is going to look from the stage. He's counting on it, in fact.
"I'm looking forward to it, actually. I hope that people do look like dicks... when we did our 3D show last year, it was pretty funny walking out onstage and seeing 500 people with blue and red glasses on. So I'm just trying to top that in my mind, I think. Just trying to come up with something else I can remember for the rest of my life."
That's the second time Jeremy's mentioned a 3D show, and at this point, you might be wondering how that worked, exactly.
"Basically," he explains, "we had a massive projector screen that took up the back of the stage, and we just had a bunch of visuals going on that were projected in old-school 3D. Everyone got glasses when they came in. It was pretty cool... a lot of the visuals would come right out above us while we were playing, so it was really interesting.
"I think it was a bit disorienting for some people, though. I didn't see any epileptic fits, but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened. We're doing it again in Melbourne, actually, the week after the silent show... so far it's been epilepsy-free; it'll be a big deal if we can keep that up."
At the time of the 3D show, the band was riding high on the success of debut single 'City Lights', which went into high rotation on Nova and Triple M and cracked Kyle & Jackie O's TAKE 40 Countdown. They even opened for Bon Jovi! It was a virtually unheard-of feat for a few local lads with guitars (well, keytars), and they're looking to make even more of an impact with new single 'Hands Of Shelter'.
"There's a charity we support called The She Rescue Home," Jeremy says, "and basically they rescue little girls in Cambodia out of sex trafficking. I wrote this song in response to that. The lyrics are actually pretty dark, because they come from the perspective of a little girl that'll be sold into slavery. I tend to write about fairly light-hearted things, but this was my first solid effort at writing a song with a strong message."
While commercial radio has been quick to support the local trio, it's Triple J they've really set their sights on.
"You just can't beat getting high rotation on Triple J in Australia," Jeremy says. "The amount of people who listen to that station is just awesome. But we've always had a bit of a commercial pop sound, so Triple J's always been a struggle for us. We sort of teeter on that edge between creativity and pop, and I guess they think we're a bit too pop for them."
I can't help but wonder if commercial success has ruined their chances with the national youth broadcaster, but Jeremy is quick to disagree.
"The thing with Triple J is that if the song's good enough, they'll play it. Matt Corby got his start on 'Australian Idol', and now he's on high rotation there. If the song's good, they'll play it... there's no political crap that goes on."
The Smart play The Hi-Fi Saturday September 1.