For other people named Chad Smith, see .
Chadwick Gaylord Smith (born October 25, 1961) is an American musician who is the current of the band , which he joined in 1988. The group was inducted into the in 2012. Smith is also the drummer of the supergroup , formed in 2008, and is currently the all- outfit , who formed in 2007. As one of the most highly sought-after drummers, Smith has recorded with , , , , , , , , and . In 2010, joined by and Leslie Bixler, he released Rhythm Train, a critically acclaimed children's album which featured Smith singing and playing various instruments.
Widely regarded as one of rock music's best drummers, magazine placed Smith at #10 on their list of the "100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music" in May 2013. Readers of UK-based magazine ranked Smith and Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist the fourth-greatest rhythm section of all time in their June 2013 issue. The drummer is also known for his charity work especially with young musicians. He has been a lobbyist in support of music education in U.S. public schools. Smith is also widely known for the strong resemblance between himself and comedian , which has led to various comparisons over the years and eventually led to a joking public feud and drum battle for charity on in May 2014, which led straight into the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing a cover of 's "" in the show as a reference to the "" skit (in which Ferrell played fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle). Smith is also the host of the concert series, Landmarks Live in Concert, which began in January 2017.
Smith was born in , the third child of Joan and Curtis Smith. He spent most of his childhood in , where he graduated from in 1980. He started to play drums at age seven and grew up listening mainly to bands such as , , , , , , , , , and . He also cites , Mitch Mitchell, , ,,, and as early influences on his drumming.
Chad did not receive formal drum lessons, and gained drumming experience by playing in school bands.
Smith ran away from home when he was 15, but returned home after a summer.
Smith spent his early years in various rock bands, Starting in high school with a band called Paradise, where they won the battle of the bands in Birmingham Mi., 1977. That first band included members, Jay Yang (bass), Scott Porter (lead guitar) and Tom Auch (rodie). Future bands included Pharroh and Michigan-based band Toby Redd. Pharroh's percussionist Larry Fratangelo, who also worked with , introduced Smith to and music and taught him how to play funk. Smith said, "I think up until then, I was a drummer. Once I studied with Larry, I turned into a musician." Funk drummers like , , , and caught his attention and influenced his style a lot. Later, Smith decided to move to California to pursue his musical aspirations.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (1988–present)
In 1988, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were looking for a replacement for their drummer , who had recently been fired. Already into the process of working on their fourth studio album and hiring new guitarist, , the band held open auditions for a new drummer. Smith was one of the last drummers to audition for the band and the band felt that on looks alone, Smith would be the wrong fit as he looked more hair-metal than punk. Nonetheless, the band was blown away by his audition. Singer admired Smith and found his persistence impressive. Smith joined the Chili Peppers in December 1988 and within a few months was recording his first album with the band, . Smith reflected on joining the band in a 2012 interview by saying “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, cool, they have a record deal. Great! I’d love to be in a band that has a record deal. We started playing, and right away we just hit it off musically. I was like, ‘Man, this is a blast! These guys are great!’ ... We were just doing what we do. We just jammed, which is what we still do today. It’s very similar.”
After a successful worldwide tour in support of Mother's Milk the band released their debut for Warners, 1991's which was hugely successful upon its release peaking at number three on the , and went on to sell thirteen million copies worldwide. It went on to be nominated and win several awards and is listed on many critics lists of the best albums of the year. Shortly into the tour for the album, Frusciante quit the band in 1992 and was replaced by for the remainder of the tour. Marshall was fired following the tour and briefly replaced by who was let go in favor of in 1994. With Navarro intact, the band would release 1995's . Navarro too would end up being fired in 1998 following the tour to support the album and replaced with a returning John Frusciante. With Frusciante back, the band released 1999's , their biggest selling album to date. That album was followed by 2002's and 2006's , the band's first number one album in the United States. Frusciante again quit the band in 2008 and was replaced by in 2009. With Klinghoffer, the band released their tenth studio album (and Smith's seventh with the band), in 2011.
In April 2012, the Chili Peppers were inducted by into the . Smith and the Chili Peppers wrapped up in April 2013. The Chili Peppers launched another lengthy tour in May 2013 and it kept them on the road until June 2014. During this time, the band appeared alongside at the halftime for the in February 2014. Smith confirmed that the Chili Peppers would begin work on their eleventh studio album that same month. Production eventually began in January 2015 with replacing as the band's producer. A month later, bassist Flea was injured during a skiing accident delaying production until August 2015. was released on June 17, 2016.
Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats (2007–present)
In 2007, Smith, along with fellow alumni, guitarist and keyboardist Ed Roth, formed an all-instrumental band inspired by their shared love of 1970s and . Still unnamed at the time, the group, rounded out by bassist Kevin Chown, debuted at the 2008 show in . The band has released two studio albums and a double live disc as since its inception.
Following a lengthy world tour in support of Stadium Arcadium, the Chili Peppers decided to take a break in 2008. During this break, Smith joined the hard rock , whose other members are , and . The group has released two studio albums, a live album and a box set to date with Smith. Due to touring commitments with the Chili Peppers in 2011, Smith was unable to tour with Chickenfoot and was replaced by . In 2012, Smith rejoined Chickenfoot for a four-song encore and the band briefly reunited for only two shows on May 7, and May 8, 2016 at Harrah's Showroom at . During the show, the band debuted a brand new song titled "Divine Termination." In June 2016, Smith discussed the future of Chickenfoot touring and recording new music saying that "everyone has different things going on. We really enjoy playing together, but with my schedule I don't see us playing too much. I would love to make some new music with those guys, but we'd have to be in the same room at the same time. I just don't know. It's up in the air. I love playing with those guys, though. It's a real treat.
Smith is highly sought after as one of the industry's top session musicians. Smith has worked with many big name artists including , , , , and among many others. Smith has also performed on four albums and one live album with .
In 2008, Smith was a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers that same year.
Smith released 2010's Rhythm Train, a critically acclaimed children's album which he recorded with and Leslie Bixler. In April 2010, MTV named Rhythm Train one of the best children's records of all time.
Smith released The Chad Smith Drum App in March 2012, which is free mobile application for iPhone, iPad and Android devices and features his "Drummer GPS". The GPS section of the app spotlights drummers Smith has been influenced by and those he regards as some of the best drummers around today. The Chad Smith Drum App has received great praise from both fans and from fellow drummers.. In May 2013, Smith launched In Conversation with Chad Smith, his own through where he interviews other musical artists.
Smith joined in the studio to work on music for his twelfth studio album. They were joined by guitarist from () and bassist and according to Hagar it was the rebirth of his 1980s band , which featured Schon and two other members. In 2013, Smith joined jazz musician and bassist/producer to create a unique musical group to score a film that had yet to be written and will never be made. The album, , was released on November 4, 2014.
Smith appeared on from June 15–19 sitting in on drums with .
Starting on January 20, 2017, Smith began hosting Landmarks Live in Concert, an eight-episode concert series on in which Smith will sit down and discuss music with various artists. The first two episodes featured and .
Smith performs drums on the composed score for . The soundtrack for the animated film was released on February 3, 2017.
Smith has two older siblings, Bradley and sister Pamela. Smith lives in with his second wife, architect Nancy Mack whom he married in 2004 and with whom he has three sons, Cole (born 2005), Beckett (born 2009) and Dashiell (born 2012). From 1996–1997, Smith was married to Maria St John with whom Smith had a daughter, Manon (born 1996). He also has two other children, Justin (born 1997) and Ava (born 2000) through other relationships and spends time also living in New York. Discussing his relationships and marriages Smith said "I’m the dumper. I fall in love easily, but I get restless. I’ll figure it out one day. Can we talk about something else?" Smith is also an avid fan of his hometown Michigan sports teams. Following the Chili Peppers May 14, 2017 performance in , Smith sang the "". Smith's singing of the fight song made national news as the University of Michigan and are longtime sports rivals. At shows in Ohio, Smith's drumset has sometimes featured the logo.
Will Ferrell resemblance
Smith is widely known for his strong resemblance to actor and comedian , who is almost six years his junior, which he has acknowledged by wearing shirts reading "I Am Not Will Ferrell" in live performances. Smith said that the two first met during the premiere of the film . He said, "I'm looking at Will and thinking, 'People really think I look like him? I don't fucking look like that. He looks me up and down and says, 'You're very handsome,' and walks away. Totally deadpan. I was like, 'You're funny. You're funny.'" Both Smith and Ferrell have turned this into various appearances together including their own events for charity and a memorable 2014 appearance on in which the duo faced off in a drum battle.
Smith is an active supporter of a number of non-profit organizations including , , , , , and which he discussed in an interview with .
In April 2013, Smith was asked by , the National Association of Music Merchants, to represent the music community by going to Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist in support of music education in US public schools. While in DC, Smith had the opportunity to meet with congressional leaders and share his experience as a student who learned his craft entirely within the public school system. Smith has since been invited back to lobby in April 2014 in support of public school music education.
In 2014, Smith joined a group that speaks out against bullying in schools and tries to find solutions. Smith released a few videos discussing his own childhood being bullied along with his son's recent experiences with bullies.
On May 21, 2014, Smith appeared along with other celebrities in Washington, D.C. at a talent show held by which was organized to raise awareness for Turnaround Arts, a program enacted under the guidance of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) to increase performance and achievement at some of the lowest-ranked schools in the country through arts education. Students from eight schools around the country participated in the show which featured musical theatre, spoken word and interpretative dance. President made a surprise appearance at the event. Smith adopted a school in also lobbied for increased funding for arts education and that it is a personal issue for him. Smith said "I didn't give a shit about science, math or English when I was in school and music was the only reason I wanted to go. It got me interested in other subjects and I would've never graduated without it. If kids can connect with some sort of art in some way, it will enrich their lives in ways they probably can't fully comprehend at the time." Earlier in the week, Smith was joined by former and musician, at Savoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C. where together they taught a music class. "These are schools where the kids look down at their feet and have no hope and don't feel like they mean anything. They have no self-worth. They need something. This is not a photo-op and just throwing some money. You really roll your sleeves up and immerse yourself in the school." Smith said.
Smith appeared at and 's 2nd annual Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit concert in on May 15, 2015. The benefit was held to raise money and awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Program at . Smith was joined onstage by of the band and comedian for a performance of 's "" and 's "".
The following day on May 16, 2015, Smith was honored by national nonprofit, at its annual Family Jam benefit at 's campus for his work to help expand public schoolchildren's access to music education with the "Livin' The Dream Award". In a statement on receiving the award Smith said "It is such an honor for me to be recognized by an amazing charity like Little Kids Rock for supporting their work to keep music education thriving in our schools. Music has made such a tremendous impact in my life and I am blessed to be able to give that gift back to the next generation of music makers!"
Smith along with his Chili Peppers bandmates announced in September 2015 that they would be supporting in for the . In February 2016, the Chili Peppers performed on behalf of Sanders at his "Feel the Bern" campaign fundraiser.
On April 29, 2016, Chad Smith and hosted the Red Hot Benefit Comedy + Music Show & Quinceanera. The benefit featured a performance by the Chili Peppers along with comedy acts selected by Ferrell and . A portion of the proceeds went to Ferrell's Cancer for College and Smith's .
On February 12, 2018, Smith again teamed with Will Ferrell for his One Classy Night event at the in to help raise money for Cancer for College. Smith along with Ferrell, and performed songs by , , , and were joined by for a cover of 's "". The event raised 0,000 in college scholarship money for students who have survived cancer, and has raised 2.3 Million to date.
He is recognized for his , his beats and his fast right foot.
Smith cites ,,, , , ,, and as influences on his drumming, as well as , and
He also currently endorses , , drumsticks, and . He used for several years until 2016.
- Transparent acrylic kit, with sparkle and colored acrylic details.
- Green acrylic kit.
- 12x9" rack tom
- 14x14" floor tom
- 16x16" floor tom
- 24x16" kick drum
- 14×5" True-Sonic snare drum
- 14x5,5" Bell Brass snare drum
- 14x5" acrylic (Green or Transparent with sparkle and colored acrylic details), auxiliary snare drum
- 6x12" acrylic rata tom
- 6x13" acrylic rata tom
- 6x14" acrylic rata tom
- 6x16" acrylic rata tom
- 10" Remo Rototom
- Adams Professional tunable tympani
- 14" AA Medium HiHats
- 10" AA Splash
- 19" AA Rock or Medium Crash
- 20" AA Rock or Medium Crash
- 22" AA Rock Ride
- 21" AA Signature Chad Smith Holy China
Vater Percussion sticks:
- Chad Smith's FUNK BLASTER (5B)
: Gon Bops Percussion:
- Red Rock Cowbell
- Red Jam Block (Medium Pitch)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats
- Meet the Meatbats (2009)
- More Meat (2010)
- Live Meat And Potatoes (2012)
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