Shawn Smith

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Shawn Smith
Shawn Smith.JPG
Shawn Smith in NYC
Background information
Born(1965-10-28)October 28, 1965
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
DiedApril 3, 2019(2019-04-03) (aged 53)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Years active1991–2019
Labels Epic (Sony) & Redline Entertainment (Brad & Satchel)
Sub Pop (Pigeonhed)
818 Music & Establishment Store
Sound Vs. Silence/Gator Records [1] (solo albums)
Associated acts Satchel
The Diamond Hand
From the North
Forever Breakers
Power of Wings
The Twilight Singers
related acts:
Pearl Jam
Mother Love Bone

Shawn Smith (October 28, 1965 – April 3, 2019) [2] was an American singer, songwriter and musician who was a member of several Seattle alternative and indie rock bands, such as Brad, Satchel, Pigeonhed and The Twilight Singers, as well as a solo artist.

Brad (band) American rock band

Brad was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1992. Their sound was influenced by the wide variety of influences brought by its members, including Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Regan Hagar, Shawn Smith, and Jeremy Toback.

Satchel (band)

Satchel was an alternative rock band from Seattle. Their final lineup featured Shawn Smith, Regan Hagar, and John Hoag.

Pigeonhed is a Seattle based electronic band that combines elements of funk, soul, trip hop, and lo-fi. The band is a collaboration of Shawn Smith and Steve Fisk that released three albums during the period from 1993 to 1997. The band played from 2010 until 2015. In 2015 they announced they were preparing to release their "lost" album 'Des Colores'. As of September 2018, no release has been made. Soundgarden lead guitarist Kim Thayil provided significant instrumental contributions to each album. They are best known for their Prince homage "Battle Flag", which, as remixed by Lo Fidelity Allstars, enjoyed brief popularity in US and UK clubs and indie radio stations.


Smith cited Freddie Mercury, Prince and KISS as early influences. [3] Other influences he noted are Steven Tyler, Bon Scott, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Andy Wood and Chris Cornell. [4]

Freddie Mercury British singer-songwriter and record producer

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Prince (musician) American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and filmmaker

Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant fashion sense and use of makeup, and wide vocal range. A multi-instrumentalist, he was considered a guitar virtuoso and was also skilled at playing the drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, and synthesizer. Prince pioneered the Minneapolis sound, which is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, in the late 1970s.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Smith was born in Spokane, Washington in 1965 and attended high school in Bakersfield, California, relocating to Seattle in 1987. [5] He befriended drummer Regan Hagar while both were working at Tower Records in the late ‘80s. [6] The pair formed Satchel shortly thereafter, and eventually, formed Brad with Stone Gossard and Jeremy Toback. In an interview from 2014, Smith said that the main songwriters in Brad were he and Gossard. [7]

Spokane, Washington City in Washington, United States

Spokane is a city in Spokane County in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States. It is located on the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, 92 miles (148 km) south of the Canada–US border, 18 miles (30 km) from the Washington–Idaho border, and 228 miles (367 km) east of Seattle along Interstate 90.

Bakersfield, California City in California, United States of America

Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of over 520,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.

Seattle City in Washington, United States

Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.

Brad would go on to release five studio albums during their career (Shame, Interiors, Welcome to Discovery Park, Best Friends?, and United We Stand) and Satchel would issue three studio albums (EDC, The Family, and Heartache and Honey), while both bands would share credit for a compilation (Brad vs. Satchel).

Smith's only major chart hit came in 1999, when the British techno group Lo Fidelity Allstars remixed the Pigeonhed song "Battle Flag" and released it as a single. The song, credited to "Lo Fidelity Allstars feat. Pigeonhed", reached #6 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart in July 1999. [8] [9]

Lo Fidelity Allstars are an English electronic music group who have recorded since the late 1990s.

Battle Flag (song) single by Lo Fidelity Allstars and Pigeonhed

"Battle Flag" is a 1997 song by American funk rock band Pigeonhed which appeared on their 1997 album The Full Sentence. In 1998, the song was remixed by the British big beat group Lo Fidelity Allstars for the Pigeonhed remix album Flash Bulb Emergency Overflow Cavalcade of Remixes.

Alternative Songs is a music chart in the United States that has appeared in Billboard magazine since September 10, 1988. It lists the 40 most-played songs on alternative and modern rock radio stations. The chart was introduced as a companion to the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and its creation was prompted by the explosion of alternative music on American radio in the late 1980s. During the first several years of the chart, it regularly featured music that did not receive commercial radio airplay anywhere but on a few modern rock and college rock radio stations. This included many electronic and post-punk artists. Gradually, as alternative rock became more "mainstream", the Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Songs charts began featuring more of the same songs. However, the formats would differentiate themselves by the late 2000s. Today, the Alternative Songs chart favors more indie rock, indie pop, and synth-pop bands while the Mainstream Rock Songs chart favors more alternative rock, hard rock, and heavy metal music.

In 2005, Smith unveiled a musical project called "The Diamond Hand" involving many musicians. He also has worked with Thaddeus Turner (formerly of Maktub and many other projects including Brad) under the name Forever Breakers.

Maktub is a Seattle, Washington-based music group formed in the late 1990s that combines elements of hip-hop, rhythm and blues, soul, and funk, with a sprinkling of jazz and rock.

"From the North" was Shawn's newest band with core members of Malfunkshun (Regan Hagar, Kevin Wood, Cory Kane) and the lyrics left by the late Andrew Wood. Since 2006, the band has also been billed as "Power of Wings" and "Von Nord" (allegedly meaning "From the North" in German; whereas this actually reads "vom Norden" or "aus dem Norden"). [10] Hagar has since been replaced by Seattle drummer Mike Hommel.[ citation needed ] The band changed its name in July 2008 to All Hail the Crown and planned to release new music under this banner. [11]

Malfunkshun is an alternative rock band formed on Easter Sunday in 1980 by Andrew Wood and his brother Kevin Wood and is often recognized as one of the "Founding Fathers of the grunge scene" or the "Godfathers of Grunge". They formed around the same time bands such as The U-Men (1981), Melvins (1983), Green River (1984) and Soundgarden (1984).

Andrew Wood (singer) American musician and singer

Andrew Patrick Wood was an American musician best known as the lead singer for alternative rock bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. Wood was also known for his flamboyance.

Smith died at his home in Seattle on April 3, 2019 of a torn aorta and high blood pressure. [12] [13] [14]

Solo discography

Brad discography

Satchel discography

Pigeonhed discography

Malfunkshun discography

All Hail The Crown discography



"Shake It (Like You Just Made Bail)", a song that remained unreleased until Shawn Smith made it available in digital format in 2007, was featured in the background of the cocaine scene of the "Proshai, Livushka" episode of The Sopranos (third season, 2001). "Leaving California" and "Wrapped in My Memory" from Smith's solo album Shield of Thorns were both featured prominently on the "Long Term Parking" episode of The Sopranos (fifth season, 2004). Yet another Shawn Smith related song has been featured on the show: Pigeonhed's "Battle Flag" appeared on the "46 Long" episode (first season, 1999) and was later included on "The Sopranos: Peppers & Eggs: Music from the HBO Original Series".

"Battle Flag" has also been featured in a season six episode of NBC's prime-time medical drama ER, season three episode eleven of Showtime's drama Queer as Folk (US), as well as a season one episode of The WB's Smallville. It has also been featured in the film Coyote Ugly and the trailer for Charlie's Angels .

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 3, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Soulful Seattle singer Shawn Smith dead at 53". Seattle Times.
  3. Australian Channel V radio interview Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. Interview with Robert Pally Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Prato, Greg. "Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music'". Toronto: ECW Press. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  7. "Songwriter Interviews: Shawn Smith of Brad". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  8. "Lo Fidelity Allstars Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. "Shawn Smith | Biography & History". AllMusic . Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  10. "Seattlest Interview: Kevin Wood of Malfunkshun, From the North: Seattlest". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  11. The Shawn Smith Collective Archived September 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Soulful Seattle singer Shawn Smith dead at 53". Seattle Times.
  13. Young, Alex (April 6, 2019). "R.I.P. Shawn Smith, singer of Seattle rock band Brad dead at 53". Consequence of Sound . Retrieved April 7, 2019.