Interview with singer, author and spiritual seeker Gideon Smith

North Carolina singer, author and spiritual seeker Gideon Smith is recognized for his bluesy seventies retro rock that has gathered worldwide acclaim. We caught up with the razor sharp zen master of the microphone to hear the latest news on his music and writing. Gideon has been immersed in doom metal, classic reggae and rap and gives us the inside on the new music. 

What have you been up to since the last time we talked about your music?

In the last few years, I have recorded sporadically and written many new songs for various side projects. The main sideband that people have heard thus far is my doom metal band Cemetery Crows. It is Black Sabbath worship with death metal vocals and touches of psychedelia, blues, and gothic rock. The response on it has been awesome. I’m very thankful people dig it. I have collaborated on new material with my good friend Kim and hope to finish the new stuff in the next year. We will also have several guests coming down. The material with Kim on vocals is very heavy and aggressive but still in the vein of Black Sabbath, gothic rock meets space rock and old school death metal vocals. My usual music is much more classic rock oriented yet very diverse while Cemetery Crows is an acquired super heavy taste for sure. The key is that it’s not hateful music. It’s dark but passionate. All of it was for my own satisfaction but to know people find something good there make me happy. I haven’t played live in years so I decided to just record new music when I can. I’ve had some health issues and have not been very active as I would like musically or socially. I’m just spending time with my loved ones. There are long breaks where I don’t even touch a guitar sometimes. It can be challenging but I will return to the stage one day in the future when the Gods say it’s time. I’m not in a race when it comes to music. I do it all on my own time my own way. If you want to be an outsider don’t worry about the rules of the popular trends. Follow your own path and your path alone. I’ll always have my bluesy psychedelic rock style but side bands are fun and healthy for any artist. It’s not healthy to be one dimensional.

What other musical projects so you have in the works?

I wanted to try both very aggressive and peaceful bright-hearted music. I recorded some reggae having been a longtime fan of the founding fathers like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Third World and others. I really should have started a reggae band so many years ago. I never lost my love for the greats like that and still listen to it a lot. I wanted to have fun and record a handful of reggae songs. The result is an EP worth of bright, easy music in the tradition of the old classic sound. It made me remember and also reclaim those happy times of my life years ago and also living out a dream to sing some music like that. Every song is about love and encouraging people to be compassionate, loving, understanding of each other. So embracing reggae it is healthy. It has a way of matching up with the human heartbeat and making people relax or feel good in general. I don’t see how anybody doesn’t enjoy it. It reminded me of happy times in my life I wanted to remember but I also had the chance to reclaim and redefine. Playing reggae was like submerging into love and peace for a while: all love and peace. People like Marley and Tosh, they were spiritual warriors and brave men playing powerful music full of magic. My reggae side band is all about love and having the courage to care.

Great. And now you’re recording a rap project?

I have always loved the OG greats and mostly the west coast style. I took to it like jumping on a bolt of lightning. To me, people that hate on rap as a valid musical style are ignorant. It’s a very valid street art form, like a musical martial art from the concrete to the microphone. So I collaborated with some amazing DJ’s and producers and have been working on my rap band’s record with friends. It has a classic west coast style influence. With my rap project, the beats are huge, the production is insanely good and I am psyched to get to do it. All of it is ferocious but that’s what I needed to get out. It’s a healthy release of tension and aggression with a positive message. If you love that style like I do, listen and play it loud because I’m really proud of it. It’s a crucial jam chapter in my musical history. It’s so much fun I really don’t see how anybody wouldn’t want to do it. Music has no boundaries and to me, it’s all spiritual and beautiful. It’s almost a bit too ferocious, but I can’t really write party music these days. It’s all aggro and about anger or primal passion. It’s been an exercise in a bad ass, a valid street art form from the heart. Everything I do is all about soul, so the music is the manifestation of the pure primal groove.

Are you working on any new books?

Yes, I have been writing and working on several new books. My upcoming book is entitled “Journey of The Iron Soul”. It will encompass life philosophy, positive thinking, and stories about the music. I have other ones in the works: “Footsteps of the Ghost Tiger”, “The Baphomet Belt: A History Of Paganism in the American South” and a fourth book concerning the local band history of Charlotte, North Carolina. Stay tuned and mighty thank you to all those who keep up with me and send good my way, big love, and respect to you in return. Follow your heart like a tiger of fire and you’ll never go wrong.

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