Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts
30th August 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
Growing up as an outsider in rural Georgia, Tuk found solace in hardcore punk acts like Black Flag and The Exploited. From there, he branched out into exploring seventies New York bands like The Dead Boys and New York Dolls, which lead him across the sea where he embraced first-wave British acts like The Buzzcocks and the Clash. Soon, he was forming his own acts, touring relentlessly and building a following with his high-energy live shows, including his tour of duty as lead singer for the Biters, who he fronted for nearly a decade.
American rock band Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts are back with their new single/video, “Ballad of A Misspent Youth,” the first single from their forthcoming album of the same name. The release marks their first with the new label MRG, founded by industry veterans Marti Frederiksen and John Greenberg and distributed worldwide by Virgin Music/Universal.
Hi, thanks so much for talking to ReVamp, what inspired you to start the music, and who influenced you?
I was always drawn to music since I was a child. My mom would drive me around blasting the stereo as loud as it would go. Some of her favorites were Creedence Clearwater Revival, AC/DC, Tom Petty, and Sheryl Crow. I started my first band when I was 14 and I haven’t stopped making music since.
Congrats, You have recently announced you will be signing with the new label MRG, which distribute through Virgin/Universal, how excited are you to be signed to this label?
I’m so happy to be releasing this new record! It’s been over a year of waiting for everything to line up, so I’m more than ready to start the process of releasing the music. This label is new and they have given me a lot of artists’ freedom, which is very important to me.
You've released your new single "Ballad of a Misspent Youth". Can you tell us the background story of this new single?
I wrote this tune in the middle of quarantine. I was inspired by the characters from the underground rock ’n roll scene. I’ve been submerged in that subculture for a while and it’s always inspired me.
You describe your experience in the pandemic as ‘hitting reset on my music career." How do you think this time helped you reflect on your own music career?
It didn’t “help” my career necessarily, it just forced me to write another record because the previous one I had planned to release was shelved due to the pandemic putting touring on pause. The silver lining was that I had no choice BUT to write another batch of songs and I ended up creating two albums worth of music.
What was the recording/writing process like for your new single?
I had a feeling in mind that I was trying to capture. It took a while to get the groove right. I went through at least 3 or 4 versions of the song — tried it fast, slow, straight, swung, in different keys, etc — before I landed on the final version. Once I felt like I explored all options and revised the lyrics, I demoed out the song with total production. Then, I got the band into a rehearsal space with my co-producer Dan Dixon so we could hash it out together and make small changes, then we headed into the studio to record it. That’s pretty much how every song on the album was developed!
What can we expect next from you?
More single and video releases, as well as some live shows!