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Interview with Mark Cooper Smith, May 2, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:14 - Coming to Athens

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Partial Transcript: So I like to start by...

Segment Synopsis: Smith discusses coming to the University of Georgia for anthropology. He recalls that he joined the Squalls as the drummer shortly after his arrival. Smith expands upon how he came to understand the "Athens" playing style.

Keywords: Grateful Dead; Squalls; The Side Effects; University of Georgia

00:06:59 - First gigs

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Partial Transcript: I have a thesis in one of...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about his work as an archaeologist's field supervisor and his Master's degree in cultural anthropology. Smith explains that the Squalls was already a band for a year before he joined and discusses his first gig with the band at the Last Resort Grill.

Keywords: "Big" Al Walsh; Last Resort Grill; the Squalls

00:14:03 - People's Magazine / Touring New York

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Partial Transcript: So they were just trying to...

Segment Synopsis: Smith explains how he and the other members of the Squalls managed to get on People's Magazine. Smith describes learning about playing after the Indigo Girls, and the Squall's tour to New York.

Keywords: Indigo Girls; New York; People’s Magazine; the Squalls

00:20:13 - First EP released

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Partial Transcript: You know, if you're in a band...

Segment Synopsis: Smith explains that the members of the Squalls needed to keep jobs in order to continue their tours. Smith recalls his decision to open a music studio once he had kids. Smith talks about the first EP that was released by the Squalls around 1984, and the subsequent LP that was released two years later.

Keywords: EP; Jefferson Holt; Jim Hawkins; Recording

00:27:56 - The end the Squalls / 28 Days

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Partial Transcript: They wanted to talks about...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about the band's record deal with Capital Records, which allowed the band to tour. Smith explains the breakup of the Squalls, before which he joined the band 28 Days. Smith describes the appeal of playing in an all-girls band.

Keywords: 28 Days; Capitol Records; Diana Torell; No Time; touring

00:33:58 - Filming Athens, GA: Inside/Out

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Partial Transcript: Melissa Shelby was like project...

Segment Synopsis: Smith reflects on the reasons behind the gradual transition of the Athens music scene to male groups. Smith explains how the movie, Athens, GA: Inside/Out changed the music scene of Athens, along with the process of filming for the movie.

Keywords: Challenger spacecraft; Vanessa Hay

Subjects: Athens, GA: Inside/Out; Laura Carter; R.E.M.; The Side Effects

00:40:54 - Favorite tour memories

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Partial Transcript: Did you go on the tour...

Segment Synopsis: Smith shares some of his most memorable experiences on tour with the Squalls. Smith explains how he became a music producer once he had two daughters and wanted to settle down.

Keywords: Athens, GA: Inside/Out; Kilkenny Cats; Time Toy; the Squalls

00:47:05 - Life as a music producer

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Partial Transcript: When you're here recording with me...

Segment Synopsis: Smith lists some of the bands and artists he worked with as a producer, including 28 Days, Soul Miner's Daughter, Jennifer Nettles, and Bill Malone. Smith also lists some of the local artists he worked with including Vic Chesnutt.

Keywords: 28 Days; 40-Watt Club; Bill Malone; Dave Barbe; Jennifer Nettles; John Keen; Soul Miner's Daughter; Vic Chesnutt; music production

00:54:03 - Memorable moments in studio

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Partial Transcript: I'm not sure how...

Segment Synopsis: Smith describes some of the genres he worked with as music producer. Smith shares some of his most memorable moments as a producer, and his acquisition of a two-inch tape machine. Smith describes the process of using a two-inch 24 track analog tape machine.

Keywords: Greg Reese; Nick Fowler; Vic Chesnutt; tracks

01:01:19 - Oconee School of Rock

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Partial Transcript: Doing a studio here during...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about teaching music and recording. Smith explains his decision to open the Oconee School of Rock in which musicians taught children how to play rock music. Smith describes his decision to start a concert series with Dave Shearon, Jim Shearon, and Mario Castro.

Keywords: Dave Shearon; Jim Shearon; Mario Castro; Oconee School of Rock; music production

01:08:26 - Changes to drumming

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Partial Transcript: When I first came here...

Segment Synopsis: Smith describes the changes to his drumming style when he came to Athens. Smith lists his favorite drummers and some of the difficulties that came with recording in a studio versus a live crowd.

Keywords: Charlie Watts; John Keen; Ringo; Stewart Copeland; the Squalls

01:16:01 - Concluding thoughts

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Partial Transcript: Working with bands has been...

Segment Synopsis: Smith shares some of the difficulties that many band members face in the recording studio. Smith compares his experience as a musician to that of a studio recorder.

Keywords: criticism; recording