Smith wrote in to blast GP for its Orianthi cover (yeah, join the club, boyo), and when we checked him out on MySpace, his “This Is Real” knocked us on our butts. Performed by Smith and his band, The Mighty Eighteen Wheeler, the track kicks in hard and revs up a convoy of stinging, supersonic riffs.
“The song was originally a rockabilly instrumental,” says Smith. “However, I wanted to include elements of punk and swing—like the Living End meets Brian Setzer. I used a Grosh ElectraJet with a single Seymour Duncan Custom Custom. The amp was a 100-watt, non-master- volume, plexi-style model that I built myself, and it was dimed! We recorded the track on Steinberg Neundo 4 at a home studio in Denver, miking a Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with 25-watt Celestion Greenbacks with a Sennheiser e609, and a Marshall JCM800 4x12 with 75-watt Celestions with a Shure SM57. I didn’t want the track to sound ‘vintage,’ but I definitely wanted an old-school vibe.”