Dan talked to Stevie Janevski from Australian Australian heavy rockers Wicked Smile about their upcoming EP “Night Time Riders”, the UK tour and more…
Metal-Roos: Mate!! Great to have you drop by for a chat with us. In a few more days the EP “Night Time Riders” will be out on the 17th of November. How have the days been with promoting and hustling with the release?
Stevie: It’s been busy but I guess that’s a good thing. Our debut album received an amazing response so it’s great to see such a positive initial response for the follow up/ep.
The pre-orders for the new ep have been strong so that’s really pleasing.
Metal-Roos: In a lead up to the release Wicked Smile released the title track of the EP. Mate, what an awesome song. I personally felt I was listening to a soundtrack from an 80’s movie. I really love the arrangement of the song and it flows really well. How has the response been from other people that have heard it?
Stevie: We recently released the title track to the ep which has been received very well. The press and fans have loved how we’ve continued with our 80s influences yet continued to evolve. I think the production has improved and the addition of new bassist Tom Nugara brings a refined energy to the band’s sound.
Here’s a link to the new single/video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0bv5WVfSJs
Metal-Roos: I was lucky enough to hear the “Night Time Riders” EP and I think people are gonna love it. I personally love “Edge Of Madness”. You have other tracks “Never Surrender”, and “Scream N Shout” that all have that Dio, Skid Row, Judas Priest, and Ozzy influence from the 80s era. Every track is catchy, hooks, guitar riffs and solos from Dave and Stevie, good old hard rock beats from Alex, Tom’s groovy bass and Danny Cecati’s vocals work really well in this new EP. (You all do!!)
Stevie: Thanks so much. I think all four tracks have great energy about them. We’ve definitely kept all the ingredients that made our first album, yet improved the overall production. I’m looking forward to playing the songs live.
Metal-Roos: How did Wicked Smile approach this EP with the songwriting process compared to your last record album “Wait for the Night”?
Stevie: I pretty much wrote all of the Wait For The Night debut with my pal Paul Laine. This time ’round it was more of a band effort. Dave and I worked closely on writing strong riffs/parts such as Night Time Riders & Never Surrender and Danny sang his ass off, like always. Having said that, I also co-wrote some songs with Paul. For instance, Edge Of Madness started out with me coming up with the music and basic melody. Paul came up with the lyrics and added some great touches.
Metal-Roos: The production for the EP was produced by Chris Themelco from Monolith Studios. Chris has got a resume for himself with his work with bands like Mason, Escarion, Triple Kill and Night Legion. How has the experience been like working with Chris? He got lots of amps to play with. I can imagine there was a lot of reamping to create the sound you guys were after?
Stevie: Chris did a great job mixing the ep. He’s a good dude and we’ve known him for a long time. He’s definitely worked with lots of great bands. However, we actually recorded all of our parts in our own home studios. Dave and I used our own amps for the guitars in my studio. We then sent Chris all of the files to mix the album.
Metal-Roos: Having the right tracks, and a great production as you know is all great. But as we know the artwork is probably the one element that seals the package, to create the aura of what an artist is trying to present. How was the experience working with Tristan Tait? He is a great artist who has contributed with his past works with other bands like LORD and Demonhead.
Stevie: Yes, it turned out great. Tristan is a very talented artist. His art will also feature on our t.shirts. And I totally agree. I think it’s essential to have great art that enhances your product. Bands like Dio and Iron Maiden are great examples of this.
Metal-Roos: Talking about being busy with this EP launch. Wicked Smile got a few shows overseas in the UK. It starts off November 17 at the Motorsport Lounge, appearances at Winterstorm, and Planet Rockstock and concludes at the Cart & Horse, London. For those that don’t know the Birthplace of Iron Maiden.
Stevie: Yes, we’re playing eleven shows all up. WinterStorm and Planet Rockstock are festival dates and we’re also playing a bunch of clubs. Our ep launch will be held at The Motorsport Lounge in Llandudno, a great venue and special guests include Cassidy Paris and Fugitive. We can’t wait. The London show at the Cart & Horses will definitely be special as it’s the first time performing in London. I’m sure there’ll be a few Iron Miaden Trooper beers poured that night!
Metal-Roos: Recently Wicked Smile announced they will be performing at the Churches Of Steel in Adelaide on the 17th of February and also a support act with Riot City. I’m just excited for you and I’m not even in this band. Mate how exciting it is? Is there something you’re looking forward to with this lineup of shows?
Stevie: We’re really excited to showcase the new material in front of as many people we possibly can. Gigging with these kinds of line-ups is a great way for us to spread the word to audiences old and new. We’re also very keen to check out the other bands. We can’t wait!
Metal-Roos: This year Wicked Smile did support Skid Row for their tour. Skid Row being an influence of the band, how was the experience like sharing the stage with these legends?
Stevie: Gigging with Skid Row in Sydney was amazing. We got to meet the band and they were really cool. It’s definitely a bummer that Erik became ill, but shit happens. Nevertheless gigging with one of our all-time favourite band’s is something that was surreal. Let’s hope there’s a next time!
Metal-Roos: Great to see Wicked Smile doing so many awesome shows and looks like it’s getting busier for each member of the band. Personally for you, is there something you like
• to do outside of music either if it is a hobby or anything that helps you relax and recharge your battery?
Stevie: Honestly, I LOVE heavy rock & metal music. Whether it be writing or performing my own music, or listening to my favourite bands, I absolutely love it. Having said that, I’m also a huge fan of Australian Rules Football. My team the Brisbane Lions made the Grand Final this year, but it was pretty hard losing to Collingwood. I also love having a kick with my son who plays footy too.
Metal-Roos: After all the shows of the EP are done. What instore for the future for Wicked Smile. Guys got any more new songs for a new record or more shows announced for 2024?
Stevie: We’ll continue playing shows and begin work on the second album. We’ve already got lots of songs demoed up so we’ll keep building on that.
Metal-Roos: It was awesome having a chat with you. Before we conclude this interview. Is there anything you like to say to the fans and supporters who have supported this band from day one till this present day?
Stevie: A big thanks to our fans for their support.
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