The Smith Street Band

The Smith Street Band are an Australian rock band from Melbourne, Victoria, in which the Smith Street of their name can be found. The band have released two EPs, South East Facing Wall (2010) and Don't Fuck with Our Dreams (2013) and four studio albums, No One Gets Lost Anymore (2011), Sunshine and Technology (2012), Throw Me in the River (2014) and More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me (2017).

The Smith Street Band
The Smith Street Band at Rocken am Brocken Festival in Germany 2015
Background information
Also known asWil Wagner & The Smith Street Band (2010–2011), Lee Hartney Sex Drive
OriginMelbourne, Australia
GenresPunk rock, indie rock, folk punk, pub rock
Years active2010–current
LabelsJackknife Records, Poison City Records, Asian Man Records, SideOneDummy Records, Uncle M Music, Banquet Records, Pool House Records, Specialist Subject Records
Associated actsWil Wagner, Wil Wagner & Friends, Bomb the Music Industry!, Being Amazing!!, Apologies, I Have None, The Go Set, The Hawaiian Islands, Kill Whitey, Jeff Rosenstock
MembersWil Wagner
Lee Hartney
Michael "Fitzy" Fitzgerald
Jess Locke
Lucy Wilson
Matt Bodiam
Past membersTom Lawson
Jimi O'Loughlin
Chris Cowburn


Early history (2010–2011)

The band formed in 2010, composed of singer/lyricist/guitarist/keyboardist Wil Wagner, guitarist/backing vocalist Tom Lawson, guitarist Lee Hartney, bassist Jimi O'Loughlin and drummer/backing vocalist Chris Cowburn. Initially named Wil Wagner and The Smith Street Band—an allusion to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band—the band changed its name in 2011 to signify a change to a whole-band songwriting style.[1]

Their debut EP, South East Facing Wall, was released on Jackknife Records in January 2011 and was reissued in 2013.[2] The band's debut album, No One Gets Lost Anymore was released shortly after, in July 2011, on Poison City Records. Both albums received critical acclaim in Melbourne.[3]

Poison City Records years (2012–2015)

In 2012, the group announced their Young Drunks tour to promote their new album, Sunshine and Technology, which ran from January through March, with Bomb the Music Industry! and The Bennies as support acts.[4][5][6][7][8]

In March 2013, Wagner announced All Tomorrow's Shoeys, a three-day music festival held at Hobart's Brisbane Hotel. Curated by Wagner, the festival included Luca Brasi, The Bennies, Grim Fandango and Lincoln Le Fevre.[9] Later that month, the band participated in the "Tram Sessions" program that involves the recording of live performances on Melbourne tram routes. The program organisers explained: "One day we asked ourselves, hmm, if only there was a band who' s name encapsulated an iconic Melbourne street which also happened to be along an iconic Melbourne route who had a typically route 86 sound... And then it came to us. The Smith Street Band!"[10]

In August 2013, the Don't Fuck with Our Dreams EP was released. The EP's title track was inspired by the events prior to a show from the Young Drunks tour in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, in which the guitarist from The Bennies was the victim of a near-fatal stabbing. The song was performed to end the band's show at The Fest event in Gainesville, Florida, US in late 2013.[11]

In June 2014, The Smith Street Band announced Jeff Rosenstock from Bomb the Music Industry! would produce their third album, being recorded in July 2014 in the small town of Forrest, Victoria.[12] The album is titled Throw Me in the River and was released on 31 October 2014.[13]

In January 2015, the band released a single titled "Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face", which was inspired by the actions of then-Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government, particularly its stance on asylum seekers.[14] The single was released on 7" vinyl and as a download, with proceeds from its sales until the end of February going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.[14] The song directly impacted sales of the band's album Throw Me in the River, which rose to number 105 on the Australian Albums Chart.[15] At the end of January, the band toured across Australia on the 26-date Get High, See Everyone tour alongside PUP, Great Cynics and Apart From This.[14]

Pool House Records and More Scared of You Than You Are of Me (2016–present)

In November 2016, the band premiered Death to the Lads on Triple J, as the first single from their forthcoming album. A series of shows were announced as a promotional tour for the single, with bands The Nation Blue, Grim Rhythm and FOREVR.[16] The single made it to #21 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2016.

The following day they announced that they would be leaving Poison City Records to start their own label, Pool House Records.[17]

In February the band sent out a series of birthday cards directing fans to a website which went live on Valentines Day and debuted the second single, Birthdays, as well as officially announcing their fourth studio album, More Scared of You Than You Are of Me, confirming that it would be released through Pool House Records and produced by Jeff Rosenstock.[18]

The album was promoted by Triple J in April as their feature album,[19] and a number of solo shows by Wil Wagner around the country, officially being released on the 7th. The band performed the entire album in full at a launch party, which was livestreamed via Facebook.[20] An Australian album tour was announced with A.W., Ceres and Joyce Manor.

On the 26th of May the band performed the opening show of their More Scared of You Than You Are of Me tour, and debuted a new touring line-up; adding label-mate Jess Locke and musician/long-time friend of the band Lucy Wilson.[21]

In May, the band premiered the video for their third single, Shine, recreating AC/DC's video for It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) with the original director Paul Drane.[22]

In June, it was announced that the band would be opening for Midnight Oil at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, alongside The Living End.

On the 17th of March 2018, Pool House Records held the inaugural Pool House Party festival at Coburg Velodrome in Melbourne, featuring label mates The Bennies and Jess Locke, local acts like Press Club, WAAX, and Baker Boy, and international guests Astronautalis and Signals Midwest.[23]

In February 2019 lead singer Wil Wagner was accused of harassment by ex-girlfriend Georgia McDonald following the circulation on social media of emails and messages sent by Wagner, with support acts subsequently pulling out of the Smith Street Band’s upcoming national tour.[24]

Band members

Current members

  • Wil Wagner – lead vocals, guitar (2010–present), keyboards (2010–2012, 2017)
  • Lee Hartney – guitar, backing vocals (2010–present)
  • Michael "Fitzy" Fitzgerald – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012–present)[25]
  • Lucy Wilson – backing vocals, keyboards, percussion, acoustic guitar (2018–present; touring member 2017-2018)
  • Jess Locke – guitar, backing vocals (2018–present; touring member 2017-2018)
  • Matt Bodiam – drums (2018–present; touring member 2017-2018)

Former members

  • Jimi O'Loughlin – bass guitar (2010–2012)
  • Tom Lawson – guitar, backing vocals (2010–2012)
  • Chris Cowburn - drums, backing vocals (2010-2017)


Studio albums

Extended plays

  • South East Facing Wall (2010)
  • Don't Fuck with Our Dreams (2013)


  • "Surrender" (7") (2014)
  • "Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face" (7") (2015)
  • "I Scare Myself Sometimes" (7") (2015)
  • "Death to the Lads" (digital) (2016)
  • "Little Elephant Session" (12") (2017)
  • "Birthdays" (digital) (2017)
  • "Passiona" (2017)

V/A Compilation

  • "Triple J's Like a Version 10" (2014)
  • "SideOneDummy Summer Mix" (2015)
  • "Triple J's Hottest 100: Volume 22" (2015)


  1. "The Smith Street Band Interview". Kill Your Stereo. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. "The Smith Street Band – South East Facing Wall 7" 2nd pressing out now!"". Jackknife Records. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. Wilson, Alex (6 September 2012). "THE SMITH STREET BAND – Sunshine and Technology album review". The Music. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  4. "The Smith Street Band announce 'Young Drunks' tour". ABC Online. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  5. Egging, Kiel (3 December 2012). "The Smith Street Band Australian Tour January–March 2013". Music Feeds. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  6. "The Smith Street Band Announce 'Young Drunks' Tour". AAA Backstage. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  7. "The Smith Street Band tour kicks off tonight". 31 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  8. "The Smith Street Band Announce More Shows, All Ages and Supports of Young Drunk Tour". Chucking a Mosh. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  9. "All Tomorrow's Shoeys 2013 Lineup Announced". Tone Deaf. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  10. "The Smith Street Band – Sigourney Weaver | Tram Sessions" (Video upload). Tram Sessions on YouTube. Google Inc. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  11. Mike Plante (2 December 2013). "The Smith Street Band LIVE @ THE FEST 12 3 November 2013" (Video upload). Mike Plante on YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  12. "Jeff Rosenstock to produce new Smith Street Band LP". PunkNews. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  13. "The Smith Street Band release album details, more exclusive footage". FasterLouder. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  14. Baroni, Nastassia (12 January 2015). "The Smith Street Band Tell Tony Abbott To 'Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face'". Music Feeds. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  15. Cashmere, Paul (17 January 2015). "ARIA Albums: Meghan Trainor Title Is Australia's No 1 Album". Noise11. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  16. "The Smith Street Band Announce 'Death to The Lads' and tour Dates - speakertv". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  17. "The Smith Street Band". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  18. "BIRTHDAYS VIDEO". BIRTHDAYS. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  19. "New on triple j: Smith Street Band nab feature album | Music News | triple j". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  20. "The Smith Street Band". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  21. Band, The Smith St (25 May 2017). "Oh yeah! Surprise! We're a 6 piece now! Welcome to The Smithies, Jess Locke and Lucy Wilson! …". @smithstband. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  22. "The Smith Street Band Recreate Classic AC/DC Video For 'Shine' Clip". theMusic. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  23. "POOL HOUSE PARTY". POOL HOUSE PARTY. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  25. "The Smith Street Band - Facebook".
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