When their second album, “Dye it Blonde,” was released last year, Smith Westerns were saddled with comparisons to glam rock. Sure, there’s a fleeting tone that says Marc Bolan and Bowie boogie, but it’s only part of the Chicago trio’s anthemic glistening sound.

“We’re not interested in the revival aspect of things,” guitarist Max Kakacek tells Metro firmly. “It’s an interesting era, but the whole getting dressed up in glitter and everything — I wouldn’t paint my face or anything. I don’t think that we’ll be wearing the clothes.”

Kakacek is chatting from his apartment in Chicago. He lives there with Westerns singer Cullen Omori, whose brother Cameron fills out the lineup on bass. “We just like the sound, the way the guitars and drums were. I’m really into that, that fuzzy sound.”

This Smith Westerns’ winter tour gives them a chance to air some new songs. Kakacek anticipates a big change for album No. 3, which they hope to record soon.


“In the same way the last record moved on, we’re definitely refining this [next] record: honing in on our own thing and moving forward, making the recording sound bigger and the songs sound more complex.”

So what’s he been listening to that could have an influence?

“It’s too hard to say what will influence me, but I’ve been listening to a Danish prog rock band called Pan.”

Prog rock here we come?

“Nah, I don’t know how much that will be in the next record,” he laughs.

‘Deliberate choice’

After a phenomenal few years touring since the band released their 2009 self-titled debut, Kakacek says they are ready to stamp their music with a sound that says nothing but ‘Hey, that’s Smith Westerns, baby!”

“It’s a deliberate choice on our part to keep on improving our songs, but we wouldn’t be able to do that without all the touring and becoming better musicians. Doing this for a living every day improves your playing.”

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