From 1978 to 1985, Steve Smith offers superhuman chops that anchored down the arena rockers, Journey.
When the band started, it had not been recognized by many people and did not seem to go anywhere, but Steve Smith becomes an essential member during their peak years – arcade games and everything that made sense in the industry.
The drummer has such energy that it was not hard to recognize his hard in any music. Rock drumming is all about power and timekeeping, and Smith had a clear mastery of both.
Those who played with him loved his personality as an outgoing member who was free with everyone around him.
One of his most significant success was his part in the inspiration classic “Don’t Stop Believin.” He came up with an intricated, open-handed pattern that has always left many mesmerized. Here, he plays the hi-hat with his left hand as the right moves around the kit.
What comes out is a professional sound that offers a hint into all the emotional aspects of the piece. That is how innovative Smith is, and he seemed to always have something up his sleeves for every project he worked on.
His mind was fixed on developing new styles that would help him and future drummers as well. The style he uses in this track is as exceptional as the skyscraping vocals of Perry’s.
Drummer Peter Erskine was Smith’s biggest fan. When the Drum interviewed him, Peter recalled the final of The Sopranos as they played “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. Therefore, it is not only in the drumming industry that Smith has left a mark, but he has also stamped the American media with a watershed moment.
He is a man who always made everyone around him fall in love with what he did, as well as his character.
When it came to keeping time, there are very few drummers who would beat Smith. He played as though there was an automatic switch he flipped in the sticks and let them roll by themselves.
Every strike landed with a thunderous output that is hard to recognize. And because of this, the drummer has always remained pivotal in shaping the music industry. He worked with an innovative approach to every project or performance, always wanting to give it a new touch that would not be heard anywhere else.
Whether playing fast or smooth grooves, the Smith did not disappoint.
Smith appeared in another set playing Jo Jones on the hi-hat. As Erskine recounts, that are not very many other guys that “could drive a band like that and also play the hi-hat.” More than a pro, Smith was then a talented drummer who recognized new ideas and put them into action without hesitation.
He would draw every emotion from his body into the drum sounds, making them sound as though they were replying to his thoughts.
However, over the last 30 years, Smith has spent most of his time touring on the jazz-fusion circuit. He has also been heading up drum clinics, perhaps just to keep up with his earlier days.