GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Music has been in one Green Bay musician’s blood since he can remember.
Al Smith stopped by the WFRV Digital Center to perform some original music and discuss his upcoming projects in an exclusive interview with Local Five’s Natasha Ero.
As a child, Smith’s interest in music started with him holding concerts in his room and later taking over his dad’s vinyl LP collection.
“I was a kid playing pretend concerts in my room while mimicking my Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers greatest hits CD.”
He received his first guitar at 15-years-old, and two years later started his first pop-punk band, Four Stories High. The group had a lot of performances and later recorded an EP with Marc Golde at Rock Garden studios, one of Wisconsin’s most successful recording facilities.
Later Smith formed a new band, Harvey Brown, releasing one studio album and two EP, which are mini-albums.
“We played lots of shows all over the state and got the opportunity to open for many national touring acts as well as artists from around the world. I think my favorite show I’ve ever gotten to play was the hot air balloon event put on by the igNight Market Festival, it was by far the largest crowd I’ve ever gotten to play too. Nothing beats hot air balloons lit up at night with having my guitar blasting across the city and being on stage with my best friends sharing our music with the city. It was an amazing opportunity.”
Still looking to do more, Smith started working on his Alley Cat & the Purrrfection project in 2016, which is now his main focus, as Harvey Brown was slowing down. After the band’s last studio album release in 2019, the group went on hiatus.
Alley Cat & the Purrrfection was Brown’s way of establishing himself as a solo act.
“I am a huge fan of improvisation, so when I wanted to get into doing more full band shows I would find a bass player and a drummer and pretty much have them show up the night of the show, give them a quick heads up on what the songs were like and what key they were in during soundcheck and we would just let it rip!”
As years went by, Smith says his sound got more experimental, eventually transitioning to rock and roll. Now creating his own lane in music, Smith currently describes his sound as “Island Space Rock.”
Alley Cat & the Purrrfection, transitioning from a solo act to a fully formed group, has been keeping busy, using this time to finish their first album.
“I’ve spent the last year and a half solidifying my permanent group (The Purrrfection) and we have been working hard on getting the debut album finished.”
Alley Cat & the Purrrfection has a single out called “Life Finds a Way.” Smith says the band’s album will be available next year.
To find out where you can listen to Alley Cat & the Purrrfection’s music, click here.