Episode 297: Arthur Smilios


Best known as the bassist for legendary hardcore acts like Gorilla Biscuits and CIV, Arthur Smilios came by Going Off Track to discuss seeing Agnostic Front as a teenager at CBGB, why he’s a proud socialist and the time CIV opened for KISS at Madison Square Garden. We also talk about his lifelong friendship/collaboration with Walter Schreifels, the inspiration of bass legend James Jamerson on his playing and Smilios’ love of vintage Fender basses and Fred Perry clothing. (If you’ve met Arthur, you already know what we’re talking about.) “The song that almost didn’t make the album was ‘New Direction,’ it was the last song,” Smilios says when reminiscing about the writing of one of the most influential hardcore albums of all-time, Gorilla Biscuits’ “Start Today.” “The interesting thing about that album is that initially the songs were a lot more melodic and we decided to rough it up a little and I was against it,” he continues. “I got outvoted on that and that was fine because I didn’t write the songs: In the end it’s Walter and CIV because they’re the ones writing the album… and I guess it turned out OK.” Personally we think that Arthur should have his own podcast but until that happens this is the closest you’re going to get into the mind of a truly gifted musician and amazing human. In fact, we can’t wait one minute more to have him back on the podcast.