By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — Chad Smith’s parents surprised him with his first drum set when he was 12 years old.
“I haven’t got off it since,” Smith said.
Twenty-seven years later, Smith, who was born and raised in Logansport, has turned his passion for drumming in to his full-time career and has been touring with Mobile Deathcamp, a Toledo, Ohio, band, since January.
“I’m going full force now,” Smith said. “It has been my love ever since I got my first set.”
It wasn’t out of the norm for Smith to sit in his room for hours practicing. Not only did he start playing at a young age, he taught himself by listening to music and eventually began writing original music.
Smith joined Mobile Deathcamp in December 2012. There are three members including Smith. Todd Evans, who previously was in Gwar, plays guitar and is on vocals, and Boe Skadeland plays bass. Smith describes the music as speed and thrash metal. He said it resembles ‘80s Slayer.
Mobile Deathcamp, a band that began in 2008, was on tour from Jan. 18 to March 16 and again from June 21 to July 28. The band will leave for a new tour Sept. 21, which will begin in Indianapolis.
“It’s definitely a touring band,” Smith said. “We’ve been over the whole country and pretty much every city. If you name one, we’ve probably been there.”
Before joining Mobile Deathcamp, Smith was in other bands including Tragic Mistake, Hostile Intent and most recently Threat Level. The bands he has been involved with have played covers of songs as well as original music.
Growing up, Smith was influenced by the musical work of Dave Lombardo and Lars Ulrich.
While touring, Mobile Deathcamp plays original music in venues from big to small.
“This is my first time touring at this capacity,” Smith said.
Smith said he loves playing and has enjoyed being able to see the country. Tour destinations have included Texas, Florida, Virginia, Oregon, California and many other locations.
“It has been a dream to play shows in these different cities,” Smith said. “To watch it grow all these years has been amazing. Some of the most exciting parts have been the climb.”
Smith said his family isn’t able to visit on the road, but they attend shows when they are in Indiana. Smith said his wife, Tavia, and mother, Joyce, have been extremely supportive. Smith has two children — Jacob, who is 20, and Khloe, who will be 4 in September.
“I miss them when I’m on the road,” he said.
Smith met the Mobile Deathcamp members while playing with Threat Level, a band that he was with from 2005 to 2012. Smith said he has gotten really close with the band members.
In addition to touring, the band is working toward the next year. Some tours are on the docket and the band is looking to put a new CD out in 2014, Smith said. Mobile Deathcamp currently has two CDs.
“We’re ready to get new stuff out there,” he said “We have quite a bit of interest.”
While traveling, fans have exceeded Smith’s expectations. Smith said Gwar fans love anything Evans touches and it has been nice to get that.
“We get a lot of love from fans,” Smith said. “It has been awesome. I’m really happy.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go: WHAT: Indianapolis Metal Fest WHEN: 11 a.m. Sept. 21 WHERE: Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St., Indianapolis WHY: Several bands, including Mobile Deathcamp, will be playing COST: General admission is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the show INFO: Visit www.indianapolismetalfest.com