The Official Iced Earth Website



Brent Smedley Interview by Adam Ortiz of Loucifer Speaks.

[Visit the Loucifer Speaks website]

Brent SmedleyAdam: First of all, I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer my questions. It's an honor to have you answer them as I am a HUGE fan of Iced Earth and your drumming.

Brent: Hi Adam, First off let me say thank you for your time and this interview, it is my honor to do it for you.

Adam: Where are you from? What's the Metal Scene like there?

Brent: I am from Jacksonville, Florida in the U.S.A. The metal scene here is o.k. could be a lot better, could be a lot worse. There are a lot of bands and a lot of places to play, not really a tremendous amount of support from the fans.

Adam: How long have you been in Iced Earth and any other bands?

Brent: I played in Iced Earth from 96-99 and now from October 2007 until forever. I have been playing in bands since 1986 from the age of 16.

Adam: What is it like playing with Iced Earth?

Brent: It is totally awesome and amazing to play with Iced Earth. Iced Earth fans are truly the best fans in the world.

Adam: How does playing in front of thousands of screaming fans feel?

Brent: It is totally awesome and amazing to play with Iced Earth. Iced Earth fans are truly the best fans in the world.

Adam: What are your major influences? Musical and otherwise.

Brent: My major influences musically are Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Pantera, Queensryche, AC/DC, Tony MacAlpine, and so many others. My main influence as far as drummers go would be my all time favorite Dean Castronova. Other influences in my life would be my mother, Grandparents, my brother, and my wife, also Jon Schaffer.

Adam: When did you start playing drums and why?

Brent: I started playing drums at the age of 7. I began by playing piano, but soon switched to drums. My next door neighbor, a guy by the name of John Weldon gave me my start into drums and many years later I took 4 and a half years of lesson from the late great jimmy Glenn Sr.

Adam: Do you have any tips for those at home who might consider learning to play the drums?

Brent: Tips for those considering playing drums...Get a drum set, get with a good teacher, learn to read music, study your favorite drummers, but the main tip is to practice hard and to practice consistently, record yourself and listen and make notes on your performances and rehearsals. Also, protect your hearing. Wear earplugs when playing at high volumes and realize your hearing is precious and easily damaged.

Adam: Are there any new bands in the scene currently that have caught your eye?

Brent: A new band in the scene that has caught my attention is Evergrey. I also really like Nickleback.

Adam: If someone has never heard your music, how would you describe it to them?

Brent: For some one that has never heard my music, I would describe it as Heavy and powerful with lots of melody, energy, emotion, and deep meaningful lyrics.

Adam: What do you consider to be your best work?

Brent: I consider my best work to be the Iced Earth records "Alive in Athens", "Overture of the Wicked", "Framing Armageddon", and "Something Wicked part 2" (due out summer 2008). Also two other records...the first by my old band Oracle called "As Darkness Reigns" on Massacre records (released in 1993) and the second by my late band Tempest Reign "Catastrophic"

Adam: How do you find time for the band? Do you have daytime job?

Brent: I find time for the band easily. All of us in the band schedule our lives around the bands schedule. In our down time I give drum lessons in my home town.

Adam: Equipment, what kind do you use and why?

Brent: As far as equipment goes...I have a Pearl and A Remo drum set. The band owns a DW drum kit which is totally amazing. I recorded on the DW kit. For cymbals I use a mixture of Zildjian, Paiste, and Sabian. With a preference on Sabian. I use Vic Firth drumsticks and Tama Iron cobra bass drum pedals.

Adam: How do the crowds react to your live shows?

Brent: The crowds reaction at the shows is always amazing and unbelievable. Like I said Iced earth fans are the best in the world.

Adam: Are there any band stories you could share or any secrets you are willing to spill?

Brent: As for band stories, is this an adult interview or for general public? Just kidding

Adam: If someone wanted to see your show is there a place your band frequently gigs?

Brent: If some one wants to see a show the best place to check out upcoming shows is the band website at The band plays all over the world, so odds are we"ll be playing a show near anyone at some time or another

Adam: Any up coming dates you would like to talk about?

Brent: up coming shows... The European tour begins around October 1st, followed by the American tour which should start some time around February, and the third leg of the tour will take us to Brazil, South America, Australia, Japan, and Mexico. Within the European tour we are playing 11 shows with Heaven and Hell in England, Scotland, and Wales. These shows are in November.

Adam: If you could tour with any band, what band would it be and why?

Brent: If I could tour with any band it would be Iced Earth because of their integrity and uncompromising attitude and dedication to the fans. I would also like to one day tour with me and my brother's band Odyssey, to share our music with the world and to show him some of the places I've been and what it is really like to tour the world.

Adam: How did you get into Iced Earth?

Brent: How I got into Iced Earth is a rather interesting story. It goes something like this...I had heard of Iced Earth and seen an ad for Century Media records (the bands record label at the time) in a magazine. I sent for a free catalog for CM. A few days after the catalog arrived I received a Century Media sampler Cd which had one song from most of their top bands on it. I believe it was the 2nd Cm sampler they made. Anyhow the Cd had the song "Last December" on it. I liked the song so much that I put the intro from it on my answering machine. I was referred to the band by a mutual friend by the name of Steve Woodham from Alabama. So when Jon Schaffer called me to ask me about auditioning he heard his song on my answering machine...I"ll never forget that message. It seemed it was fate for me to play in Iced Earth. I was the next to the last person to audition, they had me play "Last December" and "Dante's Inferno". The rest as they say is history.

Adam: The promo version of Framing Armageddon was leaked some time ago. How do you feel about people downloading albums before they are officially released?

Brent: As to how I feel about downloading of music. I think it is a crime and a shame that so much theft of music goes on today. If you were a master painter would you give your paintings away? Or a builder, would you build your homes or offices for free? Downloading has reduced the Music industry by 20%. I think it is one of the biggest problems facing the Music business in modern times.

Adam: Where can metal fans pick up your CD's, t-shirts, and other merchandise?

Brent: You can find Iced Earth Cds in most record stores...Best Buy and FYE to name a couple.As for t-shirts you can find some for sale in the Metal magazines. As for other merchandise you might check or come to a show.

Adam: Do you have formal training, as in did you study at institutions and clinics?

Brent: I took 4 and a half years of private drum lessons, a year and a half of Marimba lessons (a mallet percussion instrument), I played in school band my last 4 years of high school including Marching band, Symphonic Band, Percussion ensemble, and Jazz band. I also studied Music at the University of North Florida, taking Drumset and Percussion lessons, and Percussion ensemble.

Adam: Do you have any goals that you want to accomplish with the band now?

Brent: Goals I wish to accomplish with the band would consist of making the best records we can possibly make, giving the best live shows we can and staying true to ourselves, the music we love to play, and to stay true to the fans.

Adam: Well, I'm not going to take up too much of your time, Brent. Thank you for the interview, it's been such an honor interviewing you. Any last words?

Brent: Thank you as well for the interview, it has been my honor. As for any last words...I would like to say thank you to Jon Schaffer for bringing me back into the family and thank you to the Iced Earth fans for welcoming me back into the fold. I look forward to seeing all of you on the Wicked World Tour...Stay Metal.

[Visit the website]