Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jan 16th 2009 2:00PM by David Chiu
"That was when grunge started," Smyth explains to Spinner. "There were a lot of things changing in the music industry. A lot of the things I didn't like about the music business and all of the s--- really didn't change. I just wasn't really sure what I wanted to say."
Smyth has plenty to say now with some new material that she's recorded with her old friends from Scandal. She and original members Keith Mack (guitars) and Benjy King (keyboards), along with new guys Tom Welsch (bass) and Eran Asias (drums), are currently putting together Scandal's first new studio album in 25 years. The catalyst for the reunion was the group's appearance on the VH-1 series 'Bands Reunited' in 2004. "It just felt so good and it was so much fun," she says about that moment. "I was like, 'Let's do a few more gigs.'"
Scandal had originally planned to release an EP towards the end of last year; the material from the sessions, however, sounded so good that it was decided that a full-length album should be made. It is scheduled for release sometime this year. "We did a bunch of gigs," Smyth says, "and that's all I heard at every show, 'Are you gonna make a new record?' I really felt compelled to do it. I figured, 'Why not?'"
Smyth maintains that while she likes performing the Scandal songs, she also enjoys making new music. "It doesn't sound retro at all," she says about the new material. "[Guitarist Keith Mack] just really evolved, just as I like to think I have as a songwriter and singer. That's kind of what you want -- to be different but still us."
Scandal's first album was a self-titled EP in 1982, that contained the hits 'Goodbye to You' and 'Love's Got a Line on You,' both written by the group's founder and guitarist Zack Smith. For Smyth, who before joining Scandal was singing at New York City's Catch a Rising Star on the weekends, everything was happening so fast. "We were doing 'American Bandstand,'" she recalls. "We were having fun and it was great."
The video for 'Love's Got a Line on You' featured a young Jon Bon Jovi. "He was a cute kid from New Jersey," says Smyth, "so we had to get somebody to pretend to play guitar. He and his girlfriend, whom he's married to now, were always in that bedroom up there. I remember I walked in on them once [and] asked him to him to be in the video. I was scarred for life after that."
Scandal released their next record, 'The Warrior,' which had the hit title track, in 1984. It turned out to be Scandal's last album at the time and the group broke up shortly after. Eight years followed when Smyth had a hit as a solo artist. During that period, she met tennis legend John McEnroe, whom she later married.
Now that Scandal is back, Smyth was asked about being in the band the second time around. "You have a little bit of experience under your belt," she says, "so you know what to expect, what to look out for." Then she adds: "Of all the stuff that I have going on in my life, that's that one 75-minute period where I can step out of my life and just have fun. For me it's so much more of a joyful thing than it ever was. And I always love to sing -- always."