KNX EXCLUSIVE: Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls Talks about His Music, New Tour

Ameera Butt
October 07, 2019 - 4:43 pm
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"It was love at first pluck!"

They are known to be one of England's loudest bands who came up during the 1960s across the pond and playing psychedelic rock alongside British pioneers like Pink Floyd and The Who.

Audiences will remember their 1984 satirical documentary called "This is Spinal Tap," a doc of their landmark U.S. tour is the very embodiment of rock-and-roll. 

The documentary followed three members of the (fictionalized) band "Spinal Tap" Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls, Michael McKean as David St. Hubbins and Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel.

Smalls (aka Shearer) famously called his Spinal Tap bandmates David and Nigel the visionaries of the group.

Smalls is now going his own way. He popped by KNX In-Depth Monday with hosts Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson in full character to discuss the music, his career and an upcoming tour. (The tour has a ton of great guests, be sure to read til the end to see who will pop up!)

Click to listen to more KNX In-Depth podcasts.  

Smalls discussed why he wanted to go his own way and not do a Spinal Tap world tour.

"Like many groups, we come together and then we fall apart. Unlike other groups, we don't tend to have big fights or throw things, we didn't have anything to throw," he said adding the group is like "a cube of sugar put in a saucer of warm coffee."

"We dissolve," he said.

The comedian and singer released a new solo album "Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)" last year.

What are his meditations?

"It's about everything you either gain or lose as the years and selves grow older. In some cases, you gain wisdom, in some cases, you lose certain abilities but even so there are things you can find," he said. 

When he's on stage now Smalls says he "can't leap as high." He also talked about how the industry has changed from the 1980s when it comes to sharing music.

"You used to be able to say 'go by the shop and pick it up,' and then we'd go by the shop all of us and have the experience and say 'where is our record?"  Smalls said. "We skipped the middle man and there is no shop."

Smalls will be performing at the Wiltern in Los Angeles Nov. 6 and guests will include Toto guitarist Steve Luthaker,  Dweezil Zappa and Waddy Wachtel,  David Crosby, Peter Frampton, Paul Shaffer, and Steve Vai.

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen and actress Jane Lynch will also be included via satellite. 

Tickets can be bought for the LA show here.

 Click to listen to more KNX In-Depth podcasts.