Trillion Lee Drummond
Jasyn Smith. Credit: Trillion Lee Drummond

The CMFs—one of the bands that I am in—is one of the hardest rock bands in the valley. I may be biased, but I felt that way as a fan of the group before I joined. The band’s hard-hitting, classic-rock-inspired songs have been stuck in my head since the first time I saw the group perform. Our debut single “Birds” is available to stream everywhere. For more info, visit My friend and bandmate Jasyn Smith, our drummer, is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

A showcase at the Whisky a Go Go for my cousin’s band, The Fallen. My cousin Eddie taught me a lot of what I know about the drums today. The show gave me my first glimpse into the music scene and everything that goes into preparing for and putting on a live performance. Plus, Powerman 5000 headlined, so it was cool to see one of the Zombie brothers for my first show.

What was the first album you owned?

System of a Down’s Toxicity and Slipknot’s Vol. 3. I’ve always admired Slipknot’s use of percussion and electronics—and who’s not fascinated with a bunch of masked maniacs running around, jamming out onstage? Toxicity is still one of my favorite albums to this day.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’ve found myself listening to a lot of Ray Charles, Mac Miller, Dystopia and Kid Cudi when I get the time lately. I get into really long phases with what I listen to, and recently, I’ve kind of fell down into a rabbit hole of hip hop and rap.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I never quite understood why punk bands write songs that are a minute long or less. Don’t get me wrong—I have a 5-second favorite or two myself—but unless it’s for shock factor or a gag, it’s something in punk music I’ve never really cared for, especially if that’s a band’s entire schtick. I mean, who wants their album to be done and over with in just 10 minutes when they’ll probably end up breaking up before their next album even comes out, anyways?

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Hands down, The Doors. I love their musicianship and chemistry. Being able to pop off on an entirely improvised rendition of a song at the drop of a hat and take it anywhere they want has always left me amazed—not to mention the trance-like aura they produce onstage. I’ve always wanted to be in the same room as them, jamming, to feel the music and the atmosphere.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

My favorite has got to be shamelessly and obnoxiously singing along to Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” or any Usher song with my sister whenever it plays. It’s been years, but you bet your ass we got pipes as soon as it does. Either that, or the Bee Gees.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Anywhere in Idyllwild. I’ve always loved the town and the surrounding areas. The people are some of the coolest I’ve met. They are always welcoming and show love every time we play up there! Two honorable mentions—one for the old Schmidy’s Tavern in Palm Desert. It was crowded and stuffy, but they seemed to truly care about the music and musicians that played there. Also, Pappy and Harriet’s for being the chillest place to watch or play music, by far!

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Metallica and Megadeth got me through a lot of hard times when I was younger, but I’d probably have to say Black Sabbath changed my life the most. From the second I heard the opening notes to “Wheels of Confusion,” I knew that this band was for me. It literally sent chills down my spine and ended up changing the way I approach, play and listen to music.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

The musician: GG Allin. The question: “Why … just, why?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Damn, that’s deep. “Planet Caravan” by Black Sabbath would be a good one, unless there’s an open bar (and there’d better be), in which case I want “Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers” by ZZ Top on that loudspeaker!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Metallica’s Ride the Lightning. From the fast ferocity of “Fight Fire With Fire” to the eerie mysticism of “The Call of Ktulu,” there’s not one dull moment on the entire album, and I love every second of it! Plus, it makes for a great “stranded on an island” soundtrack, if you think about it.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

If you haven’t already, I would check out “Birds” by The CMFs!

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Matt King

Matt King is a freelance writer for the Coachella Valley Independent. A creative at heart, his love for music thrust him into the world of journalism at 17 years old, and he hasn't looked back. Before...