Hey DJ, Jamie Smith
USA Today Sports

Hey DJ! Jamie Smith explains why Scotsmen would walk 500 miles for The Proclaimers

Ever wonder which new bands the stars of MLS listen to? Curious who they’d invite over for a fantasy dinner party? Then join Jon Langford, bass player for The Chevin, as he riffs with Major League Soccer’s biggest names.

This week’s DJ is Colorado Rapids and Scotland winger Jamie Smith.

MLSsoccer.com: You grew up in Scotland. What music were you listening to in your formative years?

Smith: My uncle is a big music fan and has over 10,000 records so I listened to most of the stuff he had in his collection. He liked Bob Dylan and Van Morrison a lot. As I got older, I got into a lot of the Manchester bands: Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, groups like that. I was a big fan of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, too.      

MLSsoccer.com: What was the first album you ever owned?

Smith: I remember getting music for Christmas and on birthdays, but I don’t remember the first I ever owned. I think it may have been an early James album though.

MLSsoccer.com: What was the first concert you ever went to and what are your memories of it?

Smith: I remember going to see James when I was 16. I absolutely loved it because they were probably my favorite band at that time in my life. It was a cracking concert. 

MLSsoccer.com: On the Rapids’ website you list your favorite band as Pearl Jam, but mention you’ve never seen them perform live. Any plans to get to a show? 

Smith: Pearl Jam is one of my favorites, yeah. I’m actually going to see them in November with my wife – she’s been a fan longer than I have. It’ll be the first time either of us have seen them play live, so we’re really looking forward to it. 

MLSsoccer.com: Where are they playing?

Smith: For some reason Pearl Jam tend not to come to Colorado, so we’re going to fly down to Phoenix to watch them. 

MLSsoccer.com: Now, you live in Denver, home to one of the most famous venues in the United States, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, ever get to a show there?

Smith: I was there just a few weeks ago, actually. I went to watch The National. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Red Rocks is such a great music venue, it’s brilliant, and The National was excellent.

MLSsoccer.com: What’s the latest addition to your iPod?

Smith: My brother-in-law just bought me The National’s new album.

MLSsoccer.com: What’s your favorite album of all time?

Smith: It’s a toss-up between Radiohead’s OK Computer and The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder

MLSsoccer.com: What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

Smith: Well, my kids have downloaded some songs onto my iPod, so there’s a few on there [laughs]. I get a hard time for my musical tastes because I’m not really into any mainstream music. I’m not embarrassed about any of the stuff I own, though. 

MLSsoccer.com: Which track do you listen to when you want to get pumped up before a big game? 

Smith: When I was younger, I used to listen to “This Is The One” by The Stone Roses. 

MLSsoccer.com: …but not anymore?

Smith: No. I’ve not listened to The Stone Roses in a long time. Before a game I don’t really get the chance to listen to my music because other guys in the locker room are taking control of the stereo. 

MLSsoccer.com: Who are the DJs in the Rapids’ locker room, then?

Smith: Steward Ceus is usually blaring R&B or rap music. Then there’s our assistant coach, Paul Caffrey, who for some reason loves Barbra Streisand and he’s always playing her music during weight sessions. It’s a bit weird.   

MLSsoccer.com: Which musicians, dead or alive, would you have over for a fantasy dinner party and why?

Smith: I would have my brother-in-law, Allan; he’s a musician and is in a great band in the U.K. called Little Eye. Then I’d make a big roast beef dinner and invite Morrissey over to get the conversation going [laughs]. 

MLSsoccer.com: Do you play any instruments?

Smith: No. I’ve attempted to learn guitar on three separate occasions and I’ve failed miserably every single time. My daughter’s really musical though, she plays the violin and she’s got a keyboard in her room. She wants to learn guitar, too.            

MLSsoccer.com: Being a proud Scotsman, have you ever tried your hand at the bagpipes? 

Smith: [Laughs]. No, I’ve not had a go. I do like bagpipe music though, especially around Christmas and New Year.

MLSsoccer.com: Speaking of Scottish music, one of the most famous songs to ever come out of Scotland is “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. Are you a fan?

Smith: It’s an absolute classic! There’s not a Scotsman alive that doesn’t know every line to that song and there’s not a Scotsman alive that wouldn’t sing it on a karaoke night.

MLSsoccer.com: Which acts would be on the bill for your fantasy festival line-up?

Smith: I’d definitely have The National, Radiohead, The Smiths, Joy Division, and Pearl Jam. Then I’d have a little acoustic tent where Bob Dylan could do a set.

MLSsoccer.com: If the MLS Cup final had a halftime show like the Super Bowl, which artist would you like to see perform?

Smith: It’d have to be something really obscure, like Mogwai, just to shock everyone. 

MLSsoccer.com: Finally, which song should be used in a montage of your game?  (In other words: What’s your Rocky theme tune?)

Smith: It would definitely be a song called “Tracy” by Mogwai… or “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers! [Laughs].

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