PJS Biography
I am a life-long native of Granite City, IL (St. Louis area) recently relocated to the small town environment of St. Jacob, IL.  Growing up in the 1970s listening to the music of progressive rock radio had a profound influence on my desire to become a musician.  Originally wanting to become a drummer, I was directed toward the cornet at the age of 9 by a grade school band teacher.  After playing in school bands from 4th through 8th grades, I decided to give it up for athletic pursuits.

In 1982, my best friend convinced me to trade my retired cornet for a bass guitar, and we started a band.  Spending much of my formidable teenage years in my bedroom learning Rush and Yes songs guided me further down the progrock path.  On the heels of bands like Kansas and Styx, the arrival of bands such as Queensryche, Dream Theater, and Symphony X helped to solidify the progrock direction.  The addition of musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen and Billy Sheehan has inspired me to be the best musician I can be.

Along the way, I have learned to play guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, strings, and recorder.  I sing as well, and do all of my own programming.

Now hoping to capitalize on those excellent influences, along with the heavy influence of the music of the baroque and classical eras, I am embarking on a musical journey to give something back to the genre that has given me so much over the years.
I hope you like it.


The Debut Album
The first project into which I am launching is to be an ongoing work of epic proportions.  It is original progressive rock music in the classic power trio format of guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and voice.  In staying with my standard modus opus, I will be performing all parts on the recordings.  However, I cannot rule out future guest appearances here and there.

The music is based on the 120 harpsichord sonatas of Padre Antonio Soler, the spanish monk from the baroque era, who was a student of Domenico Scarlatti.  The order in which I use these is yet to be determined.  The easy decision would be to just use them in their numerical order.  However, I am thinking of using them in groups that are more connected as relative keys to each other.  Then again, I might just use them in the order that they are recorded on the excellent Naxos label recordings of Gilbert Rowland. I guess we'll find out when I'm done.  The lyrical content is a work that is growing a life all its own.  I honestly haven't the foggiest idea where it is going to take me...and I kind of like it that way.

I can tell you that these will be long songs.  Radio-friendly is not something for which I am aiming.  I honestly don't care if it ever gets mass-market radio play.  That is not my goal.  I am doing this for myself, really.  If other people like it, then they are welcome to listen.  If not, then so be it.  I have always believed that you should make music for yourself, not others.  That is what I am doing.  I also believe that no matter what kind of music you make, someone somewhere is going to like it.  There is a market for just about everything.  So, in that area, I am unconcerned.

I am still in the writing stage at this time.  I do expect to be recording in the very near future.  In fact, I may even be recording as I go along in the writing process.  Sometimes some very interesting things can happen there.  I'll keep you abreast.

PJS Equipment
Fishbone "Fire" custom 6-string electric bass guitar
Jackson Dinky electric guitar
Roland XP10 & XP80 keyboards & PK-5 footpedal controller
Knilling string instruments (violin, viola, & cello), Erich Steiner bows
Tama Rockstar drums, Sabian cymbals, Promark sticks
Pearce BC1 bass preamp w/Billy Sheehan modification
Ampeg Billy Sheehan bass preamp
Ampeg SVT4PRO bass amp
Ampeg SVT610HLF bass speaker enclosure
Pearce 210 bass speaker enclosure
Digitech RP-7 guitar processor
Roland VS1824CD digital recording workstation
Shure Bros., Sennheiser, & Oktava  microphones

(I'm still considering a Chapman Grand Stick, too!)


MetalSmith Musik Homepage
Paul J. Smith - progressive rock
Paul J. Smith - original string music
Paul J. Smith - electronic music
Paul J. Smith - heavy funk
Pictures from PJS' checkered past
Scheduled events involving PJS
Things that don't yet have a home
Links to other interesting web pages
PJS weblog - Progressive Travels
Authorized PJS stuff outlet