It’s a Saturday night. Rain is pouring down. The remnants of Hanna are passing through the Philadelphia area. Inside of a car, Peter J. Smith is excitedly playing the first two finished songs of his band’s seven-song E.P. The band is Miles To Go–a true labor of love. The recording process began in the Fall of 2007. Pete Smith and the album’s masterful producer, Mic Swinty, decided to record one song, just to see how it would sound. They liked it. Pete decided that he’d like to record an EP. Cut back to this rainy Saturday night, over one year later, in which, earlier in this rain-soaked day, vocalist Matt Froehlich recorded his vocals. And one can begin to appreciate the fruits of labor as well as begin to see the totality of the record. And one can get a glimpse of Pete Smith the artist.Peter J. Smith is a fourth-year student who just transferred to West Chester from the Community College of Philadelphia. It was at CCP where Pete met drummer Sean White. Shortly thereafter, Pete, Sean, and longtime friend Bryan Funk began playing together as a band. Pete had played guitar a little in his past, but it was this band that thrust the guitar upon him.
Pete embraced this. Almost immediately, Pete was writing complete and developed songs. He had a knack for guitar just as a mathematician has a knack for numbers. Pete simply understands music.
The trio of himself, Bryan Funk, and Sean White played a few shows during the Summer of 2006 with another local band, As Summer Fades. Since that Summer of 2006, there have been lineup changes. Colin McGlinchey joined the band to play bass after the departure of Bryan Funk. Pete, Colin, and Sean played their first show together in January of 2007, in a basement, in front of a rowdy group of friends, much like the great pop-punk bands of the 1990s. A few shows followed the one in January, Sean White decided to leave the band.
However, by this time, Smith had over a year of experience, and he continued to improve. It is in this time, without a drummer, that the E.P. bega to form. Though drummer-less, Smith and McGlinchey still got together to write music and lyrics, with clear ideas in mind. It was this labor of love, this never-say-die attitude, this commitment to excellence and productivity, which has led the band to the cusp of releasing their first seven-song E.P.
The addition of Matt Froehlich has helped to round out the sound Pete strives for; a pop-punk sound that is all too rare these days; a combination of Social Distortion, Green Day, Blink 182, and New Found Glory mixed with darker pop-punk like Alkaline Trio, the Misfits, and A.F.I.
Once the EP is finished, Miles To Go plans to play shows and spread the word of their EP. Also, Smith will be working on music for his other project entitled Holden.
In addition to music, Peter J. Smith has become a tour de force as far as improvisational acting is concerned. In the Summer of 2007, Smith starred in the “.You’re Right” trilogy. It was his first movie. Before shooting began, he expressed a hesitance because he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to do what was asked of him. Of course, improvisational acting came to Smith as naturally as the guitar. The following summer, Peter J. Smith returned to the acting world. He was more experienced and more in command of his acting soul. Smith’s proficiency in acting stems from his diligence and hard-work.
He is as diligent and hard-working an actor as any in the world. During the shooting of the trilogy, “The Eccentric Billionaires,” he developed an English accent, performed all of the stunts himself, and displayed an intensity and charisma seen in actors such as Kenneth Branagh and Daniel Day-Lewis. This same dedication, intensity, and charisma, minus the English accent, can be seen in the movie “Uncle Charlie Comes To Town.” These movies can be found on funnyordie.com and facebook.com
In addition to music and acting, Peter J. Smith has written short stories, written theater and music reviews for The Quad, and co-hosts a weekly podcast entitled “Five Minutes of Fame.”. Certainly, Pete Smith is a man dedicated to creativity and the production of art.
He will continue to work on his band’s EP, his solo project, his short stories, the podcast, and whatever acting opportunites come his way. For more information on Miles To Go, visit myspace.com/milestogo17.
Chris Monigle is a fourth-year student majoring in Literature. He can be reached at CM660983@wcupa.edu.