The Smugglers formed at Hillside Secondary School in West Vancouver, BC, Canada. Heavily under the influence of Black Label beer, hashish, and the raw rock’n’roll sounds of the Sonics, the Cramps and the Stones, the five sixteen year olds were dubbed "The Smugglers" by their high school buddy Nardwuar The Human Serviette. From their ugly beginnings in church basements, malls and warehouses opening for heroes like the Gruesomes and NoMeansNo, the band slowly grew up to weld their influences of great punk and rock’n’roll into a wildly energetic show all their own. The Smugglers took their sweat, suits and boots on the road and, a dozen-plus years later and still in their late-twenties, continue to tour to every pocket of North America, as well as sojourns into the uncharted wilds of Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
The Smugglers live show is a legendary tour de force of energy and charisma, involving wild antics and audience participation with such now-beloved stunts as the dance contest (complete with a trophy to the winner - over 500 given out in more than twenty different countries), kissing contests, and Smugglers "dream dates". The Smugglers have been fortunate enough to share the stage with other such notable peers as the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the Donnas, the Hives, the New Pornographers, the Mr. T Experience, the Queers, Rocket From The Crypt, Fugazi, Supersnazz, Southern Culture On The Skids, NoMeansNo, The Gruesomes, the Young Fresh Fellows, Fastbacks, and many more. Over the years, The Smugglers have amassed an incredible and hilarious collection of tell-all tour diaries, which are infamous with fans. The tour diaries are available for all to read unedited and uncensored on the Smugglers site, www.thesmugglers.com. One young fan once confessed to lead singer Grant Lawrence that the tour diaries "taught her everything" she knows about sex!" Ouch!
Over their long career, The Smugglers have bounced from label to label, always independent, including Vancouver’s Nardwuar Records, Seattle’s PopLlama Products, and then back to Vancouver’s Mint Records. From Mint, the Smugglers have licensed records around the world to such labels as Berkeley, California’s Lookout Records, Tokyo’s 1+2 Records, Australia’s Corduroy Records and Spain’s Imposible Records. All tolled, the Smugglers have amassed a mighty seven albums and several singles, EPs and compilation tracks worth of young, loud and snotty vinyl and CDs.
The Smugglers have always been lucky enough to work with great producers including Conrad Uno ("At Marineland" 1991, "Atlanta Whiskey Flats" 1992, "In The Hall Of Fame" 1993, "Wet Pants Club" 1994), Mass Giorgini ("Selling The Sizzle" 1996) and Kurt Bloch ("Buddy Holly Convention" 1997, "Growing Up Smuggler" 1998, "Rosie" 2000).
Grant Lawrence currently works a radio personality for CBC Radio 3 and co-founded an ice hockey team made up of canadian musicians. David Carswell has been a music producer working with such names as A.C. Newman, Destroyer, and The New Pornographers.
Click here for the Smugglers catalog page