June 20, 2016
Many of us can attest to the power of music. Our “Customer of the Week”, Dylan Garrett Smith is raising awareness, while creating beautiful music. I think his story will resonate with our community as we have all found solace in music. Here is Dylan’s story:
The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Dylan: My name is Dylan Garrett Smith and I’m a fine artist, printmaker, illustrator, and designer, as well as the vocalist for Low Spirits.
The/Studio: What is Low Spirits?
Dylan: Low Spirits is a depressive surf punk band from northeast Pennsylvania that combines my experiences with bi-polar disorder, depression, anxiety, and an autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis with the fun aesthetics of surf culture, the beach, and b-movies. I wanted to create a project that not only allows me to talk about these very personal issues and feelings, but discuss them in a humorous – albeit dark – way.
The/Studio: What have you learned since starting Low Spirits?
Dylan: This project has taught me a lot over the last couple of years- mostly that it’s possible for me to let loose and have fun while creating an outlet to discuss these deeply personal issues such as feelings of depression, suicide, anxiety, etc.
The/Studio: What about Low Spirits are you most proud of?
Dylan: I think with Low Spirits, I’m most proud of our ability to get 5 or more people together, make art, and have fun, and create a spectacle. Our live performances are the most important part of experiencing Low Spirits.
The/Studio: What are some of the greatest challenges you face?
Dylan: One of the most difficult challenges for me, initially, was coming to terms with the personal experiences that I’m pulling from and writing about them in a humorous way. My personal work usually comes across as more dark and serious, so opening up and having fun with little inhibitions is tough. Also, it can be tough to keep churning out puns that pertain to both depression and surfing, ha!
The/Studio: Where do you see Low Spirits in 10 years?
Dylan: We have some larger plans in the works for Low Spirits beyond just releasing records, making silly designs, and doing live performances, but we’ll see where all of these things go. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying spending time with my friends and having fun.
The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Dylan: I want people to see and hear Low Spirits and recognize that despite the tough times you’ve been through or the traumas you’ve endured, there is a community of caring and inclusive people in punk rock, hardcore, and metal that are probably in the same boat you are. If only for a little bit, let’s sing some absurd songs about being depressed over not being able to surf because its low tide and have some fun.
The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?
Dylan: Growing up in punk, I was always altering my clothing, sewing patches onto things, putting studs in my jackets and vests, etc. Having some nice embroidered patches made was the first thing I wanted to do to show what this project is about.
Juxtaposing the hot pink logo reminiscent of 80’s surfing with a noose does a good job of showing our aesthetic and concept in a nice, simple way, but also allows people to own those emotions in a way that is on their own terms.
The/Studio: How are you going to use patches?
Dylan: We’re going to wear them to continue the conversation about the project, as well as sell them online and at our shows, hoping that others will do the same and have some fun with them!
The/Studio: Do you have any promotions you would like to offer our community?
The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Dylan: Low Spirits is playing a show at Castle Weird Skull in Effort, PA on June 25th with our friends in Cheap Pop, Aaron & the Burrs, and Daytime Cleaners, and we would love to see everyone attend in their favorite beach attire and loveliest monster mask.
I also have a few exhibitions coming up in the near future outside of Low Spirits, a list of which can be seen on my site, www.dylangarrettsmith.com, along with images of my personal art and illustrations
The/Studio: Is there anything our community members can do to help?
Low Spirits urges you to support each other in any way you can and have fun. We strongly support organizations like The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) young people and their allies ages 13-24. Asking for help and talking to someone when you’re struggling isn’t a sign of weakness. If you find yourself needing help, call The Trevor Project’s hotline immediately at 866-488-7386.
The/Studio: How can our community find you?
Dylan: People can follow our antics on Instagram at @lowspiritssadsurfers and @dylanxvx, you can look at our art and designs at www.lowspirits.bigcartel.com and www.dylangarrettsmith.com, you can find out more information for The Trevor Project at www.thetrevorproject.org