Harry Lloyd – the face behind Waiting For Smith – chats about where his sonic inspiration comes from and the future of his tunes

Picture this: you’ve just had a terrible accident, you’re on your way to hospital, and you realize you need to connect more with others via the creation of music….you also don’t know how to play an instrument. That was Harry Lloyd only a matter of years ago. While recuperation from a horrific avalanche accident, Harry would learn to perfect playing the guitar and how to lead his thoughts to paper. He also formed Waiting For Smith.

The group was aptly named after endlessly waiting for their original drummer Smith, who always failed to show up. Based between Amsterdam and London, Harry is “inspired to write about the everyday ups and downs of life, love and the never-ending investigation of who we are and what we’re all doing here. Blending a feel for these two cities, he creates captivating acoustic led electronic pop”.

If you’re keen to warm acts like Vance Joy, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, and Henry and the Waiter, you’re going to vibe just alright with Harry’s music. He can transform any feeling into a catchy folk tune, which is surely a lost art. Good on Waiting For SmithI for trying to revive it.

We wanted to hit Harry with the Trifecta: the premise behind the new EP, where he draws his musical inspiration from, and the future of Waiting for Smith. A big thanks for Harry and the team for graciously providing a great deal of thought into the answers.

Questions below:

Behind “Hopelessness of Love:

The songs really came about one by one, and very quickly. Last year I met Jan Schroder, we wrote a song together called “Lost In Your Light”, which I put out at the end 2020. After that we became friends and quickly realized that everytime we sat down together, we would write a song we both cared about, lyrically, musically and conceptually. One night I was messing around with something about a sugarman, it went; “I’m your sugarman to ride let’s go let’s go let’s collide”, When I told Jan about the concept the next day, and played the chords, he knew the missing side to the song. Everytime one of us couldn’t find a chord or a lyric, the other had the answer. 

All the songs on the EP came about by having long chats about miscommunications we experience in our relationships, lessons we learned from reading self help books, things we’d like to do differently in our lives…
I realised after looking over the work, that the theme tying all the songs together, was very much about the “Hopelessness of Love”.At the same time, my creative director Lian, was putting together the artworks and had the idea to express each song through visualizing different ways of communication. It was like the idea was already there, we just had to see it when listening to the songs. Inspired by the five senses sight, sound, smell , taste and touch, each track would have it’s own colour and form of communication attached to it:

Hopelessness of Love – writing – WORDS

Little Old Book – braille – TOUCH

As I Saw You Then – Sound waves – LISTENING

Tired Mind – Clouds – The MIND

Best Side for You – musical notes – MUSIC

The inspiration:

Lyrically I’m inspired to write a lot about life. Why we are here, and why we behave, and act, the way we do. Given the nature of this year we have all had to spend a lot of time with some people we hadn’t planned to. Some became closer to those people, and some of us probably never want to see those people again! I’ve been really inspired to write a lot about that in this period, the relationships we have with others and ourselves. A book that has helped me a lot with understanding the relationship with myself is The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, my favourite translation is by Stephen Mitchell a brown hardback with pictures. The Tao literally means “The Way” translated from the Chinese – if everyone lived by this book I believe there would be no war, no famine, people would only do what they loved and be kind to everyone they met.I truly believe that in order to understand our relationship to others, we have to figure out the relationship we have with ourselves. 

Rolling Stone, Photo

The future for Waiting For Smith:

The music is being picked up in different parts of the world, which is really exciting. For 2022, I try to visualize big crowds gathering together, and people remembering how good it is to connect like that. It’s really great to release songs, and receive messages from fans that enjoy it, but there’s nothing like performing live and connecting to the audience. Festivals are my favorite. They’re playgrounds where you can just really let go, enjoy music and each other. My second EP is also coming out by the end of the year. This one is going to be all about mental health. In a future a bit further ahead I would love to be involved in a movement towards change in the way we deal with our mind and mental health. I think it’s already happening, with meditation in schools and more open education systems that encourage free thinking and finding your passion. That’s how I envisage the future of Waiting For Smith, that the music could help open people’s minds to new ways of thinking, to support, and to give joy.

Another thank you to Harry for the time. We can’t wait to hear more tunes from Waiting for Smith. Big things in the store over the next few months!

Waiting for Smith is a man of the people and certainly a Deviate