Exclusive Interview with Riley Smith

Riley Smith is an actor and musician who will be in Germany playing two gigs with his band The Life of Riley in September. He is best known for playing the role of Kyle Singer in "24 - Twenty Four" season 3. Riley talks about his music and gives us a little insight into his work on "24" and his new projects.

Foto: Riley Smith - Copyright: Bjoern Kommerell
Riley Smith
© Bjoern Kommerell

Note: © myFanbase 2011 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first 2 questions or up to 160 characters if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the writer's name and link to this site.

1. How would you describe your music to a deaf person?

From the heart.

2. Was there something like a light bulb momemt where were young, maybe a concert, a certain song or a record that made you dream about a career as a musician?

The moment I bought my first guitar in Vancouver, Canada. I sat in my hotel room that night over looking Robson Street. I was lonely for home and a little tipsy. I took the 4 chords I had just learned and wrote "Vancouver". It felt like the whole world opened up that night.

3. How do you develop your songs? What part comes first, music or lyrics?

Usually the idea. Like a story of a movie. Weather I have lived the experience or watched someone close to me go through it. That becomes the idea. Then I pick up the guitar and let the rest come organically.

4. What song is most important to you? Why and how did it develop?

"Forget about me" - It was based on something a friend said to me when she was going through a hard place in her life. And it is something that I know I had felt at moments in my life and I'm sure everyone has felt. It also has so many double meanings behind it. I like playing on words. It's great to get the most out of every line. So that the listener can interpret the song the way it connects best to them. That's what draws me to music I love. The minute she said that line to me, I went straight to my room and wrote the song in about 10 minutes. It was so clear and simple as to what I wanted to say in the lyrics. Yet very deep and emotional, i think. So that song, will always be the most special to me.

5. What has been the best experience so far, as an artist?

Opening up for Jordan Sparks was a real thrill. The energy and the size of the venues and crowd was over whelming. I think I had a nervous frog in my voice for the first 2 songs. Once I realized that the crowd was into it and right there with me, I settled down and played my ass off for them. The minute our set was over I wanted to go right back out there. I also love playing over seas. The fans there are amazing and so giving. They know every line and sing along. Which makes my job even easier... We even have a great fan that tattooed a lyric from "Bang, Bang" on her arm. That was very moving. To think about birthing that line and what it meant to me and to see it on someone else's body forever was very humbling.

6. Jason Manns and Stevie Carlson sometimes play at ("Supernatural") fan conventions. Is that something you would like to do, too?

I have taken notice to the support that the convention fans have given Jason and Steve and its amazing. I wouldn't turn down one of those gigs, but I'd like for it to come organically. If I am ever on a Sci Fi show one day and get to do the convention circuit then I would love to play a show there as well!

7. In an interview with you and Christian Kane you talk about your group of friends and how the cowboys stick together in L.A.? What are typical features of the southern mentality that make you stick together?

Southern boys are a different bread. We go against the grain. A bit of outlaws. We have each others backs and we like to raise a little Kane ;) . In a town like LA where everyone conforms to what's trendy, I think that our group of friends have offered some reality to the people that have come across us.

8. You were at San Diego Comic Con this year. What is the best part of comic con for you?

The partys are always a blast! The costumes that people wear are incredible. The energy is so high. I think it shows that everyone has a place to fit in, and that there are no clicks in the real world. In fact I think that someone who considered themselves "cool" would be an outcast there and that's awesome!

9. You played Kyle Singer in season 3 of "24" who had a tough storyline but survived. What was your hardest scene to play?

Every scene of "24" for me came so easy and natural. The writing, directing and camera team is so flawless that it makes us as actors on the show look good. As far as my favorite scene, I would have to say when I was behind the glass in the hospital talking with my parents about dying. It was a very emotional scene. The director was actually crying when we got done. I had a lot of personal things with my parents that I could use for that dialogue and I just tapped into that and let it out. I loved every second of that opportunity and have been fortunate enough to have worked with Joel Surnow (the creator) 3 more times and call him a friend. I pray for another show like that everyday.

10. Kiefer Sutherland has an intense presence on screen, what was working with him like?

Kiefer is awesome and I was a huge fan growing up. I didn't work with him a lot because he was always chasing me in the show. But I did hang with him on set a lot and heard some of the most amazing stories that I will re-tell forever. But not to the public ;)

11. Can you tell us something about your recent acting projects?

I've been fortunate to be very busy lately. And very different stuff. I had a great experience shooting my CW pilot "Cooper and Stone". Unfortunately it didn't get picked up. But was a great opportunity for me to grow up and play a Vice cop. Something different yet the direction I want to go. Then I did the season finale of "The Glades" playing a very bad guy who takes a hospital hostage. Those are always fun. And now I'm shooting a charming romantic comedy called "Shirin in Love". I get to play a soul full recluse of a man who lives in a lighthouse. I don't wanna give the story away but the character is great. And the talent on the set has been top notch.

12. myFanbase is a website that is devoted to American television shows. Do you have a favorite show?

I love comedies. Mostly because I do drama, so it's hard for me to watch those without watching with a technical eye. But I can get lost in comedies and be entertained. I have so much respect for funny. I love "How I Met Your Mother". "Modern Family", and old reruns of "Seinfeld". Laughing is the best medicine.

Tour dates in Germany:

17.09.2011 Frankfurt, Event Bühne
18.09.2011 Köln, Kulturcafe Lichtung

Buy tickets here.

"The Life of Riley" album at amazon.

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase