Vince Conrad - Biography
Vince Conrad is an American musician/singer/songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California. Vince is most known for his early roles (1975 to 1984) as guitarist, bass player and songwriter for the New York and Los Angeles based bands The Aliens, The Smart Pills, American Bad Taste and The Hungry Buzzards. In July 2015, Vince formed Vince Conrad Productions (VCP), an independent record label, publishing and production company in Los Angeles. Vince continues to write, record, and release new songs through VCP.
From Dayton, Ohio, Vince Conrad wrote songs and played guitar in various bands in the Midwest from 1968 to 1975. Vince moved to New York’s Chelsea Hotel in November 1975 and played professionally with Sweet Star, The Aliens and Falcon Eddy in such venues as Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s and Club 82 during the beginning of New York’s original underground punk rock scene from 1975 to 1978.
In 1979, Vince relocated to Hollywood, California, playing bass with The Smart Pills, a first generation three-piece punk rock band formed in 1978 in New York, with guitarist Git Smart (Piper) and drummer Billy Ray (Sweet Star). During 1979 Vince and The Smart Pills played and were a part of the early Los Angeles punk rock scene. Vince performed with The Smart Pills playing shows at the Masque, the Troubadour, Gazzarri’s, Club 88, Kings Palace, the Hong Kong Café and other punk rock venues in Los Angeles.
In late 1979, with the assistance of Casablanca Records, in Hollywood, California, Vince formed American Bad Taste, with guitarist Holiday Ian (Sweet Star). American Bad Taste was also a first generation punk rock band heavily influenced by the New York and Los Angeles punk rock scenes of the day. In February 1980, Vince and American Bad Taste left Casablanca Records and took their music to America’s heartland and relocated to Dayton, Ohio. During 1980 Vince and American Bad Taste played numerous shows in the mid-west, but disbanded in 1981 after returning to Hollywood, California.
Throughout the early 1980’s Vince worked on various side projects in Hollywood with both Holiday Ian and Git Smart. The most notable being the formation of The Hungry Buzzards in 1983. The Hungry Buzzards was a Hollywood based punk rock band that featured Vince on bass, Git Smart on guitar, Tony Hunger on keyboards and Paul Rutherford on drums. The Hungry Buzzards played only a few shows in Los Angeles, California before disbanding in 1984.
Vince has continued to write songs and work on musical projects over the years. In 1999, Vince teamed up with Holiday Ian to finish recording “American Bad Taste” a CD that included four original tracks recorded in 1980 for Casablanca, as well as, eight previously unrecorded tracks that the band wrote and played live in 1980. Derf Scratch (RIP), the original bass player for FEAR who also appears in “Decline of Western Civilization I” is featured on the American Bad Taste CD and plays bass on “Slut Babies” a track written by Vince Conrad.
In 2006 Vince and Git Smart began work on “The Smart Pills, Documentary” a film project which spans from 1978 through the present, and includes early Smart Pills recordings, and rare interviews with the individual members of the band. VCP is currently exploring options within the film industry to complete “The Smart Pills, Documentary.”
In 2009 Vince and Git Smart completed “Smart Pills, Hong Kong Café 1979” a live DVD of a Smart Pills show in 1979 at the legendary Hong Kong Café in Chinatown, Los Angeles. The fourteen-song DVD includes ten original Smart Pills songs, as well as, four covers, rare photographs, song lyric captions and a short biography of the band interwoven with the live performances. Two original songs, “Don’t Kiss Me Stranger,” and “Pway Y” are only available on the Smart Pills DVD.
In July 2009 Vince and Git Smart performed and filmed five live shows in Austin, Texas for the “Smart Pills 30-Year Reunion, Exclusive Austin Texas Summer Tour.” Film clips from the Austin shows and interviews with Vince, Git and Billy are included in “The Smart Pills, Documentary.”
In July 2015, Vince formed “Vince Conrad Productions” an independent online record label, production and publishing company to administer, promote and distribute Vince Conrad’s past and future musical and film projects.
In 2015 Vince remastered and released "The Aliens NYC" a ten song CD recorded by the Aliens in New York in 1976. The Aliens NYC was Vince’s first release through VCP.
In 2015 Vince remastered and released a double CD containing twenty-four songs of the Smart Pills 1979 live performances in Topeka, KS and Lawrence, KS. These songs were recorded live from March to June 1979 after the band left New York in 1978 and before the Smart Pills relocated to Hollywood. The songs on the record, entitled "Smart Pills Live in Kansas 1979" are the earliest known recordings of the Smart Pills. Straight off the streets of New York and into America’s heartland, the Smart Pills unleashed their music on Kansas in early 1979. The Smart Pills was the first punk rock band to ever play in Kansas.
Also, in 2015 Vince recorded his debut solo EP comprised of six original punk rock songs, which he had performed with American Bad Taste and The Hungry Buzzards in the 1980’s. None of the songs had ever been recorded professionally or released for sale to the public. The Vince Conrad debut EP, entitled "Vince Conrad" was released in December 2015.
In 2016, Vince remastered and released a four song EP by the Smart Pills entitled "Smart Pills, Lost Studio Recordings EP 1979." The record contained the only studio recordings ever made by the Smart Pills. The songs on the Lost Studio Recordings EP were recorded in June 1979 after the band relocated to Hollywood, CA.
In 2018, Vince participated in a pop project by playing guitar and bass on the debut EP by the Los Angeles based band, The Ebae Bongos. Vince co-wrote the songs on the new EP and co-produced the record. The Ebae Bongos EP, entitled "City Streets" will be released in November 2018.
In 2018, Vince completed his second solo EP, entitled "Transition." Vince’s second EP is comprised of five brand new original compositions. Tony Matteucci, drummer for the Detroit punk band, the Dogs and Terry Thomas, guitarist for the Pittsburgh punk band, the Ultamatics also appear on the new EP. Vince Conrad’s "Transition" will be released exclusively through VCP on December 2, 2018.
Vince Conrad will be participating in new projects with other Los Angeles area musicians in the future and offering new music to the general public through Vince Conrad Productions (VCP).