The Smugglers (band)

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The Smugglers
OriginVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Years active1988 (1988)–2004 (2004)
LabelsPopLlama, Radiation, Mint, Lookout
MembersGrant Lawrence
Nick Thomas
David Carswell
Kevin "Beez" Beesley
Graham Watson
Past membersPaul Preminger
Adam Woodall
Bryce Dunn
Danny Fazio
John Collins

The Smugglers are a Canadian indie rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia. The band consists of vocalist Grant Lawrence, guitarists Nick Thomas and David Carswell, bassist Kevin "Beez" Beesley and drummer Graham Watson.[1] Past members include Paul Preminger (drums, 1988-1991), Adam Woodall (harmonica and guitar, 1988-1990), Bryce Dunn (drums, 1991-1998), Danny Fazio (drums, 1997) and John Collins (bass, 1997).


The Smugglers formed in 1988 when Lawrence, Carswell, Thomas, Woodall and Preminger were students at Vancouver's Hillside Secondary School.[2][3] They started by playing covers of then popular songs at local events and venues,[4] and went on a short tour to Alberta and Saskatchewan during March Break week.[5]

Over the course of their career, the band released material on a variety of record labels, including PopLlama, Radiation, Mint and Lookout.

In 1998 the band released an album of live recordings, Growing Up Smuggler. Soon after, Dunn left the band, and was replaced as drummer by Watson.[3]

In 1999 the band performed in Toronto in support of their album Rosie.[6] Lawrence was also a frequent contributor to the CBC Radio 2 programs Night Lines and RadioSonic, recording audio diaries of his experiences on tour with the band;[7][8] he became the host of RadioSonic in 2001.[7]

The band continued performing their high energy live shows,[1] and in 2004 released a CD, Mutiny in Stereo.[9]

After 2004 the band went into hiatus. Lawrence remains with the CBC as a host on CBC Radio 3,[7] Beesley is currently a co-owner of Mint Records, and Carswell and Collins are partners in JCDC, a recording studio in Vancouver.

In 2017, Lawrence published a memoir, Dirty Windshields, based on the diaries he kept of the band's activities.[10] The Smugglers reformed for a series of reunion shows, including one in Saskatoon at the Amigos, where they performed on their first tour.[5]



  • 1991: At Marineland (Nardwuar)
  • 1992: Atlanta Whiskey Flats (PopLlama)
  • 1993: In the Hall of Fame - All Time Great Golds (PopLlama)
  • 1994: Wet Pants Club (Radiation)
  • 1996: Selling the Sizzle (Mint/Lookout)
  • 1998: Growing Up Smuggler (Mint/Lookout, live, 10th anniversary)
  • 2000: Rosie (Mint/Lookout)
  • 2004: Mutiny in Stereo (Mint/Lookout/Screaming Apple)


  • 1993: Wet Pants Club (Radiation, mini-LP)
  • 1995: Senor Pantsdown (Rock and Roll Inc., EP)
  • 1997: Buddy Holly Convention (Mint/Lookout, EP)


  • 1990: "Up and Down" (Nardwuar, 7-inch)
  • 1992: "At Germany" (Screaming Apple, 7-inch)
  • 1994: "Gotta Gotta Gotta" (For Monsters, 7-inch, split with Hoods)
  • 1994: "Party Party Party Pooper!" (Mint, 7-inch, 5 different covers)
  • 1994: "Tattoo Dave" (Top Drawer, 7-inch, split with Bum)
  • 1995: "Talkin 'bout You" (Pin Up, 7-inch)
  • 1995: "Whiplash!" (1+2)
  • 1996: "Summer Games" (Mint/Lookout, split with Hi-Fives)
  • 2001: "Smugglers/Mach Pelican" (Corduroy, split 7-inch)
  • 2002: "Useless Rocker" (Supersonicrefridge, 7-inch picture disc)

Tracks on compilations[edit]

  • 1989: "Revenge", Oh God, My Mom's on Channel Ten!
  • 1992: "Shes Got Everything", Clam Chowder and Ice Versus Big Macs and Bombers
  • 1995: "Amnesia", 13 Soda Punx (Top Drawer/Munster)
  • 1995: "Stop! Look! Listen!", Skookum Chief Powered Teenaged Zit Rock Angst (Nardwuar)
  • 1995: "Supercar", R.A.F.R. (RAFR/Flipside)
  • 1995: "What Do You Want Me To Do", Oh Canaduh (Lance Rock)
  • 1995: "Whatd I Do Wrong", Upsalapalooza (WFMU, live track)
  • 1996: "B.A.B.E.", En Guard for Thee (Au Go Go)
  • 1996: "Especially You" and "Elite Manilla", Heide Sez (Lookout)
  • 1996: "She's A Runaround", Here Comes the Summer: A Tribute to the Undertones (Squaretarget)
  • 1996: "To Serve, Protect And Entertain", "She Ain't No Egyptian" and "Barkerville", Team Mint (Mint)
  • 1997: "Cans Of Love", You're Only As Good As the Last Thing You Did (Lookout)
  • 1997: "Keep On" and "Rock With The Smugglers Tonight!", More Bounce to the Ounce (Lookout)
  • 1997: "Rock 'n' Roll Was Never This Fun", All Punk Rods Gearhead magazine (Gearhead/Lookout)
  • 2000: "Alan Thicke", My So Called Punk Rock Life (Melted)
  • 2000: "Flying Buttress Of Love", Lookout! Freakout (Lookout)
  • 2001: "Buddy Holly Convention", "Rosie", "Rock n’ Roll Was Never This Fun", Team Mint 2 (Mint)
  • 2003: "Larry Where Are You", Lookout Freakout 3 (Lookout)
  • 2006: "B.A.B.E.", Mint Records Presents the CBC Radio 3 Sessions (Mint)


  1. ^ a b "Kings of the Party". Soulshine, May 20, 2004.
  2. ^ "R.I.P. Smugglers' Founding Drummer Paul Preminger". Exclaim!, By Keith Carman, Nov 06, 2009
  3. ^ a b "The Smugglers". AllMusic biography by Jason Ankeny
  4. ^ "The Smugglers: Kings of the Party". Exclaim!, By Michael Barclay, Jan 01, 2006
  5. ^ a b "The Smugglers return to Amigos to help celebrate Saskatoon club's 30th anniversary". CBC News, Nov 24, 2018
  6. ^ "Smugglers With Flashlight and Sticky Rice February 12, 2000 The Legendary Horseshoe — Toronto, ON". Chart Attack, review by Tim Melton
  7. ^ a b c Michael Barclay, Ian A.D. Jack and Jason Schneider, Have Not Been the Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985-1995. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-992-9.
  8. ^ "Dirty Windshields: The Best and Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries By Grant Lawrence". Exclaim!, By Ian Gormely, May 19, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Smugglers". Georgia Straight, by Sarah Rowland on April 29th, 2004
  10. ^ "Smugglers singer Grant Lawrence turned tour diaries into funny and poignant Dirty Windshields". Georgia Straight, by Mike Usinger on May 11th, 2017

External links[edit]