It’s not easy getting Jimmy Smerecky A.K.A. “Jimmy Bastard,” lead vocalist, banjo and guitar player for The Bastard Bearded Irishmen, to answer a few quick questions using ANY digital platform, but we’ve done it! With a little help from his wife…

Jimmy closeup

What was the artist, album, or song that inspired you to play/write music?
Too many to count.  But if I was forced to pick, all three would be Bad Religion.  It combined music with intelligence.  It pioneered a path that punk rock music doesn’t just have to be three chords about anarchy.  That awesome music can be accompanied by intelligence with a positive message.

What bands have you been involved in? ALL OF THEM!
Ragweed, A-salted Slug, the Translators, and Bastard Bearded Irishmen

What is your single most favorite piece of merch in your collection?
I have a pretty awesome scarf from the Street Dogs.  Unfortunately, wearing it in the ‘burgh is a gamble ’cause it’s not black and gold, haha.

Tell us one thing about the Pittsburgh music scene that could be better and one thing that you love about it.  
One thing that could definitely improve are the number of mid-sized venues in and around the city.  I miss the good old days of Graffiti, Club Laga, the Electric Banana etc.  But one thing that I love about Pgh. is that it doesn’t discourage the hard-working bands that are here.  You can find them out doing their thing in the smallest back rooms of a tiny venue every weekend. 

What is something about the Bastard Bearded Irishmen that you think people ought to know, but maybe don’t?
That we can drink three bottles of Jameson in a 45 minute show.

If someone was to only listen to one of your songs, which one would you want it to be?
Drinkem’, Drankem’, Drunkem’ is my personal favorite.

Who would you cast in the movie adaptation of your band?
I thought Pirates of the Caribbean was going to call, but Johnny still hasn’t reached out to me.

How does your mom/family react to your music? Do they ever come to your gigs?
Haha.  They’ve lived with this in their basement since I was 13 years old, practicing five nights a week and playing shows in Southside every weekend.  They are very proud… but deaf.  They come out from time to time to the ones you can sit down at.

What band have you seen live the most times?
Depends on national or local?  Probably Primus for national.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you at a show as a performer OR as a fan?
I broke five bones in one year in this band, fell off the stage, climbed the Station Square sign that overlooks the river and unfortunately got banned from playing there. (Ed. note: they’re banned from the stage at Bessemer Court.)

You can catch the Bastards at SouthSide Works! for FREE tonight (Saturday 7/9) at 8 p.m. as a part of SouthSide Works Exposed!

Too short notice? The Bastards will once again be performing at this year’s Deutschtown Music Festival! Be at Penn Brewery at 11 p.m. July 15th to see if the BBI can drink it dry.

Special thanks to Pam.

Check out Punksburgh‘s past Inquisitions, too!

Joseph Stephen (Eternal Boy)
Tim Little (Playoff Beard / Nightmarathons / Lansbury / The Shutouts)
Rishi Bahl (Eternal Boy)
Donny Donovan (Dinosoul / Hearken)
Ray Kolcun (Crooked Cobras)