DJ Smith grateful for Red Dragon return

Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren James Smith doesn’t want to go into the details of how he got his job back with Jake E Lee’s band.

He’s just glad to be given a second chance after leaving in March.

Lee struggled to replace him, with four other men having taken on the role before the original frontman’s comeback was confirmed this week.

Smith tells SleazeRoxx: “I don’t know the reasons – but I like to think it’s because I’m the guy for the gig, I guess.”

He also won’t discuss the details of his departure, although he’d previously put it down to lack of work.

“I don’t want to dredge up the dirt,” he says. “I’m not one to hold grudges. The right people are involved and I really love the songs.”

He’ll soon start co-writing the group’s second album – which he says could sound like Lee’s former band Badlands.

“It’s going to be a band effort,” Smith reports. “I haven’t heard anything yet, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a little Badlandsish. I really love that stuff. Jake is quite a creative guy, so who knows what he’s going to toss at us?”

He admits to never having enjoyed rehearsals until joining Red Dragon Cartel in 2013, and can’t wait to get back to work – and he says he remains friends with some of the singers who didn’t manage to keep his position.

“I’m just fortunate that it worked to my advantage,” he reflects. “I’m fortunate to be asked back.”

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.