Xander Smith was born Alexander (Sasha) Wolton in Santa Monica, CA. He was named after his grandfather, Sasha Wolkenstein- an Austrian composer/violinist. At 10 years old, Alexander's father died, and he retreated into music - playing the guitar all the time and writing his own songs. By 12, he was already trying to form rock bands while other kids were busy playing sports or spin the bottle. After high school, he studied Philosophy at UCLA. Alexander was soon shortened to Xander, and he then took his Mother's maiden name, Smith, for his last name.
Over the next several years, Smith was involved in many projects. He first fronted the alternative, psychedelic goth band, Chalk Circle, with his college mates (including Jessy Greene- violinist of the Foo Fighters/Peter Himmelman). After that, Smith toured Europe as the guitarist for Danielle Brisebois (Epic). Next, Smith partnered up with Jennifer Finch (L7/The Shocker) to form OtherStarPeople, which signed with A&M records and recorded with legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen/The Cars). When A&M was absorbed by Interscope records, OSP became a casualty, but Smith's/Finch's songs made it into the film 'Office Space' and TV shows, 'The Real World', 'Buffy, The Vampire Slayer', CBS sports and the theme song for VH1 classic video showcase.
From 2000 to 2003, Smith was the musical director for L.A.'s monthly phenomenon Club Makeup, whose highly rated special on E! Entertainment featured Smith's original songs, relaunched Glam rock, and showcased now world-renowned drag queens/actors/bands Hedwig, Orgy, The Cult, Alexis and David Arquette, Andy Dick and Ice T. Since 2003, Xander Smith has been the frontman and band leader of Run Run Run. This indie shoegaze rock band has released 2 cds and 4 EPs in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Russia, has toured throughout the world, playing with bands such as the Strokes, X, The Walkmen, Psychedelic Furs, Zombies and Mumiy Troll, and headlined Red Square in Moscow in 2010. As a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, Smith has also shared the stage with Linda Perry, Rickie Lee Jones, The Runaways, Adam Lambert, Dee Dee Ramone, The Violent Femmes and the Nymphs.
In 2012 Xander Smith stood alone for the first time as a singer/songwriter - writing and recording songs reminiscent of his earliest influences: the Big Sur sound of the early 1970s, New Zealand’s Neil Finn, Astrid Gilberto from Brazil, George Harrison and the Russian chansons from Siberia. Smith recorded this material in early 2012 and released the album both physically and digitally. Shows supporting this record in 2013 included tours of North America, Europe and Asia, skype shows for Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as TV/Radio interview as far away as Russia.
Now for Summer 2014, Smith delivers his sophomore release. The new full length is complete, and features many great musicians from bands such as New Order, Jack Johnson, The Go Gos, Draco Rosa, Johnny Marr Band and Adam Lambert. We can expect festivals and other tour dates announced soon, as well as another fundraising campaign which always includes fan gifts, bonus material and a special peek into the recording studio and inner workings of this new album.
No matter what the landscape looks like for the working musician these days, Smith maintains his momentum as an indie artist. He is making records and booking shows just like always. While still inspired to move forward as a singer/songwriter, Smith admits that sometimes it's a bit like "Selling horseshoes on the 405..."