TKB Q&A: Lettuce talks Knicks, New York & music

Ben Kopelman

While JD & The Straight Shot might be the most well known Knick-related jam band around, MSG house band Lettuce has some loyal NYK supporters as well.  TKB got a chance to chat with one of the band’s guitarists, Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, about the group and his love for everything orange and blue.

Ben Kopelman: Where’d you all meet and how’d the band initially get together? What’s your connection to the Knicks?

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Shmeeans: The core of Lettuce met when we were 16 at Berklee School of Music summer program. I grew up in Hastings, NY and [drummer Adam] Deitch grew up in Nyack so I started going over there and making music after that summer. I’m a homegrown die-hard Knicks fan and I converted Deitch into one — he caught the bug quickly and now he loves them as much as anybody.

Kopelman: What’s on the horizon for the band? Upcoming tour, album?

Shmeeans: We are playing Wednesday in New York and then Thursday at Toad’s Place in New Haven; then we’re playing the 930 Club in Washington DC on Friday and the Rex Theatre in Pittsburgh on Saturday.  And there is talk about going in to do an album in the wintertime.

Kopelman:  James Brown set on Wednesday?  We gonna get “Mother Popcorn?

Shmeeans: Maybe it’s on the list.  I’m not saying it is, but maybe it is.

Kopelman: Where do you watch games when you’re in town?

Shmeeans: I go to a ton of games.  You can catch me at the Garden a lot. When I’m not at the Garden, I love to watch at my crib, I’ve got a nice big HDTV, MSG channel, all day. Or if I go out I go to Harlem Tavern.

Kopelman: Ever been on Celebrity Row? Which you got: “Gimme a Minute with Jill Martin” or “Hot Minute at the Half with Bobbito?”

Shmeeans: No disrespect to Jill, but gimme Bobbito any day of the week. I’m a musician, man, so I got to take Bobbito. But I love Jill. Jill’s the best.

Kopelman: How do you follow the team when you’re out of town, on the road?

Shmeeans: I’ve been getting the NBA league package for my computer, been doing it for years, so when I’m out on the road, that’s how I watch the Knicks.

Kopelman: Are you the “I don’t look at my phone or the internet, I watch DVR’d games not knowing the outcome” kind of guy or are you checking box scores during Krasno’s solos?

Shmeeans: I try to be neither. I’ve been known to make them put on the game as we’re playing at Brooklyn Bowl. If we’re the headlining act, I’ve been to known to ask for them to put on the game. Even been times where we’ve held up shows for 20 minutes until a game ends and then go on.

Kopelman: You show your Knicks pride on the road? Rock a jersey on stage the night of a big game?

Shmeeans: I represent. Shmeeans represents the Knicks full on, all the time. I’m wearing a NY Knicks Mitchell and Ness hat at the moment, with my Knicks blue sweatshirt and I even got my Reebok pumps in Knicks colors.

Kopelman: Outlook for the season?

Shmeeans: This is the most promising season I’ve ever seen since the mid-90s. I think the depth of this team is the likes of which we’ve never seen. I think these guys are gonna end up meshing really well. I love the [Beno] Udrih signing.  Some people might not know his name right now but will know it for sure come mid season, believe you me.  I think Metta [World Peace] brings great defense and championship experience and I think [Andrea] Bargnani, if he plays to his potential, can really really help [Carmelo Anthony] out, scoring the ball. Plus this could be the year of The Shump. I think he could really break out. And if Tyson [Chandler] plays the defense we know he can play, throw in something from Amar’e [Stoudemire] and [Kenyon] Martin — we could be a great team. Great mix of athleticism, skill, experience.  I think we win more games than we did last year and go further in the playoffs.

Kopelman: Who’s your favorite Knick of all-time?

Shmeeans: I have so many different feelings on this. The PC, proper answer — the one all my friends would get mad at me if I didn’t say — is Patrick Ewing. But there were times when Latrell Sprewell was my favorite Knick; times when Alan Houston was my favorite Knick; times when Amar’e, when he came into town and had all those 30 point games was my favorite. Right now, it’s gotta be Melo. He’s a ball handler, a scorer, he can pass, he can dribble. He is such an incredibly well rounded player. Carmelo Anthony, this is his year. So I’m going with Melo.  I believe in him.

Kopelman: How boss is Walt Clyde?

Shmeeans:  He is the cat to all the cats. He emanates class. I want to be like Walt when I grow up.


Lettuce will be performing this Wednesday in New York at Stage 48. Click HERE for more information about the event and to purchase tickets.




18 comments
dzruggie
dzruggie

It is a pleasure to have such depth with the forwards.  Have 3 potent lines is going to give teams fits.  They can't take a night off from throwing their best defense at JT (and yet he is still near the top in the NHL in points) as it leaves them open to the second and third lines.  Sure there are several areas they can correct but on this day could there be a better start to the season?  

isles23
isles23

My biggest take away from the game last night was the number zero. Zero points for JT and we were able to score seven goals. That is not something that would've happened in the past. That also leads me to another point. JT and KO need to stop with extended shifts. We used to need them to press the issue to create offense because if they didn't score the team didnt win. We have great depth now and that's not the case. It will be better for our team D and will keep them fresher for the end of games

Jim Miller
Jim Miller

Nice to see him continue from last years play. And nice to see scoring spread out. The depth is really solid this year. Feeling a lot better than I have in years about this team. 

Vincent Miele
Vincent Miele

When they added those 3 seconds to the clock you had to think, uh-oh.  But it turned out in Franz' favor!

Vicp73
Vicp73

Good job Frans, you are one classy player

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

Three goals and not one using his patented backhand move... who da thought? Serious sniper last night was 51.

dkdk
dkdk

I have always been a huge Frans fan. Congrats 51!

dimaio34
dimaio34

That line was beyond sick. What a game. Old time hockey. He shoots he scores. Just amazing. 51 is the most consistent player we've had in all these years. The DANISH DASH!!!!! This road trip is going to show us what we've got. But by the way it's been going. We've got a lot. Great game last night. And if the play like that on tues they will destroy the jets. Big time.DOUBLE CHILI!!!!!!

dzruggie
dzruggie

@isles23 I think you are overly concerned for no reason.  First of all JT is at the top of the NHL in points.  Last night he had several chances for a goal that the goalie saved.  He set up a couple of plays that the goalie saved and he orchestrated the Viz goal but did not get an assist for it.  As for the long shifts I'm OK but perhaps.  My biggest take away was on a night that JT was held off the board, the team put up 7 goals!!!!!

shlo
shlo

@dimaio34 Agree. Just afraid of a let down on Tue. Let's hope they can keep their human waste together.

isles23
isles23

I agree with your last sentence and that was the main point I wanted to make. But I don't think I'm overreacting to JTs shifts. Its an issue and something that needs to be addressed. Mainly because its not something he has to do anymore

dzruggie
dzruggie

@shlo @dimaio34 OK....I assure you they will lose again this year, and they will have an awful game here and there, and they may let you down.  What is unnerving if you will is the fact they will have their toughest stretch with the 3 CA teams, CO etc - right in time for what has historically been the season killing November swoons.  Set some realistic goals and see how they do - 5 points of 8 for those 4 games fair?

jepliberty
jepliberty

@dzruggie @shlo @dimaio34 

They can also come home and beat a few of the leagues doormats, thus compensating for any of the losses on the West coast.

shlo
shlo

@dzruggie @shlo @dimaio34  Of course we'll lose games. I meant we need to build up a cushion with home games wins. So few losses on the western trip will not be so damaging. I don't want to lose precious points at home.

rmbbanned
rmbbanned

@dz- the California trip is brutal.. Ducks-Sharks-Kings..

We will see what happens. But those are 3 games in an 82 game season. Nothing more, nothing less.

They lose another forward or two, and things will we get very dicey up front. Funny how that log jam upfront sorted itself out.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@jepliberty @dzruggie @shlo @dimaio34 All fair points - best teams, road trip and 74 other games to go.....as another point is - winning is contagious and as we all know, so is losing.  Dropping 4 in a row - even against 4 NHL power teams, you do not want to be in a position where a game against the Panthers is a must game, and then if they lose -  and there is the November swoon we all know.  Also 6-2 and then facing these teams, on the road, this is a major test.  Like I said I am thinking if they can squeeze 5 points (could go 1-0-3) 

Timothy John
Timothy John

Hopefully the one good thing from last year carries over - the Isles hardly ever lost on the road. It was almost crazy how much they won as compared to being at home. I'm assuming it was one of the best away records last year in the league...