Behind the Spare Tire bar I met a dreamer with a pursuit composed of stars unaligned.
His disjointed constellations were the backbone of an LA grind – by day a drink-slinging
bartender, by night a singer-songwriter with both a knack for community and an acoustic
guitar that bellows from an unlikely ether. Mo Smesme is Wild The Coyote, an act that
combines grit-driven blues tonality with sips of pure country whiskey vibes.
Wild The Coyote has been riding the wave of their first studio release, “The Man On Top Of The Hill,” and has consistently packed the Parisian-themed-dive Pour Vous off Melrose with an equally wild crowd. I got the chance to sit down with Mo and ask him to shed some light on what he considered to be underground music in such a liminal moment of his life.
Mo: It means more to me than unpopular music. For somebody like myself who has
attempted music for over ten years while at the same time being a bartender for over ten
years – it’s been quite an experience to understand what underground really is to me. I
worked at the Viper Room for five years and the House of Blues for three years as a
bartender and even now… I’m still a bartender.
Mo was hesitant at first to open up about his own double-life but gradually it seemed as if
a certain weight had been lifted. In Mo’s eyes I saw yet another star connect with a
passionate empathy for his equally hardworking fans.
Mo: whether they have a hip hop career and work at a hotel or they’re a person that has a
cooking side gig while they bartend – I love that stuff. That’s the underground scene to
me – these people that have two lives, two passions, you know? It keeps them grounded
while they’re still chasing it. That’s who I am. I’m not living the high life, I’m living the
underground life and I’m successful at it.
While Mo’s underground may only comprise a small pocket of LA – it has been a sight to
see such an array of stars patiently waiting for a moment to shoot past their loyal
Wild The Coyote will return to the recording studio this spring to work on their debut EP entitled
The Phantom and the Black Crow.
Photography by Quinn Gibson @ Sad Avery