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A.S.a.P. (1989-1990): a Hard Rock band from London, UK.


n acronym for Adrian Smith and Project, it started off as a side project for the Iron Maiden (and ex-Urchin) guitarist Adrian Smith. The outfit was originally named The Entire Population of Hackney after a jam session at the famous London Marquee Club in 1986. Desiring to produce more 'conventional' music than what fit into the Iron Maiden pattern, and bored during long breaks Iron Maiden had taken between both the 1985 Powerslave Tour and then, later, 1989's Seventh Son Tour; the later date saw Smith teaming up with Niko McBrain (of Iron Maiden; guitar) who invited his friends and former band mates Andy Barnett (guitar; former band mate in Urchin), Dave Colwell (guitar), Robin Clayton (bass), Richard Young (keyboards) and Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr; drums) to join his new project Adrian Smith and Project.

Their Silver and Gold (1989) debut album was packed with synthesizer laden melodic British pop and hard rock, a stark contrast to his work with either Urchin or 'Maiden. It also featured Smith in the role of lead singer as well as guitar, something most Iron Maiden fans were not accustomed to.

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His new style and his growing commitment to his A.S.a.P. project upset his mates in 'Maiden, especially Steve Harris. Although remaining on good terms with the band in subsequent years it would be citing 'creative differences' that eventually gave him his walking papers from Iron Maiden during the writing of their album No Prayer for the Dying. Unfortunately for Smith, it was no big surprise when the album was a commercial flop and was never followed up except for the 1990 Down The Wire and the former Silver and Gold singles, if they even count.

Smith made several more solo attempts, most notably The Untouchables, with the idea of playing only small club shows. The Untouchables never released any records, and by 1994, they evolved to Psycho Motel, which recorded two studio albums and toured with Iron Maiden in 1996 and 1997. By 1997 Smith had joined Bruce Dickinson's backing band.

Smith, and for that matter Dickinson (who left Iron Maiden after the Fear of the Dark album), would come back into the 'Maiden fold in 1999.

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