Hi Steevi – thanks for taking the time out to talk to The Rockpit.net.
Hi there. My pleasure mate.
First up, congratulations on “My Private Hell” – it’s a fantastic album and I believe the first pressing completely sold out on word of mouth alone?
Thanks. Yeah, it’s selling great, considering it’s had zero promotion or advertising by the record company. Good records and great songs will always do well. And that’s the secret with My Private Hell, it’s a GREAT record. Even though i say so myself. It’s been critically acclaimed worldwide, which is fantastic. And the fans have lapped it up. And the fans are who it was made for. So all in all i’m really proud of it.
The album sounds very YOU, but there’s also elements of Kiss & Def Leppard’s 80’s sounds in the mix – did you go into the studio with this sound in mind or did it evolve during recording?
To be honest we went in with a ton of ideas. Chris (Laney) and i had been working on demos for many months leading up to it. When it came time to record properly we just put everything down and picked what we thought was the best material. The obvious Kiss/Leppard influence is from Chris and Anders (Ringman). They are big fans of both bands, i guess i took along my own influence with a bit of Ozzy/ Alice Cooper to it. One song that really did evolve during recording was My Private Hell. It came together towards the final sessions, and ultimately became the title track. Something clicked with the song and it changed from a good tune into a real monster.
Where is the best place for our readers to order themselves a copy?
It’s available to buy and order worldwide… on iTunes, at Best Buy in the US, Amazon, Play.com and HMV stores in UK.
I read on Sleazeroxx that you also recorded some older songs in an acoustic style when you made the album – do you have any plans to release them, perhaps as an EP or as individual downloads?
Maybe. I’ve not really thought of releasing that to be honest. We just did it for fun at the end of the recording. Might be cool to add one as a bonus one day, we’ll have to see.
Do you still live in the UK? England hasn’t been particularly supportive of your career since the Tigertailz days, and the new album was recorded in Sweden…
I’m still in London… Hahahahahahahahhaha, that’s an understatement if ever there was. I’ve always been vilified here, all goes back to my outta control days in the mid 80’s. Some idiots here have never moved on from it, whereas i did a very long time ago. I never got one mention, let alone a review in the glossy rock mags here about this new album, apart from in Rocksound. Who said some really nice things about the album which was very cool. The likes of Classic Rock and Metal Hammer here totally ignored its existence. But i suppose an English artist putting out a great album, hoping the English magazines would get behind and support it, is too much to ask eh, hahahahahahahaha. Nevermind.
One time Zan Clan man Chris Laney and Anders Ringman co-wrote, played on and produced the album – are they in your touring band or have you got some new recruits playing with you now?
No, they aren’t in the band. My touring band are the same guys that appear in the video for Amazing. They are Mick Priestley Guitar, Alex Martin Drums and Shell on Bass. All great players and very nice guys to boot.
What are your major influences?
My teenage years were all about the 70’s, i discovered some great music back then. Influences on me were Led Zeppelin, Black Oak Arkansas, Montrose, Derringer, Kansas, Foghat, UFO, Starz, Angel, Cheap Trick, the list could go on all day. I was very much into American bands predominantly. As far as frontmen, it was Jim Dandy, Ozzy and early David Lee Roth. All phenomenal performers in their day.
Much has been written about the dispute between your old band and you, so we needn’t go into that here, but how are relations & legalities nowadays?
I don’t have any contact at all and have no interest in doing so.
You must have some great backstage stories – are there any you can share with us today?
Hahahahahahahahahahaha, you mean the lesbians and blow one? I’ll say no more. But, there’s so many i could write a book on that alone.
You’ve really stepped up with “My Private Hell” – is the album title particularly personal to you, given your battles with the seedier side of life over the years?
Yeah, it was a pretty turbulent time i was going through whilst working on the record. The song kinda tied it all together ya know. The moment we wrote that tune, i just said, that’s it, that’s gotta be the title for the record. There’s a few of the other tunes on the album that tell a similar story of my life past and present too.
The title track itself sounds like you’re actually pleading for help – was that written for or to anyone in particular, or was it more directed at yourself?
Absolutely!! My Private Hell is pretty much autobiographical. Just a description of how my life was at that particular time.
I was surprised to read that the title track came about at the very end of the recording sessions. As well as being an absolute standout song, it really seems to tie the whole album together.
It was probably the second to last track we wrote yeah. There’s a lot of dark-ish tales on it, but also a lot of promise as well. Amazing being the perfect example. It did tie it all up to be honest. There were quite a few working titles for the album, but none represented it quite like My Private Hell.
How would you describe the evolution of your songwriting and performing over the years?
In the early 80’s it was fairly basic. Everyone evolves in some way, otherwise things get stagnant. I can’t compare the writing of this record with say, Young and Crazy in 1986-7. Writing with pros like Chris and Anders really made me believe in myself again to be honest. I also learnt so much from them both. As for my performing, that’s always been balls out and it has never changed. Be it in front of one person or thousands.
What would 2010 Steevi say to 1985 Steevi?
I’d probably say… Fuck off, hahahahaha.
What was the last great gig you saw?
The last really great show i went to was when I took my son to see My Chemical Romance at Wembley Arena a couple of years ago. I was absolutely blown away by them. The playing, the songs and the show were all top notch. It was my boy’s first ever concert, and we both came away from that show buzzing!
Is there one great song you would love to cover and do amazing things to?
Never really thought about that to be fair. Although Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John comes to mind as a choice. Then again, how could you make that song anymore amazing than it already is?
Any plans to tour down under?
Would absolutely love to play Australia and NZ. Where do we sign up for it?
What’s next for you, Steevi? Where do you see your career heading from here?
Keep on doing what i do ya know. Who knows where it will head, but i’ve had a blast (and still do) doing it so far, so…
What are your personal dreams & goals?
I already achieved a few of my goals. Personally i’d love to see My Private Hell up there with albums by my peers!
Anything else you want to say to our readers?
A big THANK YOU to everyone! And i’d just like to say… If you haven’t already got it. Go out and buy a copy of My Private Hell you definitely won’t be disappointed. And for you guys that have it, thanks for the support and hope you like it as much as i do!
Thanks so much for your time, mate, and congratulations again on a fantastic album.
Thanks for all your support. Take care.
Keep us informed of things in your world – stay in touch!