The Step Kings formed in ’97 when Bob, Fern and Mike recorded the EP’ Seven Easy Steps.’ After garnering great responses and even better industry reviews, and attention from college radio, the Step Kings went on to share the stage with the likes of Incubus, Everlast, and Kid Rock, among many others. Following this great reception were two more years of touring in their band van, and then it was back into the studio to record ‘Let’s Get It On’ with revered producer, Machine.
I had a chance to throw a few questions at Fern A/K/A: “The King of Hearts” and The Step Kings axe man, via email, just to see what has been up lately. Here’s what he had to tell me…
What have been the biggest changes for the band over the last year or so?
We added a new member to the band, Bo Bailey, who plays guitar, percussion, backing vox, and the metal sewer pipe.
What are your favorite tracks to play live out of all of your songs?
“Friends”, because it gets everybody (including us) jumpin’ like freaks!
How do you combat nervousness before going onstage? Any special things that you do to relax?
I try to do deep breathing but to be honest w/you, I always have to run to the bathroom seconds before we go on!
What’s the biggest audience you’ve played to?
35,000 people at the Rolling Rock Fest w/ the Chili Peppers
What other bands have Step Kings been compared to most and do you agree with the comparisons?
We seem to get lumped into the “Nu-metal Rap-Rock” category, but if you listen VERY carefully (sarcasm) there is quite a bit of melody that doesn’t lend itself to the “yo-isms” found in all those “Bizkit” bands.
Any bands from home that you’d like to see get recognition?
There are tons of great bands in our area that deserve props; E-Town Concrete, 40 Below Summer, Point 4 Hope, Rev.9 (Baltimore), and our good friends Ill Nino.
Who is the best band of the past year?
Incubus really took a big step this year in becoming better songwriters, really good stuff. We were lucky enough to play with them a few times this summer.
Why do you think your last CD was more of a breakthrough for the band than “Seven Easy Steps”?
I think we kind of honed our sound a bit more on the last c.d. “7 Easy Steps” was more of a learning process for us.
What bands have you been listening to for the past few months?
Taproot, Linkin Park, Perfect Circle, Glassjaw, At The Drive-In, stuff like that.
Who is the big Pink Floyd fan?
None of us are HUGE fans, but I think I take the award for smoking out to them the most!
What do you do for fun besides play in a band?
I like to read, sketch, play the Didgeridoo, skate, watch gothic DVD’s (Gladiator, Braveheart, T2, etc.)
What would be your worst nightmare?
Not having the job I that I do right now (I still can’t believe I write songs for a living!)
Do you vote?
I do vote.
Elaborate on your answer.
I never have been one to be apathetic and then complain about the situation, so by voting I’m giving myself the right to bitch if I’m not happy with the outcome.
What is your opinion on Fred Durst?
I think Fred is just riding the wave and throwing himself into as many directions in this business as possible because as they say; here today-what’s your name again?-tomorrow. He probably is hoping SOMETHING will provide longevity for his career. Honestly? He’s a punk who’s always looking for trouble. Bring it on Fred!!!!!!
Which would better describe you Religious or Superstitious?
More like spiritual w/a tad of superstition
Is anyone in the band married?
How do you deal with getting homesick while you’re touring?
A lot of quarters in the pay-phone!
Where is everyone in the band living now? Where is your home base?
I live in N.Y.C. AND THE rest of the guys live in Jersey.
What do you usually end up craving from home the most when you’re away?
Being bad, and eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s with my girlfriend, on the futon.
What is the story behind the song ‘Imbalance’?
That was about when I first moved here from the Midwest and lived with four girls. When I started to have a relationship w/ one of my roommates, and then broke up shortly thereafter, things got a little mental, if you know what I mean.
Who named the band and what does it mean?
The three of us came up with the name and it represents high action energy with attitude AND being the master of your own path.
How do you overcome a dead audience?
We always find a way to get kids revved up even if we have to jump off stage (we usually crowd surf anyway) and ALWAYS let em’ see ya sweat!
Name three ‘dream tour’ bands that you’d like to play with?
Rage, Soundgarden, and Van Halen(only with DLR).
What can fans expect from your live show?
Ridiculous energy accompanied with extreme exhaustion, mental fissures, etc. Be prepared!!!
Much appreciated. Thank you for your continued support.
Special thanks to the new StepQueen a/k/a: LoriLee at Tooth & Nail, and to Bob and Fern of the Step Kings.