Hiya Steve, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

When I was 16, and living on the Isle Of Wight, my sisters took me to see Pink Floyd at Wembley Stadium. From the first moment walking into the stadium, seeing that huge sea of heads (almost the entire population of the IoW in one place) and then hearing the opening bars to Shine On You Crazy Diamond I was hooked. I respond to music in an emotional way, not so much technique, and that intro just got into every cell of my body 

Introduce us to you all and your musical history.

As mentioned above, I grew up on the Isle Of Wight. My dad was a big country music fan so from a very early age I was listening to Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell and so on. I first picked up a guitar a few weeks after the Pink Floyd concert and starting learning things from ‘The Wall’ then my sister gave me Roger Waters Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking and said “I think you might like the guy playing guitar on this – his name is Eric Clapton” Admittedly it’s an odd way to first hear EC but it opened the flood gates to Cream, Yardbirds and all the blues music & artists associated. Skipping through the next few years I played in local bands and even released a cassette single but the IoW music scene was a dead end and so in 1996 I moved to London and signed a record deal with Warner/ZTT after auditioning for a band called Rehab. From 1996 to today is such a long story……..

What was life like for you before music?

Typical teenager on the IoW. Closed off from the outside world pre Social Media and Internet. Trying to hook up with the Scandinavian EF students that came in their 1000’s every summer. Listening to heavy metal and just being a D**K 😉

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd 

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

‘THE’ Music Industry is a machine that follows formula and strict cultural rules. Sadly good songs have little to do with it. Where do I sit? – so far back that you’d need a telescope (unless you happen to know/work with some of the artists I sessioned with (Lionel Richie, Peter Andre, Darren Hayes, Ramin Karimloo) etc 

With regards to the Entertainment Industry I am very much in the forefront of corporate ents, private parties & that kind of thing. I play 200 gigs a year (all paid) so I must be doing something right?

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

BE YOURSELF! Don’t try and second guess style, genre, context, just be yourself and if you get success then great – it will be for who you really are – if not. Just be happy you get to do something you love. Darren Hayes from Savage Garden told me this when I was his guitarist – it years before I finally got it..

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I have played at the Royal Albert Hall

I was in the film D’vinci Code

I was married to June Carter 

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

Minus 30 years and huge boobs 

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Not really, you just have to let people do their thing as long as you are not deliberately doing or saying something that goes against cultural or social protocols then that’s the best you can do. I can be quite outspoken but I don’t think anything really bad has happened as a result. My natural social shyness is often mistaken for being aloof but not much I can do about that either. The older you get the more you realise that you just have to live and let live and let other people get upset about bullshit things. 

A word on ‘Cancel Culture’ this is a big problem in the professional music world as it’s now just normal for a venue to pull the plug on a gig at zero notice or for musicians to just not turn up (actually that’s normal ) but yeah, we have to be a lot more on the ball with contracts and agreements etc 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

Nah, too busy living 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Early 2000’s showcasing for Liam Gallaghers management team at the Water Rats London. The lead singer & drummer (a couple) were in a complete tizzy because Depeche Mode were in the audience and at the last minute the wife of Pretenders guitarist Adam Seymour (now retired) joined the band and took the fender amp I always used. I was left with the house Marshall which I wasn’t familiar with.

I had just started using a volume pedal to create swells to imitate a pedal steel guitar and in the panic and rush to set up (in the dark) I failed to notice the volume pedal was almost off. I played the first two songs thinking something was wrong with the amp and kept turning the volume up higher & higher, getting dirty looks from the singer & drummer all the while. During the 3rd song I suddenly realised and pressed down on the pedal to full volume. The amp exploded in a noise like a jet taking off and yeah…… it was a shocking night that still haunts me. In my defence, if I had just used the fender amp I wouldn’t have been so confused on stage. I work better under pressure these days….

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I am currently receiving treatment for Skin Cancer and have signed up to a special trial to test a new cancer vaccine (keep an eye on the news for this one) 

I’m a solo artist with a bunch of musicians who play when they can so, sorry, not much to tell there I’m afraid 

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

Well, for years I wrote songs that I thought would be well received in small folk clubs, open mics, acoustic vibes and found that if I did get a shot at a bigger stage my songs just didn’t have the punch needed. Recently I’ve been writing purely to entertain a big crowd. Big riffs, opportunity for crowd interaction etc… this means the songs are a bit more ‘classic rock’ sounding but on a big stage they are just epic and so much fun. I have a few more songs in this vain to record and release and with the band (whoever they may be on that day) I just want to keep pushing that vibe and making A LOT OF NOISE!!

Whats your thoughts on Elon Musks contribution to the world?

I find his history incredible! The brains behind PayPal, Google Maps, Tesla – I mean history will show him to be one man that changed the planet. I read his book and was stunned that we both, at the same age, had Commodore Vic20’s and programmed them to death. I felt a connection with 12yr old Elon. Since he took over Twitter / X its all gone a bit down hill for me. I don’t really get why such a scientific and technical mind would waste so much time on it… but then people probably said that when he first started creating Google Maps …. Eh?

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

I have kind of answered it already but just to add. 2023/2024 the last thing I thought I would do was write and release music. I was kind of over it. Three albums, EP’s, Singles etc I thought I had pretty much covered it and wanted to concentrate on the paid corporate gigs. Then I wrote a song called Looks Like You. It had a great 70’s vibe riff and really catchy chorus but when I recorded it with my regular Strat (a throwback from Savage Garden) it just wasn’t cutting it. I got my old Gibson Les Paul out of storage and fired it up. The song LLY just came to life and since then I have just been churning out songs purely that sound good on the LP turned up to 11

What was the recording process like?

Eclectic!! I demo’d the songs at home to a click track then my man in Manchester ‘Olly Tandon @OTbeats’ laid down some huge drums. Then Hitchin bass player Lewis White did his thing followed by Drew Cowburn on keys. Everything else was sang/played by me. All the noisy stuff is recorded at my local studio The Practice Roomz and the rest at home. I get stuck into editing but mixing is not my thing… it took a long time as I just poked & prodded it over the weeks to get what I needed. The Video was the BEST fun though 🙂

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

If playing live is your thing then write for a big audience and let the music do the talking. Don’t obsess about genre or wether it’s current. Nothing is Current & Everything is Current it just depends on who you are talking to 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Of Course!!!! It’s never finished 😉 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Music is so important and people that are obsessed with ‘NOW’ are missing out on so much. Music was invented as a form of expression and communication NOT an excuse to take photos in your underwear and pretend it’s relevant to your new song…