STEVE STEVENS - The New Wave Of Classic Rock
by Martin Popoff
Most of us think of Steve Stevens as the gothic looking guy in Billy Idol's Rebel Yell video making cool heavy metal overtures in successful pursuit of crossing over - that won't change. But Stevens is actually the consummate hard rock guitarist - heavy metal, hair metal even - but really, steeped in the classics of the '70s, and then dealt fame through, of all things, post-punk.
All of that and more is evident on the man's varied and effortlessly enjoyable, mostly instrumental fun-time solo record entitled Memory Crash, and named for the dread one experiences recording with today's all-or-nothing computerized systems.
"My litmus test is that I wanted to make an instrumental album that people who didn't care about guitar would dig," says Stevens, asked about the mission behind Memory Crash. "I play with a techno band out of England called Juno Reactor, and I did a show with them in Japan, and we've got a live DVD available of that, and you know, they have a real strong fan base and play some really big shows, and some festival shows, and they are instrumental - there are no vocals in their stuff. And I thought, well, here is instrumental music that people are digging. And I think there is something to be said about that whole techno/trance scene of people who enjoy the music whether there are singers or not involved. And I try to tap into the spirit of that with my grooves, like Chemical Brothers, Propellerhead, things like that. I think that is where the listenability of this record comes from. It's real and the grooves are tight. There's no doubt about it. And I think a lot of guitar players kind of overlook that. It's like, 'Hey man, I've got a cool guitar solo here,' and they're not concerned with the brick and mortars of the track."
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