Contemporary Rock Singer-Songwriter STEVE RODGERS Discusses His Recent Album, ‘Head Up High’ And More!
Posted On 28 Nov 2017
Meet the contemporary rock singer songwriter and performer Steve Rodgers. Steven has toured with Joe Walsh, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, and Paul Rodgers in the USA and Europe. His album “Head, Heart and Soul” was recently released and it was produced by Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Gomez). The lead single for this collection is “Head Up High.”
Learn more about Steven Rodgers in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time for another All Access today! Where does this interview find you? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood? What is a song you are loving these days?
Hi I’m in South California at the moment. Yes I have Ray Charles singing ‘You are my sunshine’ playing right now. Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Sam Cook or Sam and Dave always cheer me up. I’m loving Coldplay and The Chainsmokers – Something Just Like This.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
I guess so. All I knew is that I loved writing songs from a young age and putting sounds together. Not really I was surrounded by music from the very start so it was a part of life. I think I wanted to be a comedian/actor when I was very young.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year? How has 2017 been treating you and your career? What are you most excited about for in 2018?
Yes the album, Head Up High, was finished this year so we were all so excited about that. It’s been amazing so far, we’ve been gigging and promoting the album with a Tour, lots of radio and tv shows. Personally I can’t wait to write more songs for the second album and carry on the World wide touring.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected you and your music today?
I lived in Surrey, England, in a small cottage in the woods. It’s a very peaceful environment and it helped me to go deeper that’s for sure.
Your just released your debut album called “Head Up High.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you or unexpectedly challenge you about the whole process? How long did it take to put it all together?
It was great fun, we recorded in Liverpool, England at Elevator Studios with Ken Nelson producing. He produced Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Ray Lamontage, and we had Adrian Bushby mix it (FooFighters/Muse).
I wanted an album that had an array of different styles, topics, feelings and sounds. So on some songs we have a full band, others just a grand piano, or an acoustic guitar, we recorded one track live acoustically, another was more poppy. I really liked how some of the Beatles albums were full of so many different textures and ideas. I didn’t want an album where every song kind of sounded like the previous one. It had to keep me interested too.
We had ten days in the studio and a few more weeks at Ken’s studio.
How do you think your single, “Head Up High” prepared listeners for the rest of the album? What it was like making the video for this track? What other songs on it are excited for people to hear?
The album definitely has a positive message throughout but it also has a balance of light and dark, just as in life it reflects the beauty,pain and joy.The video was great fun – everyone involved was a friend and it all came together magically against all the odds. I Will Grow is all about life and how we have to over come our set backs no matter what, that we have to learn to grow. So High is a song about asking the Universe to bring someone special into my life. Something About You is about heart break and letting go. I could actually go on because they are all worthy of a mention, not that I’m biased.
You have an incredible touring history. Who do you think you have learned the most from? What touring experience have you really loved? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
I’ve learnt the most from my father of course. To see how professional he is and how he carries himself. There is noone who can do what he does and I mean that as a musician not as his son.
I actually really love the small venues just as much as the bigger ones. It keeps me on my toes as I never know what sort of venue I’ll turn up to. A church, blues bar, someone’s front room, a stage over looking the sea – the list goes on. Although the arena tours are amazing too in a different way.
I’d love to work with Adele and Coldplay.
Where are you excited to play at this fall? What do you think makes an ideal show for you? What can fans expect from one of your shows?
I’m flying back to London to do some great gigs which will be nice and easy for the band as they all live there. An ideal show is when the audience and I really connect. I love a bit of banter and I usually stop the show to chat to the audience for a bit. That is the best bit for me. Fans can expect a show that uplifts you, connects you and I think fill you with some hope and peace – i’m promising a lot I know.
With the summer over now, what was something fun or new that you tried this summer?
Driving a 1965 canary yellow Thunderbird around Palm Springs.
How active are you on social media? How important do you think it has all been to your career? Do you find that it’s hard to keep up to date on all the different platforms?
I always reply to messages as it feels more personal and I also have a team that posts things for me too. I’ve met a lot of great people through it, even my manager when we all had MySpace. I’m not the best with some of the newer platforms – life is there to be lived, to be in the moment so I try to not do too much.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
We are in difficult times but we also find ourselves talking about some very important issues like race, religion, sexual orientation, female equality. I’ve always sat on the fence when it came to politics but I think that’s no longer appropriate. Finally we are all having a conversation about these topics instead of pretending there isn’t a problem. So that is good. Education is key in this, so that we educate the young that fundamentally we all want to be happy and peaceful and we all have that in common. We need to unite not divide.
Music has always been a reflection of life or an ideal. It can uplift you, make you cry, make you rock, make you dance. When times are troubled though we want to be uplifted.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Led Zep were always my go to band. My father has been a huge influence too as he has a purity, integrity and honesty in his songs. I love Soul music. Jeff Buckley, Adele, Coldplay, Otis Redding, Bjork.
What do you hope fans take away from your music? Do you think there is a message to a lot of your songs?
I hope they take away ‘hope’ from the music. Life can be lived in two ways, negatively or positively. Life is always going to throw things at you to make you stronger, no matter who you are. So you have a choice, be upset all the time or see the silver lining, see the lesson it brings you, to grow, adapt, over come. I’m not saying its easy but if you keep looking up, keep going you’ll find solid ground.
Yes, absolutely there is a message to nearly all the songs and it comes from real life, from pain, love and lessons learnt.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
Find a great team to help you. You’ll need people who love what you do and what they do, and together you can make real progress. It’s a team effort.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself, your music or the show?
Hopefully the music can speak for itself and I hope whoever listens to the album loves it.