Rodgers has been compared to artistes such as Scott Matthews, Ray
Lamontagne, Jeff Buckley, and of course his father, Paul Rodgers".
Alan: Where were you
born and where did you grow up?
Steve: I was born in
Guildford, in what I think was my Dadís first house in the country. It
didnít have anything in it except for one furnished room. It was a
lovely place, and then we moved to London
Alan: As the son of
the legendary Paul Rodgers, what were your first musical memories?
Steve: From day one I just
remember Roadies, I remember flight cases, the smell of something weird
hung in the air a lot. Yeah, I just remember all that and being very
excited by it. My sister and I used to go to the big gigs, in Wembley,
and we used to run around the stadium before anyone turned up. Just
seeing all the crew, it was like an army, and seeing the show go
together but it was just what Dad did and we were used to it. He used
to play around the house all the time so there were guitars in a couple
of rooms, piano in one room, heíd plink around the house singing so me
and my sister just did the same
Alan: Your sister,
Jasmine, is a singer-songwriter in her own right. Are there any more
Steve: We have a
half-sister, Natalie, who lives up in Middlesbrough. Sheís into music
and she does sing but sheís a bit shy.
Alan: Did you always
want to become a musician, was it a natural flow?
Steve: I think Dad tried to
tell us not to; he said that it was hard and blah blah blah but that
just made us more want to do it. It just came naturally to play the
guitar, it was easy, in our genes, and I donít know if we thought we
were going to do it. Jasmine went to do her thing and I did my thing
but we were always doing music. We were in a band together for 11
years, did 2 albums, travelled around the world and it was great.
Alan: How did you get
started in music yourself?
Steve: I played the drums
when I was about 4 and learnt on Simon Cookís drum kit, the old Bad
Company one, the gold one. Piano was my main instrument, then guitar.
My best friend played guitar so I wanted to learn, bought the Beatles'
Song Book and just learnt all those songs and had fun with it. I picked
up blues when I was about 12 and I was just infatuated by old blues,
proper old blues. Then I really got into electric at 13, and Albert
King was my hero and that was it for me. But I just saturated myself
with so much blues that I started to get a bit depressed. I was only 13
and doing all these sad blues things, so then I got into Zeppelin and
that kind of stuff.
Alan: At the age of
16 you joined your first band, The Lost Sons of Davros, or LSD. What
sort of material were you playing?
Steve: I think we had one
original thing which was called Coming Together or Falling to
Pieces or something like that, but mostly all the usual stuff youíd
expect of 16 year olds, Hendrix, AC/DC, All Right Now, Johnny Be
Goode, stuff that we could play!
Alan: You then formed
the band Boa with Jasmine and friends. Tell me about the band.
Steve: That was with a
friend of mine from school, Ed Herten, who was in The Lost Sons of
Davros, and we got a bassist in Alex. They were all really good
musicians that Ed knew, really top-notch guys and we were all just
jamming and we didnít really have an idea of who was going to sing and
then my sister, who was about 16 or 17, would just come in and sing with
us, and that was it really, we were done. We used to pick her up from
school to go to rehearsals.
Alan: Where did the
name 'Boa' come from?
Steve: We spent 9 months
trying to think of something. We had some seriously terrible names and
I think because we saw posters at all the gigs of bands that we knew and
they were all really long double-barrelled names and we just wanted
something that really stood out. It could be a boa snake or a boa scarf
and we just thought it was pretty good.
Alan: You left the
band in 2005. Did it split up then or did you decide to go solo?
Steve: I said Iíd stay to
finish the second album but then I really wanted to go then. When I was
18 or 19 I was writing my own songs and I loved doing that, and then I
fell in with this band which was just a part-time thing but then it
became a career on top of the jobs we were doing and Iíd kind of lost
what Iíd originally wanted to do, which was my own stuff. So, we
finished that album and I left but I made sure they had another
guitarist come in, but the guys just felt they didnít want to carry on
without me, which was really sweet. I donít know why because I thought
they were going to go on and conquer the world, their music was really
Alan: Tell me about
going solo and your musical direction.
Steve: Originally when I
was 17 or 18 I had a 4-track which I pinched off my Dad and I just
wanted to do solos. So I used to write these songs with the sole
purpose of putting a solo in it so I could just really give it my all.
Terrible really! But the songs became better than the solos, so thatís
how I got into writing songs, and when I left Boa, I just felt like Iíd
grown a lot and I had a lot of stuff to say that I wanted to say.
Alan: Apart from your
Dad of course, who has influenced you most in your music writing.
Steve: I should really
think these things through, but obviously my Dad. Led Zeppelin were the
band of my formative years from 13 to 21. When I saw them live at the
O2 I was just blown away, I never thought Iíd see them live. I really
like Scott Matthews and Jeff Buckley. Theyíve got a really strange way
of singing which is completely the opposite to my Dad. He is just
amazing at powerful rock but with them itís more emotional, lower key.
Alan: Youíve toured
Japan, UK, Canada and North America, what are your fondest memories of
Steve: I love travelling, I
really do. Even here at Butlins Skegness, itís just brilliant. Just as
long as I can get out, perform, meet new people, Iím really happy. Iím
not jaded at all by the travelling and I just love seeing different
things every day.
Alan: Tell me about
your 2009 sell-out charity concert in Canada - it must have been
Steve: Oh that was great,
just brilliant. I was quite nervous, it was a big crowd but luckily I
pulled it off!
Alan: I believe that
your Dad is now a Canadian citizen, living in Canada and married to a
former Miss Canada. Are you based here?
Steve: I go over there when
I can and heís always asking me to go more but I seem to be here a lot
with my career. But I like Canada a lot, it a very, very nice place.
Alan: You have a
diverse repertoire of old blues style, contemporary rock, soul, and
country. Are there any particular songs you play that have special
meaning to you?
Steve: Most of them do,
just because if they donít I wouldnít do them and Iíd get bored.
Actually Sunshine doesnít have much meaning, itís just a rocky
thing, but 95% of them do. I try not to do too much of the sad stuff
Alan: Who are your
Steve: Albert King is my
hero, and thereís BB King. I went through a blues stage of all the
guitarists because I wanted to be a blues guitarist but then I got so
into the soul and the singing so I just went off from blues to soul and
just got into Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Sam Cook and all those guys.
They became my guitar heroes then.
Alan: You performed
at the Racehorse Sanctuary gig in Chichester and the last number you did
was an a cappella number that was so full of passion and sounded
like a slave song. But you wrote it didn't you?
Steve: Yes, I did Ė Cup
of Light. I wrote it years ago in my kitchen at home and I felt it
was interesting so I taped it. I have hundreds of tapes of stuff that
Iíve done and I lost this one. I knew it was somewhere but I couldnít
even really remember what it sounded like but I knew it had clapping and
rhythm. Then I was doing a Wembley gig with my Dad and I knew I was
going to be in front of 9,000 people and I really wanted to do that a
cappella song in front of 9,000 people with no one on stage but me;
that would be awesome. It sounds weird but I asked the powers that be
to send me that song again because I'd forgotten it, and within 5
minutes I had it back. I got the melody back, all the lyrics and I
practiced it once before the gig.
Alan: Tell me about
the making of your album.
Steve: I donít know if I
should! It was done in the back of somebodyís shed in Surbiton and
whenever it was all very organic. Whenever I had some money Iíd go in
after work and add some bits on. Iím working on another one with my
band at the moment which is going to have more of a live feel, more
acoustics. It should be finished in a couple of months.
Alan: Thanks so
much Steve. Lovely to meet you again and I really enjoyed your set
© Copyright 2009 Steve Rodgers. All
Album available from Steve's website - All tracks
written by Steve Rodgers
Check out the Racehorse Sanctuary Gig, Chichester
Check out photos of Steve at The Skegness Rock &
Blues Festival 2012
Blues Interviews List
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