'You Make Me Wanna Stomp...'
Just a little over one year after edging onto the country music scene, Steve Richard is well on his way to becoming one of the hottest new musicians to crossover from contemporary Christian rocker to full fledged backcountry outlaw.
Teaming up with seasoned country vets like John Rich from the super star duo of Big & Rich, Richard’s self-titled debut album is brimming with the refined talents of Nashville’s best writers and producers and it’s second single “Stomp” is already receiving national attention.
The album converges on sounds that are pure rock and roll yet steeped in the time-honored Southern country tradition. Gritty vocals and familiar Tennessee twang keep Richard’s album anchored in a comfortable medium between two genres; balancing between soul-stirring and dance-worthy, Richard’s debut album gets it just right.
Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Steve Richard to discuss the release of his debut album, his grueling tour schedule and what it’s like working with some of country music’s most successful artists.
Your music has its roots in country, rock and contemporary Christian. Who were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "Growing up, I listened to Rock Groups such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones…also “folk” acts like Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, & Mary. I relate to so-called “country-rock” and “southern-rock” artists The Byrds, The Burrito Brothers, The Allmans, Skynyrd…lots of others. My favorite Country musicians are Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, and Waylon Jennings. I listen a lot to the Louvin Brothers. Once I like something, I tend to keep liking it."
As an up-and-coming artist, how would you describe the sound and style of your recently released self-titled debut album? "Of course, it’s difficult to analyze my own work. To me. it’s “Great Songs, Recorded Well”(!) My favorite description, though, comes from the journalist who called us “The Aerosmith of Country Music!"
'Stomp' is the second single off the new album and was written and produced by John Rich of the extremely successful duo Big & Rich. Tell us about the single and the experience of working with such a popular country star "The single, the video, and the line dance are really becoming popular, which makes it even more fun when we perform in all these cities, ‘cause the Fans know the record. It’s a rockin’ Country dance track. John (Rich) wrote it. He’s gotta be one of the best writers and producers in Country Music today."
'Stomp' has also become the anthem for the National Wrestling Alliance. How were you approached for this project and what has it meant to your success as an artist? "The NWA connection has opened up a whole new Fan base for us. The wrestlers are great athletes and talented performers who have very loyal fans!"
While quite a different style from 'Stomp,' your recent single 'Make It Into Heaven' is blazing through PowerSource’s Christian Country Top 100 Chart and has placed #3 on the July chart. What does this mean for the direction of your music and did you ever expect the song to do as well as it has been? "It’s a song that so many people relate to, but when we recorded it, it didn’t occur to me that it would even be a Single, and now it’s been nominated for a number of awards. We will release a Christian album later this year."
You just finished shooting the video for 'Stomp' in May, working with director Roman White of Revolution Pictures who has shot videos for country divas Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. Tell us a little more about the experience of making your very first music video "I guess the Divas have been joined by the Steva! Even though the video was filmed in a small club setting, I think it gives you a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be in the audience at one of our shows. Roman (White) is a wonderful director, and I would guess has the best crew in the business. I can’t wait to make the next one!"
You’re currently in the middle of a seven-date tour with country superstar, Craig Morgan. Where can fans see you play and what can they expect from a Steve Richard live show? "Come to www.steverichardmusic.com to see our touring schedule. Fans can expect a fun, loud, high-energy show, and I always hang out after for autographs and photos."
Some might call you a ‘ramblin’ man’ considering at one time you performed over 100 tour dates a year. What is the most difficult thing about being on tour and what is the best? "Most difficult is missing my family. Best is knowing we’re giving people a good time and meeting all the Fans."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today and why? "Maybe something by Bob Dylan. He wrote and recorded a lot of great songs during that decade…might even be a chance (that) my fans wouldn’t know the original, and a new version would hit them just right."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins, do you? "My mom collected Penguins for years…not real ones…yeh, I guess I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘em!"
To check out more of Steve Richard’s southern style rock, including the video for his new hit single ‘Stomp’, visit him on the web!
Interviewed by: Erin M. Stranyak
Official Music Video: 'Stomp'
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