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Steve Cone

Steve Cone just released an awesome thrash metal CD and had his music in the recently released "Get Thrashed" DVD and I loved the CD so much I emailed Steve and interview and here is what he said to my questions. Pick up some of his music and prepare to be thrashed to death:

MC: Steve who are the current members in your band and how did this line up come together?

SC: The current members are myself and Erik Fehrenbach on drums. Erik is my drummer for recording at the moment and lives in New York. I am in the process of putting together a full band in my area and so far I have Lou Bergeron on guitar. I've tried a few drummer out but have had zero luck finding one that can play the songs correctly. Lou has been playing bass for the drummer auditions and has been spot on. I guess they are a little harder than I had thought to play drum wise. I have been in talks with Erik about doing some shows back east and he is on board and may just do it as a three piece for those few shows.

MC: Were you in any bands before your formed the one your are fronting now?

SC: I've been in several bands while living in New York. The most notable being a band Pistol Dawn NYC which was on top of the heap while we were together. Really too many to mention that really didn't amount to much but all were a lot of fun.

MC: How long have you been playing guitar and were you self taught or did somebody teach you?

SC: I've been playing for a very long time and I am self taught. When I started I didn't have the resources available that kids have today with You Tube and countless web sites for instructional help or tab. I put on an album or cassette and tried and figure it out. Yes, it was that long ago, but it did make me learn by ear and I think that is very important when someone is trying to develop as a player.

MC: How has the response been to the new CD that you sent me. I think it an amazing piece of work and how did you end up having some music on the "Get Thrashed" DVD and what do you think of the DVD?

SC: Thanks for the compliment. The CD has received positive reviews but being an independent artist and financing everything myself does limit what I can do as far as promotion. I do the best I can with limited resources. Every thing helps including this interview so I thank you for that. The Get Thrashed DVD was a work in the making for about 4 years maybe more. I had met Rick the producer while I lived in New York City and at the time he was still in college or just completing it and ended up at MTV. I told him if you ever need music for anything call me up. Years went by and then I got an e-mail from Rick telling me about the documentary and his vision. He wanted to call me and discuss it more so we spoke and he told me that he was looking for bed music. I sent him a load of songs not knowing what or if anything would be used. So having 7 songs in it was a great accomplishment and I want to thank Rick Ernst the director for that fantastic opportunity. The DVD it self is just a great tribute to a style of music that never had the justice it so deserved. I think the way it was done was brilliant and it is an honor to be associated with it. I recommended it to everyone and not just fans of thrash metal. It's a great representation of what its all about and very well done. I may be a little biased because of my association, but fuck it its cool.

MC: How does a song come together and in your opinion what makes a great song?

SC: A song for me starts with a guitar riff and then I piece ideas together. I usually hum some kind of melody and then work on the lyrics last. Ill write lyrics about personal experiences, the world around or Ill just make something up out of the blue and go for it. A great song to me has got to have a great guitar riff and melody. If you can get a song that people can relate to that's even better because it makes it a little more personal. I've had people e-mail saying that a song is so about them and they relate to it. It may be from something they may have gone through in their life and it just strikes a chord with them. That's such a great thing to hear.

MC: Have you ever been asked to play in any famous bands?

SC: No offers to play in any famous bands but I would consider it if asked and it made sense financially to do it.

MC: How many releases do you have out so far and do you have a favorite release or song that you love and where can fans purchase your music?

SC: 12 so far but only the last five are still available at cdbaby, amazon, cd universe, itunes, napster, great indie and few more digital outlets. My website and MySpace page have direct links for cdbaby. I like them all but some more than others. Ill have to say that This Is Not The End from Crazy Ei8hts is one of my favorite tracks. I recently went back the CD FIVE (2001) and transferred all the tracks to my new recording unit. I wanted to see if I could remix and remaster the songs to make them sound better and so far its sounding great. Some of the songs are very different and I'm not sure if I will re-release it. If I do it will be as a digital only release. I'm still undecided on that. Some of the songs just kick me in the face and need to be heard so you never know. I may just go back and do it to all my older releases because I found three songs that didn't make it to the FIVE CD and they could be bonus tracks. I know that all the other older releases have a few extra tracks that had not been used. Lots of unreleased songs laying around in the vaults.

MC: I know you have a website and a My Space page. Why don't you give them both a plug and what will people see when they log onto them?

SC: Great here they are and go check them out when you get done reading this. www.myspace.com/stevecone    www.stevecone.net

MC: Do you have any personal goals you would like to achieve with your music?

SC: Being able to make a living at it would be a dream come true but I am realistic and know that this is a hard business to be in. I just want people to like my music and get something out of it. If that's a sore neck from banging their head then I am happy. I would like to pursue some more work in film or TV and may try a little harder on that end in the coming years.

MC: Do you feel your a good live band and are there any videos of the band floating around on say You Tube or what not?

SC: As before I'm still trying to put a live band together so nothing from my solo work. I know that whatever I do live will be a great band and that's why I am having a hard time finding a drummer. It just has to be perfect and they all have to be dedicated to the music as much as I am. You Tube has a few clips of me playing some various things and with other bands. MC: Is there a strong metal scene over in Arizona and do you get a chance to play live much? SC: The metal scene is not great and could be better. I just need to get out and play a few shows to show people what I am about.

MC: Do you think thrash metal or heavy metal in general will ever reach the popularity it had back in the 80's? SC: Both forms of Metal may never reach the level of popularity here in the states again but in Europe and other parts of the world it sill gigantic and getting bigger every year. Look at all the festivals they have all summer long. They all have great bands that don't even get a chance here and are major events. Someday I hope to make it to one or two if not playing at least standing in the crowd and just taking it all in.

MC: What are some underrated bands and guitar players in your opinion?

SC: That could be big list so I will keep it short. As far as bands. UDO, Saxon, Primal Fear, Loudness, Anvil, Helloween and Gamma Ray to name a few. Guitar players: John Sykes, Richie Kotzen, Bernie Torme and Ted Nugent. This list could go on for days. MC: About how much do you spend in a week doing band related things and do you like at the band as more of a fun thing or do you consider it fun, but almost a job at times? SC: I spend what ever time I can on it and wish I had more time to put into it. It all depends on what I'm doing. If I'm writing songs its when an idea comes up. If I'm recording it's a marathon and once I get going I don't stop until I feel like I have accomplished something. Ill spend 12 -16 hours a day when I'm recording. Its not a job for me and if it was I would probably start to hate it. Its got to be fun and once its not then its time to stop.

MC: What is the craziest thing that ever happened at one of your live shows?

SC: It was show in New York City and I ran out on stage and slipped on water or something. My leg went off the edge of the stage and I was hanging on for dear life with the other leg. I continued to play the song after my guitar broke most of the fall. It was a high stage maybe 8-10 feet off the ground and if I went over the edge I'm sure something would have been damaged or broken including something on me. MC: What would a dream tour be for you? SC: A dream tour would be to play all the metal festivals in Europe and that is something that I hope to do. Anyone with any connections, please hook me up.

MC: Do you think sites like My Space are good or bad for bands or a combo of both and why?

SC: I think they are good because its another way to get exposure. If someone is browsing through a bands friends list they may click on your link and discover something they never had found and like it. Its also great because people can listen to songs and find new music every day.

MC: Do you think there will ever come a day when CD's become the way of the cassette and in some ways vinyl and that everything will just be downloaded?

SC: I really hope not. I for one like to have product in my hand that I can touch and feel. Someone spent time on the artwork and packaging and a lot of thought goes into that. I don't believe in the single song download because albums are put together so the songs run together. They are meant to have a feel and flow to the whole product not just one song. I do see a lot of releases coming out on vinyl lately but out of everyone I know, I'm the only one that still has a turntable that functions.

MC: Which do you prefer, the studio or playing live and why?

SC: I like both for different reasons. Recording is great because you start with an idea and as the song progresses it can turn into something else when completed. Live is fun because you get crowd reaction and do your best to give the best show possible. Singing and playing live can be hard at times because of a complicated guitar part and vocal line. When I pull it off, it's a great motivation to come up with something to push myself harder the next time.

MC: When can we expect some new material from you?

SC: I have a CD that was completed last summer. It was the continuation of the In My Bones sessions. When the release date came through for the Get Thrashed DVD I decided to shelve that and record the songs from Get Thrashed and a few other songs that had never been released. I put Crazy Ei8hts out first. Now for the other part. While I was waiting for Erik to learn the drum parts for the follow up to In My Bones I started writing and recording more material. These 25 songs are done and I am waiting on Erik to get them learned so we can record those drum tracks. I have about three CDS worth of material either ready to go or just on the edge of being ready. He is currently recording a CD with his band so I have to wait until he has that out of the way. We are thinking maybe by July he will be ready to go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because the newer stuff is heaver and I really like the feel of all the songs.

MC: Would you ever record a cover tune and if you did what would the tune or tunes be and why?

SC: I did record a cover tune for a Def Leppard Tribute CD last year. The disc was supposed to be out last year but the latest is its coming out by the end of this summer. I guess I will wait and see because I have no control over the release. I did a song off the On Through The Night album and its one of my favorite tracks by them. I was asked to do one for a Kiss tribute but I had just had surgery on my wrist and could not complete the song in time. The Def Leppard spot was offered in its place so I took it.

MC: How would you feel if a band ever covered one of your songs?

SC: It would be a great honor to have someone cover one of my songs.

MC: What do you think can be done to bring heavy metal music in general back in the limelight so to speak?

SC: The radio and media need to push it more. More outlets and better concert packages with cheaper ticket prices. The record labels need to stick with bands or artist and give them time to develop a fan base. Sounds simple but I know its not.

MC: Steve horns up for the interview and any last words the floor is yours my friend.

SC: I want to say thank you for this opportunity to help spread the word about my music. I hope who ever reads this goes and listens to a few of my songs maybe buy CD and tell all their friends. Remember if you believe in something don't ever stop because it may be sad to fail but its sadder to never have tried at all.