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John Peel OBE, 1939 - 2004

Red Lick Records



Early Blues Interview
Steve Rodgers,


© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

"Steve 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

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.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 siblings?

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.

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

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 strong. 

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.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 your trips.

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 special.

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.

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.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 anymore.

Alan:      Who are your blues heroes?

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.

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

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 today.

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.


© Copyright 2009 Steve Rodgers. All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright 2009 Steve Rodgers. All Rights Reserved.

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

Return to Blues Interviews List

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