NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–steve., a New Brunswick band, is just getting started.
The only song steve. has released thus far is “Miguel Tajadas’ Lovers Quarrel.” It features classic 1990’s pop-punk vibe with carefree vocals and improvised harmony, but it also has undertones of alternative and indie with the lead guitar and drumming.
“Someone told us that we’re what Blink-182 wishes they sound like,” says Kyle O’Connor, who plays the guitar and does backup vocals for the band.
steve. has been described as a “sad dad twinkle punk band,” an alternative living movement, and a “stereotypical sappy boy punk band.”
All are applicable, and that’s not a bad thing.
Each of the band members come from different bands—steve. is their collective “sell-out project,” as backing vocalist and bassist Eric describes it. “It’s what people really want to listen to.”
O’Connor’s primary project is a band called Wisteria. He is also a sophomore at Rutgers majoring in English.
Zach, who does leading vocals and drums, comes from a metalcore band called The Great Depression. He is a “lunchlady” at Metuchen High School.
Eric, who sings backing vocals and plays bass and guitar with steve., also plays in a New Brunswick punk band called Bird Hotel. He is an organic chemist working at a lab in Metuchen.
“All of our other projects make music that doesn’t sound anything like this…all three of our bands make music that’s wildly different,” says Kyle. “Surprisingly, we write songs stupid fast.”
The group has a natural rapport that becomes evident as soon as you spend any amount of time with them. In our thirty-minute interview, we covered topics as diverse as camp counseling, Guy Fieri, and parents’ hopes and dreams for their children.
“It’s more about the chemistry we have as a band,” says Zach. “All the songs we played live, we just all met up and played them.”
steve. started out with the support of the New Brunswick basement scene thanks to their original bands.
“The local music scene is great, as compared to other local music scenes,” says Eric.
“It’s becoming a tour spot,” adds Zach. “I literally will go to a show just to calm myself down. It doesn’t feel like a stressful place, sometimes it feels like it’s not supposed to really be happening but it’s happening.”
Although it’s only three months old, the band has already played scenes in Pennsylvania, New York, and Baltimore. steve. hopes to continue this growth into the future.
Says Zach, “It’s nice that people appreciate what you’re doing.”