On Wednesday, March 27th, Steve Herrera will Headline the Open Mic/Feature at Milk and Roses. So, lets get to know the man behind the guitar:
If you had to choose three albums that have had a significant influence on who you are as an artist, what albums would they be? Why?
I only get three?? Okay, first the Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets. This came to me at the time in my life where I really started playing guitar more seriously. Songs like the Stone, Rapunzel, Stay, Dreaming tree, more riff-oriented songs like these really opened new doors for me. Dave’s style of playing is like very few others that I’ve seen, not to mention his chord voicings are ridiculous and were really challenging and fun to learn and try to perfect. All that and the album’s just friggin’ gorgeous! I mean, so beautifully produced, the songs are superbly structured, and the lyrics are thought-provoking and inspiring.
The Man Who, Travis. This is one of those albums where, I don’t know if it was just right place right time, but it just hit me. Fran Healy’s voice floating a top these just genuinely good, wonderfully arranged pop songs, did something to my mind and soul that I will never be able to describe. to this day I can listen to this album and feel inspired. This album really shaped my songwriting. It’s pop but not cheesy, it’s thoughtful but not lame, it’s pretty but it rocks! I heard in this album a sound that was classic but so innovative at the the same time. I wanted to make music like this. Another album that affected me in a similar fashion, and kind of right around the same time, was Parachutes by Coldplay. Again, acoustic, Brti-pop/rock style of album, that was just so new, and such a breath of fresh air after the horrid horrid pop of the late 90’s early 2000’s. boy bands…. shudder…..
I’m gonna have to throw back for this last one, Pink Floyd’s the Wall. This was my first real introduction to music, and what it can inspire. I saw the movie before I heard the album. I didn’t know what I was watching, but I knew it was important. Not important to the world of music (which it is) but important to me, I knew I was watching something that was gonna stick w/ me for a while. Since then I’ve dissected every inch of that album musically and lyrically, I’ve played every note, and have watched the movie countless more times. There are timeless tracks on that album, songs that will live on into eternity. up until that point I never realized the power that music holds. the album is, in one word, epic. changed my life.
When you write a song, do you write the lyrics first OR the music?
Typically I write the music first. I find it difficult to insert something I have written in the past, into a song I’m currently working on. I’ll sit w/ my guitar, strum some chords, play a lick, kinda mess around for a bit until something hits me. I’ll explore that further and then if it really starts getting somewhere, then I’ll scat a melody on top. I’ll finish out the structure, and most of the melody, then write the words. I need to have the music done before I start writing lyrics. Although there have been exceptions!
If you could have the guitar of one guitarist, dead or alive, whose guitar would you chose? Why?
I want the guitar that Gilmour used to record the solo for Comfortably Numb. I want that guitar.
BIO: Steve has been playing music and writing songs for more than 15 years. He lists the Dave Matthews Band, Radiohead, and Ray Lamontagne as a few of his many inspirations. His songs are saturated with thoughtful lyrics and catchy melodies, with a blend of folk, infectious hooks, and a touch of experimental flair.Steve’s been living in Baltimore for the past 10 years. Originally hailing from NY, he’s found a second home in Charm City. As a former member of the band Fools and Horses, Steve has several thousand miles of touring under his belt. He’s been all over this fine country, and enjoys nothing more than traveling and performing for groups of all sizes.He tries to make his live shows as entertaining as possible! so check out the show listings and try to make it out to some!