Steve Conte, interviewed by Rocksucker

Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth... Rock like you wouldn't believe

Interview: Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth

Published on March 8th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth, New York Dolls, Michael Monroe, Crown Jewels, Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts, The Contes: yer man Steve Conte should probably leave his considerable CV at home when he comes to the UK for a string of Crazy Truth shows next month, lest excess baggage charges mount up.

It’s an imminent arrival that Rocksucker is honoured to mark by reproducing for you our email exchange with the great man himself, in which he told us about his forthcoming wave of activity,  named the most talented person out of all the very many talented people he’s worked with, and revealed why he might have to kill us…

What can we expect from your forthcoming UK shows? Will you be performing any new material?

You can expect some ass-kicking rock ‘n’ roll, New York style! We will play material from The Crazy Truth album but as always we’ll slip in some remakes, done our own way…and I may throw in a new original that hasn’t been heard before…

Is there another Crazy Truth album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it at this stage?

I am actually almost finished with a new album, but it’s not The Crazy Truth – It’s a Steve Conte solo album, my first one! It’s pretty rockin’ in a rootsy, American kind of way…with loads of special guests including England’s own Ginger Wildheart. I’m working on a Pledgemusic campaign for it, which people can sign on for updates either at my Facebook band page or on Pledgemusic itself.

Have you finished work on the new Michael Monroe album, and do you know when it will be released? What’s he like to work with?

We are mixing it now. We’re looking at releasing a single in April and the full album in August. Michael is great, he can really be the sweetest guy in the world, which has got to be hard for a rock star of his magnitude! haha….

Do you have any other projects of any kind in the horizon?

Oh yes, many! Some of my previous bands: a Conte Brothers “Live From New York” CD, a Crown Jewels rarities album, and another Crazy Truth album and solo album, after I catch my breath. I’m also talking with a couple of well-known. cool-as-hell punk rock girls about writing w/ them for their new projects – but I won’t mention their names at this time.

Who is Texas T? And were the girls of both the “Strumpet-hearted Monkey” and “Indie” varieties based on real people?

If I told you that I’d have to kill you. Ha ha! Well, she was someone I wasn’t supposed to be with but I had to keep going back for more. The girls in those other songs, like the people in many of my songs, are based on real people that I know but I do combine personalities to make it more interesting. Sometimes a song is even about me w/ the gender changed or about someone else, sung as “I”. There are no rules, I just don’t want to sing pages out of a diary or be too obvious talking about a recognizable person.

What was the response like to your new T-shirt design? Will you be going ahead with it? Looks good to me.

Of course you open up a can of worms when you ask a question like “what do you think of this?” so I got many responses with requests for different colors, styles, photos, fonts, etc. that I can’t honor. but most people said they liked it and would wear it. Even so, I still may change it!! ;-)

Your mother has done great work helping to equip the Union Beach Memorial School Band with new instruments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Does she often do things like this, or was this just something particularly close to her heart?

Oh yeah, she’s a helper and a healer, always has been. She’s a wonderful human being. I learned much of what I know, musically and otherwise, from my mom, bless her.

How did you first come to work with Yoko Kanno? Do you think you’ll work together again in the future?

Yoko got my name through a mutual friend in NYC when she was doing a solo album, Before any of the Cowboy Bebop or other anime stuff. I sent her a tape, she liked it, had me come into the studio, loved what I did and kept calling me for the next 12 years! I would love to work with her again and I’m sure if she has something she can use me on, she’ll call.

Who would you say is the single most talented person you’ve ever worked with?

Paul Simon.

Which were your favourite albums of 2012, and/or which are you most looking forward to in 2013?

ZZ Top, La Futura in 2012…and in 2013, The Steve Conte NYC Album!

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the entire works of just five different artists, whose would you choose?

Charles Bukowski, Salvador Dali, Prince, Wes Montgomery, John Lennon.

Steve Conte, thank you.

For more information, please visit Steve Conte’s Facebook band page

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.