I don’t exactly remember in what conditions I discovered STEAK’s blazing rock and badass comic concept. All I remember is being sucked into a turbulence of fuzz and fun. So when I knew they would be playing Desertfest 2013, I jumped on the opportunity of getting to know this London stoner four-piece better. And because these guys didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously, the idea of some off-the-wall interview came to my mind. They’re STEAK, so why not challenging them with some silly culinary questions ? But work ethics got back on top and the mission got clearer : unveil this awesome band to the world, because they fucking deserve it. The day after their show at the Black Heart, Kipp, Sammy and Reece took me at the Brewdog in Camden to answer my interrogation (between two giggles), unveiling infos about their new EP “Corned Beef Colossus” and sharing their vision of the whole business… Forget about energy drinks or drugs, STEAK is what you need to feel better. (PHOTOS : Gaël Mathieu)
Listen to their first EP “Disastronaught” while getting your kicks reading this nice interview…
Well, how are you doing guys ?
Kipp (vocals) : Good ! We played last night at the Black Heart, it was a good show, a lot of energy and sweat… We’re just hangover now !
Why the hell did you choose the name “Steak” ?
Kipp : We were trying to come up with a name, and… I just kinda shouted “STEAK” and everyone looked away.
Reece (guitar) : I think we were just talking about steak or something like that, I mean it’s a beautiful name for a band. But our bass player Cam didn’t like it so we had to spend a few weeks talking him round. “We are calling the band Steak, you’re just the bass player”. (laughs) He just plays bass, he doesn’t do interviews !
Kipp : It took him like maybe six months to come around with the name, he hated it. But people were like “it’s a really good name”, so when he heard that he was like “yeah ok, maybe…”.
Reece : The good thing is that everyone remembers it, it really stands out. So even if we’re really shit, I know they would remember the name. “Oh Steak, that really shit band from London !”. (laughs)
The good thing is that you don’t have that classic stoner rock name. You know, like “desert stuff” or “sun something”…
Sammy (drums) : Steak Wizard ! (laughs)
Reece : It’s meaty ! Like us last night was a bit meaty, weren’t it ?
So I heard there were some changes in the lineup recently. Can you tell me more about it ?
S : Actually, last night was my fourth gig with the band. The first three gigs were in France. We went to Paris, Tignes in the Alpes for the X-Games, which was wicked. These guys were sort of without a drummer and I was playing in different bands so we’ve known each other for a long time anyway. We played together before, so I said I’d jump in and help them out. We recorded in Sweden and it went out really well. Then we did the gigs and I’m kind of in the band now ! It’s good fun !
K : It was kind of straight in at the deep end, because we went to Sweden to record the EP in February. Just after Christmas we had the drummer thing, and Sammy came in so he had only six weeks to basically come up with the whole EP. It was good because it was done really quick, which is a good thing because it was quite intense !
We recorded our new EP “Corned Beef Colossus” at the studios of Truckfighters in Sweden.
Let’s talk about the new EP then ! When will you release it ?
R : We will release “Corned Beef Colossus” on 24th of May. That’s the one we recorded with Truckfighters, at their studio in Orebrö. We stayed at their studios for a week, it was a good process recording with them.
K : To get out of London and do something in different surroundings, it’s cool yeah. Get drunk in a different city…
S : Pay even more for beer than you do in London… (laughs)
But why releasing another EP rather than a full-length record ?
R : We’ve planned to release four EPs, all connected by this comic book story line. With this EP, we’ll release a 12″ which has got the first and the second EP on each side. Inside, a gatefold with a comic book story. With the four, it’ll do a whole comic story.
K : And it keeps it more consistent, we can do it every eight months, like we’ll hopefully release the next EP at the end of this year, and then another EP in the summer of next year… It keeps things flowing and fresh.
We’ve planned to release four EPs, all connected by this comic book story line.
How did the idea of this comic art concept come up ?
R : We were sitting around and talking about “what artwork” ? I’m really into comic art anyway, so we just started talking about it and it just sounded like a fucking cool idea. We basically turned ourselves into mean superheroes, we’re badass ! (laughs)
That’s it ! I mean, everyone thinks you’re badass ! I don’t know if it’s true, but…
R : (laughs) We cry at night but we’re pretty badass.
K : There’s no telling what we really look like.
I met your merch guy yesterday and I thought he was one of you actually, because I had no idea what you looked like…
R : You were just looking for the baddest dude ! (laughs) With guns and stuff…
So who did the artwork ?
R : He’s a Brazilian artist who draws for DC Comics. We got in touch with him, he’s really into it. But he’s really busy so we have to keep pushing him for that.
Obviously, you’ll be working with him on the whole series of EP.
R : In the end, with the last record which will be the next two EP, we want to release a comic book which puts the whole story together.
S : And the film !
That’d be great !
R : We’d really like to do an animated video for one of the songs, but it’d be quite expensive.
I’m pretty intrigued with the rock scene in London, mostly because I don’t know lots about it, except Orange Goblin. Could you enlighten me about the stoner scene in this area ?
R : I do think there is at the moment a lot of British bands at our sort of level. There hasn’t been as many good bands kicking around in the UK, I’m noticing more that the bands that get more tours from the UK get tours in Europe too. It feels like there’s something going on there with stoner rock and stuff.
Any names ?
K : Sedulus. Trippy Wicked. We are friends with so many bands, we could name like 40 of them…
R : Crystal Head. Wizard Fight.
S : Dusteroid. The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are one of my favorite bands on the scene around. I’m pretty into the 70’s and really retro stuff, and I think they fit.
R : There’s a core of bands, their quality is really quite high and it’s getting noticed now by in Europe. If you look back to the 90’s with Dozer, Lowrider, everyone talked about a Swedish scene at that time. In the next couple of years, I do feel that the UK thing is going to be some bands that just started to get noticed.
In the next couple of years, I do feel that the UK thing is going to be some bands that just started to get noticed.
I think the Desertfest is a real springboard for this scene actually !
R : Maybe it has helped along, because so many people from Europe come to the festival, so they see a lot more of the UK bands.
Reece, you’re part of the Desertscene/Desertfest team as a promoter. What’s your role exactly as a core member of this festival ?
R : I just play in a really good badass band called Steak, we get booked every year for some reason… (laughs) So yeah, I’m among the promoters of this festival, hence we’re on the bill each year.
K : Like a resident band !
R : Any good venue has a house band, and any good festival has a house band. Next year, we’ll be headlining the Ballroom… (laughs)
Are you also in touch with Desertfest Berlin or these are two very separate things ? Because both festivals seem to share many headliners every year…
R : They are really two separate things, but we work a lot with Sound Of Liberation (a huge Berlin-based promoter that books many great international stoner and heavy bands) because when we promote in the UK, we use a lot of their bands. So when I spoke to them about doing the festival, seeing as they’re a booking agent as well, I talked about what bands were available for the festival in the UK. They said “that’s a really good idea, can we get involved with it as well ?”. It’s totally separate, they do their thing, but we share bands. It works really well, actually !
So what can we expect with Steak for this year ? More touring, more releases…
K : Yeah ! We’ve started to plan gigs in Europe, we’re going to Austria and Germany in the next few months… Holland, possibly. The EP is coming out next month, and then we’re going to start working on the next EP and hopefully it’ll be done at the end of the year.
Will it be self-released ?
K : Yeah.
Don’t you want to get a record deal somewhere ?
R : Unless someone is going to give us £100,000, you know, we can fund it ourselves so there’s no point in being signed. We promote ourselves. If someone comes along and offers us something that we can’t do, we would maybe look at it but…
S : What’s the point otherwise ? Just for the sake of saying “oh, we’re signed to this, etc…” ? We can sustain ourselves and fund ourselves, then why ?
R : Even studio costs and all that, between us all we can do that.
Alright ! Would you have any music recommendations for the readers ? Something you listened to recently…
R : Dÿse from Germany, I just watched them at the Vans Store. It was really good. They’re just the two of them and it sounds like they’re a full band. I was supposed to say some UK bands…
K : Sedulus ! They’ve had a lot of press, I think they’re such a good band ! And good friends also, that’s why I’m saying Sedulus. (laughs)
S : Dusteroid of course. They’re not around much, but they’re a really cool band.
Now here we go with the silly question… Where can we find the best steaks in London ?
K : Hahaaa…
S : The Hawksmoor on Commercial Street, or my favorite place, a Brazilian steakhouse on Portobello Market. That’s a fantastic little steakhouse, they’ve just got beautiful steaks, lovely…
K : And what do you recommend ? (laughs)
S : Have the meat platter for two, it’s massive ! You can’t go wrong !
To end this interview, bonus question. If a promoter was offering you to share the stage with a few bands, who would you pick to play with ?
R : For me it’s a bit of an obvious one, but playing with Kyuss back in the days with Josh… It’s an obvious one, so you two will have to pick something else. (laughs)
S : It’d probably be some old British band like The Who, I really like big classic rock bands.
K : Pink Floyd, just because they put on such an amazing show. So we could get a bit of their pyrotechnics and take some of their acid ! (laughs)
Don’t miss out the release of “Corned Beef Colossus” on May 24.
Check out STEAK on Bandcamp and Facebook
Last modified: 11 February 2015