STEVE STEVENS INTERVIEW
David Von Bader, Broward/Palm Beach New Times, Sept 18, 2015:
Among the copious guitar heroes the 1980s gave us, Steve Stevens — best-known as Billy Idol’s capo and lead collaborator — remains in a class of his own. By Idol’s own admission, Stevens’ eclectic fretboard pyrotechnics and deft sense of arrangement were the emulsifying agents that helped make Idol’s most iconic records what they are. The reverence the guitar world holds for Stevens is difficult to overstate.
“I brought my classic guitar rock stuff; Billy brought his love of punk rock and classic American rock ‘n’ roll.”
However, what is possibly even more impressive than Stevens’ guitar histrionics is the fact that the bond he shares with Idol has remained so strong after weathering 34 years of rock ‘n’ roll together.
In 2014, the pair released a sonic companion to Idol’s autobiographical memoir, Dancing With Myself, titled Kings and Queens of the Underground, and they’ve been touring hard behind the album since. In preparation for Idol’s impending South Florida tour date, we caught up with the ax man and orchestrator to discuss the uncanny longevity of his musical partnership with Idol, the universal appeal of the music they’ve made together, and the loss of a friend and hero in Yes’ iconic bass player, Chris Squire.
New Times: This last Idol tour has been a really long jaunt. Do you still enjoy getting on the bus and hitting the road this hard after so many years of doing it?
Steve Stevens: Obviously having my wife, Josie, traveling with me gives me an opportunity to actually see some shit! Left to my own, I just stay in the hotel; but she actually plans out some sites and museums and things to do! But, to be doing this with the same guy for 34 years is absolutely unheard of in my business, so we’re just really lucky that we’ve kept our working relationship intact, and that there’s still a fan base. And, most importantly, that we still enjoy playing for people.