Steve Taylor Interview

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Rock Of Life Magazine
Q1 1995(?), Volume 4, Issue 8
Pages 2-3

By Debbie Lynn St. John

About ten years ago, a friend of mine played for me a song that would end up being my all time favorite song in the world. Not only was it the song that became my favorite, but also the artist who released it. The song was "Meltdown," and its performer was Steve Taylor

Since that song, Steve Taylor has come a long way. After a brief retirement from Christian music and a short stint with the secular group Chagall Guevara, Steve Taylor returned to Christian music with a bang. With the release of his album Squint, Steve became one of the biggest names in Christian music today.

I was fortunate enough to be at two of the stops on his Squinternational Tour. The first was at the Creation festival, and the second was in my own home town of Grove City, Pennsylvania.

These concerts were unbelievable. At Creation, I couldn't even get near enough to see anything. But at Grove City I managed to get front row center. Hokus Pick was one of the two openers. The other was the rock group Guardian, who has also become huge in Christian music.

Before Steve Taylor and Some Band [Is his backup band still called that? -- Ed.] came on, a video was played. In between clips of videos from Squint, messages concerning Compassion International were shown. During the concert, Steve also rallied to have people sign up to become sponsors, which many did.

The concert was awesome. Steve did everything from Squint, plus many from previous albums, including Chagall Guevara. Nobody left that place disappointed.

After the concert, I had the opportunity to talk to Steve Taylor and ask him a few questions. Here are his answers.

Rock Of Life: Explain to me the story behind "Sock Heaven."

Steve Taylor: This is the most autobiographical song that I've ever done. It tells the story of my retirement and my coming back into the music world with Chagall, and then returning to Christian music. I just felt that I had to put the story to music and tell it that way. Now that you know that, listen to it again and you should understand it.

ROL: What is your favorite song from Squint and why?

ST: That would be "Finish Line" because it has such a powerful message. I wrote it for some friends of mine who were Christians for a really long time but were starting to lose tough with their Christianity. I wrote the song mostly for them. Since then, they have come back and have become better Christians.

ROL: What is your biggest musical influence?

ST: The Clash. And about 20 other groups that I listen to these days, mixed with 20th century classical music and a mixture of everything else in between.

ROL: What is your favorite type venue to play: something huge, like Creation, or a smaller sized crowd?

ST: There are different reasons for liking different types of crowds. I think I like having the smaller, more intimate, being closer to the audience type thing better than anything else.

ROL: What is your opinion of the tribute album, I Predict A Clone?

ST: I was really surprised and quite pleased. I had to ask my doctor if there was something he wasn't telling me. I was impressed and pleased with the quality of the music, and in many ways I think that some of the groups did the songs better than I did. Sixpence None The Richer did "Bouquet" and hit it right on the head. That is the way it was meant to be done. Nobody could do that song better. They did it the best it could be done.

ROL: When did you become a Christian?

ST: I became a Christian at a very young age. My father is a Baptist minister and has always had a great deal of influence on me. It has really just been a long time coming closer and closer to the Lord.

ROL: When did you first feel led to become a performer?

ST: I don't really feel that there has been a spiritual leading into this. I feel that God is allowing me to do something which I enjoy doing, which is performing for people.

ROL: Okay, now for a couple of offbeat questions: What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

ST: Wheetabix. It's an English cereal which isn't real popular in the United States.

ROL: What is your favorite cartoon character?

ST: That dog from the Jetsons--Astro. But that Garfield guy has got to go.

ROL: Is there anything you'd like to add? Any message to your public?

ST: Yes. I want everyone to know that I do wash these pants. These are my tour pants and I wear them for every concert. They work well for me. People are always asking if I ever wash these pants, and the answer is, "Yes I do." Sometimes there may be a little horticulture center starting in there, but yes, I do wash them. I just washed them yesterday, in fact.

Okay, so now that we all know a little more about Steve Taylor, here's a trivia question for you. What magazine did Steve Taylor write regular articles for before his music career took off? The first correct answer will get a prize. Send answers to: Rock Of Life Magazine; c/o Dan Page; R.D. #1; Box 170A; Vanderbilt, PA 15486. Put on the envelope, Attention: Debbie. Winner will be announced in the next issue, and your prize will be shipped even sooner! In case of a tie, the first correct answer received will get the prize. Hope to hear from you soon!

(Note: The Steve Taylor interview had to be paraphrased due to technical difficulties with the cassette player.)

Photographs of Steve Taylor by Stephen St. John