Have you seen Steve Knecht live? You should. He's awesome. AND, if you are reading this in Boston, he is probably performing right now... down the street, or upstairs, or some place close by. He is a student at Berklee, walking the same halls as (most of) the guys from Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars (he didn't stay long, but still pretty cool), and John Mayer.
I have been lucky enough to see Steve play a bunch of times, and he not only rocks on stage, he talks to his fans, and he always lets me photograph him. :-) He describes his music as “punk soaked pop-rock 'n' roll.” I would say that is an accurate description, but if you question me (or him), download his album Paradise and Nostalgia on iTunes and see for yourself. Also, check out a show. You'll wonder what took you so long.
Steve was kind enough to answer some questions for you about his music, his goals, his family, and his plans for the future. Read the interview, and then like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter, and Instagram.
Q: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Steve: The career of a musician? I would say never give up no matter how much of a struggle it can be to be an artist. Lose yourself in art and forget about everything else. The natural passion will cause everything to work out. Also, don’t treat it as a hobby-treat is as your professional career as you would any other job. Be on time. Act accordingly to your core aesthetic. Make an image. Create a vibe. Pursue that passion with intense strive and desire to achieve your highest goals.
Q: You’re originally from Chicago, what questions did you ask yourself when you were choosing a college to go to? Why did you choose Berklee as opposed to a Chicago college?
Steve: Berklee was my #1 choice. It is regarded as the number one contemporary school in the world so it was an obvious choice. It’s wildly competitive. I couldn’t believe I got in.
Q: Looking back, did your family have any influence in music and what you’re doing today? Did they support your plan of becoming a musician?
Steve: They definitely have completely supported me wholeheartedly throughout this entire journey, which is a great advantage in achieving success. My dad got me into some of my favorite artists as an infant, which inspired me to pick up a guitar and eventually make a hobby into a career.
Q: How do you juggle school and being a musician? Is it especially hard because you’re going to one of the most popular music schools.
Steve: In a sense they go hand in hand - I’m achieving my career while studying it. You learn core music, of which I’ve had some musical background through piano, guitar, and voice lessons prior to Berklee, but they take it to the max. They incorporate that core curriculum with so much more. Studying songwriting and learning about business and taking performance based classes in addition to studying core theory has made me such a stronger musician, which I can say with confidence is the same for the rest of the band. It's a heavy workload and sometimes a strenuous process but the amount of knowledge gained and skills developed is out of this world.
Q: Last one: What are your goals for the future? Paradise and Nostalgia came out almost 2 years ago, do you have anything planned?
Steve: Absolutely. Paradise and Nostalgia was released June 2014 and recorded long before that. I played all of the instruments. This time around, the band is gonna be involved. We're heading to Baltimore, MD this June to record a brand new EP. We are also in the process of booking a summer tour.
Thank you, Steve! I appreciate you taking the time to answer all of my questions!
Take a look at my Flickr page to see my shots from live shows. :-)