Reggae at the park 



Interview with Steve Ewing of the !! URGE !!

Q: How long have you been around? 

A: We've been around for eleven years. 

Q: When did you get some recognition? 

A: We did really well with our video and MTV palyed it for a month, so that was a catalyst to get things going. 

*Q: Your music is really diversified, your most recent release_gets alot of air play in the Bay Area 

A: Yeah there was two singles off that release that was called brainless, it was a cool thing, we actually independently got all the ads of all the radio station on that song, we pretty much worked it ourselves. Our manager thought we did a good job on that. That was sort of our way of letting people know that we're here, you know what I mean, that we're serious and that we want to do this for real. We got some friends together to help us out. All Washed Up was the second single, after we got time. It was a good start for us. 

Q: Did you tour a lot.?. 

A: We toured a lot. We did a lot of regional touring, like in the Midwest, and had quited a following. A large following in Kansas City, Memphis, Indidana, Chicago, all the surrounding areas. We were drawing good crowds and everything. The only way now days to get people to recognize you outside of those areas is to sell records. We sold 20,000 copies of our record before signed the record copany; you let them know you can sell records outside of the record company before they know they can take you seriously. 

Q: Was your style pretty much the way it is now, with the combination of funk 

A: Yeah we've been checking around all the music we've been listening to. We have our little circle of sounds that we might listen to and it comes out in our music. Of course it progresses and it grows. It becomes more of an individual kind of thing and you have a sense of your own style, more with every record you make. We tried to incorporate bands that we liked, the "Red HotChili Peppers", "Dishwalla", "Twenty-Four Seven Spies". Some where along the line we found a way to make it happen, find a way to make it work. 

Q: What song's do your fans like most? 

A: Well, Jump Right In is mainly the song, from our last album. A song called Being Hectic, is just a good song we close the set with it. 

Q: Are you going to tour the West Coast again? 

A: No, this is the last leg of the tour and we've done eight months. We've done the whole United States, the east coast a little bit up North. 

Q: Where's your home? 

A: Saint Louis. Were very centrally located. 

Q: When you started out did you play cover songs ? 

A: Yeah all the bands around our area that got gigs were cover bands. We at the time were not good enough to play covers, we couldn't figure them out so we just decided f@#$ it we got our own style. We don't necessarily go by any rules or guide lines. 

Q: Do you write all the words to your songs? 

A: yes 

Q: What setting is best for you when your ready to write? 

A: I have to be alone when I start putting things together. It doesn't matter where I have to be, a library or my house. I just have to be by myself. 

Q:What comes first words or music? 

A: For us, most of the time the music does come first. Lyrically you have what you got, vocally melodically you have to have the music first. 

Q: Your music doesn’t seem repetitious 

A: That is one thing that there is not. That is one thing I love about it. Its good, for someone like me and you who understands music, but for a lot of people, its almost too much to swallow or too much to take on. 

Q: There is seven of you so how does your imagination take hold and bring the group together? 

A: You start a song with one or two basic ideas, and the creative part with everyone's ideas in their head. 

Q: Have you had many changes in your band? 

A: We had a different drummer and different guitarist, otherwise we've been the same band and same sound. We've been the same core, same band for over five years. 

Q: What is your plan for next album? 

A: I'm going to try to do some more writing soon. 

Q: When you were younger did you have a particular interest in music right away? 

A: Oh yeah, I mean I bought records all the time. My mother gave me an allowance, which I would buy, records. You hear, you sing it, and eventually you want to play it. 

Q: Who were mainly your influences? 

A: I have many that I listen that I draw experience from listening to. 

Q: Do you feel like you've beat many of the barriers of the white black thing? I've noticed that are a lot of bands with white players and black singers. 

A: I would say it helps, its just now its not that big of a deal. Late eighties. Bands like living color. The used that as sort of a ploy. Its smart, because at the time, in Atlanta, the couldn't get the recognition, so they used that as their image and they had some cool ass songs. That helped the break out of the rock scene. Because traditionally black music was R&B and Rap. So, when it came to MTV, if you were black you did Rap, or you did PoP. Prince was like one of a kind, he still fits in the R&B category. He only really broke out on the pop charts once. Other than that he stayed on the R&B charts. Now there is less black and white hypish and more of the music. 

Q: You have one video? 

A: Yeah our video was "Jump Right In". 

---Randy Cohen 
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