Interview with the Steve Satchel Band – In Pursuit of Happiness

PC: Kramer Mekkaoui
The Steve Satchel Band proudly uses the following brands: Simonetti Basses, Mojo Hand FX, Sabian, Evans, Tama, Ibanez, Vic Firth, Aquarian, Monster, Dunlop, Laney, TC Electronics, Korg, Morley, Voodoo Labs, Elixir, Ernie Bal
By: Carox Rox
Carox: I have always wanted to know why you named your band The Steve Satchel Band?
Adam: Basically the real story is that I have always loved instrumental style music like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc but I never thought in a million years that I would name a band after myself. I just felt that was super “douchey” because I am nowhere near those kinds of players. No offense to everybody that does that, but I am not that caliber of player at all.  I am pretty young, I don’t have the experience yet to do that, so to throw everybody for a loop we kind of made up a name that is a combined one from my influences. So Steve is from Steve Vai, Satchel is from Joe Satriani. And so that was how it was formed and then we kind of made a joke about the whole thing and it stuck. We made stories to run with that and we have to pick up on that now because everyone thinks I am Steve Satchel! It has almost become a persona.
Carox: So the name is from people in the music industry that you admire.
Adam: Yes I needed to do that so I would be challenged to become the player I am today and continue to grow as a musician.
Carox: Who are your other influences?
Adam: Besides all the guitar guys like Steve Howe, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert etc, local people like Kelly Fitzsimons, Rusty Cooley, players that I hope we play like one day. There is so much talent here in Houston.
Carox: When did you start this band?
Adam: We are coming up on six years ago.
Carox: In the past six years, what are some of the memorable gigs that you have played and participated in?
Lance: Well from a drummer’s perspective most of the gigs are not very memorable. I focus on heads and cymbals and my view is quite obstructed! I think playing with Kings X, not once but twice. We played with Doug Pinnick and the next year we played with Kings X. With them being the Houston legend that they are and just being the amazing musicians they are, that was it! I mean I have been listening to them since I was a little kid. I have heard stories about those guys even from my own parents. I have always been a big fan of those guys. I never thought I would be able to share a stage with them and sure enough, we got picked to play with them and it was awesome. Playing with Plini was another one. This is quite a cool story. It was almost a year ago, literally the day before the storm hit Houston. We played Friday night at Walters (RIP). We had booked the Saturday show a couple of months out and I am super stoked because I am a huge fan of Plini and what he does. Then we find out that this giant hurricane is coming to Houston and we had been hearing it the whole week before the show and I am sitting there all week long biting my nail thinking they are going to cancel the show. Anyway, the night before one of the tour managers finally contacted Adam and said hey we are going to come through and play the show. I am so excited and can’t believe we are actually going to do it.  They were in San Antonio that night and could have driven straight through to Arizona. If those guys ever read this I have always wanted to say huge hats off to those guys for sticking by what they said. We ended up being the only band on the bill with those guys. It was awesome. It was one of the best shows we ever played with some of my favorite people. Everyone got out afterward safely and the next day it was Hurricane Harvey.
Carox: When did you first start drumming? When you were about three?
Lance: Well if you ask my mom I was playing drums in the womb and she still has the scars to prove it. I got my first actual drum set when I was nine and I promptly took a razor blade to it and cut all the heads, took a nap on the bass drum and used the cymbals as Frisbees. Then at about the age of eleven, I tool it a little bit more seriously and I have been playing ever since then.
Carox: So what about you? What is it like being the bass player?
Jason: Very lonely, secluded. No one really cares about you…hah!
Carox: Do you find the music challenging?
Jason: It is absolutely challenging. It pushes me all the time. Obviously I think if they had someone as equally talented on bass as they are on guitar, the bass would walk all over the guitar. In this kind of band I just want to lock in with the drummer and basically just lay the foundation as a rhythmic bridge to the melody and superior guitar work. I play very high-end gear, I play Simonetti Basses, Shroeder cabinets and I sell all that stuff too. I am a sales whore. I play nice gear so my bass I heard probably over other basses.
Carox: In the past six years is Pursuit of Happiness your first album?
Adam: Yes it is the first official release.
Carox: What was the songwriting process like and where did it come from – is that music you have already been playing on stage?
Adam: Yes and there are quite a few songs that are new to us still. But it is really a collection of stuff we have been playing and recorded multiple times and places and we finally thought the time was right for all of us in all our lives. We have all had ups and downs – it has been rough – that’s life.
Lance: It is good to be at a place where everyone is “up” for once instead of somebody being up and somebody being down. We have always been very good at keeping each other up. One of the main reasons I think Steve Satchel Band has stayed together as a band is that we all get along on such a good level. We do our best to lift each other up.  All of that flows into the writing process you asked about. Songs for the Steve Satchel Band come together so easy when it’s us. I have played in probably 30 bands since I was 13 in Houston. I have never been in any band where the writing process is so smooth – we are all on the same page and we try to accomplish each other’s ideas and you know if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. There has never been an argument about a part once.
Carox: Where do you do the songwriting?
Lance: In the hyperbolic chamber!
Carox: Where do you get your inspiration from? You don’t have a vocalist and a lot of inspiration comes from lyrics.
Lance: I get it from my band members, including Jeremiah who could not be here today.

Carox: What is the name of the new album?
Adam: Pursuit of Happiness which follows in from what Lance is saying…the whole reason we play this music is because it makes us very happy. We never skip a rehearsal. I have never had a moment where I don’t want to go to rehearsal which you get with so many bands.
Jason : We are four friends that like to write music!
Carox: How many tracks are there on the album and where can people buy it?
Adam: There are seven. It is coming out on September fourteenth (congratulations guys) and physicals are on the way. But you will be able to stream everything on Itunes, Spotify, whatever your format is – Geezer – all that stuff.
Carox: What are some of the tracks you are really proud of?
Adam: Well all of them. Literally the other night we were rehearsing for a couple of shows that had longer sets. And every time we revisit an older song we think man, that’s our favorite again. If I had to pick one it would be all seven.
Lance: My personal favorite is “I have been alive my whole life”. It is always really funny when we are trying to pick a set list and decide what to keep or leave. There are only 7 songs on the album but in total I think we have 18 songs as a band not including some that are not finished yet. …there are a few songs we have been pulling out recently that we haven’t played in 2 years. Then suddenly we pull it out and I am like, there’s my favorite song again…why did we ever stop playing this song? My favorite song is Desert. That was one of the first songs that me, Adam and Jason ever had a full impact with the songwriting on six years ago. That song stayed in just about every set we play and it had evolved it is not the same is all over the place in a really good musical way but I love that song… if I had to pick a favorite that would be it.
Carox: Obviously you have fans. What is it that makes them special? What would you like to say?
Lance: Thank you. If you ever came to a Steve Satchel show and sat through all that craziness thank you!
Adam: Of course we are really a very niched musical idea with the musical guitar thing but we play all kinds of genre in our set so it grabs a lot of people’s attention. We play a hard rock kinda thing that goes to fusing jazz, then we play heavy metal that goes straight to country western...we have something for everyone musically minus the vocals.
Lance: You have to have a pretty good respect for music and musicians, in general, to sit through a Satchel show. If you like Satchel you probably like all different kinds of music! That is what makes it special.
Adam: And going back to the band name Steve Satchel and the inspiration behind the band name, .Of course all guitarists like playing the stuff they have been practicing in their bedroom for years but the hardest part is making something that is memorable You have to write a vocal melody with your guitar. and it’s awesome when people remember our melody.
Carox: You don’t have a problem retaining interest. I have been to your shows and people like it.
Lance: That is something that I am probably most proud of. When we talked about what does a drummer see when I am back there playing... With Satchel when I look up I see people smiling. What I realize is that we are all having a good time and we are probably oblivious to what is going on in front of use. These songs are infectious. I think that people see us all having a good time they all have a good time too!
Catch this band at:
September 29th Leon’s Lounge
October 13th ALs sports bar ( album release show)
December 12th Scout Bar

Band Members are: Steve Satchel – Everything, Adam Denoth - Guitar/ Lead Spoons, Lance Klepper - Drums/ Lead Flute, Jason Beard - Bass/ Lead Triangle, Jeremiah Shipley - Other Guitar/ Lead Washboard
Record Label :SS&OTJB Inc.
Biography : The Steve Satchel Band is Houston's Premier Instrumental Guitar Rock band. High energy Rock N Roll with guitar flair, rockin bass and thundering drums. Musicianship at its finest. The music and melodies will have you hooked the second you hear it. Before you know it, you will be humming the songs all day long. The Steve Satchel Band has not been around for long but in such a short time they have built a following and conquered the local music scene and have opened for many Music legends such as: John 5, Tony MacAlpine, Dug Pinnick, King's X and many more.
Now, you may be asking yourself... Who is Steve Satchel??? Well, he is actually someone you know. Someone you don't know but you know of, or know about... He invented trends, started genres of music, developed instruments and has conquered the world but no one actually knows he did all of this. He has been in the shadows throughout his whole life and now it is his turn to shine! This group of musicians was assembled by Steve Satchel to perform his music, Real American Rock 'N Roll( that just so happens to be instrumental guitar music.