in conversation with Phil Singleton ('Philjens')

15th February 2001

The chat began discussing Steve's work with The Nothings..........

Philjens: Were you surprised to hear from Phil Holmes (Nothings singer/guitarist) after all this time?

Steve: I'd run into him a couple of times in Santa Monica, but I didn't really keep in touch with him. He tracked me down!

Philjens: Have you taught Phil anything new about his guitar-playing since you've been working on his album?

Steve: Yeah. I think that's the reason he had me playing on his record so he could steal all my new licks!

Philjens: Has it been good fun playing on his album? Steve & Phil Holmes

Steve: Yeah, I had a great time playing on his record. It was good because it was no pressure, y'know?

Philjens: Will you be working on any future Nothings projects?

Steve: Yeah. Phil brought me in when he had already cut the tracks. I wouldn't have minded doing it from the beginning and producing it. That would have been more fun to me, and it would have been a lot better y'know! It's still good but it could have been even better!

Philjens: You've been producing records for a long time, since the Pistols days. Is it something you've always enjoyed doing?

Steve: Yeah I do, I really enjoy it. He wants me to produce his next record. So I'll probably do that. If he gets another chance to do a record (laughing).

Philjens: Do you think he will?

Steve: I hope so!

Philjens: Do you think you might even get up and play with him........ if he does any gigs?

Steve: Would I get up and play with him?! (laughing).

Philjens: Not literally!

Steve:  Yeah (laughing). He'd like that I think!
Yeah, I'd probably get up if he had a band together... I'd get up and play with him.

Philjens: I should have worded that differently!
You've not been playing much recently, do you miss it?

Steve: I do a little bit. I do, I like playing, but I don't like the whole concept of going on the road, doing a band thing, y'know? I like producing records.
I like getting up and playing with people now and again.

Philjens: You recently played with the Stone Temple Pilots?

Steve: I got up and played with them, that was fun. We did a version of 'Bodies' which apparently is going to be on a B-side of one of their singles.

Philjens: What about American Pearl? You played live with them as well.

Steve: Yeah. They're actually releasing another single, 'Kings'. They've mixed it again and put in a new bridge. It sounds pretty good.

Philjens: Are there any other bands you're going to be working with in the near future?

Steve: I've been checking out some bands. There's this one band, the Toilet Boys, that I was interested in, from New York. But they got slung off their label. I was going to do their record. They're trying to get another label. I've turned them onto a couple of labels but I don't know if they're interested. They're not kinda hip right now.

Philjens: They are an ex-punk band, aren't they?

Steve: Yeah. They're kind of punky / rock. They're good . It's right up my alley.

Philjens: Will your fans in England get to see you soon?

Steve: I've been called up about (reforming The Professionals for) the Punk Aid benefit at the 100 Club. I don't know. I don't know how feasible it is. Cos I have to get a fucking visa to come back. I'm kind of stuck here right now. If I happened to be out there around that time, if it all fell into place and it wasn't a big hassle, I wouldn't mind doing it. Paul (Cook)'s mentioned it to me and asked me what I think. We'd obviously have to rehearse and all that bollocks. I'd like to get the original guys back, Paul Myers and Ray McVeigh. I spoke to Ray about it and he's up for it. I don't know where Paul Myers is. I don't know what he's doing.

Philjens: Whatever happened to Andy Allen (original Professionals bassist)?

Steve: Fuck him, he's a wanker!

Philjens:  What do you think about the Professionals album 'I Didn't See It Coming'? You'd produced your own Professionals recordings up until then, but Nigel Gray produced the album.

Steve: I didn't really like it that much. A lot of people like it, but I thought it lacked a bit of balls.

Philjens: The demos album, which came out a few years ago, had a more brutal production.

Steve: Yeah, if we could have come somewhere in the middle of the two, that would have been better. But I wasn't the most sane at that time anyway.

Philjens: Why did you decide to get yourself together, because you were a bit wayward for a while in the Eighties?

Steve: Yeah I was. I was a mess, mate.

Philjens: What made you decide to straighten out?

Steve: Just out of the desperation. I'd been sleeping on people's couches out here, stealing their shit, and moving on. I couldn't really do it much more.

Philjens: Your big return to form I thought was the Andy Taylor album 'Thunder' which had some great guitar on it. You weren't too thrilled with Andy Taylor?

Steve: That was about a year after I got sober when I started doing that. It could have been good, I just thought I was a bit done out of the publishing. I got fucking screwed out of the publishing! We were buddies at the time but I guess it was a hidden agenda, y'know.

Philjens: You've not kept in touch with Andy Taylor I take it?

Steve:  No! I see John Taylor all the time. John's a pal of mine.

Steve & John Taylor

(Above - Steve & John Taylor - Neurotic Outsiders in Seattle '96)

Philjens: Do you think the Neurotic Outsiders will ever do anything again?

Steve: Possible. It was a lot of fun. It was a good band. It didn't feel like I was the front man. We took it in turns with the singing. It was fun. It wasn't a lot of pressure.

Philjens: Jerry Harrison's production on the album was great.

Steve:  He did a pretty good job, considering he had to deal with four big egos!

Philjens: Most of your stuff ended up the lead songs. Does that mean you've got the biggest ego?!

Steve: Nah, I just knew what I wanted.

Philjens: What happened to your group from the early Nineties, Fantasy 7?

Steve: I think that was ahead of its time, mate. If we'd have stuck at it we would have done good. Remember the singer Mark McCoy? He died last year. Cancer.

Philjens: I didn't know that.

Steve: It's a drag.

Philjens: I've heard some demos you'd recorded and they sounded pretty good.

Steve: It was a great band. We all shaved our heads, way before all these idiots did. It was a good force. It had an image and everything, it was great.

Philjens: Are you still riding your Harley Davidson from your biker years?

Steve: No, I don't like wearing the helmets! A real fucking drag. I could ride for about 10 years here without having to wear a helmet, until they passed that helmet law which just fucking ruined it.

Philjens: So you've not even got the bike any more?

Steve: No. A friend of mine's got a bike in my garage, if I ever want to use it. I might take it out for a spin in the summer.

Steve - Biker

Philjens: Do you still keep in touch with the rest of the Pistols?

Steve: I speak to Cookie. I don't really talk to Glen and I don't really talk to John much.

Philjens: So you don't think you'll ever get back together again?

Steve: Well we actually got offered to do a show at New Year at Alexandra Palace. I guess old Rotten didn't want to do it in the end. He was thinking about it but it all went pear-shaped.

Philjens: There's rumours that you're playing a show in Ireland.

Steve: No!

Philjens: You'll never stop the rumours.

Steve: I know. It's all right, as long as they're still talking about us.

Philjens: There's talk about you writing your book/story, is that ever likely to happen?

Steve: I'll probably do one. Everyone else has done one except for me. The later you leave it the more you've got to tell!

Philjens: Is that the theory?! You'll have to make sure you do some more interesting stuff to put in it!

Steve: Well I can talk about that last tour (Filthy Lucre) that we did. All the fun I didn't have doing that!

Philjens: Who's the best looking bird in Hollywood at the moment then?

Steve: I've kind of got my eye on this one little Playboy girl. She's married.

Philjens: Oh dear. Is that going to make any difference?

Steve: Nah.... I dunno. I kind of got morals... the older I get. But if she whips my cock out I don't think I'll be able to say no!

Philjens: The morals will soon go out of the window.

Steve: Well, she'll go to my head!

Philjens: It's good to see you haven't changed anyway!

Steve: Not in that department.
Are you a football supporter?

Philjens: Yeah.

Steve: Who do you support?

Philjens: Manchester City.

Steve: Oh fuck me, they're going down mate!

Philjens: Don't give me that shit!

Steve: I'm sorry!

Philjens: Are you a Chelsea fan?

Steve: Yeah.

Philjens: Cookie is a Chelsea fan, isn't he?

Steve: Yeah. I used to be Fulham when I was a kid. I used to go to Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea. I never watched the game, I used to go for the aggro. Now I find myself a Chelsea supporter, for the past 10 years.

Philjens: Do you manage to see any English football matches in the States?

Steve: All the time. There's one channel where they have a lot of games, and then Saturday morning at 7 o'clock and Sunday morning at 8 o'clock you get pay-per-view, whatever the game is being shown in the UK we get it here, live. We get a lot of it.

Philjens: Well think of Manchester City next time you're watching them and wish them all the best. Joe Royle (Manchester City), is a good manager.

Steve: I like him, he's a good bloke.
Do you know about the Hooligan video?

Philjens: Yes.

Steve: That's starting to pick up a lot of distributors in Europe.

Philjens: Did you enjoy doing that (the video narration)?

Steve: It was a lot of fun. It's pretty funny.

Philjens: Was that made with your old hooligan mates from when you were younger?

Steve: I just met them out here. Cos I play football too, and the idea came about when I was hanging out with them.

Philjens: Who are you playing football with these days? Vinnie Jones?

Steve: Yeah, but he's back in England right now. Mike Myers plays with us, Robbie Williams when he's out here, Billy Duffy, Ian Astbury.
We've got a team, we call them Hollywood United and we play in a league as well.

Philjens: What position do you play Steve?

Steve: Forward.

Philjens: No. 9?

Steve: I've got to, cos I'm an old cunt and I can't play midfield.

Philjens: Have you got a shirt with your name on the back?

Steve: Yeah.

Philjens: That's taking it seriously.

Steve: It's the real stuff. We're just getting endorsed by Puma.

Philjens: Are the other teams mainly celebrities or musicians?

Steve: A lot of them are average guys.

Philjens: Are you similar to Manchester City in the league at the moment, or are you a bit higher up?

Steve: Yeah, we are at the bottom! But we have a lot of fun.

Philjens: Anything you'd like to say to visitors to Kick Down The Doors?

Steve: Tell them to get The Nothings album when it comes out!

Philjens: I like it, I think it's good!

Steve: It is. His voice reminds me of the geezer from The Undertones (Feargal Sharkey).

Philjens: Let's hope the album does well.

Steve: Well it could do well if they get it out there.

Philjens: Your guitar sounds like the good stuff of old, some of the licks on it, the old Professionals style.

Steve: I didn't hold back, I gave him (Phil Holmes) my best stuff! Even though he is a wanker!

Philjens: Steve, thanks very much for the interview.

Steve: See ya later!

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Special thanks to Phil Holmes

Picture Credits
The Nothings - Bill McCarter
Neurotic Outsiders - Rebecca Perry
Biker - Danny Payne

Written by Phil Singleton.  All material ©Phil Singleton 2001  
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.