Hill’s reputation as an exciting performer has provided him the opportunity to showcase his talents at some of Canada’s biggest music festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Blues Festival, Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival, Thunder Bay Blues Festival, Kitchener Blues Festival and more. Steve Hill is clearly in his element as a solo artist and one-man band, inviting listeners into a world of musical madness in the form of blues and rock ‘n’ roll.
Courtesy of http://www.stevehillmusic.com
GUITARIST STEVE HILL INTERVIEW
Scott - Hi Steve, Thank you so much for doing this written interview with me and my site Guitarz Forever.com... Where were you born and raised?
Steve - I was born and raised in Trois-Rivières, a small town in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Scott - How did you get into the music biz?
Steve - I started playing when I was 13. Got my first band two years later and started playing bars at 16. By the time I was 18 I was a professional musician. Released my first album at 23. Haven’t stopped, never had a proper job, been working in the music business for 25 years!
Scott - Why the Guitar? There had to be that pivot-able moment when you said to yourself, "I want to do that?" Do you remember that moment?
Steve - I’ve always loved the electric guitar,I just never thought I could be a guitar player until I met some guys in my neighbourhood that already played. We’re still close friends after all this time. We were into older records like Hendrix, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. When I heard Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love, I knew I wanted to play for real.
Scott - Where do you live, play live, and record?
Steve - After 25 years or so in Montreal I moved back to my hometown last year. Bought a house there, got my studio in it. That’s where I mixed the new album. In the last two years I played in Canada, The States, Germany, UK, Austria, Poland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Dutchland and Norway.
Scott - How many albums to you have out?
Steve - I have 10 albums.
Scott - So why the the one-man band concept?
Steve - I had a band and a crew and I was having a hard time keeping afloat. By the time I had payed everyone, there wasn’t enough left for me! I decided to do solo shows on the side to keep the band going. At first just guitar and vocals and then I got a bass drum. Eventually a hi-hat and so on. Being a studio owner I decided to record a solo album live off the floor. That album became Solo Recordings Volume 1 and it outsold everything I had done before. There was suddenly a lot of demand for my solo show so I just kept at it and here we are 4 albums later and I’m a bonafide one-man band and I don’t have a band anymore!
Scott - Are there a lot of places to play your style of music in and around your area? If so, could you name some venues?
Steve - There’s not much places for this type of music in my area, meaning Blues bars or Rock clubs. I mostly play theatres and and other music venues in Quebec. There are a few Blues bars left but they are very small.
Scott - Can you give us a quick run-down of your main guitars, rig and other instruments that you play live in concert?
Steve - My main guitar is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Jr TV Model. All the guitars I use live have been modified. There’s an extra pickup, offset. It’s only under the big strings so that it doesn’t capture the sound of the 3 top strings. All my guitars also have a stereo output to split the signal of that pickup with the regular pickup of the guitar. That pickup goes to an Octaver and a bass amp. That’s How I get the bass sound. All my guitars also have a drumstick holder attached to the headstock. Then you add the drumstick and I have a maraca attached to that. I use the drumstick to hit the cymbal and hi-hat.
I stand on two pedals, one playing a bass drum, the other a snare drum.
The guitar signal goes to a Klon Centaur, an EP Booster, a Fulltone tube tape echo and then 2 Fender amps.
When it comes to one-man bands, guitarist and singer extraordinaire Steve Hill has no limits. The truest definition of a one-man band; Hill performs standing up while singing and playing guitar, his feet playing bass drum, snare drum, hi-hats and with a drum stick fused to the head of his trusty guitar, any other percussion within reach. An overnight sensation 20 years in the making, Steve Hill is an ambitious and raucous force to be reckoned with on the Canadian and international blues-rock scene. “The one-man band style has made him the top star in the Canadian blues scene right now.” (Bob Mersereau, CBC)
Courtesy of http://www.stevehillmusic.com
Scott - Who are some of your influences?
Steve - Got all day?
Here’s a few: Muddy Waters, Waylon Jennings, John Lee Hooker, Jimmie Vaughan, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, Albert King, Buck Owens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Jeff Healey, The Rolling Stones, The Faces, Steve Marriott, Yes, Jerry Garcia.
Scott - What are you listening to these days?
Steve - Little Feat. I can’t stop listening to them! Lowell George is just fantastic. Love the whole band, great grooves. Richie Hayworth on drums, man!
Scott - Ok, now for the music business... What are your thoughts in reference to the music business as a whole and how it relates to you and your musical aspirations.
Steve - Its a necessary evil.
Scott - Please give us some top musical goals you would like to achieve in 2018.
Steve - To be the first one-man band to conquer and rule the world!
Scott - Brutha Steve, give us a parting shot across the bow with some wise words of wisdom when it comes to the music business.
Steve - Do you know how to become a millionnaire in this business? Start with 2 million.