DIMITRI:So what groups first inspired you to throw your
life away like this?
STEVEN:I think I can trace the whole sad catastrophe back to when I first heard Guns N Roses at age 17.From there I went on to worship Hanoi Rocks and followed the glampunk food chain back to the New York Dolls and Alice
Cooper. Next,when I was 21, I saw Warrior Soul in Cleveland, and decided right there I was gonna be the singer for my
friend's band. Unfortunately for them, this was way before I discovered how to sing somewhat in key.
DIMITRI:I still can't carry a tune in a bucket,but I took a lot of heart from reading about Boy George's pitch problems in his
autobiography,"Take It Like A Man".You'd enjoy it,too,Steven! Sorry for interrupting,but it was my only chance to work a
Culture Club reference into the HitList this issue!
STEVEN: Then it was groups like the Dogs D'Amour,Dramarama,Chainsaw Kittens,Dead Boys,and Stooges that made me pick up a guitar and start writing songs.
DIMITRI:Is rocknroll really dead like they keep saying or just forced into the margins by greed,ruthless
oppurtunism,corporate treachery,and the anti-rock conspiracy?
STEVEN:Unfortunately,the closest thing to Rock N Roll as of late is this parade of bozos who've just discovered "Rawk"
complete with heavy metal hand gestures and a stale AC/DC riff they learned from the Cult.Ricky Rat from the Trash Brats
calls it "mock rock".I think that says it all.Fucking dipshits.It's funny how a lot of thiongs pass for Rock N Roll lately sound
more like Molly Hatchet.No,Rock N Roll isn't dead.It's just not front-page news right now.You got to look a little harder for
it these days.Come out to a Mystery Addicts show where it's alive and well.
DIMITRI:Was LOVE LIES BLEEDING your first band? Spin that yarn,won't you?
STEVEN:Well,my first band was a weird experiment in genre meshing called Elephant Candy (aka Freakstrobe).Imagine a
train wreck that wanted to be Mother Love Bone,The Doors,Nirvana,The Stooges,The New York Dolls,Alice In
Chains,Soundgarden,and the Cult all in one.Made for some interesting disasters and got me in front of a microphone.Hey our
first show we had a near-riot at high school talent show.Ah jocks.
Anyways,Love Lies Bleeding was the first time I played guitar in a band.# piece glamrock with pop leanings when I could
force them in.We were together a mere nine months and played like 60 shows,and then,I lost it in Detroit and elbowed the
bassplayer in the face.End of band.That was in 1996.Oh the bassplayer went onto play in the Migraines and (currently) The
DIMITRI:What can you tell me about Haunting Souls and the origins of the Mystery Addicts?
STEVEN:Hmm,where to start Well,Jamy Holliday,the other Mystery Addicts guitarist/singer,had this band called Haunting
Souls that was like a punk rock training grounds.Members of Guided By Voices,Brainiac,The Amps and so on all passed
through on the way to success.So after making his umpteenth line-up change,he was ready for something different.Something
where it wasn't just him and a gggoup of guys with nothing invested.Then Jamy went over to Europe and did a tour playing
drums for Wanda Chrome & The Leather Pharaohs.When he came back we decided to give playing together a shot since he
was about to give up the ghost on Haunting Souls and my band,Love Lies Bleeding had just imploded.So we recruited Eric
Putle (Haunting Souls/Mondolux) on bass and Bryan Labonte on drums.Brian had tried out for Freakstrobe years earlier and
was recently talking to Jamy about playing together so the timing was perfect.Ended up,we did the first couple of Mystery
Addicts shows under the name Haunting Souls just cause we couldn't agree on a new name for a month or so.This of course
caused confusion when we did finally agree on the Mystery Addicts moniker.
DIMITRI:What's life like in Dayton?
STEVEN:A lot like life other places.There are good people here,there's rednecks,lots of drinking,drugs,and a struggling music scene.
DIMITRI:Do any of you have any problems maintaining dayjobs there?
STEVEN:Our new bass player's a chef,Jamy tends bar on and off,while Bryan and I work sporadically but have very
DIMITRI:That was gonna be my next question,do you have girlfriends or a bandhouse or a rehearsal space?
STEVEN:We have a rehearsal space three flights up with no elevator and no heat but it's cheap.Band house? I think we'd kill each other in a month.But there are 3 girlfriends,2 rented apartments,2 recently purchased homes,and one wife.
DIMITRI:Is there a rocknroll scene there?
STEVEN:Actually,there is.It ebbs and flows,but right now,it's lookin' good again.Not an abundance of "rocknroll" clubs but a lot of places willing to try out shows.
DIMITRI:How do you support your rocknroll habit?
STEVEN:Right now I live off my dwindling savings and sell bootleg videos on Ebay.Shhh don't tell-they're illegal,
DIMITRI:How would you describe your current lifestyle?
STEVEN:I'm a recluse with an internet link to civilization.Occassionally,I play music,write songs,get drunk,try to find ways to
promote my fledgling music career,and hang out with my gal Angelle and our 4 cats.
DIMITRI:Tell me a little bit about the new guy in the band
STEVEN:Paul Bard's the name,he's our resident "slacker"-beer drinker-skate punk meets Hanoi fanatic-blue
hair-ampeg/thunderbird bassplayer who's prone to puking.He showed up to the first rehearsal knowing ten songs and singing
the back up vocals.Hopefully,he's the last bass player we have.Fourth time's the charm right.
DIMITRI:Discuss the making of your new disc,"UNLUCK AND SHAME".Did you send out demo-tapes to indie labels?
STEVEN:The Cd was a blast to record.We took as much time as we needed and came out with something we're proud
of.John Curley was easy as hell to work with,real laidback.I think it's all the pot.Yeah,we sent out demos and might as well
have been throwing them at the wall.I never thought our early recordings were very representative of us.They all sounded
kindof muffled and shitty.We've sent out the new CD to some labels and have been getting a trickling response from a few.
DIMITRI:Who put it out?
STEVEN:We put it out ourselves,we did all the artwork,the layout,the whole deal.
DIMITRI:How didja pay for it?
STEVEN:Some of the band members dipped into their piggy banks after the band fund was depleted,which I believe was day 3 in the studio.
DIMITRI:How did Afghan Whig,John Curley get involved?
STEVEN:He's part owner of Ultra-Suede Studios where we recorded.He was there to show us around when we looked at
recording there.It wasn't until after we'd started recording that we found out he was in the Whigs.
DIMITRI:Did you ever hear the Columbus band him and Dan Reed produced,THE BARBED WIRE DOLLS? They
rocked.Their singer was something special.
DIMITRI:Are you an Afghan Whigs fan?
STEVEN:No not especially.They were a good band but really not my cup of tea.I dig a song or two.
DIMITRI:Career highlights,proudest achievements thusfar?
STEVEN:Interview in HITLIST and the "UNLUCK & SHAME" CD.
DIMITRI:What other current bands do you like?
STEVEN:Current bands shit.I like Tommy Womack,Mark Lanegan,The Humpers, Electric Frankenstein,Buckcherry,Iggy Pop,John Easdale,Inger Lorre,Rancid,Backyard Babies,Betty Blowtorch,and the Foo Fighters.
DIMITRI:How were you personally impacted by the Manic Street Preachers and where is the American "Cult Of Richey"?
STEVEN:I loved the old Manic St. Preachers stuff back when they believed in rocknroll.They were pretty exciting for a few
years,I thought.They had great lyrics with strange phrasing over cool rock guitar,all glammed up,but intelligent.I was probably
more influenced by the words than the music.I don't think I would've written the song, "Imitation Roses" if it wasn't for the Manics.Richey carving "4 Real" in his arm out of frustration (or for the cameras)-it was beautiful. Another lost soul,Mr.Edwards.
DIMITRI:Current events/projects in the works/favorite places to play?
STEVEN:The Mystery Addicts are working on new material and hope to get back in the studio in the spring of 2002 with
some indie label releasing it this time.I occasionally think I'm gonna release a solo CD but haven't had the balls to do it yet.I
like to play where the people pay attention,period.
DIMITRI:Any commentary on the war?
STEVEN:None.What do you think,I'm in the Clash?
DIMITRI:How important of a role does "access" as opposed to "talent" play even in our little underground?
STEVEN:It's one of the most important and frustrating things about playing music.If you write good songs and no one hears
them you're spinning your tires,careerwise.In the end,talent will only get you so far while luck and perseverance win out more
often. There's so much mediocre talent out there getting press,you feel so cheated when you get around to actually hearing them and think,"This is sooo lame".It's like,"I get it,Chuck Berry lick,skinny guys in eyeliner and a singer with an Iggy Pop fixation,now go write a song.Something I'll remember please." Do we really need these two-bit clones playing substandard crap leading the Rock revolution? Call me when you wake up from your teenage fantasy.Yeah,I'm bitter,failure does that to kids.
DIMITRI:So what spurs you on down this bloody,corpse-strewn path?
STEVEN:I just love to write songs,to me,everything else comes second to writing a good song.I think I keep going cause I'm
just too fucking stubborn.Not very romantic but the truth seldom is.
DIMITRI:Parting thoughts,whatever I forgot to ask you about,Mystery Addicts mission statement,contact addresses
STEVEN:Hey,visit the website and hear some music,then mail order the CD.You forgot to ask me what kindof strings I play
or what kindof cables I swear by.If you see the Mystery Addicts playing near you,come check us out,we won't disappoint.
THE MYSTERADDICTS P.O.BOX 4004 DAYTON,OH 45401
INTERVIEW BY DIMITRI MONROE