Speak Into My Good Eye

SIMGE Showcase Interview Series: Steve Stec Of Paper Streets

Chris Rotolo July 9, 2012 Features, Interviews No Comments

Photo by Ciara Brinn

For the duration of the summer Speak Into My Good Eye will be hosting noon time showcases at Asbury Lanes to lure all you local music enthusiasts, beach combers, and boardwalkers in for a drink, a bite, and to hear your new favorite band.

The inaugural performance will take place on July 14th and feature Central, NJ’s own haze-laden Surf-Rock collective the Paper Streets.  The outfit recently dropped an AntFarm studio-produced self-titled debut EP, which you can download for free here.

Last week Chris Rotolo caught up with the outfit’s axe wielder Steve Stec to discus the Pixies, the final frontier, and group’s debut…check out the conversation below:

Chris Rotolo: Paper Streets is a new band to this scene, but you’re also a very mysterious group by nature. You haven’t put a lot of information out there about the group. Was this a conscious decision made by the band to discuss abominable snowmen and such in your profile, is it a tactic of some sort? If I may twist the words of the joker for a second…why so mysterious?

Steve Stec: Our favorite bands tend to be from before the age of the internet, and we feel that everything nowadays is a bit too personal.  We miss the days of the 80s and 90s when new bands would come along and you wouldn’t see their tweets about what they ate for breakfast. There was always a certain mystery surrounding bands like Belle and Sebastian or Pavement when they first came around, and we want to replicate that to a smaller degree.

It’s a bit annoying and off putting for small time bands to try to gain a fan base by constantly promoting and pushing a product and eventually, after so much advertisement, no one will want it anymore.

CR: You mentioned Belle & Sebastian and Pavement, however, when I first heard your single, “You’re All The Same,” there was a definite Pixies vibe. What does that band and that music mean to you?

SS: Well, along with those first two bands, the Pixies are one of the best bands of its generation. I honestly love the Pixies, people don’t realize how important they were. Kurt Cobain called Smells Like Teen Spirit his attempt to rip off the Pixies.

As a band, and specifically on a track like “You’re All The Same,” we tend to do similar things that the Pixies did such as going from quiet to loud. People always talk about the drum sounds they achieved on Surfer Rosa and we feel it’s very important for our drums to be a focal point of the song by being loud and up in the mix.

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CR: Did you catch the Pixies and Surfer Blood when they rolled through Convention Hall last year?

SS: I really wish I could have but I didn’t. I would like to see Surfer Blood just as bad as the Pixies though, I really love those guys tunes.

CR: Since we’re on the subject, what do you enjoy Surfer Blood?

SS: Surfer Blood’s music is catchy as hell and they are great at taking all of their different influences and making a great sound out of it. I’m a big fan of their reverb soaked guitar tones, too.

CR: Give me a one title answer: Which do you prefer, Surfer Blood’s spacey Surf-Punk on Astrocoast (2010) or the Indie-Pop they released on Tarot Classics (2011)?

SS: Astrocoast, but “Miranda” is a hell of a song.

CR: Great answer…You’ve said you wanted to be the first astronaut…Paper Streets is billed as “the last astronauts”…What’s your aim with all this talk of surfing the cosmos? What type of message, if any, are you trying to convey?

SS: Space intrigues all of us, and we all liked that line a good bit. I think we’re going to use it for a song title or something with an album somewhere down the line. I like the image “the last astronauts” conveys.

CR: What caused this infatuation with space?

SS: I think a lot of young kids growing up have dreams of being an astronaut or something along those lines. It’s so intriguing because it’s so unknown. If we can’t be the first astronauts, maybe we will be the last.

CR: As a new band trying to break out, what are you hoping to accomplish with your debut?

SS: We’re trying to get more listeners and hopefully get into a bit better venues. The songs on it are the first ones we wrote together as a band. This EP as a precursor to the next project we’re working on and I think people will hear a definite progression.

CR: You cut your debut at AntFarm Studio, which is owned and operated by Anthony Defabritus of Accidental Seabirds.  A lot of great records have come out of the Freehold-based studio of late, what was that process like recording with that crew?

SS: It was an interesting experience, it was most of our first times in a studio. We recorded all four of the songs live in one day. Anthony did a great job mixing it and put in some production work that tied the songs together really well.

CR: So what’s next for Paper Streets, what do you guys have planned?

SS: We have a set of shows coming up every Thursday at JR’s in Seaside, a residency of sorts. We’re going to be playing with bands like Mad Feather Group, maybe The Amboys too, but we’ll be asking a lot of bands that SIMGE covers on the site to be a part of the shows, like No Wine For Kittens, Accidental Seabirds, toliet, Brick+Mortar.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out.


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About The Author

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May of 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in both Journalism/Professional Writing and Communication Studies. He's held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet’s Arts & Entertainment section as well as Consequence of Sound (http://consequenceofsound.net).

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