NC: Thanks for sharing some words with us Steven! Looks like you just finished up a Canadian Tour with GOB supporting their new album APT 13 released in August 2014. Were there any highlights along the road?
SF: There were so many highlights on this tour, for me seeing places like Halifax for the first time was so cool. Also our Halloween show was a blast, we played Winnipeg to an amazing crowd, while dressed up as an 80’s Glam rock band, complete with all the stage moves you’d except from an act like that! Was truly one of the best show I can remember us ever doing.
NC: Should we be expecting more tour dates to come, especially after two sold out shows in Victoria!
SF: We just did our trek across Canada and back, so nothing too much yet, besides a NYE show in Grande Prairie Alberta, We do hope to hit the states and Europe next year though.
SF: If I look back at every album I feel that they all have their own sound. From early on it was more pop punk (E.P), to a more hardcore vibe with (how far shallow takes you), to a poppy rock (world according to gob) and the last one “Muertos Vivos” was pretty serious (as far as lyrically) So APT 13 was kinda a bounce back to having more ‘fun songs’ again, with an old kinda almost 70’s rock vibe to it.
NC: Are there any musicians you have found to be inspirational towards getting you to where you are currently at?
SF: Yes, for sure. Personally it started with the Beatles and moved to acts like David Bowie, Depeche Mode and then more punk rock artists like the Descendents. They meant so much to me as a kid, now I’m always trying to find my next favorite band. Right now, I’m listening to ‘Perfume Genius’ and i really like what I’m hearing.
NC: As you’ve found the time to continually work on solo albums, such as “Visitors” and “You and Yours” Do you feel that this is more of a direction you’re moving towards or is there something about collaborating with a band that draws you back to that experience?
SF: I like moving in both directions. They both really appeal to me. With my solo stuff it’s more of an outlet (as cheesy as that sounds) but they are the songs that just come out when I play a guitar and open my mouth to sing. But collaborating in GOB with the other guys is just as amazing, building something with someone out of nothing gives rewards that you can share with the rest of the band making it seem that much more gratifying.
NC: Have you always been comfortable on stage? Do you have any advice for people interested in performing yet have nerves about actually getting out there and doing it?
SF: No, at first I was terrified! I would get so cold and shaky before my shows, it was so horrible. The only thing that cured it was just getting out there and playing, once the music starts all that fear goes away i find, because thats all it is , fear. Once you realize that, I feel it tends to start shrinking in your mind. Nowadays I don’t really have much of it, besides the one time I got up and tried doing stand up comedy. NOW THAT was the most nerve wracking thing ever.
NC: Would you say that a lot of music on the radio, television or in media has less soul than in previous years and perhaps even provides a questionable message for children or adults of this generation to be listening to?
SF: I’d say, it’s getting harder and harder to find music with “soul” for sure. back in the 50’s and 60’s a lot of what was popular had that special spark, or soul. But now i think it’s just an over-saturation of “ART” and people bow to the almighty dollar. So if we look at who is still buying music, and not downloading it, it’s gonna be very young kids, and with that whatever they like will get the most plays for tv, media, etc. But I do feel there is still such amazing bands and artists out there with that soul you spoke of, we just need to dig deeper to find it.
NC: Do you strive to create music with a positive message either with a band or as a solo artist?
SF: I don’t feel I do, with my solo stuff I think I strive to sort out a question in me. I seem to write quite a bit more when there is a “cloud” above me, as opposed to when I’m happy in life, I hardly even pick up the guitar. But that’s just how I’ve learned to deal with the clumsiness of emotions. Also, it’s what I find the most beautiful thing about music, when you hear a song, someone else’s song who’s lyrics are thoughts you’ve had but never said. THAT is a very special feeling I find. One that maybe I try to recreate with my own songs.
NC: How did you come to find your passion for photography? Has it always moved you?
SF: It started when i began traveling really. I spent some time in Europe when I was younger and I started to snap pics like everyone does when they travel to beautiful new places. But I quickly found that I didn’t like or want the typical tourist shots as memories. I wanted unique things, hidden things that are in plain sight that could become striking. From that it just continued to grow, I took a couple classes to actually learn how a real camera works, and just kept at it.
NC: Are you involved in any volunteer or charity work? Are there any organizations local or international that you are moved by and support?
SF: For a long time i was working as a mental heath care worker in Vancouver’s down town east side, mostly at a place called “Insite.” Insite has been a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services – from primary care to treat disease and infection, to addiction counseling and treatment, to housing and community supports. And before that I did some volunteer work as a youth drug and alcohol counselor.
NC: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us and speaking your truth!
SF: Anytime! Thank you so much!