Been quite some time since we had our first Q&A with Steve. Last time we did this, we Korn fans were waiting to hear something, anything off the new Korn album and now we've been treated with a few songs and clips. Now we're waiting for ‘Korn III: Remember Who You Are’ to hit and after that, among other side projects, we are waiting for Fear's album.
For those of you who don't know, Steve Krolikowski is the vocalist for Munky's side project, Fear and the Nervous system. He got the job after Munky heard a song by his main band, an up-and-coming band called Repeater, that Ross Robinson was listening to. Ross produced their new album, called 'We walk from safety', that should be released hopefully soon. Keep an eye out for that one. Look them up on MySpace, Facebook and Youtube. Really good! One of my favorite bands as of now.
Steve was kind enough to do a Q&A with me some time ago, and even kinder to do another one. For that I thank him deeply since I love Repeater and added cool factor is that he is the vocalist for Munk's much anticipated side project.
We are still getting to know Steve, and I'm quite sure this will help a bit in that aspect. With time, we will get more and more info on Fear's upcoming album and maybe someday soon, we'll get to hear something. But until that time comes, we can just chillax with the voice of Fear.
So let's get it on then!
Q: Important question first, what is your favorite food and movie?
Steve: Haha.. I love sushi but I usually eat vegetarian food. The best foods are Pizza and Burritos. The best movies are Blue Velvet, Chinatown, and City of God.
Q: Can you describe yourself in six words?
Steve: I am not what I seem.
Q: Do you play videogames?
Steve: I have had a habit of playing small Flash games like platform jumping games and room escape games, and also Literati on Yahoo, a Scrabble game. Recently my girlfriend got an Xbox and I have been enjoying the LEGO games. I like simple looking games that involve logic puzzles.
Q: How are things going for you personally and with Repeater?
Steve: Repeater is doing well, but it's hard when you have a recording in the works. We are waiting on the release of our record. It sounds great and I hope it gets released in a way that gets noticed. Things are hard in the industry right now and it’s up to us to get this record moving.
Q: Is the new Ross Robinson-produced Repeater album, We walk from safety, anything like the first one, Iron Flowers?
Steve: ‘Iron Flowers’ is like a photograph. We came in with fully developed songs and they were captured by an expert (Chris Fudurich). The songs are tight and energetic, but they all have a similar feel because we played in the same way the whole time. 'We Walk From Safety’ is different because we had a lot of new songs that we brought in to record. We had to take time to work the songs into different forms. Ross put a lot of his talent into changing the dynamics of the songs and making each one special. The music is the same, but the dynamics and stuff are different.
Q: Are the other guys in Repeater excited to hear Fear and the Nervous system? What are their opinion on you doing vocals for Fear?
Steve: Everyone in the band wants me to succeed on the ‘Fear’ project. It can only help Repeater, if I am working in a group like that. I just want people to hear both records because they are the best things I have ever been fortunate enough to put my mark on. 2010 is a good year for Steve.
Q: Repeater. Fear and the Nervous system. Seems like you might have plenty to do in the near future. Are you a 24/7 musician or do you have a regular dayjob?
Steve: The last year or so has been pretty much music for me, but I have a few college degrees, including Computer Science. I’m re-educating myself in some Web programming so that I can get back into the field. Waiting for recording dates makes it hard to plan more than a week ahead, and I can’t wait til the ‘Fear’ record is done so that my brain is free for doing software projects, or working at a store.
Q: I know some have wondered what's going on in the 'Killing without question' video. Who killed you?
Steve: That’s a great video. The lyrics suggest that “jealous hearts” are the ones that kill. Perhaps my character was driven to death by everyone at the party… If you watch that video, realize that we know every single person in it and they were paid by a free lunch.
Q: If you weren't in the music business, what would you be doing right now? Some musicians claim that music and their musical careers have saved their lives. Do you feel the same way about yourself?
Steve: I feel that music has ruined my life, and saved my life. I have gone through years of school in other disciplines, only to find that music is where I belong. I would either be designing databases or something, or rotting in an alley, but instead, I’m doing music at this very moment. Music is special. Everyone needs it but no one wants to pay for it.. haha. But really, music is special. It forces you to feel the things that you are hiding from yourself.
Q: What bands or albums are you listening to the most these days and what is your all-time favorite band and album?
Steve: I am weird and I don’t listen to as much new music as I should listen to. For modern rock, I have been listening to The National and Editors. Repeater (including me) are greatly influenced by post-punk bands like Joy Division, The Chameleons, The Cure, The Smiths, The Pixies; and also influenced by ‘shoegaze’ music like My Bloody Valentine, Catherine Wheel, and Slowdive. The guys in Repeater like emo, hardcore and post-hardcore music quite a bit, and I personally like music with that dry ‘90’s’ sound. Fugazi is the best ‘post-hardcore’ band without a doubt. Bands like Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Christie Front Drive / Antarctica.. the list goes on and on. The new Korn record is really good, I like albums that sound raw like that. I also like SWANS, and some extreme bands like Jesu, Envy, and Neurosis. Brian Eno is very influential, and I love David Bowie, especially his work in the late 1970's and very early 1980's. The all time favorite band? The Beatles is the best band ever. I’m not going to lie and give some oddball answer. Listen to Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, and Abbey Road and tell me what can be better than that. For American bands, I grew up with REM and Metallica, and their work during the 80’s is remarkable. Those 2 bands taught me how to play guitar.
The best album ever is Abbey Road by the Beatles, Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis, Harvest by Neil Young, Seasons In The Abyss by Slayer!! There is no best album…
Q: The music for Fear and the Nervous system is done as we learned in the previous Q&A, but how are the vocals going as of now?
Steve: The vocals are now nearly done. Our engineer Jim ‘Bud’ Monti has been very busy, and Korn’s studio has been in use by other people in their absence. I only have 2 songs or so to finish, then the mixing will probably take a short time. I hope to have updates on that soon, but I am not the one making the schedule. Everyone wants to finish, and we think it’s a really amazing record.
Q: Of the songs you have recorded so far for Fear and the Nervous system, what has been the most thrilling or most demanding of you?
Steve: Wow.. the record is so strange, I could pick out several that really were painful to record, really challenging. I think the most challenging is a song based on a 15 beat guitar pattern by Leo Ross, tentatively titled ‘Dissolve’. The changes and melodies demanded a lot of deconstruction.
Q: Speaking of the songs, in our first Q&A you gave us a little glimpse of what to expect when it comes to lyrical direction for Fear and the Nervous system. Can you give us a little lyrical tease, like a line or two?
Steve: I am very proud of my lyrical work for this project. I worked hard with Munky to put as much impact on the music as possible, using the original emotional intent for each song. I used thrilling films as the main influence for the lyrics, but I put those films through a personal lens, making the directors’ images into personal nightmares. Here’s a favorite, easy to read…
Who are you who looks so much like me
But I am so ugly in front of your beauty
I could seduce you and kiss you and kill you
Never once did I think I could love you
We could be whole now
We could be whole now
Sewn back together by fate’s rusted needle
Buried in the hills behind me
Married to a dreaming body
Buried in the hills behind me
Married to a dreaming body
I turned out my beautiful side
But both sides dream of each other
Q: Are there any song titles yet, even a name for the album?
Steve: The album may just be called ‘Fear and the Nervous System’. Many project albums are self-titled. I am not sure right now. I do have some song titles.. “Choking Victim”, “Dissolve”, “Majesty Of War”, “No Secrets”, “Beautiful Side”, “The Last Dive”, “Slow Motion”, “Chinatown”, “Jaguar”. Those are tentative titles.. the title isn’t that important to the song.
Q: There are a few known musicians in Munky's project: Leo Ross ( Io Echo, Error), Zac Baird who we Korn fans know very well, Billy Gould (Faith No More, Fear Factory) and Brooks Wackerman (Infectious Grooves, Suicidal Tendencies, Bad Religion, Tenacious D) are on-board with you and Munky amongst others lending a hand. A year or two ago, would you ever had thought you'd be working with this group?
Steve: No.! This project was unknown to me until I was asked to join. Ross Robinson played a Repeater track for Munky and I was asked to give it a try. It turns out that I love the music that was put in front of me and I have been doing my best to put the icing on the cake. I constantly have to explain to people what I am working on, because it’s such a strange collaboration.
Q: What can you tell us about working with them? Who has been the most helpful of the bunch?
Steve: Most of the collaborators are busy with their own music or band. Leopold Ross has been around because he is based in LA some of the time. Leo seems to be the one interested in the production of the record, besides Jim ‘Bud’ Monti and Munky. The rest of the collaborators are waiting to hear the record! Munky has been there every step of the way, extremely supportive and loving music every day. Zac Baird is awesome. Can I say that again? Zac Baird is awesome.
Q: When can we expect to hear the first Fear and the Nervous system song and when is the album likely to hit the airwaves?
Steve: As Soon As Possible. Once I finish vocals, it is a question of mixing, and marketing. This is out of my hands and I hope that it gets put out in a proud and loud fashion. As far as labels and stuff, that’s not my business, I hope it’s a good deal.
Q: Are there any plans for Fear and the Nervous system to tour after the album has been released?
Steve: I think that depends on people’s availability and the overall opinion of the record. I think a tour of this project would be amazing, but it needs to be out first..
Q: James just turned 40! Woohoo! Did you get him something for his B-Day?
Steve: I hope to give him a finished record with all the passion I could pull out of my heart and mind. Maybe it will be a late present, but that will be better than a basket of nuts from Harry and David.
Q: Last question, for now: What are you most looking forward to?
Steve: I want to see some music out and published and I want to go on a tour with Repeater. I look forward to seeing both of these projects finished and working on their promotion. It’s great music and people should be hearing it.
That's it for now, next time we might have feasted on some songs from Fear and the Nervous system. Until then, check out this song 'Missing' by Repeater, click here.