We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven Neevs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think that risk is inevitable and there is always a chance of failure but in a lot of situations it can be somewhat managed. I have spent a lot of time trying to educate myself and experience the music industry. I too have heard about the nightmares people in the industry can go through and how unpredictable it can all be. I try as much as possible to not leave success up to chance. Learning about the industry has helped me avoid some bad experiences and it has at least reduced the whole school of hard knocks type of experiences. While risk can be managed, it should not be confused with it being feared. Starting out I had the impression that I had to know it all before I even began so I could stand a chance at succeeding in music. As I started learning and getting more experience, I began discovering that no amount of knowledge will completely erase risk. There will always be a great chance for failure. I now believe that success is not about getting it right the first time, but instead its more about persisting through failure and building myself through those experiences so when the right opportunity presents itself I will be ready to seize it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a rock & metal musician/solo artist. I can physically play the drums, but I get ideas for whole songs in my head even though I can’t physically play much guitar, bass, or sing/scream. With a little bit of music theory knowledge & Fruity Loops, I am able to create entire songs using MIDI tracks. I also write my own lyrics and scratch/idea vocal tracks. I then hire every other role out so it sounds more realistic and professional. For now I have a different vocalist on every track but who knows, I may start doing vocals myself at some point. I feel like what sets me apart from others is that I am very self efficient on my solo art while still having qualities of a work product made by a group. Typically when I think metal musician/solo artist I imagine a hyper technical instrumental expose of skill in every song. I aim more to make a song that sounds like it was created by a band but it all comes out of just me. Every role has highlights and just keeping the groove moments. I try to make the instruments sound full by themselves, but I definitely leave space for strong vocals to drive the song. I am excited at all the opportunity that there is out there right now. I do many things in music from session work to collaborations to solo music. At times I have a hard time managing the opportunities each of those bring. I find myself many times running on 4-5 hour sleep to keep up and that’s honestly when I feel most alive. Professionally today I switch between working in music part time and for temporary periods I have done it full time. I have gotten to this point by making sure I have a steady income with a day job and basically just creating a ton of content to really put myself out there. I spend a lot of time and resources into marketing and paid ads and all those things to reach a wider audience. This is not easy for me. It takes a lot of sacrifice to make it all work. I have many challenges that I am still overcoming today. I manage challenges by reminding myself that I do this because I love it so much that I have to. The biggest lesson I have learned is that hard work and authenticity pay off in the long term. Taking advantage of people and taking short cuts are not sustainable ways to work. People who do that tend to quit before getting anywhere because they expect to get everything short term and a strong career is built, not bought or stolen. I want people to know that I am just trying to be happy doing music. Music has totally transformed my life and I just want to be able to do my own thing and share it with everyone.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday: – Pub sub – Day on the beach – Warzone all night Tuesday: – Chic Fil-A – Movies – Watching V-Sauce Wednesday: – Café cubano – Starbucks – Netflix Thursday: – Pub sub – Florida Man event – Philosophical debate Friday: – Drive up to Orlando – Rick & Morty – Wafflehouse Saturday: – Go to Universal theme parks – Eat Puerto Rican food – Party it up back at our place Sunday: – Go to Chic Fil A – Realize they’re closed – Pub sub I don’t go out much.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I greatly admire the rock and metal music scene that we have here in South Florida. There are so many talented bands that are killing it here its insane. Shoutout to bands like With Locusts and Liars, Bloodbather, Omnisium Happy Hour & Hometown Losers. Those are some of my favorite bands from here and I feel proud to contribute if at least a little to the music scene here.
Other: Spotify: Steven Neevs https://stevenneevs.bandcamp.com/
Vincent Castillo Liam Greg Rob Walden