Steve Brown - Trixter, Throwan Rocks, Soaked & 40ftRingo (1996)


Steve first appeared as one forth of the youthful hard rockers Trixter. Their album, released at the start of the decade, went on to sell one million copies in the states, and gain the band a huge following.
Now Steve has moved onto a new act Throwan Rocks, who already have gathered a fan base along the east coast USA. Reviews for their four track EP have all been positive, and now the band are at work on a full length debut.
So how did it all come together?

How’s Things going then?
Going great!

What’s the new band then?
The band is called Throwan Rocks.

How long has the band beet together?
Right now the the band have been together exactly a year and a half.

That long!
Yeah, it’s been a project of mine that I started. Basically what happened, I built a studio in my basement of my house. Just started knocking around, experimenting and having fun, and all of a sudden I had four or five of these songs, that I listened to and I said - You know I have got something here. Different than what I had done in the past, and it was all me singing on it vocally, and I sent it to a couple of friends of mine I have in the business, my lawyer in particular, who is a big part in this band starting. He said you know, Steve you have a great thing here, I think we should go to work on it.
So I put a band together, basically it’s my buds, TJ, who was with Trixter with me.
Do me a favour when you write this. Just shy away from the Trixter comparisons. I don’t care if you mention it, but I am trying to get away from it. Unfortunately, Trixter was one of the greatest things in my life, but in the business they look at that in a weird way. Which is kind of a shame.
You know, what is the problem with selling a million records?

Do you think the band came across as manufactured by the label?
I don’t think so. I think what they did was take the strong elements of the band, you know, above and beyond we had some strong songs, but I think they used the look of the band. There was ne getting around it, there was three really good looking guys in the band, the youth of the band, but it’s kind of a weird thing. But either way you cannot deny the sales and what we did. We had a great time.

Yeah, I wouldn’t turn down a million sales.
No you can’t! Anyway, with this new thing I am trying to get away from mentioning it.

So what style is the band?
I would just call it pop. It’s in the vein, somewhere in a cross between The Beatles, Cheap Trick, The Stones, Badfinger, you know, but it’s not retro at all. But it is very pop.

So who else is in the band?
PJ, Maz, Jimmy Dilella, Tommy T Coombs.

And the album is finished?
No right now, we are just about to sign a deal with a major over here, so were are just in the process of signing a management deal as well as a label deal, all at the same time. Everything is going real good. At one time we had a limited edition CD, a 4 track, but they have all sold out. So right now everybody’s gotta wait until the record comes out.

Yeah, it’s a phenomenal band. I have never been so sure about something. We really put together a great band, and have a great time. What we are trying to do is bring fun and good times back to rock and roll.
I think people are sick and tired of all the abuse songs, and drug addiction, we want to bring to world a big fat smile.

I am really happy to hear that because a few other people have got the same attitude, including me!
Oh man, we are so sick and tired of all the morbidity. You know, with bands like Kiss back out on the road and Aerosmith coming out, we are going to be a band like that, in the sense that it’s a big rock band. Nothing but a good time is what we are about. But er, most of it’s just great music. It’s just great pop music, and whether you like it or not, it’s peoples opinions, but it will sure get your foot tapping.
And at some point when you come see us live, we will make everybody smile!

I wish more bands would take that attitude.
Well it’s tough, you know, every band is on it’s own ‘trip’. Which is whatever. I don’t concern myself with what other people are doing, I just do what I am doing, and fortunately I think I have nailed it on the head this time.

What happened to Trixter in the end? Did you call it quits and go you’re own way, or what?
Well I wouldn’t say that. I would say the business really called it quits. Really it was a question of economics. To be totally honest it was about money. We could not make money anymore.
We had gone out on the road in 94 and 95 for a three month American tour, and we realised, as did our manager and booking agent at the time, that we have really exhausted it, and we can’t make money at this anymore.
And unfortunately, we are professional musicians, so you have to make the decision. It’s really a strange thing what happened to Trixter. It really goes back to what happened to the band Badfinger in the seventies, they had big success, and then suddenly the well dropped out, fortunately none of the guys in this band have killed themselves, like they did, but it is an amazing story.
We did not have anyone like a manager, who could guide us and make it happen. It really just all fell apart with our management. Our management pretty much ruined us I would first and foremost say. It’s a big shame, because Trixter in my mind were what e real rock n roll band is all about. You know, like the Beatles or something, we all grew up together, we started playing as kids. You know, ten years after we started, we are out playing with Kiss doing arena’s and then a year later after that, the bottom fell out. I guess it comes back to the old motto, you have you’re fifteen minutes a fame.
No matter what happens we had the best time of our lives, we enjoyed it immensely.

How old were you when you got your record deal?
I was 19. PJ was 17, and when the record came out I was 20 years old.

Was that too much to handle for a 20 year old?
No it wasn’t at the time cause you have to remember, I had been playing clubs since I was 13. So I had been in the business a long time already. I had done a lot of the things before and had a lot of friends who were going through it. One of my friends is Snake from Skid Row. They had just come off a major record, you know, I had a lot of good guidance from people who had been there already.

It all helps!
Yeah, still it was a dream. We had about 13 months from Sept 1990, till Oct 91, it was like all the dreams we had all came true. It was an incredible year. We had a good three year run where everything was going great, then somebody pulled the plug.
Still, no regrets, we did everything right. The only thing I could say is that I wish we had a real management team. If we had that the band would probably still be going strong today.
We would at least have a career in other countries, like at leat Japan, but our management fucked that up.
It’s really what you can attribute it all too. And for every young band out there, watch out for management. You have to have someone who is on top of it and someone you can trust, and don’t become friends with them.
That’s what happened with us. Our managers became our friends and we couldn’t see the writing on the wall. You have to know when to get out, and when to get someone new in.

Sure, good advice.
Yeah, man I am going to be writing a book soon. The reality of being in a rock band in the music business’.

So you are serious about that then?
Yeah, I am waiting till the time is right, I think I could really help. I have known from the beginning one thing you need to know. That is, the music business is a business. The music is fun and all that, but first and foremost it is a business, it’s about money. Without the money, there is no music, cause you need money to record your music. Too many people get lost in the game of having a good time and being nieve about things. I would like to be able to write a book to share my stories, and to be able to give people real advice, not what fucking lawyers tell them, not what these books that road managers write. Something from a bands point of view.
The last couple of years have been a real education for me, that’s why I am looking forward to the Throwan Rocks thing breaking, cause now I know how to do it right.
Not to say we didn’t do it right with Trixter, but it shouldn’t have fallen apart like it did. But hey man, it’s the way that it goes!

You talked to Snake lately?
Yeah, the band are kinda in limbo trying to work out what to do. Sebastian is doing a side project thing with Kelly from the Breeders. I don’t really see him that often.

Okay man, good talking to you.
Alright, I’ll talk to you again later!


c.1997 Andrew J McNeice