RooftopBlog RooftopBlog Home RooftopComedy.com

Categories

Steve Gillespie – Get Stever Fever!

When Rooftop asked if I wanted to talk to Steve Gillespie about his new CD release, Stever Fever, I said “Absolutely yes.” I don’t know the man well, but I had bumped into him several times on the road and really enjoyed his comedy.

The last time I worked with Steve, it was at a bar in Iowa. At least, that’s what our itinerary said. Upon arrival, Steve and I discovered the location was a supper club, and a fairly swanky (by Iowa standards) one at that.  We looked at our clothes–we had each dressed our best for a dingy bar–and felt a little out of place. To make matters worse, the space was decorated for a wedding, one taking place the next day. The walls were adorned in white lace, and our “stage” was the altar.

Fortunately, the audience was in a laughing mood and not in any way confined or defined by our surroundings; they laughed with ease and the gig was a fun one.

With a wink to Justin Beiber, Steve’s new release is out now.

Here’s the story behind the CD.

Enjoy.

~nathan

 

NT:  Where’d the title and cover come from; was it a difficult process?

SG:  The name was the easy part. The cover art was challenging. I like taking goofy pictures, I have quite a collection, and deciding which one I liked best and fit with what I thought the title is conveying, was difficult.

With that said, I am really pleased with how it came out. I thinks its look sharp.

NT:  Any rejected titles you’d like to share?

SG:  I overheard a women in a restaurant say “I’m a badass girl in a tough ass world” and I thought for a moment that A Badass Girl in a Tough Ass world could work, but I’m glad I went with Stever Fever. It fits well with the tone of the album.

NT:  How long did it take you to write the material?

SG:  I think all of the material on the album has been written over the past 4 years. Some of it within a month of the release.

NT:  Is this your first CD?

SG:  Yes, and some are probably hoping its my last.

NT:  How long have you been performing; how long did it take you to find your voice?

SG:  My first time on stage was on Jan. 17th 2006, so just over 7 years.

Find my voice? That’s hard to pinpoint and in a lot of ways I think you never stop finding it. It should evolve as you evolve.

For the sake of the question, I would say I started to notice a definite direction around year 3-4.

NT:  Do you see yourself remaining in Minneapolis, or have you an eye on LA or NY?

SG:  The plan for me right now is to remain in Minneapolis for the next 2 to 3 years at the most and then move to Los Angeles.

I have spent the past two summers in Los Angeles and have been slowly prodding in that direction.

NT:  How has the Minneapolis comedy scene influenced you?

SG:  The “scene” (fucking hate that word), has made an enormous impression on my work. I’d put this city up against any other in the world as fast developing comics. I know the rebuttal, “(whining voice) but, but, but Steeeeeve, what about LA and New York?”

Those are the places you go when you’ve developed into a professional.

Of course there are always exceptions. I have performed pretty much all over the country and there are a few good and a lot of bad comics just about everywhere I have been.

NT:  Your disc opens with self-depreciating humor. Is that done with intent, to set the audience at ease? “Look, I’m not taking myself too seriously here, so don’t get all sensitive when I get into slavery.”

SG:  In retrospect I wish I would have called the album Stever Fever Live, because that’s what the it is, a live show. I don’t really know how I’m going to open a show until I get in front of the audience and feel their vibe (for the lack of a better word). That material chunk was going to be used at some point and when I got on stage it felt like the audience was um….uneasy about my appearance, so I naturally worked into that piece. But I don’t always open the same way.

And yes, my material can get pretty dark but I like to keep it all silly and absurd.

NT:  Describe your comedy to someone who hasn’t seen—or in my case, worked with—you.

SG:  Personal and dark subjects delivered in absurdity.

NT:  You keep a road journal on your web page; is that for fans, or a way to keep track of your own career?

SG:  Its basically just something on my site people can look at if they’re interested. Its becoming more of a picture/news journal than anything.

 

You can follow Steve on Twitter (@epigillespie) or be his Internet friend on Facebook to keep up with his day to day activities and tours.

You can buy his release Stever Fever in the Rooftop Store.