Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with 40% Steve

I am here today with the guys of 40% Steve. And no, I do not know where the other 60% went. (You would be shocked at how many times I get asked that. Imagine what they go through.) 40% Steve has been voted, by the students of Indiana University, as the best band in Bloomington for four consecutive years in a row. When you couple good old rock and roll songs, incredible musicians, and an industry standard voice up front, you can not help but love the sound that they produce when on stage. Being a featured band on the Launch Party 40% Steve blew away the crowd like they always do. Playing a show pretty much every weekend you are sure to be able to catch these incredible performers live. Sit back and relax with me here as I introduce 40% Steve.

Do you guys get asked that? Where the other 60% of Steve is?

Yep, pretty much every show. In hindsight, naming the band after the members in it, especially when the longevity of the band was in question from the start, probably not a great idea. But we thought it was a hilarious name at the time and how did we know Steve #1 was going to leave to be a doctor?

How did you guys meet?

The original members met at Indiana University. Just randomly met through friends of friends, a fraternity and a connection through Aurora, Illinois. We have had a few different line ups to get us to the current one but everyone that has filled in for a departed member has been a friend.

Chris, tell me about your New Year’s Eve at the Masquerade Ball.

(Laughs) I was hammered. Taking a party bus is becoming one of my favorite things to do which is what some close friends and I did that night. I took a party bus to Tom Petty at Deer Creek last summer and it was awesome too. Eliminating the worry about how you are getting to and from a location allows you to consume more. If Petty comes back this year we are taking the Chicken Limo for sure.

So how did you come up the name 40% Steve?

Five guys and two guys were named Steve. We were playing in a friend’s basement with our first show at a bar in Bloomington coming up and we didn’t have a name. A bunch of people was still sitting in the basement at 5 A.M. or so and everyone just started throwing out name ideas. Everything sounded too serious for a cover band and then our friend Kyle said 40% Steve. It took everyone about 10 seconds to understand but then we all lost it and thought it was hilarious.

Have any of you non-Steve’s thought about changing your name? (Laughs)

When we had to find replacements when a few guys left we thought about trying to find someone named Steve as a joke. But it’s just funny to us now, a good story to tell. We are just a cover band; we don’t take it too seriously. We just like having our friends and fans show up to shows and get drunk with us and sing along. Thinking about the name is a good way for us to remember playing in basements. People used to get so fucking crazy at those shows. Just crazy blacked out.

What is your favorite cover song to play?

(Capper) King of the Rodeo by the Kings of Leon. (Joe) Feel Good Inc. by the Gorillaz. (Adam) Reptilia by The Strokes. (Steve) Alive by Pearl Jam.

Do you guys ever play any originals?

Not really. We don’t really even have that much original material but what we do have doesn’t fit in really well with the covers we do. If we ever did focus more on original material we would do it under a different band name. 40% Steve is just a rock cover band that enjoys getting drunk with their friends and fans.

What is like being voted the best band from one of the biggest schools in the state?

It’s awesome. I don’t think I personally have ever asked anyone to vote for us for that award so it’s great when it happens. And we have won the award four years in a row which is pretty cool too since we are all older now and a lot of our original fans don’t live down in Bloomington anymore. Just shows the students still appreciate what we are doing. On another note though, next year they should have separate awards for cover band and original band. There are a lot of great original bands down at IU. Prizzy Prizzy Please, Busman’s Holiday, Coke Dares, The Delicious, etc. They deserve to get recognition for what they do. We are all in this cover band because we love playing music. There is nothing better than being with friends watching live music. We go out as a band a lot to see live original music, Citizen Cope, Kings of Leon, Autovaughn etc. If we had a sax player we would totally cover Prizzy Prizzy Please. They are a great live act.

Do you guys ever play out side of the state of Indiana?

We do make it into Illinois every once and awhile. We play up at the Cubby Bear and Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago. One of our favorite places to play is Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville, Illinois. Great bar atmosphere and the staff takes great care of us. Same with Crusens in Peoria. When the owners and staff of the bar take care of you and like when you come to town it makes it a lot of fun. We hopefully will start playing regularly again in Ohio and Kentucky but we will see. I do all of the booking for the band myself so I’m always looking for new places to play.

What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for?

Not sure. We play to 1,400 at the Bluebird once for Little 500. We did about that once at the Cubby Bear after a Cubs home game last season. But we have played a couple street festivals in the past with pretty large crowds as well.

The smallest?

We played in Evansville one time for three people. I guess with the bar staff it was probably seven or eight. But seriously three. The whole show. But it ended up being a hilarious and amazing time. Those three people ended up just coming on stage with us for most of the show dancing and taking shots. We ended up hanging out with those three people and stayed in a terribly small hotel. Somehow I managed to have Shrimp Scampi for breakfast around 5am before going to bed. Probably one of our favorite shows ever.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

(Capper) Some pasta. (Joe) A bowl of oatmeal. (Adam) Cherry power bar and a grapefruit. (Steve) A sandwhich at 11:30 A.M.

What are you guys drinking on stage?

(Capper) A Bud or a glass red wine. Sutter Home in a plastic bottle. I keep it classy. (Joe) A Bud or whiskey and Coke. (Adam) Jager bombs. (Steve) A Bud or Jim Beam and Coke.

You are about to headline a concert at Verizon Wireless Music Center. Who is your opener?

(Capper) I’m with Scarzo on this one, except Riverdance. The music is better. (Joe) Citizen Cope. (Adam Lord of the Dance, Michael Flattly. (Steve) Autovaughn.

If you could tour with one band out there right now who would it be?

(Capper) The Rolling Stones. I just
to see how they still do it and the crowd. (Joe) Kings of Leon. (Adam) Tenacious D. (Steve) Just Jack Black.

If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

(Capper) Sorry Joe, Bruce Lee, because he is the baddest ‘mofo’ ever. (Joe) Hendrix because he baddest ‘mofo ever’. (Adam) Jimi Hendrix cause I heard he had the best shit that hasn’t been stepped on. (Steve) Chris Farley.

Let’s play word association. Say the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the following words.


The Simpsons: Adam Scarzo
Blueberry pancakes: Could probably do without the Blueberries
Over roasted peanuts: Planters


The Simpsons: Homer
Blueberry pancakes: Breakfast
Over roasted peanuts: Peanut Butter


The Simpsons: Greatest show of all time
Blueberry pancakes: Needs a side of Pancake House bacon
Over roasted peanuts: It’s bulky but I consider it a carry on


The Simpsons: DOH!
Blueberry pancakes: Syrup
Over roasted peanuts: Fireplace

What do you guys want to be remembered for when it’s all said and done?

Just that we had a good time. People don’t remember cover bands too much but hopefully people that have seen a show or two just remember having a good time.

You guys always seem to have so much fun on stage. What is your motivation from night to night to keep rocking?

Mostly just a love of playing music in general. Plus the crowd. When they are into it, everything is easy. Getting paid to do something that is so much fun doesn’t hurt either.

What would you all be doing if it were not music?

(Chris) I guess just working more hours at the TV station. Maybe get more into photography. (Joe) Working for the government. (Adam) Doing something his parents would actually approve of probably. (Steve) Stripping. (Laughs) Just kidding. I would probably still be sitting at a bar somewhere in Bloomington.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

(Chris) Working in TV and film I hope. (Joe) Wishing I were 5 years younger. (Adam) Married to Steve’s mom.

If you could live anywhere else other than Indiana where would it be?

(Chris) Amsterdam, not cause of the drugs, its just beautiful there. (Joe) Anywhere warm. (Adam) Anywhere except Wisconsin. Fuck Wisconsin. (Steve) Seattle, Washington.

What are your favorite movies?

Tommy Boy, Shawshank Redemption, Big Lebowski, Dumb and Dumber, Blow, Space Balls, Uncle Buck, Pulp Fiction, Killer Clowns from Outer Space. We usually watch these when traveling from town to town.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

(Chris) Bear Down! (Joe) Maybe I should be a truck driver. Hey Mav, you know the name of that truck driving school? Truck Master I think it is. I might need that. (Adam) DONGPIECE! (Steve) I need a beer.