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Q&A Sessions:
Jim Kirkpatrick
Jem Davis
Merv Goldsworthy
Pete Jupp
Steve Overland

FM Q&A with Steve Overland

Jim came up with the idea of doing Questions and Answers sessions on the site. This got a big thumbs up from the team and as a pat on the back to Jim for having such a good idea we let you give him the first grilling. This was swiftly followed by Jem's Q&A.  

After a bit of a break the Q&A sessions returned with a vengeance with Merv volunteering to be the next victim, then Pete took up the challenge.

There is no escape… it's finally Mr. Overland's turn.  

FM Steve Overland live in Belfast 18 Aug 2012 by Paul Verner

Paul - You've got one of the best and most distinctive voices around, but did you start off singing or playing guitar first?

Steve - Hi Paul.  I started as a guitar player and became a singer by accident. The singer in my brother's band when I was 12 lost his voice at a gig I was doing with them and I was the only one who could sing at all. So he was sacked and I got the job.


David - Who is your vocal inspiration 'cause your voice is amazingly unreal?

Steve - Hi David.  First big influence was Stevie Wonder but later on Paul Rodgers had a massive influence on me both in Free and Bad Company. But there are so many great singers out there.


Claire - How did starring in a Broadway show every night compare to performing in a band on the road and would you ever consider a return to a similar show?

Steve - Hi Claire, I didn't actually star in a Broadway musical but shot a movie of a musical called "Harmony" which was shown at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. It was a great experience!


Angelo - Why the FM album Paraphernalia is so underrated and not considered as an official FM album? Can you explain how that album was born?

Steve - Hi Angelo. Paraphernalia was a contractual obligation and was made up of left over songs from past years. Glad you think it's worthy to be an official release.   


Dave - It takes a lot of balls to be a front man. Were you scared when "The Voice" first came out publically (oo-er) and have you ever suffered with nerves performing live?

Steve - Hi Dave, the voice definitely wasn't my idea but it's just something that seems to have followed me around. I think everyone in the band still suffers from nerves before a show.

Dave - Do you have a warm-up / chill-out routine that you go through when playing live?

Steve - Yes, I spend about half an hour warming my voice up before a show, shouting into a towel so as not to annoy the other guys too much. Chill-out afterwards is beer…

Dave - Finally, I'm sure that all the fans who have had the pleasure of meeting you will agree with me on this one… You are such a down to earth, laid-back chappy - do you actually realise just how absofeckinglutely good you are?

Steve - I'm just me but thank you for your kind words.


Marina - Do you have a favourite track you like to play live and if so, what is it?

Steve - Hi Marina. Not really a specific track, I enjoy watching the reaction from the fans to songs I've written.


Jon - Jim Kirkpatrick seems to have fitted in so well, both in the recording studio and live. Does having Jim playing alongside you make you feel nostalgic about about the days when it was your brother Chris next to you on stage?

Steve - Hi Jon. Jim is a great driving force within the band and was a friend before he joined FM so I guess it's the closest thing, because of his playing style, to having Chris on stage.


Milan - I am a professional guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer and I have always been a huge fan of Steve's singing. Any chance of working together?

Steve - Hi Milan. I'm very flattered by your comments. Who knows what could happen in the future but right now I'm tied up doing various other projects.


Alexander - Where is your brother Chris and what is he doing now?

Steve - Hi Alexander. Chris is back in Norfolk and runs his own guitar teaching school.

Alexander - The most promo videos on YouTube have poor quality, is there somewhere in the master tapes with good quality?

Steve - I'm reliably informed that a couple of years ago YouTube decided to downgrade the quality of a lot of older videos across their entire site.  Luckily they haven't placed these restrictions on newer videos and our promos are uploaded in HD.


Callum - What were your influences when growing up in the '80s? What bands inspired your melodic rock style?

Steve - Hi Callum, as I've commented earlier I grew up with bands like Free and Bad Company but in the '80s bands like Foreigner, Journey and The Eagles were inspiring.


Shaun - How would you say ROCKVILLE and your current material compares with METROPOLIS?

Steve - Hi Shaun. I think the band have found a new sound since reforming and although each album is slightly different I think ROCKVILLE and the current material is as strong as anything from previous albums.


Mel - You've been signed to some notable record labels in the past - Swansong, Epic, Music For Nations. Now you release CDs on Riff City Records which I believe is FM's own label. Does it make life easier to release albums on your own label or was big backing an important part of being signed to a label?

Steve - Hi Mel. We are signed to a label and we licence our albums to them, but not being with a major label means we have much more control of our destiny.   


Martin - How did you get a chance to record with Alan Parsons?

Steve - Hi Martin. I was once managed by his management. He knew FM and asked if I would sing a track on one of his songs.  It was a fantastic experience as he is a great producer.


Bill - How have you managed to keep your voice sounding so strong over your career? The only other person who I can think of with such a strong voice and a great guitar player is Dave Meniketti of Y&T. Eight hours of sleep is his secret.

Steve - Hi Bill, I honestly don't know, I'm just very lucky. I don't have a particular regime. I guess God is looking down on me…


Simon - Now that FM are making a great success of their reunion, do you ever think about maybe getting one of the Wildlife line-ups back together again? Even for a one-off concert or for some recording?

Steve - Hi Simon. That was such a long time ago and with all my other commitments I just wouldn't have the time. I have thought about re-recording the second Wildlife album as I was very disappointed with the production but the songs were very strong.


Becky - Have you ever had any formal vocal training or mentors, or are you an entirley blessed self-taught muso, picking up techniques form watching other influences earlier in your career?

Steve - Hi Becky, the latter - I just opened my mouth one day when the singer in the band lost his voice and he was promptly sacked. I've picked up various techniques from listening to other singers over the years.


Mark - On ONLY FOOLIN' EP you finally released "Shot In The Dark". How close was that to the original version with Wildlife?

Steve - Hi Mark, it was based totally on the Wildlife version but with modern recording techniques.

Mark - How did it feel to finally release it?

Steve - It's something I need to do, now it's out there for all to hear.

Mark - Top version I have to say. Any chance you may play it live?

Steve - Probably not, we have a wealth of material to choose from so I'd rather look forward than back.


Rich - If you could take over the lead vocal duties for any other band in the world (past or present) who would you choose?

Steve - Hi Rich. Most of the bands I have loved already have fantastic singers and I wouldn't want to step into their shoes.  

Rich - I'm really impressed with how you keep composing blinding melodies within your song writing. Do you develop the riffs and vocal melodies as you are working on an idea, or do you start writing with a melody first (if that makes sense)? Also, how do you remember your ideas? Do you use tablature or carry a mobile recorder?

Steve - All the songs I write are generally written in my head. Melodies and chorus ideas, titles etc. Then I sit down and work out the music to go with them and record onto a dictaphone. Thanks for the compliment.


Compiled March 2014

Photo - Steve Overland live at Belsonic, Belfast -
18 August 2012
Used with kind permission of Paul Verner