Steve Grantley – Stiff Little Fingers Interview

After a successful tour with Stiff Little Fingers promoting their new album Hope Street, We managed to catch up with Steve to ask him a few questions regarding his career over the years. So here is what Steve had to say to us.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What bands have you played with excluding S.L.F, Coloursound & The Big Wheel?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – These aren’t in any particular order but here goes. I worked with Julian Lennon for about 2 years around the “Saltwater” period, we did gigs & T.V. shows. It was great fun & interesting working with the son of one of the biggest Rock n’ Roll icons ever. I got lots of inside information, but nothing I could possibly mention here of course!?!?! I was with Scottish band Horse for about 1 1/2 years & toured endlessly. They headlined their own gigs but we also supported Aztec Camera & Tina Turner on her ‘Secret Affair’ Tour across Britain & Europe. I did allot of T.V. with Horse too! I’ve worked with soul star Oleta AdamsGet Here’! She was originally in Tears for Fears! Nikki French who had a worldwide hit with a cover of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. I was also the drummer in;….wait for it ‘8th Wonder’ with Patsy Kensit. Yes, Yes, Yes, I know but I had allot of fun. I was with them for 3 years. We did tons of T.V. shows, recorded 2 albums & did a whole lot of touring. The band was huge in Europe & Japan, I enjoyed every minute. I also put out records myself under various names. I had a top 10 Dance hit in America called ‘Drum Down The House’ under the name ‘Trash Funk’ which was on Chrysalis America & I’ve released 2 white labels in Britain & Europe under the name ‘Percussion Orgy’ they both went well & are quite rare so if you see one buy it & give it to me, cos I ain’t bloody well got one. Of course I am now Mike Peters Drummer in the Electric band & I also bash the skins for the star of stars ‘Rufus Stone’ in ‘Children of the Revolution’. At the moment I’m working on another Dance record which will be released under the name ‘Rhythm Rogue’ & I’m also working on a rock thing, a band called ‘A Clockwork Einstein’ that’s about it.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – How did you get involved with The Big Wheel?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – I answered an AD in Melody Maker & got the job.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What’s my favourite Venue to play?

STEVE GRANTLEY  :- Well, in Scotland, it’s of course ‘Barrowland’, I really like ‘The Forum’ in London & in America I love ‘The Metro’ in Chicago & ‘House of Blues’ in Los Angeles.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – Favourite S.L.F. track to play & why?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – I have a couple ‘Johnny Was’ because I get to do all that stuff on the snare at the start & usually it’s just me on the stage, so I get a chance to show off. ‘Safe as Houses’, I think it’s one of the best songs Jake has ever written. I get a huge buzz from doing ‘Alternative Ulster & Suspect Device’ because they’re classics & I really enjoy playing ‘Roots’, for me, the gig isn’t complete until we’ve played that it’s so ‘Up’ & bounces along, it always makes me smile.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – Who is your biggest influence?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – Well my 2 biggest drumming influences would be Jazz Drummer ‘Buddy Rich’ & Rock Drummer ‘John Bonham’. My parents always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do & helped me allot so, yeah, Mum & Dad!

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What’s your most embarrassing moment during a show?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – I don’t really get embarrassed no matter what happens but being introduced as ‘Little Norm’ on stage on The Hope Street Tour by Jake every night came close. As I say I don’t get embarrassed no matter what happens I just get up there & enjoy myself nothing else matters!

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – Have you anything special planned for the Millennium?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – No!

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What Football team do you support?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – Well it used to be Chelsea but they’ve got so big the soul s gone out of the team. I think that’s happened to allot of teams. So I always look to see how Fulham are doing but now they’re going the same way. You see I lived on the border between Chelsea & Fulham when I was a lad & I would watch one or the other so I have a soft spot for both!

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What sort of music do you listen too at home?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – It’s pretty electric, Prince, or whatever he’s called these days, especially the ‘Gold ‘album which is definitely his most consistent album in years. Zeppelin, Pistols, Marilyn Manson, X.T.C, White Zombie, Vangelis, Thin Lizzy, Sheryl Crow, Leftfield, Bad Company, Prodigy, Beastie Boys, KC & The Sunshine band, Bowie, Garbage.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – What band do you feel is standing out in the UK?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – I think Marilyn Manson is one of the most interesting artists of the 90’s & it will be interesting to see what he does next. I know a band called ‘Huge Baby’ who are signed to AC-DC Company. I think they could be very successful over the next 5 years & finally S.L.F. I think we can make a contemporary album that will shock everyone.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING:- How did the fans react to you when you replaced Johnny Donnelly in Mike Peters band?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – Well, it was very favourable, they were fine with it. I think my style of playing suited the band. They’re very powerful & they need a hard hitter so it worked. The fans were very warm & totally positive.

JAMES SCOTLAND CALLING : – Do you have any advice for budding Drummers?

STEVE GRANTLEY : – Yes, TAKE LESIONS. Learn the rules & then you can break them. Learn your Rudiments & all the basics. Go to a private teacher rather than an institution because I believe a personal teacher is superior. Art never came out of an institution. Practice with a Drum Machine to develop your ‘Internal Clock’ & listen to lots of different styles of Music! Not just Rock but everything, Pop, Jazz, Funky stuff! You can learn from everyone.

We would just like to thank Steve for taking time out and speaking to us about his career and thing, and all the best in the FUTURE from Scotland Calling!.

 

Interview Featured in Scotland Calling Issue 4 January 2000 (Scottish Music Network)