Steve Conte verkar trivas bra i Bronx …

Steve Conte flyttade till Bronx för fem år sedan.

Han verkar onekligen trivas – för nu släpper han det finfina albumet Bronx cheer.



Steve Conte är kanske mest känd för att ha varit gitarrist i New York Dolls och Michael Monroes band (där han fortfarande spelar). Conte har även, bland annat, samarbetat med Yoko Kanno där de har gjort låtar till flera olika animerade serier.

Nu handlar det dock om Steve Conte och hans första soloplatta på fem år – och därmed även det första sedan han flyttade till Bronx.

Bandet han har med sig består av brorsan John Conte (Southside Johnny & The Jukes, David Bowie, Ian Hunter) på bas och Charley Drayton (Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, The Replacements) på trummor plus att det blir en del gästartister – Clem Burke (Blondie), Andy Rourke (The Smiths) och Jesse Malin – som dyker upp på en gammal låt.

  1. The human animal
  2. Liar like you
  3. Recovery doll
  4. Wildwood moon
  5. Flying
  6. Dog days of summer
  7. Overnight smash
  8. Those sexy lies
  9. Guilty
  10. My degeneration
  11. Gimme gimme rockaway

Steve Conte minns att han besökte staden som en grabb på 1970-talet och sedan flyttade han även dit på 1980-talet. Givetvis är det mycket som har förändrats, samtidigt finns det saker som han känner igen. Då blir det låtar som andas New York både från förr och nu.

Albumet inleds med The human animal som är en rocker med lite punk-känsla. Det blir ännu mer punk över Liar like you och när man börjar tro att det ska bli ett punkalbum från Conte.

Så är det inte.

Det blir rock ’n’ roll-låtar där Conte blandar in allt från punk till soul och blues. Recovery doll, som har en 1960-tals-känsla, Wildwood moon och Overnight smash är sköna klassiska rocklåtar.

Flying är en över fem minuter lång ballad som Conte skrev redan 1994, men det är först nu som den tar plats på en skiva. Även Guilty är en ballad med både blues- och soul-känsla.

Dog days of summer är en av albumets abosluta höjdpunkter. Här blir det lite country-känsla när Conte gör en låt om alldeles för varma augustidagar – och om att bli äldre …

Albumets kanske bästa låt är My degeneration. Det blir ett jävla gung när Conte tittar tillbaka på sin ungdom. En rakt igenom fantastisk låt och det är även sistalåten Gimme gimme rockaway – som är en låt som Conte släppte som singel redan 2017. Här har han med sig Clem Burke, Andy Rourke och Jesse Malin.

Så här säger Steve Conte, i pressutskicket inför albumsläppet, själv om sina låtar:

The human animal
It basically questions monogamy and how we are all animals. However, I have done my time as an animal and I’m quite happy with a one-to-one these days!

Liar like you
It’s about how there are people that will use you, until they use you up – to quote one of my heroes, Bill Withers. I came up with the hook in my teen years. It’s a good sign when you can remember a song from as far back as high school and think it’s worth recording. The melody and phrasing of “I never seen a liar like you” has always stuck in my head, and is now especially meaningful since I’ve met more people over the years who I can cite as an inspiration for it.

Recovery doll
I presented this song to both New York Dolls and Michael Monroe, so it was written with a fun and punky feel in mind. But then, in keeping with my usual Libra contrast/balance, the subject matter gets serious about addiction and recovery. I was thinking of a lot of people when making the composite person that the song is about: Amy Winehouse, Syl Sylvain, Killer Kane and Johnny Thunders from the Dolls, Hendrix, Janis, Prince, Petty, etc. We are always rooting for them to recover, but sometimes they go the other way. When I came up with the girl-group background vocals – “mm-bop-shoo-bop” – I knew I had to put my then-11-year-old son Zia’s voice on top of the girls. He’s been singing his butt off since he was a toddler. I had him sing on the Michael Monroe track Child of the revolution” when he was three!

Wildwood moon
Recently written, I was thinking back to those beach romances, making out with a girl you just met – a “holiday fling” – and the awkwardness of that youthful time. Nighttime on the beach is magical …

This one goes back to 1994 when I was working on a band that was never to be with Brynn Arens of Flipp. We jammed on this in my rehearsal studio very organically and I came up with the lyrics later. I did a few demos of it over the years and it never left my consciousness. I always knew it was a winner, and when I played it to filmmaker Peter Perenyi, he fell in love with it and was dying to make an epic video for it … which he has done now! It’s about how in the face of adversity, disappointment and trauma, a person of strong will can keep going for their dreams. Of course, in my case, it could just be that I’m stubborn as hell and can’t do anything else!

Dog days of summer
It started with the title, which is a phrase I always liked, but when I was finished with it, I noticed that I wasn’t only writing about those awful hot days in August where you don’t want to do much of anything. I was also writing about getting older and watching the young upstarts, full of hope and goals, pushing hard to get somewhere – and seeing my kids zoom by me with all their energy. At this point, I feel like I can relax and don’t have much to prove, because my work is out there on records, on video, in the consciousness of the public – in my bubble, anyway. And the work speaks for itself.

Overnight smash
This one is about professional jealousy. Once somebody starts “getting somewhere” in their career, there is always that crowd that, for whatever reason, got left behind in the dust. And then they like to shit-talk about ya. I threw in a bit of autobiographical stuff, like how when I first moved to NYC, I lived in a super-cheap apartment on the Upper East Side, which was not the hip rock ’n’ roll/punk/art scene that the East Village and Lower East Side was. But everyone in both neighborhoods assumed I lived down there. I was caught between two worlds: the rich old ladies in my neighborhood scoffed at me, while the LES rockers thought I was some rich trust fund kid because I didn’t live near them in Alphabet City. I also kinda “borrowed” the concept here from one of my favorite bands from childhood, Black Oak Arkansas who had an album called 10 year overnight success.

Those sexy lies
Inspired by the battle between Hillary Clinton and Trump. Some lies may look sexier than others … but everyone is dirty in politics. Although it could be about someone you work with, or for … or any kind of human relationship.

Another one from the early 1990s, inspired by a particularly bad relationship. Ya know, the kind where the more you pour out your heart, the more the other person recoils because of their damage.

My degeneration
The story of my youth. Growing up 50 minutes outside of the city and taking the train in – or worse, driving in – and then scoring whatever substances we were after, sometimes getting ripped off, sometimes getting too high and attempting to drive back home. Yeah, I’m lucky to be alive.

Gimme gimme rockaway
My 2017 Wicked Cool Records single! Featuring Clem Burke of Blondie on drums, Andy Rourke of The Smiths on bass and Jesse Malin on backing vocals. This was originally written for Michael Monroe, but since I had already given him my “Ballad Of The Lower East Side,” I thought I’d keep this Noo Yawk anthem for myself.

Musikälskare sedan liten skit ... Fem album man måste ha i samlingen? Oasis - (What's the Story?) Morning glory, The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 sound, Tom Petty - Full moon fever, U2 - The Joshua Tree, Dire Straits - Brothers in arms och Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A. Det gick inte att välja fem ...

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