April 22, 2009

Student Artist Spotlight: Steady State

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The members of Steady State are an eclectic group of Cornellians with majors ranging from communications to chemistry, and interests ranging from crew to chess. In fact, the band originally started up in the most unlikely of contexts — the crew team. Members play multiple instruments; one, Gretchen Craig ’11, even playing an instrument not typically found in most bands — the cello. Daisy Glazebrook ’11 is responsible for the lead vocals and also plays the guitar. Mike Meubusch ’11 does vocals as well and can be found on the drums, guitar or even the tambourine. Neal Murphey ’11 plays the piano. Deke Hill ’11 does vocals and plays the bass as well as guitar.
While their hard work and talent make them extremely entertaining on the stage, the group (although the Sun only got a chance to sit down with Daisy, Deke and Mike) is also entertaining when they are just sitting around schmoozing. To see for yourself, just check out their radio show. But be warned: They spend so much time together that at times they seem to have their own secret language — you may not understand half of what they’re talking about.

Sun: What kind of music do you play?
Daisy Glazebrook: Blues, rock, post-folk alternative with a Doorsian influence.
Sun: How did you guys meet?
D.G.: I met Mike at a bonfire at our [crew] winter training trip in Florida. I brought my guitar and that’s where our beautiful friendship began … I played a couple songs. Mike played every song he knows … we jammed for hours.
Sun: Do you do mostly your own songs, or covers also? What are some of your originals called?
D.G.: Both. There’s a “Bangin’” song … yeah, it’s not a joke anymore. It’s very serious. It’s about banging. It was my junior or senior year in high school [and] I had a crush on this kid … I said if you write me a song, I’ll write you a song, and then we traded songs.
Mike Meubusch: … and then we made it a full band song, so he has a sweet song written about him now.
Deke Hill: I brought a song — what is it called now? “Final Day?” I think final day is good and then Mike had this sweet drum roll thing going on.
Sun: What are some songs you like to cover?
M.M.: [Some] of my favorite covers is Bob Dylan songs [and] we’ve got a little Damien Rice going on.
D.G.: Also we have a surprise cover. It’s a little silly.
M.M.: Yeah. Hilarity may ensue. You can quote me on that one. Actually coming out soon … is Deke’s autobiography.
D.G.: Deke’s a writer.
D.H.: False. I really am a writer but I don’t have an autobiography.
D.G.: He’s also a chess champion.
D.H.: All these things have nothing to do…
D.G.: Yeah, when he was 7 years old …
M.M.: I have a picture of the trophy on my background. I’d say he’s a mystical child.
Sun: What are your majors?
D.G.: I am communications.
M.M.: I’m undecided at the moment, either philosophy or literature.
D.H.: I’m an economics major.
D.G.: Gretchen, well she presently is an architect, but she’s switching … I think to English. And what is Neal? Oh Neal is chem. He’s a total nutcase. Neal has an album coming out called “Subtle Tears.” [all laugh]
M.M.: No let’s not do that. See, because no one thinks our inside jokes are funny except for us.
D.H.: That is the whole point of inside jokes.
M.M.: Oh, we have a radio show.
D.G.: Yeah we should talk about that.
D.G.: When we hang out together, after it goes on for hours ’cause we just talk about things that are crazy.
M.M.: It’s called “Love Pentagon.” It has to do with the fact that there are five people.
D.G.: And there’s so much love.
M.M.: I’d say it forms a geometric shape.
D.G.: A polygon if you will.
Sun: When is it on?
M.M.: Tuesdays at 9:00. It’s Slope Radio.
Sun: What do you do on it?
D.G.: We play music. We’ve got a couple short segments. The only one that occurs regularly is “Emo Hour with Mike and Gretchen.”
M.M.: It’s a tribute to me and Gretchen’s angsty teenage years.
D.G.: Which have been overcome.
M.M.: We just play a song, say what it means to us. Usually there’s a lot of crazy things with emo music, with like cheating and tears and moustaches.
D.G.: Yeah and then Deke and I will kind of make fun of said song.
M.M.: There’s also the “Most Badass Municipality of the Week,” which is new.
D.G.: For example, Vermont was last week, even though it’s not a municipality. We also talk about Mr. Gnu a lot, the comic in The Sun. We’re big fans.
Sun: So how did you actually start the band? Were you just like “Hey let’s start a band?”
D.G.: Well these guys had been jamming and Mike was like “Well I have a roommate who plays the bass,” which was me.
M.M.: I’m actually not really a drummer, I’m a guitarist and a singer. But I’ve always just wanted to just kind of pick up the drums.
D.G.: He’s like good though. He’s not like, incompetent.
Sun: And Gretchen plays the cello? How does that fit in?
D.G.: We kind of make it fit. Some of [the songs] it doesn’t … but it’s a cool sound.
M.M.: Cello’s actually my favorite instrument; I think the sexiest instrument also.
D.G.: We need to work on some more original songs with Gretchen, because she plays in most of our covers actually.
M.M.: We take songs that aren’t traditionally cello songs …
D.G.: … and then we slow it down, cause when you do a cover you want to do it different.
Sun: So what are all of your favorite instruments, not necessarily to play but to hear?
D.G.: I’m a big fan of the harmonica actually. When someone can wail on the harmonica, it’s pretty sweet.
D.H.: There [are] a lot of instruments out there! In terms of classical instruments, I’d probably say the harp. I never actually played bass … I actually just went out and bought a bass because I really just wanted to play the bass.
M.M.: Because Deke’s also an amazing guitarist.
D.H.: So the bass is what I listen to when I listen to a rock song. I listen to the bass line, that’s what I find myself singing afterwards.
Sun: What are your favorite bands of all-time?
D.H.: Mine is probably They Might Be Giants.
D.G.: I mean Bob’s gotta be there somewhere, Damien Rice [is] great. Josh Ritter [is] also great, nobody knows him.
M.M.: I’m gonna speak for Gretchen when I say Beirut. As for me, I can’t do less than three: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Decemberists.
Sun: How did you guys get your name, Steady State?
D.G.: That was Deke’s brain child.
D.H.: “Steady state” is a type of workout for crew.
M.M.: But if you’re not on crew, I think you can appreciate the alliteration.
D.G.: Yeah, it’s all about the alliteration.

Steady State has two shows coming up, one Thursday and one next Wednesday at 10:00 at the Nines.