Steve Gorman has had a busy year with the release of a new album this past October with his band Trigger Hippy, the release of his critically acclaimed memoir “Hard To Handle: The Life And Death of The Black Crowes” this past September, and his nationwide radio show “Steve Gorman Rocks!” The following is an interview between Jon Siembieda at Tahoe Onstage and Gorman as part of a series catching up with artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, to see what they are doing for creative output in these times.
You were in the midst of a pretty torrid schedule … you released a top-selling autobiography of your career in The Black Crowes (“Hard To Handle: The Life and Death of The Black Crowes”), your band Trigger Hippy released a new record (“Full Circle & Then Some”), and you have a nationally syndicated rock radio show (“Steve Gorman Rocks!”). How has the shelter-in-place life changed things? How has your focus shifted? In times like these, artists really need to learn to be creative with continuing to get their projects into the ether virtually.
Steve Gorman: 1) Hasn’t changed anything where the book is concerned, at least not for me day to day. It is still selling well and the paperback is due at the end of May. Pre-orders are good so that’s apparently a self-perpetuating thing these days.
2) Trigger Hippy, like all touring bands, is kaput for now. We were really having a great time… It’s a major drag but of course way, way out of our hands. We’ve posted a couple of videos this week featuring Amber and Ed, but so far haven’t put anything together with the whole band. It’ll come soon though. We’re spitballing all kinds of ideas.
3) ‘Steve Gorman Rocks!’ has continued without interruption, although I am doing the show from home now. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to do a nightly radio show with a laptop, microphone, and some new software. We are truly living in the future.
My focus has definitely shifted away from Trigger Hippy as there’s just nothing to be done. As soon as we feel comfortable with getting in a room, we’ll be putting new tunes together but I can’t even begin to speculate when that will be.
“Full Circle & Then Some” is my favorite album from 2019. The band is very interesting to me, as the common core between the two albums is yourself and Nick (Govrik)… the rhythm section… How have you transitioned to Ed Jurdi and Amber Woodhouse with the new album, while still remarkably keeping the sound and vibe incredibly cohesive between the two releases?
Well, Nick is the primary writer on both albums, so that plays a large part in the cohesion between the two. And, of course, having a rhythm section as the founders of a band certainly helps in that regard. Trigger Hippy has existed in our minds since the first time we jammed together in 2004. So, Nick and I have always been in lockstep with what we wanted the band to be. That’s not to say everyone else isn’t involved — far from it. But the initial spark and the building blocks of Trigger Hippy came from the two of us. So, Ed and Amber brought very significant contributions to a band with a rock-solid foundation as far as vibe goes.
What was next for Trigger Hippy before the coronavirus hit? How has the pandemic changed the plans? Any plans for livestreams or watch parties in the meantime?
We had a lot of dates booked. The general plan was to play as many shows as possible throughout the year while recording new tunes when at home in Nashville. Suffice to say, that general plan is in the scrap heap right now along with just about every other touring band’s general plan.
The radio show seems to be going strong. How have you enjoyed transitioning from sports radio talk show to rock ‘n’ roll DJ?
The transition from sports radio to classic rock has been great. When I started “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” in 2008, it was a tiny little quirky local sports talk show that had no real rhyme or reason. It was fun, and the subject matter was all over the place. I used to set a timer to see how long I could open a show without talking about sports, in fact. That was always the goal — a sports talk show that isn’t really about sports. Once the show went national, there was far less flexibility. I still enjoyed it but five years was enough. Talking about music is fantastic — our new show plays 10 songs per hour so there is way less time on the microphone but also no time to ramble on incessantly. So it’s a different skill set using the same muscles so to speak.
What album(s) did you recently get that everybody needs to go check out?
What music has been on your quarantine playlist?
Steve Gorman: All the usual suspects: Television, The Smiths, Marvin Gaye, The Stones, The Bee Gees, Wilco, Illiterate Light, Stereophonics, The Jayhawks, Jason Isbell, Earth Wind and Fire, Devo…I mean, every hour brings an entirely different set of requirements.
Where can people keep up with Trigger Hippy, buy the book, and check out your radio show?
Steve Gorman Rocks
Hard to Handle:
Personal twitter: @sgsfox
— Jon Siembieda