Steve Keith


Playing since I could afford instruments! Started at 7 with piano lessons through my parochial school - those sisters sure could boogie...well maybe some of them anyway. At 10, of course the Beatles changed everything. I drummed on a paper plate and a drinking glass until I broke the glass for the ending salvo of "I want to hold your hand". Mom didn't appreciate that. That led to a $10 acoustic guitar with approximately .25 inch action from the fretboard. I thought, geez, how do those guys play so good without shredding their fingers. After my bloody stumps recovered, I found an electric guitar with .10 action and still had bloody digits, but at least it was loud through my 10W amp. By the time the White Album came out, I had a cheapo electric keyboard and a better guitar. That paper route paid off. Of course there were the cover bands and the changes of personnel. Finally in 75, I got out of college and immediately started my career...not as an electrical engineer which I had spent 4 years of being bad at. I answered an ad for a bass player. I dragged along my best friend from the 5th grade who played keys in a number of bands with me. We got into this band Quick where the guitarist wrote his own songs, and his twin sister played electric violin. That eventually became Private Lightning after a couple of New York transplants joined. We had several gigs at faraway New England places, dumps like the place called the Scandinavi Inn - I kid you not. After many 'Play Free Bird's and Play 'Whipping Post', we eventually got a big following and were signed by A&M Records. We put out one album which the engineers messed up. Our manager bailed on us, and the rest is history. So now I am a solo recording artist, just playing and recording for myself and whoever will listen. I do the Mixing/Mastering on Sonar, sometimes ProTools. I'm a fan of Izotope and Waves products. I like Native Instruments and the Komplete packages. I think Melodyne is an amazing product designed by software engineers who know their stuff. I hope you'll listen and like my stuff. I try to be original and funny when I can. I don't like the ordinary music, much of which you hear today that has no lyrical content and bloody little melody. Sorry for being a dick, but I guess you can do that when you get to be my age. Cheers!







What is music to you? What does it give you?

A way to express creativity. A bridge to mathematics.

What is your music dream?

Write great songs that a lot of people like and get enjoyment from. Turn the tide of music back to when songs were great.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Putting a limit on how long any politician could serve and how much money they could make from serving.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

The whole Abbey Road album.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Beatles, Springsteen, Queen, Steely Dan

What inspires you to make music?

The sheer joy of being alone with my instrument and thoughts and getting something worthwhile done.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Songs don't have to be boring three chord, formulaic rap.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Nervous to start, then energized.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Keep out the A&R guys and the 'legend makers'. No more reality TV shows. Don't force feed me what you want to be popular. Stop brainwashing the kids.

What do you think of Drooble?

Awesome so far. Would like to be able to buy karma points.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Working really hard, producing a song that is really good, and not having anyone listen.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?


What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Don't care so much about money, check your ego, produce great stuff and have faith in yourself. Get a good salesman/manager to take care of the rest. Watch any finances and contracts with someone you trust implicitly...and verify, verify, verify.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Private Lightning