Stevie Dinner’s music is beautiful, there’s no denying that.You can put his entire discography on shuffle and get lost in all of the different sounds. Yet another discovery that spotify recommended to me and this time I really struck gold. The moment I heard Card Declined for Pizza & Wine I was hooked. The drums are hypnotizing, the guitar is so gorgeous, the way the bass grooves along following the melody, the whistles and flute add a layer that most wouldn’t think of adding, but its great. Then, in the middle the beat just fucks off and the tempo speeds up and your suddenly drowning under the guitar and the drums and that’s a good feeling. Amidst all the chaos it doesn’t feel like too much, but it’s just enough. Then, at the end the tempo goes back to the beginning and it wraps up so perfectly. Of course after hearing that I had to dive into his catalog and I was surprised to see he only had two albums in there. Those two albums are fire though. The sounds Stevie (aka Josh) plays with are consistently crazy on both of them. Mystery Flavor has Cult Ritual, Line 3 and The Incantation Parts One and Two and Ready to Dine has Telephone, Unisex Disco, and Sassy Deluxe.
I was so stoked when he agreed to do this because there’s only one interview of him out there and it’s from a while ago, but he said yes and I almost jumped through the roof. We talk about a lot of things too. Josh is an interesting man to say the least.
Deshaun: What made you decide to start the Stevie Dinner project? Because I know you play bass for Warehouse.
Stevie Dinner: So yeah I was actually doing this project before I joined warehouse (which is now broken up btw) I guess I’ve kinda always had a solo recording project since being a teenager. This one is the most fun.
D: What inspired the sound behind Stevie Dinner? Or has your solo work always sounded that way?
SD: I guess just the music I love plus my sense of humor. Its changed over the years but i like to think its always been fucked.
D: Do you make it a point to show that in your lyrics? Listening to them I get a feeling of blunt nonchalant humor under your more “positive” sounding production.
SD: Nah not really. I do like to crack jokes but I wouldn’t say its something I set out to do. I’ve been living as a starving artist for 11 years now so my sense of humor is pretty fortified. The subversive jokes are both there just to be subversive but also to like nod to the listener know like “…pssst hey I’m anti-establishment too lets hang out” because I’m desperately seeking an artist community that I jive with I guess. I’m all alone over here.
SD: So I guess the answer to your question is really: yes, when i’m feeling frisky.
D: Damn, being that you’re in Atlanta I would’ve thought that would a bit easier to get done. I’m guessing there’s a lot of people there with fake intentions?
SD: I wouldn’t really know. I’ve been kinda out of the loop for several years. I have no idea what the scene is like now.
D: So, taking it back: What made you want to start the Stevie Dinner project? Also, what inspired the name?
Edit: I just realized I asked the same question twice…
SD: I used to be in a band with my friend Sam called TV Dinner. We named it that because we put our keyboards and shit on little TV dinner tables. We had a song that just went “TV dinner tray, TV dinner tray, TV dinner tray” Sam played keyboard, I played bass, and we had a drum machine. Good times. One time we were playing a house party and this drunk guy came up and was like begging us to let him play the drums with us. He was like insistent on it. Who goes up to a band they’ve never seen before in the middle of their set and causes a scene like that? Anyways we told him to fuck off. That story really doesn’t have anything to do with anything sorry…what was I talking about….oh yeah so at some point I found that picture of the face from the cover of mystery flavor and all the sudden I was like “I understand what I must do” so I named it Stevie Dinner and recorded all those songs off of mystery flavor back to back. It was fun.
D: Man, i’m in class right now holding my laughs in because of that. But coming from that group based background, do you like being in a group more or solo?
SD: I certainly miss the camaraderie that comes with being in a group. And being able to jam and shit. I miss that. I love playing music like really fucking loud. There is nothing like grooving with some talented homies and making the butts shake on the dance floor. But yeah as far as writing goes the only way I know how to really do it is alone. I think I would feel bad taking anyone else along for the ride. I go to some weird places. I stay up all night and drink Evan Williams and just totally lose focus of all other aspects of my life. I just don’t give a fuck. It’s a miracle I have a job and a place to live. I am a complete mess. I’m really lucky to have a little bit of cash coming in from spotify plays. That shit still blows my mind. I am looking for a band right now though because I got this show in France next year and I need some people so if you’re reading this and you’re like: “Hey I like this guy’s style, I shred, let’s do like that one unicorns song and buy some matching clothes,” then PLEASE hit me up. firstname.lastname@example.org.
D: So you’re definitely going to release Music for 8 Tracks before then right? Because we’re quite literally starving over here man.
SD: Funny thing about that is that material (the series I’ve been posting on insta lately) is like 5 years old. I just lost it in a hard drive crash. So I doubt that stuff will be hitting the streets super soon because I wanna put out some more contemporary stuff. I’m really overwhelmed with the amount of material I’m sitting on. Here it is: https://visamastercard.bandcamp.com/album/tfw-ur-fucked
D: Woah, 73 tracks?? What’s the process like of creating a song then? Or do you reopen and add onto older tracks?
SD: Mostly just new stuff every day. I revisit stuff sometimes too though.
D: Okay two more questions, 1. would you mind describing your genres: soft core punk/cheap jazz/no house? Because somehow they make perfect sense, but they still leave me confused at the same time. 2. What can we expect from the new project?
SD: I kinda just thought they sounded funny at first but they actually ended up being pretty accurate. Softcore punk cause I identify as a punk but definitely not a hardcore punk. I don’t make music to mosh to I make music to dance to, (get fucked up and) wash dishes to, walk to, quit your job to, skate to, and *fingers crossed* fuck to. Cheap Jazz is a play on free jazz cause I’m addicted to jazz and also I’m addicted to being completely and utterly broke at all times. No house is because I love house music and I kinda assumed I was gonna be homeless at some point on this journey which turned out to be true. Well not all the way homeless (my heart goes out to the people who are stuck in that awful situation, their ongoing plight is probably the greatest failure of society) I was living in a storage unit but it was…yeah awful. Anyways the music I’m going to be putting out soon has a lot more synthesizers, drum machines, technical know-how, and bongos. It’s probably safe to say that lyrically it’s much darker. Maybe to the point of being challenging for some people. I guess we’ll see.
D: Well, I definitely cannot wait to hear it. That’s all i had. Anything else you’d like to add?
SD: It was nice talking to you. Thanks for listening!
Follow Stevie on Instagram: @steviedinner