Steig is Matthew Maier, a singer-songwriter of music that blends Americana, folk, folk-rock and indie. In December he released an eponymous debut album recorded independently in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We spoke to Steig about his influences, writing music and first LP.
Steig revisits different genres that I’ve always cared about. It’s definitely not an album you can quantify into one genre.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what were you doing before you began making music?
I’m a 28-year old musician from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who just released my self-titled debut album in December of 2017. I picked up my first guitar when I was 16, so I was probably writing English exams or learning to drive before that.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was there a particular song or artist who inspired you?
As a teenaged kid with his first guitar, I was immediately drawn to classic rock. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Who; basically anything you’d see on the shirt of an HMV employee. My biggest inspiration has definitely been Neil Young. He’s not the best singer and he’s not the best guitar player, but give him a guitar and let him sing and there’s no one better.
If you had to describe your sound as a personality, what would it be?
What would you say makes Steig unique?
The album was recorded primarily through online collaboration with different drummers. With the exception of track two where a friend of mine played drums, three different drummers from Canada and the U.S. volunteered to play on the album.
How do you create your music? Is there any kind of routine that helps?
A whole lot of noodling, whether it’s with a guitar, piano, or just a melody.
What was the most significant moment of 2017 for you and why?
Probably the first time I heard my music on the radio unsolicited. I had just graduated earlier that day so I was riding pretty high.
What did you listen to last year? Can you give us a top three records of 2017?
The Frightnrs - Nothing More To Say, Dorsey Burnette - Comin’ Back, Lee Moses - Time and Place. They didn’t exactly come out in 2017 but I couldn’t get enough of these albums this past year.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Tell us about your album Steig. What’s it’s themes?
Falling in and out of love.
How does it represent your sound?
It revisits different genres that I’ve always cared about. It’s definitely not an album you can quantify into one genre.
Which song was the hardest to finish and why?
Definitely ‘Old Lover’. There was a bit of miscommunication between the drummer and I in the online collaboration so I ended up changing the song a couple times to fit the new structure. A lot of rewrites and a lot of takes were needed to finish that one.
Which songs are you most proud of and why?
There are a few: ‘Saloon’ for its alt-country Americana sound; ‘I Want You’ because of its classic 1950s vibe; and ‘Everything’s Fine’ for its experimentation with new instrumentation. I listen to a lot of older music so being able to recreate some of my favourite sounds was very rewarding.
Which songs do you most look forward to playing live and why?
Again, probably ‘Saloon’. That’s the most fun to play and the one that people have responded to most positively.
What are your hopes for the album?
I want people to enjoy it and look forward to my next release. I want to use it as a compass for where I’m headed in the future.
How is your music developing?
I’m experimenting with my sound more than ever. People have said my debut has quite a range of sounds on it, which I have always embraced, but I want to expand more on some of those sounds and focus more on themed releases.
How is 2018 shaping up for you?
I’ve been writing a lot of music. The positive reaction I’ve received has only made me want to create more music.
Where can we see you play live next?
Haha, I’m not too sure. I’m currently dealing with the logistics of being able to put on an interesting show as a solo artist.
If you could pick any venue or festival to play, where would it be and which slot would you most enjoy?
Ness Creek music festival, 2am after hours stage.
Listen to Steig on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates follow Steig on Facebook.