[sic] Magazine

Interview: Delicate Steve

Steve Marion ‘s luxurious new album Positive Force is still gently resonating through the halls of [sic] HQ, its lush guitar and laid-back vibes languidly seeping into the places where summer should be. When the chance to exchange a few words with its creator came to pass we naturally couldn’t refuse, briefly taking in topics as varied as road biking, David Byrne and killer whales!

By way of introduction, where in the world do you find yourself today and what’s been on the agenda?

Steve Marion: Just got home from our first ever European tour. It was extraordinary. Currently I’m in New Jersey and the crickets are very loud right now. Sleep is on my mind, and I want to get up early and ride my bike tomorrow.

I love the incidental capture of those ambient cricket chirrups on the new album. Do your surroundings always colour your mood / act as an influence or could you write and record anywhere?

SM: The crickets! They are inescapable. I think over time they hold a certain influence over you. You start to miss them when you are sleeping in cities for too long. My environment is a big inspiration for my mood and my music … currently trying to imagine what I want to be surrounded by when making the next record – killer whales perhaps!

You might have to decamp from New Jersey for those! In any case, Positive Force seems pretty well-travelled in spirit at least. I’m thinking specifically of the Caribbean flavours in “Wally Wilder” and the percussive world-beats in “Tallest Heights”. Is this the reason you’re tied to the world music-centred Luaka Bop imprint?

SM: I think Luaka Bop has great taste in music, and I’m just happy to be a part of the lineage.

Speaking of which, Luaka Bop happens to be owned by one David Byrne. Do you or your records have much interaction with him at all?

SM: Over the years David has become less involved with the label, but I’ve seen him out at a few shows and have chatted with him … nice guy. Said “Nice record!” to me once, referring to my first album.

He was right! During the [sic] magazine review of Positive Force the term “headphone music” was mentioned in relation to “difficult, expansive, niche, technical or, most commonly, instrumental” music. Nevertheless we weren’t entirely comfortable applying the term to your record. Is it a concept you’re familiar with and how comfortable would you be applying it to your own music?

SM: I’d like to imagine my music as “speaker music”, with the idea that it’s meant to be a shared experience – listened to together – which is something you can’t do with a pair of headphones.

You can certainly communicate more widely with “speaker music”. Is that why you’re now incorporating the odd vocal sample? Are you tempted to work with a vocal more regularly given the success of “Two Lovers”?

SM: I’ve always been interested in working with vocals, and I’m excited to play around with them more on the next record.

We’ll look forward to that. All the same it’s your guitars skills for which you are renowned and you have become quite the go-to guitarist of late reputedly because of the “good vibe” you bring. Care to put your finger on how that vibe comes about or is a natural process?

SM: I couldn’t say, but I do feel very grateful for how I was raised and everyone and everything I’ve been influenced by, and I owe it all to that.

Finally, what’s next for Delicate Steve?

SM: Keep going strong until we have the tour bus and I can bring my road bike on tour.

~[sic] magazine would like to thank Steve Marion and wish him well for the his LP. Positive Force is out now on Luaka Bop .~

[sic] review: Positive Force

Delicate Steve @ bandcamp