With a dash of lo-fi production, some sharp-as-razor guitars, a dab of grease to keep the gears running, and plenty of charisma, The Steens prove that rock is alive and chilling out in Orange County. The duo – brothers Elijah and Isaiah “Zay” Steen – unleash their band’s debut single here on HollywoodLife. In “What A Way To Die,” The Steens deliver a fuzzed-out garage rock sound that brims with sun-kissed charm. The levels are in the red, but the light is green, and The Steens have their foot on the gas. The result is a perfect addition to your summer driving playlist.
When asked what the overall message they wanted to convey with this first impression, the band kept it kind of mysterious. “They say you can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you,” The Steens shared with HollywoodLife.
They also spoke about working with producer Justin Raisen, whose resume consists of groups like Viagra Boys, Overcoats, and Nasty Cherry, but stars like Charli XCX, Yves Tumor, and Kim Gordon. Justin also worked with The Steens on their forthcoming EP. “Working with J is boxing in its finest form…real old school & authentic. He’s JLR…Not many like him,” the band says.
With a father working in the music industry as an A&R/artist manager (while their mother pursued her career as a stylist), the Steens seemed destined to music glory. However, their father’s arrest and ten-year prison sentence impacted their attitude towards art and industry as a whole. After some regrouping, The Steens saw their future in the sound ratting around an old blown-out speaker.
Though the two are in sync, they tell HollywoodLife that they didn’t listen to the same music growing up. Elijah would be outside playing The Dogg Pound, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while his brother would have a David Bowie record on shuffle. “Lou Reed’s way up there,” the band tells HollywoodLife about their influences. “Bad Brains, The Stooges… Iggy Pop the Godfather.. well, Chuck Berry and Little Richard are…love em’ all.”
It’s not hard to see how future bands might cite The Steens as influences. Keep an ear open to what this group does next.