Bassist for the LA Band Nightjacket
Uber partner and musician Steve tells us about going from the tuba to the bass, his touring in Europe, and how he describes Nightjacket’s music style.
Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and when you started playing music.
I am originally from Pittsburgh. My dad is a jazz musician and was a music teacher, now retired, and my mom is a singer. I started playing music when I was nine years old – starting with the tuba.
How did you go from the tuba to the bass guitar?
I wanted to play guitar but my uncle, who is also a music teacher, said I should play bass guitar. With tuba and bass you read the same music, same register. I have been playing the bass since I was 12.
How did you get into touring and playing in bands?
I did band in high school and traveled around the state. When I graduated I toured the whole country, from age 18 to 24. The first big one was part of the local scene – a metal band that went on to tour the country and play 800 shows in four years. After that, I started doing fill-in gigs with other bands and touring Europe. After that, I knew music was something I would always do.
How did you make your way back from Europe and to Los Angeles?
I have been in ten bands which has been awesome. After Europe I moved to Nashville and then to Austin trying to do music out there. But those cities did not have the opportunities I really wanted so I came to LA.
"I have 20 times the driving experience than most people thanks to touring and I feel comfortable in the car – long drives, short drives. It reminds me of being on tour – the quietness of a long ride, it feels natural for me. "
— Steve, Bassist for the LA Band Nightjacket
How did you start playing with Nightjacket?
The band is just so talented. The band started with Jordan [the guitar player] and Holland [ the singer]. I was in another band at first and that band went on hiatus. They asked if I wanted to play a show with them. My first show with them was at the end of February and I have been with the band since.
The music is dreamy, chill rock. We get compared to Mazzy Star all of the time.
What has been one of your favorite experience with Nightjacket?
We shot our music video on a rooftop in Downtown LA which was awesome . We all put out our EP on my birthday this year.
I love being in the band. We keep winning over crowds. The band is the highest grade music I have played for and everyone in the band is amazing at their instruments. We are all veterans and it is not the first time around for any of us. I even have to be on top of it because I am not the one with the most experience. I get pushed musically and that is very valuable for me as musician. As I get better, I learn – I love that about the band.
What are you inspired by?
I am really into reggae. Ninety percent of what I listen to is reggae. It is natural music with good vibes and it is one music where the bass is in the forefront. That is what is great about Nightjacket – the bass has a prominent role.
How does Los Angeles influence your art?
LA is special because everyone you know is doing something in the creative arts field, everyone is trying to be better. The standard of musician here is higher caliber than anywhere else. There are a ton of good bands, great musicians, great artists, people who are hungry, all trying to do the best we can. That is what makes LA unique.
What were your first thoughts when you heard Uber was starting an UberARTIST campaign?
I thought it was awesome. From driving and meeting people, I have seen people are really interested in drivers. They want to know who is taking them around. It has been great to see riders take an interest in Nightjacket. And it is good Uber is going beyond that and taking such an interest in their drivers. Not everyone can work 40 hours a week at a job and still be doing creative things.
Why do you drive with Uber?
I have 20 times the driving experience than most people thanks to touring and I feel comfortable in the car – long drives, short drives. It reminds me of being on tour – the quietness of a long ride, it feels natural for me.
And your car is your office; you get to make the rules and schedule for yourself when you want to drive.
Hear more Driver Stories