bill bodkin interviews Steve Brown, guitarist of ’80s hair metal band Trixter …
A few years ago, I had my very own VH1 “Where Are They Now?” moment.
See, every summer at the Jersey Shore, you will see the name Steve Brown pop up just about everywhere. Whether playing solo or with his band The Fallout, Brown rocks the faces off of Shore bar patrons, no matter the venue.
I first ran into Brown when he was playing a a solo, fully electric show at The Sandbar in Brielle. Unaware of his past, I got a weird vibe from his performance. I thought he was too good — he worked the bar with rock star swagger, he performed with reckless abandon and he was just so engaging. People really loved this guy.
During his set break, I inquired to how he got so damn good. The answer: He was the founding member of the seminal hair metal band Trixter. Yes, Trixter. Born and rock ‘n’ roll raised in Paramus, N.J., the band has sold three million albums worldwide, had three Top 100 hit singles, owned MTV’s airwaves and toured with the biggest and best from the hair metal era.
In recent years, Trixter has reunited and performed shows all over the country to dizzying excitement from their loyal fans. The response to their return has been so positive that the band is returning to the studio to record new music.
Recently, I was able to speak with the extremely busy Brown about Trixter — the height of their fame, the effect the Seattle scene had on the band, the band’s reunion and other metal topics.
The Height of Trixter’s Fame
B&B: Can you describe the experience you felt when you saw your first video on MTV?
Steve Brown: One of the greatest feelings ever. A dream come true.
B&B: What were your favorite bands that your toured/performed with?
SB: They were all great. Started with Stryper, Don Dokken. Those were club and theater shows. Then we did out first arena tour with Poison.
There is nothing like playing sold-out arenas. Trixter was No. 1 on MTV with a Top 30 album on the Billboard charts. It felt awesome.Then we landed the Scorpions tour and things just went nuts. Warrant/Trixter/Firehouse came next summer 1991. What a party!
B&B: It seems that you have a major following in Japan. What other countries are big into Trixter?
SB: Japan is killer. Germany and the U.K. have been very good to us.
B&B: What was biggest U.S. show you performed?
SB: 45,000 people at the World Amphitheater in Chicago, Summer 1991 with Warrant and Firehouse.
B&B: Within years of hitting it big, the grunge movement started. How did the band react to the Seattle sound?
SB: It was tough. The rug got pulled out form under us. But no complaints. We lived it and hit it big. Not many people can say that.
B&B: This one is from my wife: “Do you guys know anyone on the E! show Married To Rock? And how cool are they?”
SB: All of them. Nice ladies!
B&B: Where did you guys go after Trixter?
SB: Started a few new bands. Throwan Rocks, Soaked, 40 Ft. Ringo, Stereo Fallout. Put a bunch of new CDs out. Always making music. [Editor’s Note: Bassist PJ Farley also performed in the nu-metal outfit RA.]
B&B: Why did you and PJ (who perfomed in legendary Jersey cover act Big Orange Cone) enter into the world of cover music?
SB: Money, and the love of playing music. It beats working a day job.
The Reunion & Beyond
B&B: What was the impetus for your reunion?
SB: It just felt right. You cant wait too long.
B&B: Were you nervous about performing live again? Were there concerns if people would show up to shows?
SB: Nah. I knew we’d kick ass.
BB: Where was the first show you played when you came back, and how was the response?
SB: Rocklahoma Festival 2008. Amazing response and we almost died in a hurricane. (laughs)
BB: How often does Trixter perform a year?
SB: I think we’ve done 12 shows this year. 2011 will be more.
BB: Trixter’s self-titled record is being re-issued. What can fans expect from it?
SB: Remastered with bonus tracks.
BB: Any new music on the horizon?
SB: We started recording a new Trixter CD a few weeks back. Going great. Some song titles: “Drag Me Down,” “Save Your Soul,” “Live For The Day.”