STEVE STEINMAN INTERVIEW
Newark-based Steve Steinman first rose to prominence as a contestant on “Stars in Their Eyes” in 1990, proving that he possessed a voice to match Meatloaf’s in both tone and intensity. Since then, he’s been on tour almost constantly with various shows, most notably “Vampires Rock,” a high-octane rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza. Here, in the run-up to the Vamps crew visiting Hull City Hall on Halloween, “Pulse” author Steve Rudd catches up with Mr. Steinman…
Hi Steve, how are things, and how has 2016 treated you so far?
2016 has been great! We finish the “Vamps” tour in March every year, and then we take a break from touring. Then I have to get started on promoting the next tour, making any changes to the show in order to keep it fresh.
So you’re back on the road with the “Vamps” crew! How many years have you been touring the show now, and do you still enjoy performing it as much as you did when you first started out performing it?
It’s been 15 years now, and it’s still going strong! We have made many changes in that time. At the moment, we’re touring the Vamps’ “Ghost Train,” which is the next chapter. I always keep it fresh. That way, it keeps me interested. So yes… I still love it.
When did you first conceive the show, and how easy was it to adapt your vision to the stage?
I was touring “The Meat Loaf Story,” and I wanted to make a show that used many different rock tunes… not just one artist’s back catalogue. I needed a “hook,” too, and that came in the form of vampires! Vampires live forever, and so does Classic Rock, so that’s how it all started.
You’ve had the likes of Eddie (Twisted Sister) Ojeda and Toyah Willcox join you on past tours as guests. Does the latest show have any special guest stars along for the ride?
No, not this time. It was great with Eddie. I met him in Vegas, and we got to be friends, so I invited him to come over and play on tour with us. Toyah got to hear about the show, and she jumped at the chance to work with me, doing two tours with us. It was great working with them both, as they were both true professionals.
Why do you think “Vamps” continues to be so popular, drawing “repeat-custom” from hardcore fans year after year?
I keep it fresh, and I’m always changing and improving every tour. I have a great cast; I manage to find some incredible singers and musicians, but I also change them in order to keep it new. I’m also able to change some of the songs every year, but I keep the story the same, with some script changes and “new” funny parts. Each year is different to the last, but I still keep it as close to the original as I can.
Looking back, when did you discover that you sound like Meatloaf?
I don’t really try to sing like Meat Loaf; I just have the same tone when I sing. I can’t sing like anyone else. I just sing, and that’s what you get.
I first saw you in “The Meatloaf Story” when you brought the show to Scarborough Futurist. Do you still tour such a show?
I did a small tour last year, but I have no plans at the minute. I’ve just written – and am going to produce – a new show called “Iconic,” which will be great fun. I’ll be using the music from some of the best “Iconic Movies” ever such as “Kill Bill,” “Batman” and “Mad Max,” so I’m really looking forward to it. We will tour it between March and August 2017.
So have you ever met the real Meatloaf?
Yes, I have – many times. My first time was on “The Big Breakfast” many years ago. There’ve been a few more times, as I’m friends with Paul Cook, Meat’s producer and main man on guitar.
Returning to “Vamps,” what songs do rock-hungry audiences have to look forward to hearing this time around?
I like to keep it under my hat. We have so many fans who come back year after year, and they like to be surprised. I have a few songs I always keep in the show such as “Bat Out of Hell” to end the night on. I don’t think there is a better finish to any night than with “Bat.”
Is performing in “Vamps” really as much fun as it looks?
The part on stage is the easy part and the fun part, but to get to that point is very hard. We travel many hundreds of miles during a tour, and with not much sleep, it can be tough, but it’s worth every minute when we have a full house and every face is smiling back at you.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what do you think you might be doing for a living instead?
Wow, I really don’t know! I’ve been doing this for so long now, I wouldn’t know what else to do. I would probably be doing something in the food industry, as I was a chef for some time.
Finally, how can people find out more about you and the “Vamps” juggernaut?
Just go to www.vampiresrock.com - all the dates and info are on the website. You can also join the “Vampires Rock” group on Facebook.
The Vamps’ “Ghost Train” will be stopping at Hull City Hall on Monday 31st October