friday, April 23, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 137

The Weekend: The Houston International Festival


About the Cougar

My Friend Steve hopes to create a buzz at Houston show

By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

Meet My Friend Steve. No, not the guy next to you. More like a group of five guys who have been together since last year and have released a debut album Hope & Wait.

But that's not all. The group has already joined the pop-culture WB group by having one of its singles, "Charmed," chosen as the theme song for the sitcom Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane.

The Orlando-based band will be joining KTBZ 107.5 FM's annual BuzzFest, in which people attend an all-day concert in the inevitable heat, banging their heads to the sounds of rocking and recognizable bands.

Alt-rock band My Friend Steve is just one of the many groups that will rock the stage at this year's Buzzfest held at Woodlands Pavilion.

John Falls/Mammoth Records

In a recent telephone interview, band frontman Steve Burry said the guys couldn't be happier.

"It's such a thrill. We have done festivals before, but this one is huge. We played in Houston about a month ago, but this time is definitely much, much bigger."

Getting gigs, though, isn't too much of a big deal for them. The band played St. Louis and will perform in Springfield, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., before coming to Houston.

"That's somewhat of a disadvantage," Burry said. "Whenever we have a show, it's like, have dinner, play the show and leave for the next city. We never really get to stay and see what each city is all about.

"When we were in Houston last time, we only went to the Galleria since it was near our hotel. We didn't even get to go to the bars," he said.

Well, unfortunately, they will be doing the same thing this time. After the stint at BuzzFest, the band will set out on a 20-hour road trip to its next show in South Carolina.

"Yep, 20 hours," Burry commented. "But it's cool, we get along pretty well. It gets kind of hectic, though, with seven guys in the vehicle."

Burry is willing to go through all that, considering how much exposure playing in small clubs brings the band.

Since the release of Hope & Wait, the alternative-pop band has touring as its top priority.

"We've been working with this album for a while, though we have a lot of things written for the next one," Burry said. "It's just mainly touring right now."

The 12-track album has made its way around like many other soon-to-hit-it-big bands, with songs such as "Carflips" and "Arnie," some of Burry's own personal favorites.

Oh, and what's with the name?

"There's not really a big story to it," Burry said. "Steve's my first name, and it just came to it. And with the way things go, stuff just falls under the umbrella and things happen."

When asked who would be the ultimate band to tour with, Burry was quick to answer: Radiohead.

"Playing a show with Radiohead would be the best thing. We listen to them on the road a lot, along with Beck. We also like Chocolate Genius, which I picked up a while back," he said.

Once again, they have to settle with other bands such as Collective Soul, Soul Coughing, Jude, Better Than Ezra, Lit, Eve 6, Tin Star and more, which isn't really a bad thing.

And Burry isn't complaining.

"I'm looking forward to the show with Soul Coughing. This is going to be a really big event."

Along with Burry, My Friend Steve consists of Eric Steinberg, Dave McMahon, Pat Koch and drummer Eric Gardner. The group will, needless to say, be at Sunday's sold-out BuzzFest at Woodlands Pavilion.

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