An Interview with Stephen
guitarist cuts a solo record.
By John B. Moore
In the world of pop punk, Stephen Egerton is practically
royalty, lining up there right next to Joe Queer, Screeching Weasel’s Ben Weasel
and The Vandal’s Joe Escalante.
The guitarist for The Descendents and their offshoot ALL,
Egerton has helped influence a slew of younger punk rockers from Anti-Flag to
Though both The Descendents and All are still somewhat
active, Egerton has carved out a whole new career recently as recording studio
owner and occasional producer.
Between working with bands like MXPX and Lagwagon, Egerton
booked some time recently for himself to record a solo album, Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton. Along
with writing all of the songs, Egerton played every instrument and recorded
every piece of music, before sending the demos off to a slew of friends to lend
their vocals. Among those who took him up on the offer were Chris DeMakes (Less Than Jake), Jon
Snodgrass (Drag The River), Chad Price (ALL/Drag The River), Scott Reynolds
(ALL/Steaming Beast) and John Speck (The Fags).
recently about the project, the logistics and who he couldn’t get this time
So how long have you wanted to
put together an album like this?
I always thought it would be fun to make a record where I played all
the instruments… just as a challenge. I’ve played drums and bass as long as
guitar, and since I have a recording studio, and no regular people to make
music with where I live, it seemed like a good time to take a crack at
Did you know right away who you
wanted to sing on this album?
No, that part took a while. I had already recorded
the songs before my wife had the idea of having my friends sing on it (anyone
who’s heard me sing knows how great an idea it really was), so I would just listen
to the song, and imagine different friend’s voices singing the melodies.
Fortunately, I have a lot of VERY talented friends.
Anyone you wanted to bring in to
sing, but was unavailable?
Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) and George Reagan (Hagfish)
were each going to do one, but got too busy with other things, and had to
postpone. Hopefully that will happen sometime in the future. Ginger Walls from
The Wildhearts too.
How long did it take to record
and how did you handle the logistics?
The whole project took about a year to complete. I did all the music
over a couple of months then spent a couple of months figuring out who would
sound best on what song. I only recorded one of the singers. Each guy did their
song at a friend’s place, or by themselves. Fortunately vocals can be recorded
pretty easily, so I got lucky.
plans to put together another record like this one?
I’d like to do another record. I’ve still got a
lot of songs. After the dust settles from this one, I’ll start listening to
what I have, and thinking about who might sound good on each song.
Obviously it would be tough to
tour, but any plans to play shows with any of the vocalists?
I did do a couple release party shows in April
with five of the singers. I’d like to do that a few more times. We had a blast!
So any more reunion shows
planned for ALL?
I expect ALL will do some more shows. We’ve had a
great time at the one’s we’ve done recently. We’ll see if anyone asks!
Also wanted to ask you about the
recording studio you own. What types of bands do you work with?
Mostly punk rock bands, but some alt country and occasionally metal
bands. Over the last couple years, I’ve done more mixing and mastering than
recording, but I’ve got several full length recording projects coming up in the
next few months. I stay very busy with the studio. I really enjoy mixing, and
since recording budgets are pretty small these days, it works well for a lot of
bands to record locally, then send me the music to mix and/or master.
So what’s next for you?
Just forging ahead with making music and
recordings. I’ve recorded some instrumental music of my own, as well as with
the band Slorder, and I’ll be releasing that as well as a record I played drums
on with a fantastic Tulsa
band called John Moreland and the Black Gold Band. John sang one of the songs
on my record, and is one of my favorite singers and songwriters. Other than
that, taking care of my family. I’m a very busy man!