<b>TOURING THE WEST:</b> The New Jersey-based Delicate Steve will bring their bellowing guitar melodies and prog-meets-classic-rock grooves to Velvet Jones on Sunday, April 26, at 8 p.m.

The first thing you need to know is that Delicate Steve isn’t that delicate. After his New Jersey high school band was signed and then shelved, Steve Marion regrouped and tackled a new project: indie-rock group Delicate Steve. After recently finishing up a spunky Live in Las Vegas record, Delicate Steve is kicking off a tour across the states.

The band will bring its bellowing guitar melodies and prog-meets-classic-rock grooves to Velvet Jones on Sunday, April 26, at 8 p.m. In anticipation of their Santa Barbara show, I chatted with the man behind the name, Marion, to talk alter egos, Sin City, and breaking out of New Jersey.

Is Delicate Steve the name of your alter ego or your band? It’s both, in different ways … It was an inside joke with a friend — it just sort of happened. I like that it has a person’s name in it.

You’re from New Jersey, the Holy Land of rock ’n’ roll. How was getting out of there and into the world?
I definitely pursued music partly because I wanted to get out and see the world but not because I didn’t like Jersey. I lived out in the countryside there, so it was nice and pleasant, and all my friends live there … My band is made up of friends from Jersey, so I support them and my other friends from back home who are pursuing music.

If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
I’d tour with my friends! It depends on the situation, of course, but if I could tour with the best musicians, then I’d pick my friends and bandmates. There are so many musicians that I don’t know personally who I’d want to play with. I hope someday I can make music with my heroes: the surviving Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Page, Tom Petty.

Was Delicate Steve your first musical project?
I’ve been making music since I was 15 — it’s why I didn’t go to college. My high school band got signed for a record deal.

What was it like getting signed to a major label in high school? It was really exciting, but we also had only a vague understanding of what was happening. We felt somewhat powerless and confused, but we didn’t know any better. My [high school] band’s record eventually got shelved. It didn’t discourage me from pursuing music, though. I only found out how much different the process is in indie music when Delicate Steve got a record deal.

You just released Live in Las Vegas. Why did you choose Sin City? We had our whole tour recorded, and we were planning on releasing a “best of” record. Our manager listened to all of the recordings and told us that the Vegas show was the one. I like the idea of the Live in Las Vegas album. It’s cool to hear a live band really cookin’ up onstage. We try to do that.

What are the best and worst parts of touring?
The worst parts are the long drives and not eating enough. The best parts are pretty much everything else!


Delicate Steve plays an all-ages show at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Sunday, April 26, at 8 p.m. For tickets and information, call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com


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