ETA: Introduce yourselves, what are your names and rolls in the band?
Fruit n Beef: Mario Stepanovsky – guitar, writing, founder
Henrieta Stepanovsky – Vocals, lyrics
Rob Kminiak – bass guitar
Zachariah Godlove – drums
ETA: How long have you been together? How did the band form?
Fruit n Beef: We formed in fall 2012 but the 3 of us Heni, Mario and Rob are from Slovakia and been together for 13 years. We played on and off different projects but we could never really find the fourth piece – drummer and that always held us back from progress. Finally we met Zac last year and we are thankful because it feels right and the chemistry in the practice room is great!
ETA: How’d you come up with the name Fruit n Beef?
Fruit n Beef: Well the time came to name the band and we went blank. Definitely didn`t want something serious. After having a metal project we didn`t want to sound serious anymore and wanted something that sounds like fun and you can`t put a genre on. The guys sell at the farmers market, 2 of them beef and the drummer Zac sells fruit and veggies. One day Zac`s customer came by and asked about the band and made a funny comment about rocking some fruit and beef. Zac told us the story and we jumped on it because it just sounded like wow, who would name the band Fruit n Beef? Us! And then we just started to incorporate it to our style description like beefy heavy sound with fruity juicy vocals. The more you think about it, the more layers of meaning come up 🙂
ETA: How would you describe your band? How are you unique?
Fruit n Beef:
We always tried to find our own sound but now it seems like its really coming along because we all have a little bit of our own style of playing and music we are influenced by and when it all melts together in a song, you hear alternative rock but in our own way. I use a variety of vocal techniques and change it from song to song. Also all songs have a different mood and theme and so it`s really hard to put a label on it. But lets just say that there is a lot of old influence many different people could appreciate.
ETA: Your band has roots from Slovakia, to the UK, to south Texas and now in Santa Barbara, CA. What has that journey been like? How has it influenced you?
Fruit n Beef: We left Slovakia in 2005 first. We came out with a new cd, went broke, lost jobs, could not do a tour without a budget so we left to live and work in the UK.
We took the band with us and tried it for 2 years. It was not really our thing and when we were on the edge and hungry for change we got invited to Texas rockfest in Austin , TX. That was a ticket out. To play music in the US was always a huge dream. It`s a life changing experience because there is so much art and talent here, it helps you to be constantly challenged and raise your own bars. We had a little break in Texas where we could not find the fourth piece again and ended up playing with our friend Rich later and managed to win a local Battle of bands which gave us push to get back on track. After a while in TX we were ready for a change and moved to Santa Barbara, CA to try and see what has CA to offer.
ETA: Who were your musical influences growing up that have helped mold you into the musicians and band you are today?
Fruit n Beef: I think we all come from the 80`s- 90`s era mainly. But of course everybody has their own favorites and everything we hear influences your subconscious and we just never know which piece of influence from that giant ocean is going to come out:-)
ETA: You’ve been together for a long time now, what has been your most memorable gig so far and why?
Fruit n Beef: It was and probably always will be that big first gig in 2003 when we got up on the main stage of a big rock festival in Slovakia in front of about 5000 people or so.
It was a big deal for a starting band to put us in the spotlight and honestly we were not quite ready but still did our best and got the crowd moving. Sad thing I had to go for vocal surgery a couple months later 🙁
ETA: The official music video for “Hollow” has just been released! How do you feel this video is unique? What was the motivation for the location you chose to shoot in?
Fruit n Beef: Hollow was the second song we jammed up. I wrote the lyrics a while before the song was made and at that time I was fascinated by the hollow earth theory and I like mystical things. I`m attracted to the unknown and unseen and I`ve been questioning all my life. Legends say that old Indian tribes just disappeared from earth and it is believed they went in to live in the inner dwellings of earth way more advanced than us. There is much land around Santa Barbara where Chumash Indians used to live and also left cave with drawings on the walls. I thought it would be cool to use it to bring out a bit of that old and mystical in the video and also show some authentic old art and places. This video was our second DIY music video and we are trying to make our videos better and more creative every time which is challenging on a micro budget but also much fun!
ETA: What plans do you have for Fruit n Beef in the future? What do you ultimately plan to achieve with the band?
Fruit n Beef: Ultimately? Tour the world 🙂 Well for now, we would love to get on even a small tour, that’s probably the biggest goal. And also make as much music and try different things as much as possible.
ETA: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Anything to say to your fans?
Fruit n Beef: Take all the challenges life throws at you and make the best you can out of them. Each challenge makes you stronger and better at what you do! Keep supporting live music and come out to see our show! 🙂 Download our free music on SoundCloud