60 Seconds with Trevor Steel of The Escape Club
Exclusive Interview by Karen Beishuizen
The Escape Club is a British band who had a huge hit across Europe and a No. 1 US hit in 1988 with “Wild Wild West”. Trevor Steel is the lead singer and co-writer of the song. The band will be back on the road soon and a new EP is planned for 2023.
KB: Did you always want to be a singer and musician?
Not until I heard Bowie as a teenager. His album “Hunky Dory” got me through my dismal school years and inspired me to do something different away from the production line that I found myself on. You know, school, college, job, mortgage, kids, death. I never really wanted to do all that so figured I’d join a band. A dumb move now that I look back on it but it paid off in the end.
KB: In 1983 you formed the band The Escape Club: How did you come up with such a cool band name?
I have to be honest that I don’t know. We made up all sorts of answers when asked this question back in the day. Truth is that it was the only name that emerged after weeks of trying that no-one hated. We had a long list of contenders – wish I had that now.
KB: In 1988 the song Wild Wild West was released. It went number 1 on the billboard charts and a big success in Europe too. What is the song about and were you surprised it became such a big hit?
The Wild Wild West was the Western world at the time. I put in references to Ronnie Reagan, the Cold War and Aids. Some people picked up on it but in the end, it was a great party song. People loved it for different reasons. That song changed our lives. I remember flying to America for the first time to a number one single, Yeah, it was a surprise but a good one.
KB: The band disbanded in 1992 and you became a songwriter and producer. For whom did you write and produce songs?
John Holliday (E.C. guitarist) and I produced and wrote a lot of songs in the Nineties for UK pop bands. We had a good few hits. It wasn’t the sort of music that we were used to, but we got a knack for making radio-friendly tracks. We worked on, Westlife, Boyzone, Louise Nurding and a lot more inoffensive pop but we were never completely comfortable going that far over to the bright side.
KB: If you were to make an album with 7 of your most favorite songs (not your own): Which songs would you pick and why?
Hmm, difficult question. This isn’t a list of my favorite songs which would have ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Once in a lifetime’ on it. They’re already beyond perfect and re-recording them would be to my mind, pointless. So, here’s a list that I would enjoy singing at least and hopefully wouldn’t upset the original artists too much.
• ‘Riders On The Storm’ by the Doors. I’ve always loved the Doors and we were lucky enough to work with Ray Manzarek. I love Jim Morrison’s lyrics and I think we could do a good version of this track.
• ‘I Don’t Believe In You’ By Talk Talk. One of my all-time favorite bands. I know that Mark was difficult to work with at times, but he was a genius.
• ‘Tinseltown In The Rain’ By the Blue Nile. This band have provided a soundtrack to my life. I love Paul Buchanan’s voice and couldn’t possibly touch him for performance but would like to cover this track just because I love it so much. If you haven’t checked out The Blue Nile, do it. They are one of the most underrated bands,
• ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Bonnie Raitt. Just a beautiful song.
• ‘Under The Milky Way’ by The Church. A song that reminds me of Australia and magical nights under the stars. My beloved adopted country.
• ‘Shape Of You’ By Ed Sheeran. To my mind, a perfect pop song.
• ‘Your Ghost’ By Kristen Hersch. A hauntingly beautiful song that inspired me to write a novel.
KB: Are there currently artists you would love to collaborate with? Who and why?
Ed Sheeran mentioned above. The guy is a fantastic songwriter. A talent that seemed to get lost for a while. I’m glad to see it coming back with artists like him. Billie Eilish. Love the production. So, her brother really, Finneas O’Connell.
KB: In 2010 you reformed The Escape Club. Are you still touring with the band or what are you doing now?
Yes, we are back on the road. Pre-covid we joined one of the 80’s tours and expect to do this again soon. We’re also working on an EP of songs for release in 2023.
Check out the band’s website: HERE
Find the band on Facebook: HERE
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