Steve Wernick is a singer/songwriter based in Sydney Australia, currently promoting his new album “Love Is A Gamble”.
It’s the band’s second album in less than a year. This is very much again a collaboration with the former Cleanskin’s guitarist Rolfe Knudsen. Both were co-founders of “The Cleanskins”, a legendary Sydney band who performed a couple of hundred gigs around Sydney and ACT from around 2009 to 2013 until the premature death of bassist Shan Chard, which preceded the demise of the band.
Steve’s known for his insightful, pathos laden, cutting, sometimes tender lyrics. Often compared to artists such as Paul Kelly, Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer, raw and emotional, there’s no mistaking his English roots.
Steve, English born and bred, was late into the music scene. He was pleasantly surprised when his songs met with rapid internet success before having to quickly put together a band to perform them due to fan requests to attend his gigs thus forming ”The Twisted Waltons”.
Rolfe, Australian born and bred, moved to the UK in the 80’s and was part of the post punk movement through the cult UK band “The Volcanoes”. Their album “Into the Psyche” was produced by Roman Jugg of The Damned, and is a timeless classic.
Their paths crossed in 2008 with the formation of “The Twisted Waltons”. Forming an instant understanding, their songs were an integral part of the band.
The Twisted Waltons may have been short lived, but The Cleanskins became a force to be reckoned with. Augmented by the power house rhythm section of Shan Chard and Byron Sims, and at various times guitarists Jamie Forsberg, Joe D’Onofrio and Ben Charters.
TV Appearances and Radio followed, plus Festivals like The Canberra Blues and Roots Festival, Marrickville Festival, 2044 Festival, and headliners at the SWR FM Live Broadcast Festival.
Tragedy struck with Shan’s passing, and the band sadly and reluctantly folded in 2014.
Still writing, Wernick & Knudsen decided to record some songs at Creative Sound Studios in Willoughby with Jono Chosid which resulted in their first album called Talent to Burn released in July 2016.
Guest musicians, including Cara Zaetta-Thomas and Gen Baijan soon became part of the new band under the name the Steve Wernick Band while Steve continued to write and record for his 2nd album, Love is a Gamble out for worldwide distribution on 20th May 2017. In store release gig on the same day.
Love is a Gamble- Liner Notes” by Steve Wernick
“It’s occurred to me that I’ve given my all to this project and some! I’ve worked with some fabulous musicians who have graciously and generously given their time and talents! What an experience! I’ve cried tears of joy and laughter, and worked through the pit of depression. Managing self-doubt and finding moments of sublime serenity, only to slip back into crippling self-doubt again, then back to self-satisfied optimism!
If the recording was challenging, then the writing was something else entirely! Before I wrote the songs, I had to live them!!
These songs were trawled from a 7-year period. During this period, I narrowly and harrowingly survived “terminal” cancer, only to see my Dad, Auntie, best mate, bandmate and girlfriend at the time, all die way too young, in a devastating 2-year nightmare. It’s all in the songs, a very personal collection.
I’d also experienced amazing friendships and sacrifices from friends in this period. Fallen in and out of love, and back in love. I’ve experience unrequited love, broke a heart or two, and climbed right back on the saddle. I’ve known extreme financial hardship. I’ve consumed way too much whisky and weed, and lived to tell the tale! Re-invented myself along the way, and done everything from sales to cleaning to finance this obsession, losing friends along the way, only for another angel to walk through the door!
All this set against the back drop of an ever more dystopian society, as evidenced by the rise of the so called “Alt-Right”, and an ever more violent and ruthless society, where the weak get trampled. Finding any bliss is good. It’s rare and should be cherished. I flirted with religion only to strike a deal with the devil! …. “Just one song!!”
Rolfe has been heavily involved in the making of this recording of course. Apart from drawing the stunning cover artwork there are several songs we co-wrote. He played guitar and sang some beautiful backing vocals.
My immeasurable thanks to producer Greg Pigott. We actually started recording at Greg’s studio in Concord and after he relocated, ended up in the picturesque and tranquil Gwandalan. I recorded my first ever songs with Greg, so was totally comfortable from the word go.
I will be indebted to the musicians who played and sang on the album forever. Massive thanks to Cara on violin and backing vocals, Yianni on banjo, mandolin and guitar and Gen and Lizzie on backing vocals.
The re-telling of these stories into songs, and into cohesive, hopefully, compelling songs at that, has kept me awake many a long, lonely night. Prostrate, bathed in perspiration, and in near hallucinatory psychosis searching for that one line, one word, at 7am, with work minutes away and a gig looming! In a way, it’s cathartic, writing and singing about the death of your partner, lost love, broken dreams but it’s also painful. Still, if it helped one person in a similar situation it’s all worth it. The moments of bliss captured in song are also priceless. Hopefully there’s a bit of balance.
I’m hoping these songs will reach the right ears and get heard in all corners of the world, and maybe strike a chord with someone. Now that would be amazing!”
The album “Love Is A Gamble” features original artwork from Rolfe Knudsen, and a lyric book. Available on line at itunes and all other download sites worldwide and at selected Sydney and Melbourne Record Shops and now online at ebay or by email order to firstname.lastname@example.org