MP3 Selfish Steam - EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock
Friends in Recovery with music that touches the soul
11 MP3 Songs
EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock, NEW AGE: Healing
Interview with the Leader of Selfish Steam
"Friends in Recovery
with music that touches the soul"
Performing at SoberJam 2004, New Orleans
October 8th, 2004: I had the opportunity to sit down with a dear friend in recovery. I call Tony Morossie a "dear friend" because from the moment I met him, I could not think of having a life without knowing this very real man. He has given so much of himself to make this world a better place, and just spending time with his energy for life and recovery is just infective. Below, you will find some excerpts from a recent interview.
Tony, Selfish Steam was one of the first, very upfront Recovery Based Bands I can recall being introduced to in this emerging genre. This is quite amazing for many in recovery given the "culture'' of anonymity for most recovering people. What drew you into this kind of public display?
We have an open mike at the Windsor Recovery Club and when I first got sober I took my guitar there and signed up. The room was packed and I was so nervous that I sang into my harmonica and blew into the microphone and while I was blowing into the microphone, I got my mustache stuck in the mic. It was my first time playin sober and I was the hit of the night. Later that night a young man came up to me and thanked me. I asked him, "for what?". He said he was newly sober and he has never laughed so hard in his life. He also told me that he was a musician and did not think he would be able to play sober until he saw me play. I knew just how he felt (because I felt the same way). That night opened many doors for me. I continued going to the Open Mic along with many 12 Step Meetings and eventually hooked up with another sober musician. Tired of playin cover tunes I decided it was time to write some of my own stuff. So I did. All those years of active addiction, I had a lot to write about. I simply want to share my story through my music. I know for a fact that wherever we perform be it a sober event, Town Green or a school, someone in the audience is affected by drugs and alcohol. If we can help one person out of that audience, then we are a success. It was no secret when I was active. If everybody in Recovery remained Anonymous...nobody would get sober
Tell me about your band. Who are the members and what are they all about?
Our Bass player Matt came to me when he was 15. He had gotten himself in some trouble at school with drugs and was heading down the path that I took when I was his age. He knew my daughter who was in his class. My daughter had told Matt that I might be able to help him. Matt came to my Wednesday night 12 Step meeting that is also my home group. He asked for help and that was 4 years ago and he has been with us since. I am proud to say that Matt graduated High School with High Honors and is living a drug and alcohol free life.
Next we have "Phil the sound guy". I met Phil about 7 years ago at one of those "Meetings". He is the one who told me about the Recovery Club Open Mic. He also plays the guitar. We became good friends and Phil ended up being our "Sound Tech". He did a great job at the soundboard. About a year and a half ago my music partner left Selfish Steam and I knew that Phil was itching to play, so I asked him if he was interested in hopping onboard and he was more than happy to. Phil has played a key role in my recovery and my music. I also think he''s having the time of his life.
Mark Archer came to us a little over a year ago. We had been toying with the idea of getting a drummer and a good friend of mine said he knew of one. Mark is a great musician and has added a new dimension to our music. He also plays with another band called "World Beat". I think he likes "Selfish Steam" better.
And now there''s me. My name is Tony and I am a Grateful Recovering Alcoholic. I am the Co-founder of Selfish Steam and I play the guitar and vocals.
Do you write most of the band''s music? Tell us a little bit about Selfish Steam''s variety of music?
Yes, I have written all of our music with the exception of 1 song called "Loosin'' Control" which was written by Matt and I. We also do a couple of cover tunes that I wish I wrote. As far as the variety of our music, I have watched the audience when we perform and I have seen them cry, laugh and dance.
You won a PRISM award for one of your songs? Can you tell us a little bit about the song, and what this award is all about?
In January of 2002 I entered a few songs into a songwriting contest at https://www.tradebit.com and they forwarded two of my songs to the Prism Awards in Los Angeles. The songs were then judged scientifically by a panel of 5 experts in the field of Addiction and Alcoholism. They were looking for lyrical content that accurately depicts Drug and Alcohol Addiction.
One of the songs is called "It Takes What It Takes" and the other song is called "Just Like Candy In A Store". Bouncing in and out of the rooms took it''s toll on me and that is what I wrote "It Takes What It Takes" about. The other song "Just Like Candy In A Store", There was a time in my life when I lived in a tent just outside of Reno, Nevada and I worked in a truck stop/Casino. Every Friday I would cash my check at work and walk out of that place without a dime. Gambling for me, is deadly. Anyway, in May of 2002 I got a letter from the Entertainment Industries Council. Here''s what it said:
"On behalf of the Entertainment Industries Council, in association with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, I am pleased to notify you that Selfish Steam''s "It Takes What It Takes" is a recipient of Prism Commendation for the 6th Annual Prism Awards in the category of Music/Music Video. Additionally, "Just Like Candy In A Store" is a recipient of a Prism Certificate of Merit in the same category.
You recently performed in a 9/11 memorial celebration in New York, can you tell us more about this and why Selfish Steam was invited to this national day of memorial?
A few days after the tragedies of Sept. 11th I started to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper. I ended up with a song called "A Day In September". A woman from the "Heart of America Quilt" heard the song and she called me and asked if we would be interested in coming to NYC on Sept. 11th 2004 and performing the song onboard the USS Intrepid where she was holding a memorial. We were honored and accepted her invite.
What is your greatest experience in delivering your music to date?
A few years back we performed at a festival called "Half Moon Sober Festival" in New Hampshire and as we were playing our last song I noticed a little boy in the front row. He looked to be only about 7 or 8 years old. Tears were rolling down his eyes as he listened to the lyrics to the song we were playing. When we finished our set I went backstage and got him a t-shirt and CD and brought it over to him. He got up out of his seat and gave me a huge hug and told me that a few days earlier he saved his fathers life. He asked me if he could have my phone number to give to his Father. He found his Father passed out in the garage with the car running and the garage door shut. I gave Anthony (the boy) my phone number and have yet to hear from his Father but, Anthony and I stay in touch from time to time and I am here for his Father if he chooses to do something about his life.
Another pretty cool experience happened last year at "Sober in the Sun" in Mass. As we were performing I looked out in the audience and they knew the words to my songs.
What is next for Selfish Steam?
Don''t know? Gods in Charge.