Interview: Coheed & Cambria’s Travis Stever Talks Chad Smith Motivating Taylor Hawkins, Soundgarden & Blind Melon

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Right photo credit: Scott Dudelson of Getty Images

Cleveland Stever? Daddy Deuce? Fire Deuce? If all this toilet talk has got you wondering what’s up, I suggest we point you in the direction of the 5-song debut EP from Fire Deuce, titled ‘Children of the Deuce,’ which was released today. And judging from such ditties as “Deliverance” (an audio clip is below), FD possesses an unmistakable ’80s metal vibe.

Alternative Nation caught up with the band’s leader, Cleveland Stever (aka Daddy Deuce), to chat about the disc, and it just so happens that Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever was nearby, and was up for discussing his thoughts/memories of Taylor Hawkins, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Blind Melon.

Alternative Nation: There appears to be a lot of doo-doo talk regarding the Fire Deuce – the band’s name, Cleveland Stever, etc. Was this a happy accident?

Cleveland Stever (aka Daddy Deuce): The name Fire Deuce is very multi-dimensional. You can take the name very literal and it’s the torturous flames you feel after a night of bourbon and numerous hot sauce drenched truck stop burritos. But a thinking man would realize the Fire Deuce means that hot shit on the street that can’t be beat. It’s a stinker or a thinker baby. Your choice.

AN: How heavy is Fire Deuce?

CS: Heavier then the heaviest sperm whale. So heavy we break the scale.

AN: I just checked out Fire Deuce’s Instagram page. How does one obtain a badass “Bud: King of Beers” guitar/instrument?

CS: Budweiser was a Fire Deuce sponsor at one point years ago. But I ran into issues with Tom Budweiser who was heir to the Budweiser throne. I fortunately had sexual relations with his then wife, 6 daughters, mother, grandmother, grandfather, and his pet rabbit. Unfortunately, Tom was not as open minded as I hoped. The events led to Fire Deuce being cut off from the Budweiser sponsorship. But I kept my trusty Bud guitar. And they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

AN: Has Fire Deuce played live? If not, will there be forthcoming shows?

CS: We have been opening up for the alternative rock group Coheed and Cambria as of late. They are an atrocious band, but it’s a gig. They give us a 10-minute slot every night. We fucking rule that 10-minute slot.

AN: Is Fire Deuce’s favorite Kiss song “Deuce”?

CS: Nah, our favorite Kiss song is “I Was Made for Loving You.” Disco Kiss all the way, baby!

AN: Was the tune “Deliverance” really inspired by the film starring Ned Beatty?

CS: I don’t know what you’re talking about. The song “Deliverance” is about a real Fire Deuce experience involving white water rafting, red neck pervert rapists, and liquid acid. How does that relate to this movie you speak of?

AN: What are Fire Deuce’s future plans? A full-length, perhaps?

CS: There are already quite a few deuce songs ready. We just need to get up in that stu stu studio baby. If enough people buy the newly remastered ‘Children of the Deuce’ EP, we will be right up in there, making magic.

AN: Daddy Deuce, if you wouldn’t mind handing the laptop over now to Travis, I have some specific questions that my editor at Alternative Nation would like me to ask him, as well.

CS: Ahhh fuck man. I knew there was a catch. Fortunate for you that asshole is letting me crash in his basement. It’s just temporary ’til I get on my feet. Anyway, he is on his way down to chain me up for the night. He’s afraid his wife will get the Ol’ Nancy Budweiser treatment. Hold on here he is.

AN: What are some memories of working with the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins in 2007?

Travis Stever: He was super enthusiastic and passionate about how he went about playing to the songs. His energy is quite incredible. Watching him play especially to our songs was an amazing experience. And funny enough, a majority of the time Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers was there messing with him and commenting on his playing as he blew through the songs. It was an honor to be in his presence, as well as we were all fans of his work. I think having him there made Taylor really want to play his ass off too. So that benefited Coheed, for sure.

AN: Memories of touring with Soundgarden in 2011?

TS: My top memory is that I got to have all the members sign my ticket from the Soungarden, Blind Melon, and Neil Young with Booker T and the MGs tour I had seen in 1993. I got to be a fan boy.

AN: Memories of touring with Alice in Chains on the Uproar Tour in 2013?

TS: It was an honor to share the stage with them, Jane’s Addiction, and our friends Circa Survive. I loved being able to hear Jerry Cantrell get up there and warm up every day. And Jane’s Addiction had a jam room, so getting to hear them warm up with covers of songs like “Funk 49” by the James Gang and some of their own numbers was quite incredible.

AN: Not many people know – you’re a big-time Blind Melon fan, especially their second album, ‘Soup.’ Care to discuss?

TS: I love all their material, but ‘Soup’ is a very special album for me. Funny enough, that record was just as important to Claudio too. It has these memories of our teenage years in every note and melody. It always comes back up, too. Eventually, it became a van favorite in the early days of Coheed. And it’s still revisited all the time. It’s just so powerful in every way. And it is so underrated. Everyone I know who has ever given it the real listen has fallen in love.

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Bio: After having his articles posted from other outlets on Alternative Nation (and before that, Grunge Report) for years - heck, he was even interviewed by GR back in 2009! - Greg Prato finally began contributing articles to the site in 2014. He has written for various sites/mags over the years (Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, etc.), and is the author of quite a few books. And as evidenced by such titles as Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, and Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets, he also has a deep fondness for alternative rock n' roll music. You can check out info on all of Greg's books here, see what he's up to on his Twitter page here.