Tell ’em, Stevedave!

Stevedave’s universal rock is on the rise in Reno

Stevedave lead singer Jeff Dunn rocks out at a recent show.

Stevedave lead singer Jeff Dunn rocks out at a recent show.

Photo By David Robert

Stevedave will hold a CD release party May 18 at Club Voodoo with New School Year and Sucka Punch for the band’s new album, For the Remainder of the Duration. The CD is available at Soundwave CDs, Tower Records, Sam Goody and Mirabelli’s Music City. For more info, visit

Let’s play the name game. When I say Jim Bob, Betty Sue and Billy Ray, you say, “Hmm … members of the Arkansas State Education Coalition or a list of Tonya Harding’s former fiances, right?”

Good. Now, how about Stevedave? If you said it’s the guy who runs them chicken joints in town, you’re wrong. If you said it’s a rising force in the Reno music scene, you may be on to something. What we might all be saying in the near future is that, synonymous with the title of their latest album, Stevedave is here “for the remainder of the duration.”

Stevedave is Pierre Marche on drums, Ty Fritzsching on lead guitar, Zach Brandner on bass and Jeff Dunn on vocals. Typical of their dry and tireless humor, Brandner describes the last two and a half years they have been together as strangely reminiscent of a cruise in the Bahamas.

“It’s been warm at times, there’ve been piña coladas involved, and I get sand in my crack once in a while,” Brandner says. “I get a little pissed off sometimes, but that’s just how it goes.”

When asked to narrow down the band’s style, drummer Pierre Marche describes Stevedave’s sound as “universal rock.” But take that label with a grain of salt.

“That’s why labels are so lame,” Marche says. “Everyone’s got a different opinion of what things are. It’s all subjective.”

If you’re looking for specifics on their sound, examine the band’s “wish list.” They all come to a resounding consensus that if they could choose any bands to tour with, they would choose Weezer and Jimmy Eat World.

Dunn describes a Stevedave show as a sensual experience that people become immersed in, rather than just radically propelling themselves against each other or bobbing their collective heads in time. As for the Reno club scene, Stevedave says that the town’s entertainment-based industry tends to create situations where bands are not the focus, but rather function more as a sideshow or background noise. They concur that there are some hardcore music lovers in Reno, but it seems to be the entertainment industry whose musical willpower remains en force.

In a display of wicked humor laced with a bit of sad irony, Brandner elaborates on the problem.

“There’s no steady all-ages club,” he says. “Ark-a’ik is trying, but nobody wants to drop their kid off on Fourth Street. It’s like, ‘OK, see you at 12:30, honey. Now, don’t pick up a hooker.’ “

As band members search out their niche in the Reno limelight, one thing that’s clear is Stevedave’s passion for what they do. Perhaps the band captures its essence best in lyrics from the song “Four Pennies":

“Play your ass off tonight/And good things come/Remembering that fun is number one/Pass over the eastern sea and spread the language/Universal rock is heard."