Stepanian

Stepanian

BandRockAcoustic

Boston-based Stepanian offers songs that are accessible enough to be instantly appealing, but original enough to be genuinely unique. Their deft blend of catchy melodies, instrumental virtuosity, and tasty harmonies combine with thoughtful and expressive lyrics.

Biography

The greatest challenge for any band is to create songs that are accessible enough to be instantly appealing, but original enough to be genuinely unique. Stepanian accomplishes this feat with a deft blend of catchy melodies, instrumental virtuosity, and tasty harmonies, all combined with thoughtful and expressive lyrics. Band namesake Eric Stepanian is the group’s primary songwriter, with additional tunes and collaborations contributed by Michael Simon.

But this Boston-based quartet is much more than a songwriting project. From their inception in 2003 to the present day, Stepanian has been a hard-working touring act, bringing their distinctive stage performance and signature sound to club and festival audiences throughout the Northeast and Midwest. A Stepanian performance showcases the bandmembers’ multi-instrumental skills (between the four of them they play a dozen instruments), tight vocals, and energetic onstage persona. It’s an infectious combination that always leaves audiences on their feet and shouting for more.

Stepanian’s progress from the status of local favorites to that of a band poised for national recognition has been rapid and impressive. Their 2003 debut EP, For Lack Of Better Words—produced by Chris Keup (Jason Mraz) and Stewart Myers (Agents Of Good Roots) gained immediate critical acclaim. ABC Family also took notice, and chose the track “These Days” to include in a new sitcom pilot.

Taking advantage of the interest in the band generated by Better Words, Stepanian spent the next two years playing sold-out shows in Boston, as well as showcases at the NACA Northeast Conference and NACA Mid-Atlantic Festival. These performances led to even greater exposure for the group as openers for such national acts as Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and Rusted Root.

February of 2005 saw the release of Stepanian’s first full-length CD, Autumn She Leaves, produced and engineered by Dave Chalfant (The Neilds, Erin McKeown). Taking full advantage of the band’s strong writing, vocal, and instrumental skills, the disc was warmly received by their burgeoning fan base. Its broad appeal led to its inclusion on Awarestore.com’s Earsnacks Vol. 6 compilation.

Not a band to rest on their laurels, in 2006 Stepanian again collaborated with Dave Chalfant to produce their Wait Out The Rain EP. The five tracks on the disc displayed impressive musical and lyrical growth, demonstrating the band’s ability to offer songs that were as well-crafted and meaningful as they were catchy and listenable. Boston’s radio station 92.5 chose the track “Beautiful Disguise” for airplay in their “Homegrown Artist” series.

From 2006 through 2007 the band was back on the road, honing their songs and their live show to an even keener edge. A successful residency at Boston’s Paradise club in 2007 was followed by a stellar appearance at the 40th Annual Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the band ignited such an enthusiastic response from the crowd that they were held over for a second set. Other noteworthy appearances include spots on Comcast’s Backstage With Barry Nolan and Boston’s Fox 25 Morning News.

Fast-forward to April of 2008, and the release of the full-length version of Wait Out The Rain. Along with such well-received tracks as “Straight Up,” “Everything,” and “Beautiful Disguise” from the original EP, the new disc adds half a dozen new and exciting tunes that feature the quintessential Stepanian character: intelligent lyrics, well-crafted melodies, terrific vocals, unrivaled musicianship, and strong production.

With five years of enthusiastically received live performances under their belt, and an enviable body of recorded work to their credit, Stepanian can hardly be called an “up and coming” band. They’ve already come up. They’re here now—an important group poised and prepared for even bigger things.

Lyrics

Smoke

Written By: Eric Stepanian

I was standing on a corner down on Broadway
From a phone booth I was hoping she would call me
You left a letter lying face down in my hallway
“California, Love Ally”

Autumn she leaves as I crumble from the weather
My heart in pieces saying please return to sender
Through it all I resign myself to wonder
Why the little things I remember

All these moments as they pass
I cannot find a reason to laugh
There’s just so much that I can’t forget
Catching smoke in a butterfly net

Inside a box I place my love to see another day
Tangled in tomorrow I make my great escape
You’re burning like the fullest moon as I try to turn away
I’m taken by the shutter that has left me in this frame

All these moments we’ve been through
The laughter’s been our parachute
There’s so much I won’t regret
Catching smoke in a butterfly net

Seems like yesterday I was so alone
Stepped outside and the weather seemed so cold
I tried to reason with her slowly
She talked with her hands
And her eyes didn’t know me

Looking backwards though I’m moving slow
Just not sure about the way I that you go
Time after time I’d believe what you say
But that was then now I’m on my way

Twilight

Written By: Eric Stepanian

I was waking
With the sunrise
I was watching as it opened up your eyes
I remember
The way you kissed me
I could taste the salt the ocean left behind

The twilight is running circles
The stars are shining strong
And although they’ve been dead for years
Our love will carry on

We were tracing
The sandy miles
Your arms were open and the wind was in my face
Like a record
You were spinning
I run to catch you as we fall into the waves

I’ve got something to tell you
I fell in love with today
You’re still the rose that I used to know
Even though you’ve changed your name

We were riding
With the sunset
You were singing with the radio and me
I’d forgotten
About tomorrow
A sweet surrender of the man I wished to be

Straight Up

Written By: Eric Stepanian

Straight up she's a rollercoaster
Just an empty holster with a pretty face
She knows I look good on paper
Just another favor for a friend with taste

I stand upon the edge of tomorrow
She waits until its yesterday
I wonder if I come to follow
Could you take that away from me?

Straight up she's meant for bigger stages
Oh the social cages of a drama queen
She says "love only finds the famous"
As she tears the pages from her magazines

Watch her sail away
Like arrow plane
But as the world goes tumbling by
Her hope it flickers like a firefly.

Straight up this lonely valentine's
A lover's suicide she's into Hemmingway
I know she walks the bottom line
Another strange design I'll take her anyways

Call Me When You're Famous

Written By: Eric Stepanian

Call Me When You're Famous
Words and Music by Eric Stepanian

She's a beauty from a small town
And everybody knew her
She didn't care for what she'd seen
All her life were pretty pictures
Nothing could be better
A frame of glass protects her dreams

My mind's designed like paisley
Unwind the vines and set me free
Confidence is comforting
This is what she said to me

"Call me when you're famous
Don't forget to write
Smile for the cameras
Sign your name is lights
Call me when you're famous"

We would talk about the weather
And watch it through the window
A change of mood for us to see
All she had she took for granted
Never seemed to notice
I wore my heart upon my sleeve

I know someday she'll be ok she'll be fine
I'll make my way along the highway in my own time

So now I see the world without her
I put it in a letter
A play on words for her to read
When I'm in love I fail to focus
It often makes me wonder
Will I recall these scattered scenes?

I wonder where I'll be twenty years
How long it takes for me to find her
One day I'll wake up in a memory
I'd call but I'll leave it in a postcard

Beautiful Disguise

Written By: Stepanian

Waiting on the roadside
It's another independence day
Can't believe that I
Fell into this same old parade
But then the fireworks exploded
Envy green and murder red
The new light on my shoulders
Fell like diamonds overhead

I watch as the clouds roll off the day
I laugh as if everything's okay

I feel I've been changing in the dark
With this spotlight on my heart
I can't see, in your eyes
For one last goodbye
So maybe you're my beautiful disguise

I hear another foghorn
Driving heavy through the ghost of you
My hand upon the dashboard
It's my hope to see this through

I watch as the sun comes across the bay
I laugh as if everything's okay

Oh I've been here before
I've seen how it ends
I'm certain it's me
Watching me go
Killing her slow
She's falling to pieces

The paper moon was so bright
I was dreaming of your face again
I was certain I was alright
Did you hear what I said now?

Big in Japan

Written By: Stepanian

White lines from here to Chicago
I’m chasing things I’ve read
I came and stole your grace
And left my silhouette

Do remember all the neon lights
They were buzzing on the boulevard a quarter to four
We were running in between the night
They always wanted more, more and more, more and more

Someday they’ll probably get excited
And I’m gonna write when I can
I’d say were on the other side and
The record’s doing fine and
They tell me that were big in Japan

Nighttime, I’m spinning in circles
The morning comes too soon
Some days’ radio plays
The song I wrote for you

They want talk about it
And how you write about it
They want to know your name
They tell you what to say
And how you have to play
It’s driving me insane
The headlines read we were something to see
And I was blind of who I’d be

I wanted you to know
I’m gone forever

Discography

Wait Out the Rain
Autumn She Leaves
For Lack of Better Words
Wanna Come With

Set List

2 hours of original music with a few covers. Covers include Billie Jean, Late in the Evening, and other guilty pleasure songs.