Many of us have dreams we put to the wayside. Careers, kids, busy schedules get in the way. For musician SteveB, a successful orthopaedic surgeon from England, he’s proving to many that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and passions. After a trip to Glastonbury with his wife, SteveB (as he known as a musician), put his surgeon tools down and took out his guitar once again. Now in semi-retirement, he’s pursuing his passion for music with his appropriately-named band Never2Late. “I’d played in a band in my youth but priorities change and it went onto the back burner for many years. I retrieved my guitar from the loft and placed the following ad on the website JoinMyBand.” Steve spoke to us about his path, his music and life in general.
Never2Late seems like a very fitting title for someone who decided to pursue music after a lifetime in a completely different profession. Was this band title meant as a nod to this? What’s the message you’d like listeners to take from your music?
Indeed, Never2Late was the name we came up with after carefully checking ITunes and
Spotify. At the time there weren’t any other bands with this name. It just seemed
appropriate for the assembled personnel. I guess I was lucky. I’d already had a successful
career in another field so had the luxury of being able to make music purely for the love of
it. This was the start!
We did register the name but it didn’t seem to stop other bands with the same name
appearing some time later!! I guess the message is you can always do the things you love if you want it enough. Our music is songs with meaning (mostly) aimed at the baby boomer generation. Given the fact
the number one single and album are The Beatles and the Stones there must be a demand for it!
Now, that other profession. You were a successful orthopaedic surgeon. Describe that transition. What made you finally decide to fully pursue your music? What did friends, family, colleagues think of the decision?
I actually went into semi-retirement. The job I was in was very high demand, high pressure
and also physically and mentally demanding (I mainly treated high profile professional
soccer and rugby players). There comes a point where you have to make a decision – carry
on becoming increasingly irrelevant and incompetent or walk away. I chose the latter. My
wife loves my musical interests it keeps me away from cluttering up the house. My ex
colleagues were bemused if anything.
The music you’re writing now, I imagine is something that only comes from life experiences, and something you probably couldn’t have written earlier in life. Some of the songs, like “Sometimes I’m Ashamed to be a Man” are deep and profound. Can you talk to us a little bit about this song, and how life experiences shape your music?
“Sometimes I’m Ashamed to be a Man” was prompted by looking after a poor woman who
had been beaten half to death by her ‘partner.’ It coincided with several news items about men killing their ex-partners and children and I started to despair of my own gender.
What musicians have most influenced you then and now?
I get inspiration from many sources – “Hell Is Other People” – Jean Paul Sartre, “Growing
Up” – Phillip Larkin, a lot of stuff comes from life experience rather than boy meets girl, boy
falls in love, girl dumps boy, boy is broken hearted type cliché. “Love Is Wise” is inspired by the Bertrand Russell quote and in a world such as it is at the moment, seems more relevant than ever.
My musical influences are eclectic. I was fortunate enough to grow up during a time of
brilliant singer songwriter – Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, Dylan, Roy Harper, Al Stewart,
Loudon Wainwright to name but a few. This gave me a life long love of decent lyrics. I loved
the guitar and again was fortunate to see many of the great bands at the top of their game.
Guitarists that I love are John McLaughlin, JJ Cale, Jimi Page, Joe Bonamassa and more
recently Eric Steckel. Current bands such as The National (I saw a few weeks ago), Cage The
Elephant, Deacon Blue – anyone writing original well crafted songs.
What are your hopes for the future with your music? Did you ever think you’d be where you are today in life in general, or as a musician?
As to the future, I still seem to be inspired to write and have another half dozen songs in the
pipeline. As a songwriter you just hope someone finds a connection witht the sings and
remembers them the next day!
What’s one lesson you wish you’d learned earlier in life?
Lessons I’ve learned? There are many. Love and family are the most important things in life,
material possessions only provide fleeting happiness. I came from a poor background and
entered a profession rich in privilege – it took me a long time to come to terms with the
imposter syndrome. I was lucky – I loved my job and seemed to be reasonably good at it –
the work kept coming purely as a result of word of mouth, I never had to dis anyone or
promote myself something the current generation have to struggle with.
And now I have my music – I am lucky to find a second occupation I can do purely for the
love of it – although an invitation to play at Glastonbury would be nice and close the loop!!
Official Website: never2lateuk.co.uk