Steve Conte “We Like It”
man playing guitar

Steve Conte “We Like It”


Renowned musician Steve Conte, known for his work with the New York Dolls and Michael Monroe, will release his forthcoming album, ‘The Concrete Jangle,’ the highly anticipated successor to his 2021 opus ‘Bronx Cheer.’

Scheduled for launch on Record Store Day (April 20th), this 10-track album features collaborations with XTC’s Andy Partridge, who co-wrote five of the songs with Conte, including the newly released single “We Like It.” To learn more about the vinyl release of ‘The Concrete Jangle’ for Record Store Day, visit:

Conte says, “When Andy Partridge and I were writing songs for The Concrete Jangle I told him I thought we needed something more 60s-garage-band and that we should put on our Dukes Of Stratosphere hats. He brought in this idea thinking the hook was big & dumb – in the best possible way – and it was! I loved it and thought it could be a contender for a single if we made the rest of it smart and gave it that Gary Glitter beat from “Rock and Roll, Pt. 2”.

Lyrically, we decided it should be about a politician running for office who is promising all sorts of crazy & impossible things. Andy even threw out some of the lines off-the-cuff, like – “a tap in the kitchen that turns on the beer”. He suggested that I sing-speak the verse (‘Sprechstimme’ as he said it), which I interpreted as – do Dylan! When I made the first demo and sent it to him for feedback I had added the bridge; chords, 1/2 time groove, melody & lyrics, (the latter of which he tweaked a bit) and then, we almost had a song. Andy then suggested the riff for the intro, which I tweaked slightly to make it more “me” and finally, we had all the pieces.

For the backing vocals on the chorus/hooks I wanted to get many different walks of life represented, people a politician would be trying to convince in an election; men, women, young, old, black, white, latino, musicians, actors, producers, DJs, singers – and some people who work “real” jobs. Nearly 50 friends added their voices – among them, names like – Ian Hunter, Michael Imperioli, Marshall Crenshaw, Steve Lillywhite, Kasim Sultan, Simon Kirke, Danko Jones, Nasty Suicide, Dregen, Dennis Dunaway, Glen Matlock, Prairie Prince, Tommy Henrickson, Marc Broussard, Jessie Wagner, Palmyra Delran & Genya Ravan.”

Of the upcoming album Conte shares, “”The Concrete Jangle” is the best album I’ve done to date. Not just because all the songs on Side A were co-written with songwriting genius, Andy Partridge (from my favorite band, XTC) – but because working with him made me rise to the occasion and become a better writer/artist myself. You can’t be a slouch and be writing with one of the greatest songwriters since Lennon & McCartney!

I cannot stress how much Andy Partridge contributed to this record – it would not exist without him and his input. I’ve given him a co-production credit for helping with the arrangements of the demos, which were ultimately followed when making the final record. To my earlier point, it is the listeners who have have proven to me that I’ve become better on this record because they’ve thought that some of my lyric and melody lines were Andy’s – which is the highest compliment.

When tasked with which songs were going to exist on Side B, I knew they’d have to stand up next to the Partridge co-writes so I pulled out some the more psychedelic, adventurous soulful songs from the Beatles/XTC/Motown side of my musical brain. I think I picked the right ones because people have mentioned some of those songs as their favorites – and even Andy himself perked up when he heard “I’m Decomposing A Song For You”.

In keeping with the aesthetic of 60s-meets-80 power pop, the record had a limitation on what I could use. I played a multitude of guitars; both acoustic & electric, mandolin, Mellotron, strings, piano & organ (all sampled), tambourine & maracas. I had my other co-producer, Andrew Hollander play real piano & Mellotron while keyboard whiz Rob Schwimmer added an authentic 1960s Ondioline as well as Theremin & synthesizer sounds. Real trumpets by Chris Anderson, cello by Mark Stewart, bass by brother John Conte and drums by Prairie Prince (The Tubes, XTC, Todd Rundgren), Thommy Price (Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Mink DeVille) and Brian Delaney (New York Dolls). My sons Zia Conte & Baz Conte sang backing vocals.

Some of the lyrical themes on the record are truth vs. misinformation, entitlement, boredom, heartache, fidelity, addiction and loss – and of course, love and lust.”

Recognized for his notable guitar contributions with the New York Dolls and as the guitarist for Michael Monroe’s band (where he continues to perform), Steve Conte gained global acclaim through his collaborations with Japanese composer and artist Yoko Kanno on the soundtracks of popular anime series, including Cowboy Bebop.

Throughout his career, Conte has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, including Peter Wolf, Eric Burdon of The Animals, Willy DeVille, Billy Squier, Maceo Parker, Willie Nile, Jim Jones, Hubert Sumlin, and he even served as the rehearsal vocalist for Paul Simon during solo and Simon And Garfunkel tours.

His connection with Wicked Cool founder Stevie Van Zandt dates back to 2004 when the Dolls performed at Van Zandt’s Underground Garage Festival. Conte reminisces, “But my connection with him goes back to Jersey. I grew up with his cousins in Matawan [near the Jersey shore], so I had been hearing about his legend for years.”

Growing up in a musical household, Steve’s mother, Rosemary Conte, is a renowned jazz singer in New York and New Jersey. Steve’s early exposure to the vibrant music scene of New York City began when his father took him to his inaugural Madison Square Garden concert, featuring the legendary Chuck Berry. Several years down the line, Conte found himself not only sharing the stage but playing a full show as a member of Berry’s band. Steve’s musical journey took a significant turn when his band Company Of Wolves secured a deal with Mercury Records, resulting in the release of a self-titled album on the label in 1990.

-Official bio

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