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xmag.com : December 2004 : Steve Reno


Greetings Valued Readers. I have the distinct pleasure of speaking with Mr. Steve Reno, one of Portland's icons of Rock, Punk, Indie, Dirty and Math in that order. Reno has been playing music in Portland for the past ten years with gusto and sometimes maudlin intensity that has brought this hammer drunk no true fame but perhaps infamy amongst his peers and the few random fans that have had the pleasure of seeing this monster of the bass play.


SIR ROD NEVETS: What brought you to Portland?

STEVE RENO: Actually I kinda got stuck here. I was just sort of rambling around the country when I stopped to see my aunt who lived in the 'Couve. I was aching for some music, and she suggested I go to Portland where there was this club called Satyricon. [laughs shaking his head] It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


Sir Rod Nevets: So seeing Satyricon hooked you?

STEVE RENO: Yeah you could say that. The show was a death metal extravaganza or some shit like that. Some all-my-buddies-are-in-the-same-kind-of-bands-so-let's-throw-a-show crap. The only band I remember was Fall From Grace and the only reason I remember that is cause we--Black Jack--ended up playing with them about a year later. Anyway what stuck me was the trough in the guys' bathroom. Oh, the trough. I go to piss and there's two guys in there, one pissin and the other lying in the fucker. That's when I knew I was going to like this place.


Sir Rod Nevets: You mentioned Black Jack. I know you've been in some other bands in your tenure in the music scene here. You want to talk about them?



Sir Rod Nevets: Please?

STEVE RENO: How about another drink first. I'm parched. You're buying.


Sir Rod Nevets: Sure. So. Bands?

STEVE RENO: OK. I guess start from the beginning. I'll make it short. I was in or at least I think I was in Black Jack, King Black Acid, Hellside Stranglers and my most recent band Diesto.


Sir Rod Nevets: What were the sounds of these bands? All the same genre? Yes? No?

STEVE RENO: Go buy the albums, guy.


Sir Rod Nevets: So you don't like talking about your music?

STEVE RENO: I don't see the point. If your readers know the bands

then good for them. If not, oohh please come see me please please please. Fuck that I hate that shit. I'm not going to deny that I'm a shameless self promoter but I don't see the point any more unless you're gonna give me a signing bonus or some shit to go around the world with.


Sir Rod Nevets: You sound a little bitter. Jaded, maybe.

STEVE RENO: Yeah, I guess so. You can only play for so long before you realize that you do what you can for the music, not the people who listen. When you start playing for the crowd and not to them you lose part of what the playing is for. That's me anyway.


Sir Rod Nevets: So music is cathartic for you?

STEVE RENO: It's the only thing that keeps me from going on a killing spree. That and the alcohol. That helps a lot. I drink for you, not for me.


Sir Rod Nevets: Let's shift gears a bit.

STEVE RENO: Yeah, you know what? Who the hell are you anyway? I've been an avid reader of Exotic for some time and I don't remember seeing your name at all. Where is Viva or Jim or Frank? Damn I always get the short end of the angry acorn.


Sir Rod Nevets: Yes, well, I just moved here from England and this is my first job in the States.

STEVE RENO: It shows. What did you get knighted for, guy?


Sir Rod Nevets: With all due respect, Reno, I am asking the questions here.

STEVE RENO: Then ask away, Fish-n-Chips.


Sir Rod Nevets: That's uncalled for, sir.

STEVE RENO: This interview is over, ASS. Unless you get me another drink.


Sir Rod Nevets: I wouldn't buy you a drink even if my life depended on it.

STEVE RENO: Well, it does, dick.



I stopped the interview here for obvious reasons. The ass I was speaking with deteriorated into a violent woolly mammoth screaming for more spirits, which I denied him forcefully. In all my years as a journalist I have never met a more self-righteous narcissistic twisted individual than Mr. Reno. This truncated interview as you read it is actually much longer and in-depth, delving into Reno's political, ethical and religious background. Although we spoke at length, these bits have had to be left off due to threats from the Agency of the Bureau of the Office of Homeland Insecurity. Although I despise the man, Mr. Steve Reno has a great understanding of life and all its complexities. This and his devotion to his instrument (which he plays like a whirling dervish) gives me a grudging respect for a man who, like the city he is named for, is dirty, yet somehow, in some way, alluring.







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