Volume 9, Issue 5 - October 2007

life beyond the auto glass business

Theisen Feels the Need

Name: Steve Theisen 
Day Job: Managing partner with AG Distributors, a wholesale auto glass distributor in Boise, Idaho.
Alter Ego: Bassist for The Need, a year-and-a-half old high-energy rock band fronted by Danny Davison, owner and installer at Strictly Auto Glass in Boise. 
Band Background: The band, Theisen explains, plays “harder-edged, higher-energy, top-40 radio rock—the music that’s on the top-40 radio stations but with a harder edge.” Davison and his friends launched the band in 2006, together with his brother-in-law, Aleck Davis, the owner of his own auto glass replacement shop (Aleck’s Auto Glass). When Aleck left the band at the end of the year, Theisen was invited to replace him as bass player. “I had been playing with a jam band for a couple of years after a 13-year hiatus. I was looking for something else to do when they came calling and it jelled.”

How’d you get into music?
My dad played in bands. Growing up, music and musical instruments were always around us. My uncle also played with popular bands through the ’50s and ’60s. My only brother and I got our musical abilities from my dad. We both play instruments. When we were kids he played bass and I played guitar and we’d jam together.

How do you switch from auto glass by day into music by night?
Well, as you can see from my picture, I live the lifestyle all day long. It’s been a really good escape. I’m one of those guys who’s got to have a creative outlet, whatever that may be. For me to go from work [to music], I can walk out the door and go practice or go play a gig or something like that and I can leave the worries behind. Being a small business owner is challenging and there are always things to be concerned about, but when it’s time to pick up the instrument and play, it’s time to forget about all that. I know it’ll be there when I come back. I know [music] has kept me sane.

How many gigs does The Need play for the public in any given month?
Typically we want to limit ourselves to a couple of gigs a month. We all have day jobs and for the two of us in the auto glass industry, this is peak season. It’s really hot out here and poor Danny’s out doing installs all day in 100-degree weather. [Playing that often] is all we can handle. It’s a good balance with raising family and taking care of work.

Have you been in any other band(s)?
Yes. I’ve been playing in bands to one degree or another since high school. As far as working bands, I started my senior year of high school playing in bands for money in bars.

Who are your musical influences?
Bruce Hughes and Pino Palladino… but growing up, the musician that really struck a chord with me—I saw the documentary about Woodstock when I was really young and saw Jimmy Hendrix and that was it. I’ve been a Hendrix fan ever since. It’s for many reasons, not just his ability, but who he was and what he did at the time. I love everything from classic jazz and Billie Holiday through the whole spectrum. I grew up in the KISS Army. I still have a KISS Army belt buckle I wear to this day. You name it, I listen to it, but I don’t listen to a whole lot of rap music or “cry-in-my-beer” country music.

Okay, let’s pretend you had to make a CD that described you to leave in a time capsule for future generations. What would be the top three songs on that CD?
[long pause] … Something off of REM’s “Murmer” album, I’d have to throw some Ted Nugent in there somewhere … and some James Marshall Hendrix.

Jimmy Gnecco, in the last seven years, has been probably one of my favorites. I had the chance to sit down and have drinks with him about a month and a half ago and he’s just a great guy, a great songwriter and an outstanding singer.

Lyric that describes your life (or the auto glass business)?
Well, my life in the auto glass business is a song by Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire,” and I don’t know if there’s a song that describes my life. I don’t know … I’ve been pretty damned blessed. I’ve had a lot of great experiences and some pretty tough times—just like everyone else—but I don’t know if there’s a song out there that sums it all up. Maybe if there’s a song out there that describes a safety net underneath me. I always feel there’s something good happening and good people around me.

How can people find out more about The Need?
Visit the band’s website, www.feedingtheneed.com. I built the [band’s] website—it was my first experience with that—and it’s a creative outlet. 

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