Longevity and persistence in the face of an ever-changing digital landscape – commodities that are few and far between, in music and the creative arts. Fortunately, the Glass City is in no short supply.
Singer, songwriter, and producer Steve Dwyer and his band Starsleeper are the perfect example of what happens when passion meets persistence. For the last 20 years, Dwyer has been shaping the look and feel of the Toledo metal scene— throughout the aughts, it was via the band OnceOver.
Shaping the Landscape
These days, Dwyer and his cohorts continue to push the sonic boundaries, blending melody and brutality in ways that remain fresh and distinct while still paying homage to their roots in the Toledo metal scene of the ’90s and ’00s.
“Over the last year, we’ve gone through a few lineup changes, but we’re starting to ramp things up,” says Dwyer. “Our show on November 2nd is the first real live debut of our new material.” Their EP, “Wish. Hope. Pray.” was digitally released in July. However, Dwyer explains that “We’ve yet to have a proper album release party, so we want to celebrate that.”
While Starsleeper is a “label worthy” project, the last two decades have seen the relevance of the music label drop dramatically. “Back in the day the labels mattered a lot more, but now that you don’t really need them, the barrier to entry is a lot easier,” says Dwyer. “In the last six months, I’ve found that when you tell them you don’t want them (labels), that’s when they want you.” Dwyer explains that “They want you to already have a million fans, a merch strategy, and basically do it yourself anyway.”
Civic Music Hall
The Civic Music Hall is one of Innovation Concerts newer renditions in a long-standing favorite venue “It’s one of my favorite places to play, anywhere,” says Dwyer. “The soundsystem and layout are perfect for a rock/metal show.”
The band actually met their new guitarist there. Brian Cuprys was running sound for the band and things clicked. This gives the opportunity to have three guitars playing live. Guitarist Paul Dwyer, Steve’s brother and founding member from back in the OnceOver days, along with Guitarist Matt Feher create a strong rhythmic punch.
Dwyer explains that “when you double or triple up the rhythm at a live show, you run the risk of getting sloshy, but Paul, Brian, and Matt are all super tight rhythmically, so it works out really well.”
More than Metal
The show on November 2nd will truly be a dynamic display of some of Toledo’s best musical talent. Every band on this bill is worth checking out, including goLab and ROVR – two other homegrown examples of persistence and hard work that give character to the Toledo music scene. Other honorable mentions on the bill include The Ice Cream Militia, Age of Hysteria, and The Infinity Process.
There is a sound here for everyone, and this night will be one for the books.