An Invitation To The Fifth Annual Mustache Bash
by Troy Johnson
December 2010

Steez - photo by THARAPHOTO


After gracing the pages of Maximum Ink over a year ago the creepfunk crusaders from Madison, Steez have continued to develop their unique cryptc, electronic, dance sound and are preparing for their fifth annual mustache bash. Some of their jams in 2010 push the envelope on communicating with life on other planets. It’s funky and dark. I caught up with guitar player and vocalist Steve Neary for some info about his process of finding music, a legends of mustache past story, and Steez’s hope for a dance party success on December 10th.

Maximum Ink: Describe how creepfunk changes when the band and audience have mustaches?
Steve Neary: It only gets creepier. One could say it channels our inner Michael Jackson, so to speak.

MI: The American Mustache Institute lists about 15 styles to wear a mustache. Is this all I really have to choose from?
SN: They pretty much cover the entire gamut of styles, but there is one ‘stache that i think really takes the cake as far as we’ve seen. It was the first year we did the ‘stache bash, and it was held at the King Club. Our good friend, David Graves, was known to rock a pretty burly beard from time to time and he showed up pretty unassumingly sporting some nice thick chops that connected to his sideburns, adorned with a bright red hat. When it came time to do the crowd voting for the best ‘stache, he jumped right up on stage. He was looking pretty good up there but there was some solid competition, including a Chaplin and some other pretty burly chops. As we went through the contestants, it came to be Dave’s turn. As soon as our MC called out his name, he ripped off his hat and revealed the most epic facial sculpting I have ever seen. He had shaved his entire head, except for two small strips that curled behind his ear that were connected to his sideburns/chops. The best part about the entire thing was that he didnt tell a soul the entire night, so when he ripped off his hat the crowd went berserk. To this day, I have never seen another person attempt the “ram’s horns,” and I dont know if I will.

MI: Mr. Graves is certainly a Madison legend and though I wasn’t there I have witnessed and been effected by his his Neal Cassady energy. I wish there was a live album with some creepfunk. Has Steez been recording lately?
SN: We’ve been talking about working on some studio Steez this winter but nothing has formulated yet. We’ve got a batch of new songs that we’re definitely ready to take into the studio, we just dont have the coin to pay for it yet. Know anyone who wants to give us $10k? Seriously though, we have toyed with the idea of releasing a live album, and we probably will sooner rather than later. Most of our better recordings go up on the archive for free download anyways, you can check them out online. (

MI: I don’t have an extra ten thousand but I would definitely purchase an album. You dj a radio show and I have always known of your eclectic tastes for your influences. What is your methodology for finding new music?
SN: I’ve actually been pretty lucky in terms of new music acquisition. When I first started as a DJ at WSUM, I went hogwild and emailed a TON of record labels, managers, etc…Pretty much anyone who was involved with music I was getting into. Since then, I’ve been getting tons of music sent to me by different labels to use for my show. Some of the stuff I have really been digging comes from European labels like Eskimo Records, Bear Funk Records, Nang Records and Tirk Records.

MI: Who are you listening to now?
SN: Im a big fan of the space disco genre, and as a result my radio show features a lot of Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, Ilya Santana, Bottin, Nelue, Aeroplane, Greg Wilson, etc etc. I could go on for a while. I’m really a fan of the dancier electronica and not so much the wompy, bass-heavy stuff that’s popular with the kids nowadays.

MI: It might take a week or two to grow a respectable duster. Is the fifth annual party going to be worth the in between fuzz phase?
SN: Obviously. Invite everybody. There’s nothing like explaining to your entire family over thanksgiving why you look so ridiculous. By now, my family has come to terms with my obnoxiousness. Plus, chicks totally dig it, so you’ll have that going for you, which is nice.

The 5th Annual Last Day Of Class Mustache Bash featuring Steez, Elf Lettuce, and Wook is Friday December, 10 at the Majestic Theatre. The show is presented by WSUM Radio and tickets are $8 or $6 if you bring a non-perishable food item.

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